After 28 years of serious distance training I've learned a few lessons about Gaining through Pain.

1. Don't get in the way of the recovery process. It takes time. Granted most don't take the first step to embrace the pain. But many "athletes" focus only on the "work". Those that simply think they can work harder than anyone, will over train. You can't simply, tear down, tear down and tear down. You must allow some time to rebuild, refresh and re-focus.

2. There is a rhythm to most training, overload then rest. The simple two step. But there is much more to it. Eating, sleeping, exercising. Warm-up, workout, cool down. Morning, afternoon, weekly cycles, tri-weekly cycles. Pyramids. Tapering month. Race week, Race day all have their rhythm and routine.

3. There is a mind/ body connection. Recovery is enhanced by soothing the mind.Good friends, nice music, happy jovial atmosphere as well as plenty of nutritious food and sleep help.

4. If you've trained regularly, age and experience will allow you to inflict more pain but the recovery process is longer, so you have less gain. The wisdom to know better, certainly is stronger than in your youth. But patients in the recovery becomes an act of humility, because it forces you to admit your age.

5. What you tear down and rebuild does get better, but the auxiliary support also learns how to respond and gains valuable battle experience. Likewise, by building up my running ability, I increased my other abilities. Now that my running ability is declining, the pains through training for races is much more about the gains throughout my life than it is about running.

6. The gain through pain is not always to the sufferer, but to the survivor. The best gains are lessons learned through others pain. Paths not to follow, signs not to ignore, habits and attitudes not to develop. Likewise, some of the best lessons you can pass on are not from your wins, but from you losses. Your wins just give you the authority for others to listen. But your losses help others evolve.





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