Daily Archives: December 12, 2012

On Running and Mantras

I really enjoy going to therapy. Is that weird?

Well, I’m kind of weird, so whatever.

While I won’t talk about most of what my (awesome) therapist and I talk about, there’s certainly advice I’m getting from her that might be helpful for a wider audience than just me, myself and I.

One of the things we talked about last week was mantras.


We were talking about mantras I can use for meditation while calm to train myself to stay calmer in situations that may cause me anxiety.

Have you ever used mantras, she asked?

Yes! While I used to think the word “mantra” was super hippie-dippie, once I saw this video on Katy’s blog I realized that I had been using mantras myself when running.

Quick definition for anyone who doesn’t know what a mantra is and is too lazy to Google:

Screen shot 2012-12-12 at 10.29.55 PM.png

Thank you, Mr. Webster.

While negative mantras like “STFU and run” are definitely part of my repertoire sometimes–and truthfully, do motivate me to do just that–it’s obviously the positive mantras that help more.


From the NYC Marathon: “You’re almost there! Don’t walk! You can do this! Don’t walk. Don’t walk.”


From Marine Corps: “I kept telling myself ‘no more than 20 minutes. 2 miles. This is nothing.'”

NOGUTSNOGLORY.jpg Oh, and this one. I visualized it on a chevron background, too.
“Well, have you ever used a visual focal point while running?” she asked.
“Um, I guess I pick a person when running and focus on them until I pass them?”
My mantras in the past have always been longer and more complex, but she suggested just one word:
I mean, that’s all you really need to focus on.
She told me to focus on one person while running and exhale the word “speed,” repeatedly.
I tried that the other day, and while I dropped down to the half too late to go for any sort of PR, I tried it on one dude and I felt a crazy amount of focus.
Or maybe I just felt a little lightheaded from the focused breathing. Unclear.
Do you use mantras while running…or just in life? What are some of your favorites?
Here’s an awesome article on mantras for running from Runner’s World with lots of them for you to choose from. Also, my girl Jocelyn hasn’t specifically written about mantras, but she has written about positive thinking + running…and the girl knows a few things about awesome PRs.