My Running Mantras For Racing And Training

My Running Mantras

“Just Keep Pushing!” (

Recently, someone asked me: What’s your running mantra? I didn’t always have one. But this summer I’ve been using two mantras that have really been working for me. When I’m struggling and need to dig deep, I turn to these two phrase that somehow spur me on.

1) Just keep pushing

Hiking, Running and Eating in Italy's Cinque Terre

Pushing is easy when the run is this beautiful. (

This is my go-to racing mantra. My husband thinks it’s too simple. “There’s no magic to it, no poetry to it,” he says. He prefers mantras like, “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” and, “Pain is temporary, glory is forever.” Yes, he actually says those to himself. Perhaps that’s why he is a Boston Qualifier and I am not.

But that’s the funny thing about mantras. What works for one person does not always work for someone else. Anytime he’s tried to encourage me during a run with one of his mantras, I just get annoyed. I don’t know why, but waxing poetic about pain seems to make me angry. And not in a good, “Yeah, I’m going to crush this run!” sort of way. But in a “Shut your face, you’re not helping!” sort of way.

“Just keep pushing” works incredibly well for me. It works especially well mid-race when I just want to quit, am feeling overwhelmed, or feel like the finish is too far way. And what my husband hates about it is the very thing I love: it’s so simple. Simple, yet powerful. “Just keep pushing” does just that: keeps me pushing. Whatever moves you, right?

2) Hot summer runs lead to cool fall PRs

Running Mantras For Racing & Training

Running Mantras

This is my go-to training mantra.

85 degrees and humid? “Hot summer runs lead to cool fall PRs.”

Mile 6 of an 8-mile tempo workout in the sun? “Hot. (inhale) Summer. (breath) Runs. (gasp) Cool. (wheeze) Fall. (gasp) PRs.”

I’ve said it to myself over and over again. Somehow, every time, I perk up, dig a little deeper and finish my run gladly, if not triumphantly.

This mantra reminds me that those tough workouts in the dog days of summer will serve me well when the temperatures drop and I transform from a slogging caterpillar to a running butterfly. So I trudge on, working toward my ultimate goal: those two little letters.

Come fall, I’ll have to tweak it. But knowing NYC, I’ve got a month of hot running left.

Those are the running mantras that work for me. What’s your mantra?


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09 2014