I will admit that for a long time I was a snob about running. I thought it would pointless, tough on the joints, a waste of time. But a friend of mine convinced me to train with her for a 5k and I decided to give it a shot, if only to be supportive and to get some of those health benefits experts have been raving about. The first few runs were torture. Then they became my saving grace at the beginning and end of a long day.
Since then I have been an avid runner, taking part in 5k’s, half-marathons and finally marathons…for fun! I know, I have become one of the crazy people. However, in spite of my passion for the sport I am not without my struggles. I, like every other running enthusiast, can really struggle to make it past that wall on long races or during strenuous training.
After reading a book from a long time marathon runner about mantras, I decided to try it myself. Since then I have been an avid believer in the practice. It showed me that it is as much about how we train our minds as it is how we train our bodies.
Some Mantras To Try During Your Next Marathon
The truth is that nothing will make a marathon less of a struggle, even extensive training. They are long, exhausting and a challenge for even experienced runners who have done them before. But if they weren’t difficult we wouldn’t feel as though we had accomplished something when we pass the finish line!
What you need is motivation. Here are some mantras you can try the next time you are pushing through the pain and need the strength to keep going.
- “This is easy.” No, it isn’t. But you can make your mind feel as though it is, at least to a certain extent. This one works best at the beginning of a race.
- “I’ve run more than this.” Come on, you’ve trained for this! You have spent hours hitting the road under your sneakers, getting ready for this moment. You’ve got this.
- “The hard part is almost over.” Hills…the enemy of every runner everywhere. When you hit those tough spots where incline or terrain get in the way, remind yourself that it is almost done.
- “I love the burn.” That agony in your thighs? You love it. The straining fire in your hamstrings? You love it. The tense pain in your back? You love it. You love it all, from your head to your bleeding toes.
- “Exhilarating.” Is there anything as incredible as the feeling of flying down a hill, or soaring down a stretch of road? It is freeing.
- “Just do it.” Yeah, Nike had it first but it is just as relevant outside of the branding world. Don’t think about it, just do it!
- “Just Keep going.” Feel like quitting? Don’t do it, you can make it. Just keep going, that is all you have to do.
- “Keep steady.” Remember the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady is the way to go. You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.
- “Slow down.” Trying to push yourself a little too hard? Don’t worry, you don’t have to strain yourself. Slow down, take a breath and find the pace that is right for you.
- “This isn’t a race.” Ok, it technically is a race. But the most important part of running a marathon isn’t finishing first, it is finishing it at all.
- “It’s over soon.” The close you get to that finish line, the closer it is to being over. No matter how much you love running, a marathon can feel like a lot to handle. But it has an end.
- “This is why you came.” You didn’t come to sit around on your butt. You came to run a marathon! Keep telling yourself that as you take down each of the 26.2 miles.
- “Don’t stop now.” You may be very tempted to stop and take a break. The problem is that when you stop, that is when your muscles really start to protest. Don’t give them the chance to.
- “Be the wind.” The wind is strong, powerful, a force of nature. Embody that force. Be the wind.
- “You are weightless.” You are effortlessly moving across the trail, empty and easy. You have no weight, nothing holding you to the ground.
- “Float on the breeze.” The breeze carries you along the track, pushing you to the front of the line, closer to the end.
- “You can do it.” It is true, you know it is. You are capable and able bodied. You are going to finish this race and you are going to do it with your head held high.
- “Just one more mile.” Maybe you have ten miles, twenty miles left to go. But keep telling yourself just one more mile and then you can stop. Then, when you pass that mile, just one more…
- “Fight the pain.” Pain is temporary but your pride in your achievements? Those are forever. Fight that pain.
- “You’re beating the people on the couch.” There are people at home watching Netflix and eating Doritos. The second you got on the track you passed them by.
- “You are strong.” You are fierce. You are tough as nails. You are strong.
- “Pound the pavement.” Listen to that sound resonating through your body…pound, pound, pound.
- “1, 2, 3, 4…” Keep counting your breaths, in and out, 1, 2, 3, 4…
- “I’ll stop when I’ve finished.” And not a moment before.
- “Don’t wimp out now.” You can use your own colorful adverb here, just don’t quit!
- “No one can stop me.” No one ever will, especially if they can’t catch you.
And finally, .2: “RUN!”