Train for comfort, not discomfort

By , December 2, 2013 12:53 pm

I meant to post this yesterday on my training recap, but forgot. Oopsie. And heaven forbid I wait for tomorrow… so hurrah, double post. 

FIRST THOUGH – things I do not want my neighbor to say to me – “All of that exercise is really starting to pay off!” Sigh. Said today, on the way back in to my house from a lunch run. This is the same person who asked me how much weight I was trying to lose, and yesterday, told Steven that he wished his wife would work out. I know he thinks he is being nice, but, ugh. It creeps me out. Stop paying attention to me, dude. I don’t exercise for the main purpose of maintaining my weight or looking good. I do it because I like it. 

And hey! That is actually a good segue in to what I wanted to talk about. Or, at least, it’s related. Ha ha. 

So I saw this text on one of those inspirational running pages on Facebook the other day, and thought, “NOPE! Don’t agree! But, I bet at lot of others do…”

The race always hurts, luv. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so that it doesn’t hurt. You train so that you can tolerate it. 


(And I don’t have any idea about that quote in the bottom or how that relates… I just left it in there since it was part of the original picture). 

Nope. That is not “why” I train. Or, exercise, or whatever. I run mostly because I really enjoy it (as mentioned above, there, it’s connected). I also run for companionship, as a lot of my friends are runners, and yes, I hope it keeps me somewhat healthy. 

But when I train for races, if I train to run a certain pace (this rarely happens), I am training so that that pace will feel more comfortable on the race day effort. Not so that I learn to tolerate the pain of running a fast pace*. I’m all about comfort, and fun, at races. I might push though pain at a 5K, but not even that often. I was SUPER pleased that my 5K PR from this year felt so easy. And I didn’t think, afterward, “I should have pushed harder!” I was proud I could run that pace and not feel like complete caca. 

So. Yeah. I think my mindset behind this is a bit different from most people’s. But, I am not a goal setter and am just kind of out there to enjoy things… so that may have to do with it. Races are rarely about pace, for me. It’s usually about FUN!

Do you train for comfort or so you can “tolerate” a pace?

*I understand this is what elite runners do – learn to tolerate their crazy fast paces. But yeah. I’m not elite. Ha ha. 

16 Responses to “Train for comfort, not discomfort”

  1. What a seriously rude set of comments to make! People are jerks.

  2. Kiersten says:

    Marathons and triathalons are the only races that I specifically train for. I train so that the marathon won’t kill me. I don’t want it to hurt. And I train for swimming so I don’t drown. I’m with you. I exercise regularly because I like how it feels. I want it to be fun. Not painful. And I know in some people’s eyes that makes me less of an athlete. But poo poo to them. When they are burned out in 10 years, I’ll still be out there!

  3. Michel says:

    What a weird neighbor. If that’s what he’s saying to your husband imagine what he could possibly be saying to his wife.
    I really don’t have an opinion about the training thing because I have only once been able to train a full training schedule for a race without being entirely sidelined by injuries and it could have been more painful

  4. Kandi says:

    Those comments are uncalled for… but I can see my dad making them and not thinking there is anything wrong with them. Did I tell you he went up to a guy my brother graduated with at my 15k in October and told him he looked like he has put on some weight? And he thought that was a perfectly ok comment to make?! My mom and I tell him it’s not appropriate but he can’t wrap his mind around it for some reason. *sigh*
    That being said, I train so I can complete the distance I’m training for… and if I want to increase my speed, work toward getting faster. Part of that might be learning to tolerate the pain or be more comfortable at a faster pace… I guess to me they can be one in the same? Although I’m definitely not pushing the limits on pain so I probably lean more toward comfortable.

  5. Pete B says:

    If the race always hurt, runners would be constantly grimacing during marathons instead of smiling (at least for the first 20 miles)! Not to play Freud here, but do you think your neighbor is secretly jealous of you and that’s why he is making those inappropriate comments? He’s obviously not a happy person. I was trying to think of a snappy comeback for you if he says something like that again, but it’s just sad.

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha ha, that is a good point. ;)

      I am not sure if that is it. He just seems to be lacking any social etiquette and kind of goes on and on and says things he shouldn’t. I think that might just be the way he is? Also seems like he is in everyone’s business… kind of a busy body. ;)

  6. Nina says:

    I hate when people comment on my body, it makes me so self conscious! Yes, they often say nice things, but I don’t like the attention. My family and close friends is one thing.

    I don’t want every run to hurt. I don’t want the majority of them to hurt. They shouldn’t always hurt…because…then we’d always be injured. That’s dumb, Just workout to enjoy it!

  7. Michelle says:

    I trained, so I wouldn’t have to feel pain (although of course did, LOL). This seems ass backwards to me. :-)

  8. Heather says:

    Ooooooooohh…….creepy guy alert!
    When I was training to beat a certain time, it HURT. But that was a one time thing – running for time was not fun! lol

  9. Kristina says:

    I think training is a combination of fun and occasionally discomfort and suffering – but that’s mainly when it’s hot or a super hard trail race or I’m just not feeling it. Yes, when I throw in speed workouts and hills, it’s tough, but I wouldn’t call it pain.
    There are, however, some interesting studies on endurance athletes and pain tolerance (of course I can’t reference them, but they are out there!).
    Finally, people and their comments! I’ve kind of compartmentalized my running/triathlon life from work just because I don’t want people to talk to me about it when I don’t want to. Maybe that sounds weird? Probably!

    • kilax says:

      I wonder what they mean by “hurt.” Maybe I am just reading it to it, too much. (Wow, imagine that!)

      And I have read some of those articles. It’s so interesting/amazing!

      Nah, I don’t think that is weird. I barely talk about it at work. People don’t care and get put off by it!

  10. Erin says:

    Maybe they mean that you train so that you can tolerate the mental pain at the end of a race? I mean, I bet even elites struggle in those last few miles and are only able to push through because they’ve trained for the mental toughness.

    I asked on Facebook a while back how women feel about random dudes shouting things like “nice legs” at them as they run past. Jason did not understand why I didn’t like this! I had to get other people’s opinions for him to understand that not all women want comments when they’re working out.

    • kilax says:

      I wonder if that is what they meant. The way it was written… just didn’t speak to me. The race “always” hurts. There are no “always.” LOL

      You know, I wouldn’t mind non creepy comments. I just don’t want some stranger commenting on my appearance, especially since he’s made it obvious several times he thinks I am overweight. Even a “looking good!” would have been better than what he said. LOL. It’ll probably keep happening!

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