Skip to main content

Pain management for endurance athletes

There are many things going on in my mind...and body...the past several weeks.

I did allergy testing this past Thursday to determine what family of wasps shoots deadly (for me) venom, then went to get my shoulder checked Friday.

Have been processing how to best deal with my recent onset of problems.  One advantage looms large when facing injuries:  Endurance athletes train for pain.

I had this discussion with Chuck, my riding buddy who suffered a horrendous cycling crash earlier this summer.  On every ride, on every climb, we practice the art of enduring pain.  More pain = a better performance.  You might believe you can't take any more; then the guy next to you upshifts from low gear and you can either drop back, or shift and absorb the next level of pain.

As we grow our tolerance, we also prep for the art of aggressive rehab.  Most times doctors will tell you "let pain be your guide."  My tolerance for pain lets me reach deeper and further than others who have not  developed the ability to increase their thresholds.

I'm 11 days out from my crash and already have overhead range of motion in my right arm.  I plan to be in the pool very soon for swimming, the ultimate activity if I want to get my body back on track.

It won't be fun or pleasant, but I will tolerate the discomfort to reach the outcome I intend.  When we train for pain, there's a life advantage that gets us through the rough spots.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Build your low cost gravel and commuter bike

It's the saga of Craigslist. You have a great perfect condition road bicycle to market. You ask a fair price. A few calls come in, most often the caller throws out a low ball offer, maybe 50% of asking price.

You don't need to give the bike away. You may not need the cash.

Consider re-purposing. You already own an excellent commuter and gravel bike. Think your bike is too low end, not good for the purpose?

Wrong. In most cases less expensive bikes are build with heavier parts, which means they are stronger. Heavier wheels = better ability to absorb commuter bumps and gravel roads.

A few simple modifications and you'll be rolling for transportation or logging road expeditions.

Here's my 2011 model Specialized Roubaix. I rode it for several seasons as a serious piece of road equipment. A few buyers offered up a few hundred dollars, so I went in another direction.

1) Added 700 x 28 Continental Gatorskin tires. Gatorskin tires wear like iron and you can trust them in off …

Now this is better...

Hey, I don't want to dole out too many epic photos in one day...but after that fatty shot from the New York City Marathon, I had to dig a bit deeper, and found this:

Check out that attractive specimen (second from right) circa 1986...only a year earlier and Tommy Terrific was looking pretty ripped.

I'll tell you this triathlon training camp was one of the high points of my master competitor career. On the left is Mark Hinson, the best triathlete in the southeast in the mid 19890's...and far right is Frank Kohlenstein, a soccer coach from South Carolina and the dude who got me into ultrarunning...that's tanned and toned Tommy next to David Bailey, one of the greatest men who ever threw a leg over two wheels with an engine.

So, right around the time of this camp, I crewed for Frank at the Western States 100 mile endurance run in California. Hinson ran with Frank through a very tough 20 mile desert section and when he made it to the next check, he pulled me aside and told…