Mind play: Running Mantras

Mantras 3

Recently, I mentioned to a friend that I love my morning meditation. She thought I meant sitting in a quiet, serene space with my eyes closed. When I explained that I meditate during my runs she laughed and retorted, “How can you meditate and run at the same time? Impossible.” Non-runners always have that response. I tried to explain how one can find meditation in motion through breathing, concentrated attention, and mantras. During yoga, controlled breathing and chants facilitate deep meditation. Meditative running is the same concept.

Good mantras divert your mind from negative thoughts and help you transcend the pain. I’ve had many mantras over the years, some I still resort to. Somehow, long after the run is finished, I find myself using the same positive affirmations when I’m challenged with other tasks. Those words are ingrained in my mind. At some point words became numbers. I would count every foot strike until I’d reached 100 and then start the count all over again. Counting is a method of distracting my mind from the physical strain. After a few miles, I’m so lost in numbers; the physical act of running feels light and easy.

These are a few  mantras I’ve used over the years. Short, concise, instructive, and positive.

  1. I AM strong, I AM fast, I AM pure energy, I AM air

  2. Learn to suffer through the pain

  3. You got this

  4. Long, slow distance

  5. Keep moving forward

  6. Strong and steady

  7. This too shall pass

  8. Yes, I can. Yes, I can. Yes, I can

  9. Just breathe

Elite Runner’s Favorites

“Define yourself.” —DEENA KASTOR

“You’re tougher than the rest.” —SARAH REINERTSEN

“Think strong, be strong, finish strong.” —RENEE METIVIER BAILLIE

“Make it or break it.” —JORDAN DESILETS

“Be water.” —The Bruce Lee

What’s your favorite?


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