One training challenge is improving the body and mind’s ability to tolerate the pain experienced in competition. Typically this pain is associated with cardio efforts at lactate threshold and beyond, and the associated build up of lactic acid in the muscles. Ranging from general discomfort to extreme pain, the” burn” is felt in the muscles, in the chest area and sometimes even in crushing headaches.
Building the body’s ability to tolerate pain, and to improve its response, is usually addressed by relatively short, high-intensity efforts called intervals (or HITT – High Intensity Interval Training). Intervals typically range in duration from a few to 20 minutes, depending on sport.
Building the mind’s ability to tolerate the pain is also required, and is a byproduct of consistent interval sessions. “Sharing” the pain with teammates, training groups, or under the guidance of a coach usually results in harder and more consistent training efforts than we may be inclined to do when training solo. So go ahead: More pain equals more gain by training with others.