Mental Exercise to suppress Pain by Lewis Pugh

Just imagine how easy running would be if you had the mental power to control pain.

Before July 2007 no one had ever swum in water with temperature below zero degrees. But on July 15, 2007 Lewis Gordon Pugh, the world foremost cold water endurance swimmer travelled to North pole and stepped on the white arctic  ice and on a wide open crack – dived in. Pugh was in water at minus 1.8 degrees. He swum a distance of 1K in a time of 18 minutes, 50 seconds.

How does he do it?

I read this incredible story of courage in the August issue of Readers Digest (South African edition). I had almost missed this story because my attention in August was 99% on the Beijing Olympics.

“His real attribute is psychological” That is the answer of Jonathan Duga, a chicago-based scientist who studied Pugh at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.

Pugh is like you and me but one big difference is that he has mastered to use his brain to suppress pain, fear and even to get his body to elevate his temperature. He is the only person ever documented who can regulate his own body temperature.

I thought this story is of interest to runners because we share something in common, pain in ankles, legs and feet, our many fear.

Pugh mental exercise before diving into ice water

He stands at the water edge listening to music – Beethoven, Eminem, P. Diddy. He trys to focus on the objective 100%.

When he is inside the water he suppresses the urge to get out, despite his body telling him he’s realy cold.

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