Besides purchasing the best running shoes , adopting the proper running form, and getting a sound GPS running watch , running requires mental toughness.
Running mantras help athletes tune into the mind of a champion, especially when facing the challenging phases of a race or training.
…Fatigues, ankle sprains, trigger-points in your calf, shortness breath, all become minor challenges when armed with a perfectly fitting running mantra.
And by perfectly fitting it means the mantra has to be specific to the person using it, and reflective of their goals, passions and beliefs.
Every serious athlete must work on developing their mental strength if they want to tap into their natural abilities.
The mind is a muscle, just like any other, and what you feed it soon starts to become your life.
Running mantras, otherwise described as running affirmations, work just like any other motivational material in real life.
They are words or phrases that the runner repeatedly chants to themselves when facing tough times of a race.
It’s easy to want to quit, but telling yourself something as simple as, “Pain Is Temporary…” can be a total game changer that helps you finish a hard fought race.
How To Create A Running Mantra
There are no specific rules associated with using running mantras. But there are a few things to consider when picking a personal running mantra:
- Tailor it to fit personal needs. The word(s) and phrases in the mantra should be inspirational to you.
- Easy to remember. A running mantra has to be something that comes off the top of your head, instantly. It shouldn’t be complicated to remember.
- Adjust it to rhyme with your foot strike or breathing rate. This way the words come out naturally without draining any much of your energy. And have a more effective impact.
- Keep it as positive as possible. A running mantra should pull you towards achieving your goals as opposed to being a negative factor that kills your vibe.
- You can choose to ditch a running mantra for another anytime depending on what resonates best for you at the moment. Similarly, you can have different running mantras for different training sessions, races, running routes, as long as you remember them.
- Make it short. Just the way Nike’s logo statement is, “Just Do It,” three simple words, all powerful and complete, and easy for everyone to understand.
For some people it may feel weird to say the words mid-race, and that’s okay.
You don’t like saying it to your head there are other techniques used to implement running mantras.
Actually, the other most common way athletes access their running mantras is by use of visual aids. So that every time they see the written words on the labels they are reminded to push harder.
The common areas that athletes attach visual aids containing their running mantras include:
•Custom made t-shirts.
•Wrist rubber bands.
•Ankle braces etc.
A size-able number, if not all, professional athletes are use running mantras as a tool in their marathon races and training.
Famous Running Mantra Examples
Elite runners like Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathoner of all time, uses running mantras apart from regular reading, to stay focused for the whole of the 26 mile race.
This he disclosed in an interview with a local TV station. That as an endurance runner it’s better for the body to get tired than the mind.
His mantra for the Berlin 2018 Marathon was, “I Compete Against Time”.
There are many other big names in the IAAF that use mantras as motivation through pain, discomfort, or the boredom that they may face in their races.
Below is a list of the examples of running mantras that are popular in the running word:
• “Try jogging when following your heart, it’s healthier…”-Bellamacina Benny.
• “Calm, calm, calm. Relax, relax, relax…”- Desi Davila.
• “No human is limited…”- Eliud Kipchoge, London 2019 Marathon.
• “I kill hills. I kill hills…”
• ‘I am strong…”
• “This too shall pass…”
• “One foot in front of the other…”
They all work by tricking the mind to find a solution instead of focusing on the problem at hand.
Experts also recommend emulating the running mantras used by favorite athletes to achieve the most impact.
For instance, if Mo Farah is your favorite middle-distance runner then you can adopt his running mantra, “no pain, no gain…” as your own during races and training.
Similarly, Wilfred Bungei’s “Drug cheats get out…” mantra in the Olympics 2008 was meant to serve as a constant reminder to him that there were no shortcuts but to train and run the 800 meters race.
Most of his fans during this time would easily use this phrase as a mental technique when preparing for their races.
In conclusion, athletes need to treat mental training with the same level of seriousness with which they treat physical training.
And a running mantra is definitely one of the first tools every runner should pick in order to boost their mental capacities for races.
Because running is much of a mental game as it is a physical game.