The goal behind using a mantra in a run varies. If you struggle with knowing that you’ve still got a lot of miles ahead of you then you might benefit from a mantra that keeps you grounded and in the moment. If you struggle from negative self-talk, then positive self-reassurance might help!
“Inhale confidence. Exhale doubt.”
Being mentally prepared for tough runs is just as important as being physically fit – even at the elite level. We imagine top tier runners as being tough as nails with a one-track mind, however, they struggle just like us! At the New York City Marathon press conference, Sara Hall and Jared Ward gave us some insight into their favorite running mantra:
“Run the mile you’re in.”
“In a marathon, it can be daunting to consider how far you have to go. Ryan taught me that it works much better to focus on the present: Run the mile you’re in.” Sarah Hall said in the conference on Thursday Morning. Sarah also gave us insight into another one of her mantras:
“The well is deep. You have much to draw upon.”
Just as life changes pretty much constantly, so can your mantra. A mantra doesn’t have to be a cliché phrase, it can be anything that means something to you as an individual at any moment of your life. Take something from the outside world and bring it into your running. If it creates a spark in your mind and makes you focus or inspires you, use it.
“I release all the limits I impose on myself, aware that anything is possible."
Mantra’s aren’t just hocus pocus magic either. There are plenty of scientific research studies showing that motivational self-talk can reduce the level of perceived effort and improve your endurance. Presenting Exhibit A, B and C.
As clearly stated in the studies cited above (and dozens more), “M-ST (motivational self-talk) improved endurance performance and enabled a higher power output, whereas N-ST (negative self-talk) induced no change. The VO2 response matched the increase in power output, yet RPE was unchanged, thereby inferring a perceptual benefit through M-ST. The valence and content of self-talk are important determinants of the efficacy of this intervention."
“Slow down, don’t stop!”
The phrase written in bold above is especially important. Motivational self-talk is efficient as long as the mantra you use means something special to you.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a mantra, maybe one of these from our members in the Running and Race Training Facebook group might push you through your next race!
Speaking of your next race, how would you like a special offer on your next race entry? Have a look at the offers RunPage is exclusively offering their runners community this month - by Route 66 Marathon, Skopje Marathon, BibBoards, Mubert and FinishersGear (Powered by Offerz.me)!
Click here to get the offers!
About the Author