Training and Racing Mantras

Mental training has made such a HUGE difference in my racing ability.

I am working with Dr. Asp to create a “training CD” to help me through my training leading up to Chicago (my 2016 qualifying attempt).  He has been so instrumental in my running performance so far (and ability to embrace pain and push harder than I thought possible!), so I am SO excited to be able to use this.  All too often I psych myself out over my hard workouts.  They will hurt!  They are so long!  My legs feel heavy already, my times will be slow?

I’m sure you’ve had these thoughts as well :).

So true!!

He’ll be finalizing my CD on Monday, so thought I’d post here to capture great training and racing mantras. I’d love to add others to my current repertoire. Here are a few of my current  favorites:

“You are f’ing badass – this workout is badass!” (explitives work so well, thank you, Angela!!)

“This is your race/workout”  I think about how I can control the pace, that I am running relaxed at the moment so I can pick it  up later – that I am in control of when I pick it up.

“2016 Olympic Trials” – this visual and phrase is SO powerful for me.  I want it more than anything!  I know I will have to hurt more than ANYTHING to be able to get there, so it encourages me to accept that much more  pain 🙂  I visualize  the 2012start/finish line banner as well.

I also remind myself of my dream.  The reason I am not working full-time anymore. What an opportunity! Let’s chase after it! Let’s see what your potential is!!

Form: Running light and tall, on top of my feet.  I also  picture a men’s 10k race where they have such awesome knee drive and leg extension.  Their hip rotation is so impressive.  I try to mimic this.

I encourage everyone reading this to comment.  What are your training or racing mantras you use???  If you’ve never commented here, now is the perfect opportunity!

Dr. Asp was recently published in Marathon and Beyond with a sample race script.  If you’ve been wondering if working with a sports psychologist could help you,  perhaps picking up a copy of this month’s publication  might help.  He gives his typical first script in the article.  Obviously, it’s more effective when you add your personal experiences and goals into the CD,  but this is a great introduction.

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  1. This post comes at a great time! I'm about to head out for my first attempt at 800's in a long time and I KNOW I'm going to need some good mantra's this morning… it's 5:50 and the temp is 73 and the humidity is 88. Fun. I usually tell myself "You got this Heather!" or "Nail this repeat like a boss!" And, like you said, expletives always work, too, haha! Since you're a doggie mommy, Happy Mother's Day 🙂

  2. Maybe not so appropriate for all so replace words as needed "Nut up or shut up!". Usually works for me. I have it written on my road ID and I can take a look when things get tough. For some reason this takes me to a whole new level of pain…and im good at hurting in general. Can't wait for Fargo!

  3. I sometimes just say F*ck this Sh*t when my brain is getting in the way or I'm having trouble getting through the final part of something. I also have a set number in my mind of how many things I can do. Mine's twenty, like I can always run 20 more laps or 20 more minutes (or if it's an hour-I can run 3 minutes 20 times). Probably not exactly mantras, but just little mind tricks that work for me.

  4. During the early parts of a race I always focus on "stay relaxed", and "run smooth". By the end I am often focusing on my arms – if I try to pump my arms and keep my arms driving, my legs just have to follow along.

  5. "Average is your worst enemy–fight it!"

    "Going through the motions is the most disadvantageous thing a person can do."

    "Don't suck!"

    "Let's get after it!"

    "Can't be touched. Can't be stopped. Can't be moved"

  6. From Camille Herron via FB (wanted to post here to capture it all in the same place): I think a lot about workouts and past race situations, and think about how I felt/moved– things like "lift the knees", "maintain turnover" (going up a hill), relax the legs (Paula R. told herself this at NYC one year). I think of the last 10K as being like clicking off mile repeats… 1, 2, 3. If you train hard, there should be no doubt in your head you're prepared!

  7. From Born to Run: – "Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast"

    "Boston Qualifier" – Helps me remember what I've done and who I am when the going gets tough. In your case, "OT Qualifier".

    "Just Relax" – I always check to make sure my face is relaxed first. Seems that if I can relax my face, the rest of my body will not tense up either. Look at the top male Kenyans as they knock out 4:45 splits. They all look SO relaxed. I try to imagine that, even though they are out of my league.

  8. I don't exactly say mantras to myself, I try and visualize my race. I know the last 5-6 miles will be the toughest, but this run is for that and that if I push now, the race will be that much easier.

  9. From Kristen Carter via FB: I wouldn't have made it to the trials without the mantra "just keep fighting". I also have effectively use "I can and I will" and when I have dedicated a race to someone I repeat "this is for (persons name)" which helps give me a bigger reason to fight through the pain.

  10. My coach told me three things to think during the trials. The first lap was ‘stay in control,’ the second lap was ‘pick it up’ and the third lap was ‘now its race time.

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