“Mental toughness” plays a huge role in how well you’re going to perform during a race. By focusing your thoughts on the right things, you can push past your comfort zone during your next speed workout or to finally PR during your next race. Although admittedly not very “tough” sounding, something that has helped me on my path to becoming “mentally tough” is practicing a running mantra.
So what is a mantra? A mantra is defined by some as a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered to be conduits of transformation. The word mantra can be literally translated to mean, “to free from the mind.” All over the world people recite mantras to pray or to meditate. Developing a mantra can also help one to cope with life’s challenges such as dealing with anxiety and/or depression or motivating you during a workout or race.
Just a simple phrase, whether it is true or not, can have a measurable effect on your body. When you’re really struggling – repeat a positive personal mantra and you’ll be amazed what it can do for you. When trying to come up with your own mantra I suggest you keep it positive, keep it short, and make it personal. Your mantra should be your own – something that resonates with you and helps you re-center in the moment.
It’s very easy to let our minds focus on the pain we’re feeling during a difficult run (and at times, we should listen to unusual pains and discomforts), but trying to re-focus your thoughts on uplifting and powerful words can give you the strength to push through regular aches, pains, and fatigue.
The next time you find yourself struggling during a race or need extra motivation to get out the door, try one of these mantras, or come up with one that works for you.
- I can do this.
- I am strong.
- This too shall pass.
- Keep moving forward.
- Breathe through it.
- Pain is weakness leaving the body.
- I learn more from failure than from success.
- One foot in front of the other.
- You have to go through the worst to get to the best.
- Never quit. If you fall, get right back up.
- I don’t have to run, I GET to run.
Do you have a running mantra?