Marvelous MANTRAS!

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Yea, I like alliteration.  Don’t judge.  So, anyway, I was reading one of the latest Runner’s World magazines and came across an amazingly helpful article about mantras.  I tend to need/use mantras either when I’m REALLY spent, or REALLY cold.  I HATE being cold, so on days like Friday, I REALLY needed a mantra!  The article had this REALLY cool chart with which you could “build” your own mantra. I loved it so I thought I’d recreate it here for you!  It is adapted from that RW article that you can find here.

So, here is the idea…Runner’s World gives the following suggestions regarding your “magical mantra:”

-Keep it short
Your mantra should be an affirmation, not a novel. “When you’re tired, you don’t want something elaborate,” says Stephen Walker. “It’s too hard to remember.” Keep it to five seconds or less.

-Stay positive
Think of the problem you’re trying to counteract and turn it around. “If you’re feeling weak, your mantra should be I am strong,” says Walker.

-Make it energetic
Your mantra should center on action verbs or strong adjectives, not abstract phrases, says Robert J. Bell. Look for words that convey energy, like “fast,” “strong,” or “power.”

-Embed instructions
Use the mantra to remind yourself what you plan to do or how you want to feel as you’re running, says Walker. Now is the time; go for it. Or, Run relaxed. Finish strong.

Mantra Maker: How to put together your perfect phraseBUILD IT, BELIEVE IT, BECOME IT
Choose one word from each section below to create a motivational, get-it-done power chant.

A                    B                 C               D
Run                  Strong           Think               Power
Go                     Fast                Feel                  Speed
Stride              Quick             Embrace         Brave
Sprint              Light              Be                      Bold
Be                      Fierce           Hold                 Courage

So, for example, one that I like that I “built” for myself (actually during an intense 9-miler on the TM) was:


I tend to need more mental mantras like this sometimes, but other times I go for mantras that calm me, as I tend to get anxious during races, expend unneeded energy and fear of bonking. SO, my usual go-to for races is “Settle In Steady, Settle in steady.”  I don’t know- this just works for ME. 

What works for YOU?  Do you like this Mantra Builder?

Runner’s World also gave some mantras that some of their staff uses so I picked my top three faves to cap off this post:

1.  “The strong get stronger.”
—WARREN GREENE, Brand Editor

2.  “One mile at a time.”
—AMBY BURFOOT, Editor at Large

3.  “Save it. Save it.”
—JENNIFER VAN ALLEN, Special Projects Editor

4. Just stay calm.”
—TISH HAMILTON, Executive Editor

5.  “Think strong, be strong, finish strong.”
—RENEE METIVIER BAILLIE, winning the 2010 USATF Indoor 3000 meters. She wrote the words on her hand.


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