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New distance, new pain

August 24th, 2008 · 8 Comments

Every time, I’ve added a mile to my longest run, it’s hurt. Doesn’t matter how fit I think I am, there is always going to be a new pain. I’ve heard some people referring to this as the “wall”– it’s just a point in your run, ride or whatever where your body passes from what it knows to what it doesn’t know. Right knee, left hamstring, left ITB band, somewhere I have pain.

Having the right mental mindset and tactics to overcome it:

Talk to yourself:

Yesterday, I tried a new tactic. I called it “duly noted”. I would feel the pain and then tell my pain “Ok, I noticed you, now be quiet”. I did this for miles yesterday! We added only 1 mile to our longest distance, but it seemed like I had pain in my legs the whole way.

Stop and Stretch:

Every few miles, we took a stretch break. All this running is putting pressure on my already TIGHT hamstrings. It’s pretty tough to get a good stretch in the hamstrings on a street curb, but a leg lunge and a calf stretch can alleviate a lot of tightness for me.

Focus on the end goal:

To successfully complete the St. George Marathon with a PR 40 minutes faster than my last marathon. By focusing on the WHY it’s easier to tell my body that the pain is ok. Better now, than during the actual race.

Put the blinders on:

Pretend like you have tunnel vision and only focus on the stop signs, trees, mail boxes, whatever. Just focus forward not on the pain.


Create your own mantra. Talking to yourself in a rhythmic positive way. Particularly for me is to focus on LIGHT and FAST.

Marathon training is not for sissys. It hurts. I keep asking my buddy, “don’t you think next time we train like this it will be easier?” I think yes. Assuming that our pains can be helped with proper stretching, massage, a foam roller, Epsom salt baths, ice baths, and proper nutrition so long as the pains do not lead to injury!

Anybody have any tips or suggestions for training when your body just wants to walk?

Tags: Questions for Readers · Running

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kathleen // Aug 24, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I’m a personal trainer and running coach. I’ve run long distances since I was 14, I A LOT older than that now (!!!) Since I’ve been running for 25+ years…I’ve tried many approaches and several work: the easiest is to do fartleks (for speed) and intervals (measured–also for speed) 2x a week x2-3 weeks in advance. 1 1/2 min up (rpe 9); recover fully; repeat for the whole run. After body is used to this, you’re ready for a long SLOWER run. Here’s where what I do that really works for me. About 4-5 miles in I start to daydream. Winning the Lotto; owning a fitness company of some sort; being a pro beach volleyball player, whatever. Let your mind go. Don’t think about speed, miles, time, etc. Indulge your thoughts with uber fantasies highly unlikely, but would be way cool. Hope this helps. I know it’s helped many, many a runner whom I’ve shared it with.

  • 2 Lance // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    When I “hit that wall”, I like to focus on whatever the goal at hand is. And the blinders – try to concentrate on something other than the pain. It’s tough, but if you can push through it, you feel elated at what you’ve accomplished – and that’s why it’s all worth it.

    Lances last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  • 3 MizFit // Aug 24, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    love the PUT THE BLINDERS ON idea.

    never thought of it in that way.


    MizFits last blog post..And the winner of the Super Exciting Scavengerhunt is…

  • 4 Chellie Has Issues // Aug 25, 2008 at 7:11 am

    I don’t have any advice, but it makes me feel better to know that many fit runners still get pain after their long runs. I just starting training for a 1/2 and am sore after my long run. I was surprised since I’ve ran longer than I did today, but not since May. Thanks for the advice!

    Chellie Has Issuess last blog post..Weekend Happenings

  • 5 Mark Salinas // Aug 25, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I do much zone 4 training and it has helped me in the past. That being said there is nothing like hitting the wall in a long run. I kick butt up until about 15-17 miles after it is all pain. If headphones are allowed it tends to help me. Nice post!

    Mark Salinass last blog post..Pilates With Christine Kambourakis

  • 6 raych // Aug 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I loved this post! Yes, Pain, you are duly noted. You may drop your problem in the inbox, and I will get to it when I have time.

    But what what what do I do about tight IT bands? Foam rollers? Does that work to alleviate pain while running, or does it just offer relief for afterwards so that I’m not gimping around all day?

    raychs last blog post..Twilight – Stephanie Meyers

  • 7 Karyn // Aug 25, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    My body’s favorite trick to play on me when I go past what it’s used to is to make me think I need to use the restroom. I am no longer fooled by this little game, so I just keep on running and it of course gives in.

    I agree with Kathleen, the daydreaming and just letting your mind wander works great most of the time.

  • 8 Andrew is getting fit // Aug 25, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Hmm…I play the one more lamppost game. Sometimes I have to play it the whole run!

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