Follow these steps to create your own running mantra. First, I want to go over what it is, what it can do for you, and why it’s important to have one. If you start looking into, you’ll find that a lot of elite and professional runners have their own. This is no coincidence.
A personal mantra is an individualized expression that is designed to help you achieve a sense of peace and stillness, ultimately leading you to achieve its meaning.
Repeating or recalling your mantra is one of the best ways to calm the mind, and bring you closer to your goal. It’s a special expression just for you. You can tell others what your mantra is, or you can keep it to yourself. It’s yours! If you’ve read Deena Kastor’s book Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory, then you’ll know how your mindset deeply impacts your running abilities.
Running is hard, and negativity is draining. Combine the two, and you’ve got a tough road ahead. Negative feelings cause fatigue and affect the way we carry ourselves. To run well, you want good posture, relaxed shoulders, and loose limbs. A relaxed mind that is at peace will more easily allow for the body to remain in good form than one that is anxious and all coiled up.
Your mindset directly impacts your running, and a mantra is an incredible tool to help adjust and recalibrate it.
So, how do you create your running mantra?
The first step is to free write.
Dedicate 30 minutes to free writing as this gives you enough time to get into the nitty gritty and throw lots of thoughts onto the page. You may find yourself writing about something you didn’t know was on your mind. So, first things first, find a comfy spot with a pen and paper and just write. If you have trouble getting started, ask yourself the question “why do I take the time to run?” or “what do I want?”
The next step is to take a closer look at what you’ve written and decide which idea, goal, concept, or emotion you want to focus on.
Which stands out to you?
Which do you spend the most time yearning for?
Which resonates the most deeply with you during this stage of your life?
Once you have picked it, turn it into a declarative statement.
Here are two important things to keep in mind:
1. Make the statement as though what you are asking, you already have. For example, start the sentence with “I have” or “I am”.
2. Use positive words only! Remove “don’t”, “not”, and “won’t”. If the sentence includes one of these, flip it. For example:
“I don’t want to feel tired anymore” –> “I am energized now”
*An alternative is to associate the idea, goal, concept, or emotion with one word. Perhaps it resonates with a place, like where you grew up or somewhere you visited on a trip. It could also be a color, or an animal. There are no limits here.
Here are some examples of mantras:
All I need is within me now
I am grateful for my body
I trust my body to complete this run
I am free and relaxed
I feel grounded, confident, worthy, and whole
When and how should you use your mantra?
There is no right answer really. You can write it down and you can say it out loud. It’s yours, it’s special, and you can use it to serve you however you want. Times I recommend using it are:
1. When you get out of bed in the morning before heading out on a run.
2. While running, when you’re having a hard time putting one foot in the front of the other to reach your goal.
3. When you finish your run. Celebrate your accomplishment!
Keep things simple. Pick a goal or idea that is meaningful to you now. Once you’ve picked it, turn it into a word or a declarative statement.
Now that you’ve created your mantra, stick with it, see what happens, and share it with us below if you’re open to it!