What I'm sharing today was a game changer for me.
For the longest time, I didn't really push myself in my workouts. I work hard, but there are definitely times where I avoid certain workouts because I hate them, and instead of wanting to do [said workout or movement] to get better at it, I would just refrain from doing it at all.
Why? Mainly because I didn't understand the concept I'm going to share with you today. I thought for sure during every hard workout (especially running) 'oooooh no, this has to be my upper limit. I'm for sure going to die in T-3 seconds.'
That's a huge reason I decided to run the Toronto Island Half Marathon in September: because I'm not that great at running, and want to get better.
Knowing full well going into my 12-week half marathon training that this will not be comfortable to me, I knew I needed something to fuel my fire and keep me going when things got tough - because they inevitably will (and have already).
How to Push Through a Tough Run/Workout
When I first told Mark I was going to run the half marathon, being the amazing, supportive human he is - he ran out and got me a copy of Runner's World magazine.
In this particular edition, there was an article about the 10 Keys to Great Running, or something along those lines.
One of the tips stuck out to me and I literally repeat it to myself from the moment my run gets tough til the moment I walk through the door:
This hurts. It's supposed to hurt. But you're going to be OK.
The article talks about how important it is to be realistic with yourself. Instead of saying, "OMG! I love this! Running is so fun!" (which can definitely work up to a certain point), you have to be realistic with yourself if you want to push past your pain threshold.
Acknowledge that it hurts. But also acknowledge that YOU WILL BE FINE. You are not going to die.
By setting the realistic expectation that it's GOING to hurt, you're more likely to push through the pain... vs. if you expect it NOT to hurt and it DOES get painful, then you're more likely to give up or want to start walking the moment it starts hurting.
(btw - I think it's obvious I'm talking about a 'good' kind of hurt here, not where you're pushing yourself too hard, too soon and risk injury.)
So, next time you find yourself in the middle of a tough run (or workout in general), remember that it's not supposed to be comfortable. Remind yourself, "This sucks. It's supposed to. But I'm going to be just fine."
The moment you become uncomfortable is the moment magic starts happening.
The only way we change as humans, both in the gym and out, is through resistance.
So don't give up when the goin' gets tough.
Dig in deeper.
It hurts, but you're OK.
And you'll come out even stronger because of it.