March 12, 2012

Runday Monday: My Mantra

Last week I shared a few tips on using your mind (or distracting it) to make it through a run. Another trick I engage when running is using a mantra. Mantras, or repeated phrases, are often employed in meditation and yoga practices to aid in concentration and focus. I heard the theory of mantras also applied in running and, when I tested it out, found it really works.

I now have a few specific mantras that I pull out when the going gets rough out there on the road.  My favourite at the moment is "I Can, I Have, I Will".  When I need to direct my thoughts aways from the fact that I'm still 5km from finished or that the hill coming up is a real doozy, I say this one over and over and over. For me, it is a reminder that I can physically and mentally do this run. That in fact, I have already done this run. Having completed a marathon, there will almost always be a distance, a hill, a weather condition, or a run I have already conquered that compares to, or was even harder than, the one I'm doing. The "I will" is a reminder that I'm working towards the half marathon goal and knowing I can and I have means I will complete it. I pull this mantra out time and time again and each time it motivates me.

A few other mantras that work for me are "Just Do It". Yes, it is cliche and the Nike slogan, but for me it is also a link back to my one little word for 2012. I've committed to doing this half and any run I'm in right now is part of that training. As I repeat Just Do It, I am reminding myself to stop complaining, stop thinking and just do it. I also love Tina's mantra of "Make that Hill Your Bitch" because I  f%&%ing hate hills. They are hard, uncomfortable, and just plain suck. So when I read this post by Tina earlier this year I laughed out loud and have engaged the mantra as my own ever since when facing a tough hill!

I strongly encourage you to find your mantra, something that inspires you and helps you make your run a more positive experience. Whether it's "faster, stronger, smoother" or "Kick A$$" or "I know I can, I know I can," that short, repeatable phrase can make all the difference.


Katie said...

This photo is my mantra -- -- a swimsuit I bought for our trip to Miami next month.

In looking at it on, I know there are a good number of crunches required post baby for it to look good, so as I start slaving away on those, I keep the suit and the sun in mind! There'd be a lot more than crunches required if I'd chosen a bikini though! :)

Krista Wells said...

Colleen-as a fellow runner I LOVE your post today! I ran a realtively short run yesterday but man was it cold and the wind- well, to say the least it just sucked. So I know where you are coming from. I need a mantra. Something I'm def going to look into. Great post!

Krista Wells said...

One more comment-read back through your running posts. LOVE. Also, I was wondering what kind of sneakers you use? There's a 50% bOGO sale on right now at Sprot Chek and my husband and I picked new ones up this week for cheap! We use the Saucony kinvaras-they are so light and awesome. I find that they have helped my stride and saved my legs a lot more since switching over to them last Fall. The difference is remarkable. Just a few FYI's from one runner to another.

Colleen Ryan said...

Thanks Krista - glad you enjoyed the posts! Right now I have a well-worn pair of Nikes that I don't love and haven't since I bought them. Am in desperate need of replacement (overdue reward from Jan!!), so will be heading to Sport Chek asap. I have previously used Asics and Sauconys with much success, will check out Kinavaras.

Colleen Ryan said...
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