To be clear, I'm not talking about pushing through an actual injury such as a strain, sprain, break, etc. The type of pain I'm referring to is of the burning-lungs-and-legs-I'm-might-lose-my-breakfast-on-the-side-of-the-course variety.
Working the furrowed brow/in pain/I will not let that Santa pass me look!
I'm by no means a running expert. But I do race a lot and along the way, I've picked up a few handy tips for the average runner when it comes to working through race pain. Here are a few tips:
- Before the race starts, allow yourself think, This is going to hurt. And then that's it. Accept it without focusing or worrying about it.
- Have a mantra ready for when the race gets tough. Ones I've used in the past include "I breathe in strength, I breathe out weakness" "Pay the price" and "The tides will turn". Use whatever works for you - preferably a mantra you've used during training.
- Count to 100. Repeat as necessary.
- Embrace the pain. Remind yourself that feeling uncomfortable is a good thing and this is how it feels to lay it all on the line. If it feels easy, it means you can push harder.
- Remember everyone around you is likely feeling as bad or maybe even worse than you. You're in this together!
- Try to relax. Un-hunch those shoulders. Relax your arms and hands. Focus on your stride - quick leg turnover and landing under your core - not overstriding.
- Recall the tough workouts that you were able to push through. You made it through training and you can make it through this race.
You've earned it!
I'd like to know . . . What tricks do you use to push through race pain?
I don't listen to music during races, but if I did, I would probably add cranking up the volume on my iPod to the list :)