How many times have you heard a fellow coach spout some trite cliché like, “No pain, no gain”? Or watched a sports movie in which going hard is equated with throwing up during a training session? It’s become a cultural norm to equate hard work and determination with painful suffering that athletes have to endure to reach their goals. While there is some truth in this, it’s all too easy for the members of your training group to take this line of thinking too far and end up injured, burned out, overtrained, or all three. In this article, we’ll take a fresh look at pain tolerance and try to help you better balance your athletes’ training so they can gut it out when necessary without pushing too far into the pain cave.



另一个挑战是,在体育锻炼,,,,the brain releases a cascade of chemicals that serve to both blunt pain and produce a feeling of elation. Dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters make your athletes feel good while also reducing their feelings of fatigue and, to some extent, mitigating their perception of pain. In some ways this is a good thing, as this chemical cocktail keeps them moving when things get difficult. But on the flip side, it can also make it risky to advise your athletes to wait for a pain sensation before deciding to slow down or stop.


When you’re training a novice athlete, the good news, as my插头co-author and Cal State Fullerton muscle physiologist安迪·加尔平博士经常说,“一切都起作用”至少一段时间了。那是因为当他们的身体未经训练或受到损害时,它将对您丢掉的几乎所有训练刺激做出积极反应(除非您做的事情真的疯狂以提示负面反应)。However, on the other side of the coin, the inexperienced athlete is also at a disadvantage because they’re likely to get sore more easily, and due to their lack of experience, it will be difficult to tell whether that’s because they’re just doing something hard that they haven’t done before or have pushed themselves too far. And as a coach, it’s equally hard to make this call for them as you don’t yet know what their limits are.

在这种情况下,将需要时间和仔细接触各种培训,以便能够在运动员挑战自己和过度训练之前分辨出差异。If they’re a rookie or are returning to sport after injury or a period of inactivity, their capacity will build back up quickly and, per the SAID (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands) principle, their body will respond to training stimuli in a way that eventually makes certain sessions hurt less.

Assuming they’re not going too hard or fast too soon and that they’re recovering adequately, the amount of acute post-training pain and DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) should decrease as they settle into the regular routine of the program you provide. Perhaps just as importantly, their mind will get better at distinguishing between an acceptable level of discomfort that they should try to push through and warning signals to stop that they need to heed.

It’s worth sharing with your athletes that different sessions will produce varying kinds and levels of discomfort. Lung-busting hill repeats are one thing, while the slow, insidious creeping of fatigue that comes on during a longer, slower effort is another. Longer intervals or middle-distance pieces might deliver a combination of both. To help build your athletes’ overall pain tolerance, make sure they’re following a well-rounded training plan that incorporates varying volume, intensity, and density demands so that they learn to handle and better understand their pain responses across the board. Recognize that while they’ll probably never do all-out intervals that don’t hurt, they can learn to embrace the challenge faster, more intense sessions present. Or if they respond better to power training, that longer sessions might take more out of them.

The Importance of Mindset

If some of your athletes have been training and competing for a long time, the chances are that they’ll be less sensitive to pain than a newbie and have come to know the difference between necessary and excessive suffering. This isn’t merely conjecture. A study published earlier this year inFrontiers in Psychology总结说,“Elite and high-level athletes had increased pain tolerance,,,,higher heat pain thresholds, and reported lower pain intensity to thermal stimulation.”


在他的畅销书中冠军的思想,,,,Dr. Jim Afremow writes, “As long as you are not damaging your health or risking (or aggravating) an injury, you just have to learn how to dig deep and find that last high gear to move into so you can motor through the wall or beat the bonk.” And just as your athletes’ cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems will build up pain tolerance on the physical side, so too will hard training galvanize their mindset and help them become mentally tougher. Sometimes harder sessions provide just as much psychological as physical value.

When to Push vs. When to Stop

虽然心态在疼痛耐受方面至关重要,但至关重要的是,您要教运动员聆听他们的身体告诉他们的内容,至少在他们开始受伤时听到自己的声音,而不是简单地决心继续前进。Ready State的创始人Kelly Starrett博士说:“如果感觉粗略,它是粗略的,您需要停止。”他在这里谈论的是急性疼痛。他的物理治疗师格雷·库克(Gray Cook)博士,功能运动屏幕(FMS)的共同创造者,这样说,,,,“I’m not talking about skipping a workout on a day when your muscles are sore or tight. We’re talking about sharp stabbing pain, dull aching pain, or pain associated with redness and swelling. If you push against that type of pain, it’s going to push back. It’s going to push back harder and it’s going to win.”