Remember how I was looking for a mantra yesterday?
I found one! Actually, I made it up myself. I surfed around on the Interwebs for a bit and came across a really useful article from Runner’s World. Actually, I didn’t exactly read the article, I just sort of skimmed it and then this portion jumped out at me:
“The key to powerful self-talk and a meaningful mantra is making it relevant and specific to your needs. ‘Start by identifying where you feel there is room for improvement,’ advises Lane. ‘If, for example, your problem is having negative thoughts, then develop self-talk statements to counter these. This can be difficult to do on your own, so sharing the task with a group of running buddies or a coach can be useful.’
When I ran my second 26.2-miler 16 years ago, my coach sat down with all the marathoners in the group and did just this, helping us to pinpoint our fears or worries and develop an appropriate mantra. My issue was spending too much time worrying about being beaten by my rivals, and I came out of the clubhouse clutching a piece of paper simply saying, ‘I will run my own race.'” – From Runner’s World “Fighting Talk”
It only took me a second to think about what I struggle with when I run. Three things immediately popped into my head.
1. I tend to get a little excited and carried away. I need to remember to SETTLE DOWN.
2. I need to remind myself to not worry about my pace so much. Just RUN STEADY.
3. When my body gets tired, I catch myself hunching forward and I remind myself of the STRONG CORE I have been working so hard on so that I can stand up straight.
And because I love me some alliteration, it just came to me: SETTLE, STEADY, STRONG. That’s the shorter version, but I know it means: Settle (down), (run) Steady, Strong (core). I even used it on this morning’s tempo run (recap on that tomorrow). Loved it!
Now, you do it! Think back to a run where you struggled. What did you struggle with? What helped you through it? Or what could you have done better to combat it?
According to the article, a mantra should be short, sweet and positive:
According to Thompson, the strength of a mantra lies in its length, which should be brief, and its content, which should be simple and positive. ‘It needs to be something that doesn’t require too much effort to repeat or remember,’ adds Denham-Jones. ‘I sometimes just use the word yes.'” – From Runner’s World “Fighting Talk”
You have to be able to repeat it in your head when you’ve got the stoopids at Mile 23 (or pretty much the entire run if you’re like me). Make it catchy, make it peppy. I think that’s why Settle, Steady, Strong works for me. I can sing it in my head to the beat of my feet. It’s hypnotic.
Okay! What did you come up with? I want to hear your mantras!
Not sure what my mantra would be, exactly. I've never raced, but in Irish dance, my big issue is thinking 'this hasn't gone well before, why should it now? you're good enough, but odds are things won't turn out the way you want them to'. Major negative thinking pattern there. But it's what I've got. A year of only placing if there were few enough people in the group for everyone to place will do that to you. So yesterday, at my competition, I decided to start doing 'I wills'. I will cross over, I will have good turn out, I will be on time, I will remember my steps, and and I am as good, if not better, than everyone else in this group. Sadly, after that I go to, what will happen will happen, but hey, it's a start, I suppose. Not sure when my first 5k will be, so I don't even know what to think about for there to be a mantra. At current, it is something like 'just keep swimming, just keep swimming'. lolMonicarunningirishdancer.blogspot.com
I LOVE this!! What a great mantra you came up with!! :)I'm not so sure what my mantra would be… I would have to think about this one for a while lol…
“Be a bulldozer” My nephew told me this when we were both training for a half marathon. Let the miles move away under your feet. Keep moving. Sometimes it's not pretty, but always it's about going the distance. You can do this. “Be a Bulldozer”. When I have rough time, I think of him and his encouragement of my running/racing goals.
I love this Kerrie!!! Thanks for sharing. I need to think about it and I'll let you know if I come up with something good.
I think that is a great mantra. I don't have one or what it would be. I would have to think on it.
Nice mantra, Kerrie! Just might have to borrow it… 🙂 Lately, I've been repeating Caballo Blanco's advice to myself: Light, easy, smooth, fast 🙂 Nice early in the run when I have energy to think but not real encouraging for those tough times.
when I used to run with my older brother he would see me hunching over mid-run and say “get your shoulders off your thighs” and that reminds me to keep my core engaged. Plus its just a funny visual :-)great mantra!
Great mantra Kerrie! I've been thinking about mantras a lot as I get closer to my first half. On my first double digit run I used “Believe. Be Strong.” Still a work in progress.
Ooooh that is a great one! I like it.
I saw that article a couple of weeks ago and I really liked it! I'm glad that you developed a mantra of your own. It's great!
Oooh! Love it! Might have to borrow it 🙂
I don't really have just one – more like whatever I think of on race morning or mid-race! But some I have used are “go big” (be gutsy, give it my all) and “dig deep” (in the hardest moments of a race)
My mantra is Run Often, Love Completely, Live Fully.