IWBMATTKYT – Embrace the Pain

Let’s suffer now so we can excel tomorrow! (Photo credit: SWoo)

Lately, I’ve been focusing on cycling in an attempt to finally put my foot issues behind me. This past week I introduced myself to the world of sufferfest videos. The videos are for indoor cycling training and for the most part, the workout was, as titled, a sufferfest. Towards the end of the workout they flashed this acronym “IWBMATTKYT,” which stands for “I will beat my ass today to kick yours tomorrow.” Not eloquent by any means, but for some reason it stuck in my head and I found myself using the mantra at spin class later in the week when what I really wanted to do was back off the resistance, I instead turned it up and grinded it out with the intent of being better for it tomorrow.

I could be wrong, but being motivated by suffering seems like more of a dude thing. I don’t think I’ve ever thought that way about run training and none of my female friends seem to do that either. But I think this suffer today to gain tomorrow type mantra should have a place in the femal runners mental arsenal.

Ladies, it’s time to train our brains to suffer! (It’ll be fun, I swear!)

While I am currently using this approach in my cycling and swimming this is something I look forward to applying to my running. Obviously you can’t do this every day, and you can’t do it every workout, but perhaps this is one of those mantras we should keep in our mental arsenal for those workouts where we will reap big future benefits by digging deeper today.

This tactic would be especially handy in workouts like intervals, where you can reap the benefit of a recovery session to trick yourself into working harder on that next repeat. It’s easy during these sessions to get a bit complacent and perhaps work a tad easier than our body can handle because we are appropriately thinking about finishing out the entire session on pace. But perhaps a mantra like “IWBMATTKYT” is just what we need every once in a while to get out of our interval “comfort” zone and really teach our body what it is to be faster and work at our max effort.

A torture rack, photographed in the Tower of L...
Pushing ourselves harder doesn’t have to be torture, at least not every day! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“IWBMATTKYT” can be beneficial at the end of a hard tempo when we really want to back off the effort or quit. Instead let’s put on our sufferfest hat and think “IWBMATTKYT” and take it to another level instead. Imagine how much faster your body will be at next weeks session if you just dig a bit deeper today. Really visualize it and feel the untapped power within your legs and lungs, and really push yourself right now, right here, at the end of this tempo, today. Embrace the pain!

The “IWBMATTKYT” mantra could also provide that much needed mental boost at the end of a long run, perhaps it’s tempting to finish the last few miles out slowly and call it good enough, but what if, instead, we make it the goal to work a bit harder today. We will suffer a bit now, at the end of this run, where it really counts and we teach our bodies to follow through all the way to the end. Today we will finish our long run out at marathon pace, or faster, and we will feel stronger for it, and next week we will be that much tougher physically and mentally to race beyond what we previously thought possible.

So Salty ladies, let’s suffer like the crazy sufferlandia cyclists occasionally and see what it can do for our running. Perhaps embracing the pain today is just what we need to tap into a bit of our current untapped potential and kick booty tomorrow.

What do you think about IWBMATTKYT? Are you ready to add it to your bag of mental  training tricks?

A gal on a mission to save Cuyahoga County streams one storm water facility at a time. An ex runner of many facets including marathons, pacing, ultras and more. Chronic left side issues have me cycling more than running these days but I'm attempting to get back to my running roots.

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  1. I love that! Although I’m not sure my brain has the ability to to remember all those letters and especially what they stand for when I’m trying to run intervals. During that pretty much all my thoughts go to…breathe, dont die, keep pushing, breathe, don’t die

    1. Agreed Amanda! I think the sentiment was just one I never really used before to work harder in a workout. Convincing oneself to suffer is never easy 🙂 Perhaps we should shorten the acronym to something more bite size!

  2. I love this! I’d change it IWBMATTPRT (I will bust my ass today to PR tomorrow). My husband is always getting on my case that my main weakness as a runner is that I fear and avoid pain. He’s been getting on me to embrace pain if I want to achieve my goals. He’s totally right and this little mantra will definitely help in that regard. I have to practice running to and getting all cozy with pain in training and life if I want to be able to do it in races. So thanks for this help!

    1. I think this sort of tactic is easier to engage in on an indoor trainer, I’ll be interested to see if I can convince my brain to do the same sort of suffering out on the track or roads!