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!