One of the great things about endurance sport is what I call the, ‘pain – pleasure phenomenon’.
Let me give you a few examples:
- The wetter and colder you get on your long run: the more enjoyable the hot shower afterwards.
- The hungrier you get on your Sunday ride: the more satisfying the massive feed when you get back.
- The stronger the desire to stay in and watch telly: the greater the feeling when you complete your session.
However, for me, this pain – pleasure phenomenon is never more significant than on a Thursday morning (it used to be evenings which was even worse), for Thursday is Turbo Pain Day.
Summoning the mental strength to drag myself from the warm house to my cold shed where my TT bike waits eagerly atop my Taxc Flow turbo trainer is very tough.
When I do get out there – thank goodness for caffeine – the first few pedal strokes feel like I’m on the final few KMs of Le Mont Ventoux, the legs are tired, sore and it hurts!
Even a good dose of Calvin Harris’, ‘Let’s Go’ on the headphones only briefly relieves the mental and physical trauma.
The key is to simply get going and push on through this, because after 10 or 15 minutes of the warm up the legs wake up, the sweat starts dripping and endorphins begin to stir.
After that it’s all about summoning the mental strength to get that first interval out the way. Once that’s done it’s a question of ticking off each minute as it comes – thinking about the full session ahead of you is a killer. Just stay in the here and now.
The final interval is always a teeth grinding affair with a lot of self-deprecating expletives (in my case anyway) and the final seconds take an eternity as legs scream and the heart feels like it’s going to explode.
But after this frenetic crescendo comes the easy warm down during which the agony is immediately replaced by relief and a flood of turbo charged endorphins.
The neighbours’ thinks it’s odd. I can see why, but if I could bottle that feeling and inject them with it, they’d understand.
Have I ever regretted making myself get out there? Never!
Written by Ben Price. You can follow Ben’s adventures over on Twitter.