Running Mantras#positiveselftalk

13 Oct Running Mantras#positiveselftalk

“Running is a mental sport, more than anything else.

You’re only as good as your training, and your training is only as good as your thinking.” ~Lauren Oliver

Mantras for running are a natural extension of my love of music, chants, limericks, and all things poetic. On-the-spot spontaneous bits of poetry have been been in my bag of tricks for years. ‘Now it’s time for you to go, That’s the end of the Keyboard Show’. Students exiting my Electronic Keyboard classes were always treated to an impromptu wee rhyme complete with my keyboard accompaniment.

Technically a mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated, either internally or out loud, in order to aid concentration. Elite runners are known for theirs. Shalane Flanagan has used  “Run without any regrets”; Sara Hall likes “Relax and Roll”. Thoughts of fatigue (I’m tired) or discomfort (My hamstring is starting to feel tight) or negative self-talk (Never was good at this) are guaranteed to surface, usually only when it matters (in running and life in general). You need to be emotionally powerful and inspired to perform well at whatever you do. ~Leith Drury 

Mantras work well to give your subconscious some new programming. Prepared in advanced and rehearsed in training mantras work even better. Read enough running mantras and you instantly notice they are usually a phrase, often a word or two. For me, it’s different. I prefer the rhythm of the rhyme, a catchy poem, most of the time with some humour. The flow of steady paced words have power.

Tuesday I met up with one of my runners for a weekly pace run. The workout was challenging but doable. Tracy is always willing to give her best and enthusiastically receptive to new ideas and strategies. Tuesday it was one of my favourite counting mantras.

Counting Mantra:

1-2-3 Feelin’ Free,  1-2-3 This works for me

4-5-6 And get my fix, 7-8-9 To the end of the line

10, 11, 12…(counting all the way to 100 and then Start Again)

As we started reciting the mantra (aloud not caring who else was within earshot), we felt our cadence naturally moving into a relaxed, steady rhythm. Focus on fatigue magically disappeared. Did we lose count? Yes. Did it matter? No. Did we get a chuckle from the process? Absolutely. In spite of saying she was tiring, Tracy definitely picked up the pace and zoned into the power of the mantra. As Tracy says, “The magic really happened in the home stretch”. (Check out her post)

The next time you are out running give it a go. Count to 100 or have fun with Landing lightly, Here we Go, Fast Feet Fast Feet Like a Doe. 

What strategies do you use to keep yourself emotionally inspired to perform your best? If you want more of my mantras contact me. Happy to share.

Cheerios, Linda

2 Comments
  • Wendy Fraser
    Posted at 19:35h, 13 October Reply

    Thank you for this. You are an expert at rhymes!! The mental game is so important especially when the going gets tougher. I have a small repertoire of mantras that I use. Sometimes I pick a focal point ahead and then estimate how many times I can repeat a particular mantra before arriving at that spot. I count on my fingers. Sounds silly but it is just another layer of mental distraction to help pull me through to the end.

    • Linda Jones
      Posted at 20:14h, 14 October Reply

      You are most welcome and thank you! for these excellent suggestions. Especially like the guesstimating repeats to a focal point. Like that a lot and will be giving that a go next time. Always nice to know that others find ‘silly’ things help. Happy running.

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