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Discomfort is Part of Training

I always dreaded the practices when my high school track coach would send the team out on a town run designed to meander around the streets of Lindsborg. If I remember correctly, it was supposed to be a “recovery run” after a meet. But for me, a sprinter, there was nothing “recovery” about it.

Those lengthy runs were enjoyable for some, but they brought out the worst in me. I wasn’t in shape for running miles. I trained for short bursts of speed. I sprinted 600s to train for my 400s. I was OK with that type of training. Even though the workouts weren’t easy, training for sprints played to my strengths as an athlete.

Distance runs did not. As I plodded along at a pace that felt both maddeningly slow and altogether too fast simultaneously, I thought my lungs might explode. I’m not sure if there’s a thing called sprinter’s lung, but even if not, I have it.

Those runs were some of the most painful workouts for me, physically. They were also humbling. A natural competitor, it was difficult to…

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