Fitness Nutrition

A Pain Management Primer


I was able to shake the dreaded lurgy off enough to be able to ride this morning. It was a good feeling to put some kilometres in the 2016 account. Today my program consisted of 40km with six hard efforts thrown in the mix. Usually I share this type workout with Mel as she’s a great encourager when you don’t think you can do another pedal stroke, but as she’s away on holiday at the moment, it was up to me to take one for the team.

To warm up, I’ve been doing half a River Loop (what I would describe as a Brisbane institution) and then doing my efforts along the Brisbane Corso, which runs adjacent to the Brisbane River, so at some point, you can be assured of a nice view. I did my efforts and as I was doing them I was thinking of how I would describe them to Mel. The word “painful” came up. Yes, they hurt alright, but not in the typical sense.

With some further introspection on the matter, I got to thinking about the word “pain”. Would I describe this workout to my Strava buddies or my coach as painful? Actually, no – perhaps self inflicted high levels of discomfort would be a more accurate term, but hardly appealing – perhaps not drama filled or sexy enough. When I think of true pain, I think of injury moments, such as trying to get on and off the X Ray table post crash. I can’t even remember some of the post crash stuff. I cannot remember who gave me a lift to the hospital. I believe that our physiology blocks it out.

This morning my physiology wasn’t blocking anything out. I remembered my commitment to improve my fitness and went out there and got the job done. Liz wisely states that, “yes it will be painful, but then it will be over and you can recover”. It’s very true and it’s worth remembering that doing efforts is a choice we make to improve. In other words, we need to be cognisant of the language we choose to describe something.. i.e. is it true?

After my ride, I wandered up to the gym and did 10 x 1 minute running intervals, some hamstring rehab and chose two upper body exercises that I thought my wrist could handle and I was done for the morning.


1) Third fastest time on a 1km flat Strava segment and best solo time (other times were in bunch rides) – 40.7km/hr.
2) Doing two runs this week
3) Disciplining myself not to give up on doing my program today when it started feeling hard.

Nutrition wise, I’m disciplining myself to only consume three meals per day and a snack if needed as per Georgie’s “Lean Habits” book. This morning I needed a snack between my ride and my run. After years of the bodybuilding six meals a day, it’s a very odd feeling to allow myself to eat a substantial meal. There’s some excellent research out there backing up this idea – but research aside, I feel nervous at the thought of not snacking so will see how I go today.

One thought on “A Pain Management Primer

  1. I’ve often thought about pain – especially about 3/4 of the way through speed sessions. There’s so many different forms. There’s low-grade aches all the way up to extreme, excruciating pain. And then there’s what we put ourselves through during training. That’s positive pain.

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