Everyone who has been for a run has encountered the “pain barrier“. This is the place in your run where you feel you cannot go on anymore. Your muscles are aching and your lungs are burning. However, you know that if you push through you will come out the other end a stronger person. This article is about how to push through your exercise pain barrier.
Background to my own exercise pain barriers
The mountain in the photo above is in North India in a small town called Dharamsala just near the Himalayas. Every year I travel there for a break and a holiday and it is on hills in front of that mountain that I have had some of my best workouts ever. The air is fresh and clean, the pine trees smell amazing and the slopes and ridges make for an amazing challenge.
I love running through these hills. The forests are somewhat enchanted and very inspiring.
However, these hills are tough. It is, after all, on the base of the Himalayas! The slopes are steep and the terrain is thick. Running through them is not like an ordinary run through the suburbs. It is brutal. And it is here that I learnt what a pain barrier is and how to break through it.
How to push through your exercise pain barriers
There are a few types of pain barriers and we need to know exactly what they are before we start talking about how to push through them. You can sum them all up into two groups:
1. Individual workout pain barriers; and
2. General pain barriers.
The individual workout pain barriers are the ones you face when you are on a run. It is when everything starts hurting and you feel like you need to stop. General pain barriers are the ones you face when you feel like you no longer want to do a workout. It is a depressed, lazy and tired feeling that makes you feel the throwing in the towel and giving up.
Let’s talk about how to break through them.
Pushing through the individual workout pain barrier
When it comes to individual workouts we quite often encounter pain barriers that make us want to stop and go home. I quite often get these on a morning run and they are very hard to deal with. The mostly occur during cardio exercises like running, bike riding, etc.