For athletes, especially in distance sports such as running and swimming, dealing with pain and discomfort comes with the territory. It’s not if pain and discomfort will surface, but when and how often. Putting the body under so much distress for miles and miles will certainly test the body and is part of the mental and physical preparation for these athletes.
But at what point do athletes decide to tough it out through the pain or surrender to avoid further discomfort? It’s a fine line that athletes must walk and requires mental fortitude.
One of the most important things an athlete can do to best manage the inevitable pain or discomfort is to accept before the race, game or event that it’s going to come. Once that is achieved, it’s much easier to establish a plan or approach (both mental and physical) to tolerating the pain once it surfaces.
Dr. Sharon Chirban, Clinical Sport Psychologist
Founder of Amplifying Performance Consulting, LLC