Whether you’re pushing to run another mile or powering up a hill, running mantras lets you run faster and longer.
You’ll learn how to craft a running mantra that makes you want to pick up the pace. And, you’ll also find a running mantras list to help you find the best running mantra for you.
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How to create a running mantra that fires you up
A running mantra is a series of well-chosen words recited repeatedly to help you dig deep.
Two types of running mantras exist—motivational and instructive.
Motivational mantras are like your own personal cheerleader. And these mantras include positive, encouraging words, such as “you’ve got this”.
Instructive mantras are like your own personal running coach. And these mantras use directive words, such as “stay light and relaxed”.
So how do you string a series of words for the maximum dose of energy?
Three simple rules to keep in mind.
The 3 rules for creating supercharged running mantras
Use the word ‘you’
Recent studies suggest the word ‘you’ is more powerful than ‘I’.
That’s right—”you’ve got this” bolsters your energy more than “I’ve got this”. 1
That’s because using ‘you’ creates distance and objectivity between running and your emotions.
Make it short
You don’t want to remember a wordy paragraph when you’re running. Running is tough enough without memorizing a monolog.
A short mantra acts as a steady beat of a drum, synching your steps to your words.
Make it strong
Use strong action words to make your running mantra encouraging, energizing, and memorable. For example, your action words might include ‘fast’, ‘effortless’, or ‘smooth’.
The best running mantras don’t have to be clever, groundbreaking, or original. It needs to work for you.
Then, put your running mantras to the test
On your next run…
- Use and practice your selected mantras.
After your run…
- Recall your self-talk while running and write it down.
- Did some mantras work better than others?
Racing soon? Every race has its tough moments—hitting the wall, falling behind on paces, or it’s not your day. Whatever your tough spots (or in tough runs), craft specific mantras to help you through it. Again, practice and refine your running mantras until race day.
The best running mantras list
Want a visual reminder of your mantras? Write yours on your arm (or use a temporary tattoo with this), create a printed band, or use a customizable metal or silicone band engraved with your chosen phrase.
The best running mantras for running fast
- “Light, fast, strong.”
- “Go faster. Push harder. Today, define yourself.” Deena Kastor
- “Swift and smooth.”
- “Relax and roll.” Sara Hall
- “Fly fast.”
- “Light it up.”
- “Now’s the time to go for it.”
- “You can handle this.”
- “You’ve trained for this.”
- “You’ve got the speed.”
The best running mantras for running hills
- “Be strong. Be bold.”
- “Up and over.”
- “Stronger with every step.”
- “Steady forward momentum.”
- “Be fearless.”
- “You’re getting stronger and faster.”
- “Get it done.”
- “You’re tougher than this hill.”
- “Stay loose.”
- “You’re a natural.”
The best running mantras for when you want to quit
- “Be brave.”
- “You can.”
- “How bad do you want it?” Matt Fitzgerald
- “One step at a time.”
- “You will make it.”
- “Dig deep.”
- “Keep showing up.” Des Linden
- “You can do hard things.”
- “Forward is forward.”
The best running mantras for race day
- “Breathe in strength. Breathe out weakness.” Amy Hastings
- “Your race. Your pace.”
- “Beast mode on.”
- “This is what you came for.” Scott Jurek
- “Show up. Shine. Let it go.” Danielle LaPorte
- “Cold execution.” Shalane Flanagan
- “You’re focused and prepared.”
- “You are ready.”
- “Finish strong.”
- “Stay measured and controlled.“
Whether you’re pushing to run another mile or powering up a hill, running mantras that are short, strong, and about you lets you run faster and longer.