Tolerance in all things

I’ve come to the conclusion that increasing your fitness has nothing to do with your fitness and everything to do with increasing your tolerance.

Once thing that amazed me about running is that it has never really gotten ‘easier’. I still huff and puff, my legs still have an identity crisis and think they are a jelly fish and I still have issues with form and pace.

After all this time!!

But one thing that has improved greatly for me is my tolerance. Even though I think I’m going to die, even though I’m sure I’m going to die, even though I’m convinced I’m going to die, I stick it out. I keep going. I set some sort of stupid goal in my mind like the next hill or the next lamp-post or whatever and plough on.

That’s what is different with me now.

You know when you start doing some sort of exercise and you give up after a short time? You feel a twinge of knee pain or you get out of breath or whatever and so you stop? Because exercise isn’t supposed to hurt? Because exercise isn’t supposed to not be fun?Β Yeah, well I did that too – in the beginning.

Four months ago when I was doing 60 second intervals (SIXTY SECONDS!!!!) I’d barely be able to hold on for that sixty seconds. All these bizarre voices would be running through my mind telling me to stop and it was all I could do to ignore them and hang on.

Now I still hear those voices, but I’m a lot better at ignoring them and working through the discomfort. I don’t feel like anything is easier, I’m just better able to cope with the rigours of it – mentally more than anything.

Tonight I was out on my usual one hour run and at about the half way point I felt like I couldn’t continue. And I feel this way every.single.time. I get to a certain point and mentally I hit a wall. My pace drops, my breathing gets harder, it’s all I can do to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

So I talk sternly to myself. I tell myself to dig deep. I tell myself that I did the City2Surf ffs! I tell myself that compared to that I’m out for a stroll around the park.

And I hang on.

I keep going.

And somehow I make it through (and occasionally I have a last spurt to the finish where I push so hard sometimes I nearly pee myself and last ‘spurt’ takes on a new meaning…)

So, it’s all about the tolerance. It’s not about building muscle, increasing lung capacity or lactic thresholds.

It’s about building your tolerance. Tolerance in all things – including insects that go up your nose, sweat that runs down your crack and getting lost in your local neighbourhood.

And most importantly, feeling the burn.

4 thoughts on “Tolerance in all things”

  1. There you go subtle, being all inspirational again. Alright, alright, I’ll go tackle that blasted hill again in the morning. πŸ˜‰ And find a way to add some more miles as I’ve been putting that off. I’m sure you’ve mentioned it, but how often a week do you run? I’ve worked up to 3-4 days a week on the bike so far, aiming for 5-6 though.
    fond regards,
    shula

    1. Hi Shula!
      Sorry, I didn’t mean to be inspirational…again…lol.
      I started out doing 5-6 times a week because I started my training too late for the City2Surf but after that I’ve generally done 3-4 times a week. I found that I needed the recovery time between runs and anymore than that was too much. These days it’s kind of looking like 2-3 times *blushes*

  2. Hello hello Subtle!
    Yeah I find I have a hard time balancing recovery days and my goals of getting more fit. I know recovery days are important, but how do you do them and increase speed and mileage and all that good stuff? I am sure one fine day the internet will spit out words of wisdom. And ugh, diet. Eating the right foods, right amount, blah blah blah, man is that complicated to you too? I feel like I’m doing alright, and then that cake looks soooo tempting. Or that beer, argh. On the other hand life is short, yeah? All things in moderation, or something like that. 2-3 days is still better than no days, just young lady make sure it doesn’t turn into no days. πŸ˜‰
    fond regards,
    shula

    1. Hi Shula!

      I have issues with diet and exercise. I can do one or the other right, but not both at the same time…lol. At the moment I’m focussing on diet a.k.a trying to get my eating under control and so I’m not worrying about exercise too much.

      I’m not sure how the speed and mileage thing works with cycling, but in running you shouldn’t increase your distance by more than 10% in a week and the only way to really increase speed is to do intervals.

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