Three things got me thinking about sports training and pain again.
The first was a series of ads for indoor training videos, Sufferfest. There’s something about indoor training whether it’s on your bike on a trainer or on an erg, or rowing machine, that’s particularly brutal.
And finally some female faces.
The second was a lively discussion with a friend on the age old question of whether being a masochist helps with sports performance. My answer, yes.
The third was this story, It’s true! Triathletes are tougher than the rest of us.
Triathletes can tolerate more pain than the rest of us, a new study confirms, which helps explain why they would swim, then bike, then run, all because they want to and not because they are, perhaps, being chased by a bear.
That’s interesting on its own, but there’s more: Researchers say that understanding how athletes can withstand the pain of a grueling endurance event may eventually lead to potential treatments and therapies for people with chronic pain.
“It’s a very masochistic sport,” said Jenna Parker, who was the top female finisher in the New York City Triathlon in July. She was joking, but only kind of. “I guess to some extent, I always wondered what it is that makes people able to compete at a high level in athletics. Obviously there’s something that’s different that makes us able to push our physical boundaries in a way that other people can’t.”
Here’s my past posts on the topic: