This post was written by Lindsay Olsen. She is a freelance content writer for prAna, an avid fitness and yoga enthusiast and new mom to be! Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you are wanting to write a preview or recap your running experiences as well! The views in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Run Oregon.
The Power of a Good Running Mantra
Being a runner isn’t just about having strong legs and a large set of lungs. It’s been proven that a good runner also needs to have a strong mind-set. After all, while it’s the body that does the physical running, it’s the mind that powers it. It’s the mind that tells the body to keep going, to not give up and to resist the temptation to stop or quit completely.
Feeding your mind with a powerful mantra during all stages of a run is a great way to keep your focus so you can stay on “track” (pun intended) and achieve your goals.
Why use a mantra?
Let’s be honest here; running is tough, really really tough. It’s physically demanding and mentally draining. The only thing that keeps a person who’s feeling beat moving is motivation and without it, even top athletes can fail.
Keeping your body at ease during a run or race doesn’t just involve wearing comfortable clothing or taking a bottle of water with you; it involves keeping your mind attentive, focused and most importantly, positive.
Similar to what renowned global yoga teacher, Shiva Rea, talks about in her ‘Power of Unplugging’ article, leaving all things that cause distraction at home when going for a walk/run is a great way to switch off and become conscious of restoring your own inner energy. Once you feel that focus, it’s your mantra that will keep you moving.
Repeating a short and memorable sentence, phrase or word to yourself gives your mind that sense of concentration that it needs. In doing so, your mind will be left with no choice but to harnesses that positive energy and help you envision success and ignore the burning legs and other pain that you might be feeling.
What makes a good mantra?
The great thing about a good mantra is that it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone except you because what works for one runner might not work for another. And while there are no rules as to what exactly makes a good mantra, it should definitely be positive, motivational and instructive.
Find a mantra that resonates with you, that motivates you and repeat it over and over until it becomes imprinted in your memory. Repeat your chosen mantra to yourself as your run – either verbally or in your thoughts – and it will help keep your mind at ease and off that horrible hill at mile seven.
The following are just a few examples of effective mantras that are commonly used by runners:
- “I am strong. I am powerful. I can do this.”
- “My legs are strong and I am fast”.
- “Breathe it in, run it out”.
- “My body is strong, my mind is stronger”.
- “Today I am fit, fast and fierce”.
- “Slow or fast, a mile is a mile”.
- “Be strong, run hard, and don’t quit”.
Reciting a mantra is a great way to keep your mind sharp and your body motivated to keep moving. Whether you choose to use one of the above mantras or you’ve already decided on one that works for you, rejuvenating the body and mind with a positive phrase might just be the difference between quitting and crossing that finish line in record time.