Running Affirmations to Survive Tough Runs and Race Day

Teach a runner a quote and he’s set for the next workout. Teach a runner the tools to create running affirmations specific to their situation and they’ll eat for life. Wait, I think I’m mixing metaphors. It’s true though, right?

You pull up your Instagram, there’s an amazing quote that fires you up and reminds you that you CAN do this.

You start running and within minutes that fire has been dowsed with a fire hose of reality…this shat is hard.

Complete and utter system meltdown and that quote hasn’t even crossed your mind again, let alone pushed you forward. Running is mental.

The hard runs, the good runs, the days you just can’t get enough, it’s all driven by our emotions and thoughts.

Developing an affirmation, or mantra, you can call on when it feels like someone peed on your cornflakes can truly turn around a hard run.

It won’t magically become easier, but the way you feel about the struggle will and that relaxation often leads to better race day, better speed workout, better long run…happier runner.

What are Running Affirmations?

Statements that we repeat over and over through the many months of training and on race day, which work their way in to our subconscious.

Through that consistent repetition we begin to believe in their truth and turn it in to our reality. A great example is my own affirmation “I get stronger with every mile.”

I started saying this during long runs because I was consistently hitting a wall. In the moment it gave me a little shift, but over time that statement sank in and it’s carried me for years of distance running. I genuinely feel like now I have more consistency in longer runs.

Was there training that happened, of course. But simply believing you are good or bad at something has a massive impact on your results.

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Repeating positive affirmations or mantras daily helps to reprogram your subconscious mind, by replacing negative thought patterns over time.

What many of don’t realize is that our negative thoughts are also considered affirmations, as the repetition of those thoughts generally ensures they come true!

Beliefs are learned thought patterns that we have developed and repeat daily. Many of these holds others work well for us, but may be preventing us from achieving what we believe we want.

Every thought we think or say is a reflection of our inner truth or beliefs.

What you believe often isn’t fact. Like “I always fail at intervals” or “I”m just a bad runner”. Ehhh are those really 100% factual statements?

How to Use Running Affirmations?

Just mumbling a mantra of “I am fast and strong” won’t do much unless you put a little bit of umph behind it.

An affirmation doesn’t have to be true at the time you say it, but you have to believe it’s possible. Using the affirmation daily helps your brain begin to believe that it’s possible, which makes it easier to create habits and make choices that support achieving the goal.

The goal of selecting positive affirmations is to help retrain your thinking and focus on what you DO want rather than what you do not want from life.

An example would be to change “I’m so slow“into”I am making progress everyday towards my running goals“.

One definitely feels better than the other and has a huge impact on how you feel about yourself and how you carry yourself through the day.

This isn’t about just thinking happy thoughts and life will suddenly be perfect. It is about re-framing how you see yourself and the world to ensure your experience is better. A rock rolling down hill gains momentum; Your thoughts act in the same way.

Stop relying on others quotes, create your own personal affirmation to get through the hard stuff in running, training and life

1. Choose an affirmation

What is one area you truly want to improve? Speed? Distance? Nutrition?

2. Put some emotion behind it

Smile, get pumped up and really feel as though it has already happened.

3. Get in Gratitude

Now that you feel like it has already happened, celebrate by saying thank you to God, the Universe or whatever you may believe in. Gratitude is one of the fastest ways to improve your mood according to numerous studies.

Affirmations can be said out loud, written or simply repeated in your mind. One very effective way to use this is called “mirror work” by Louise Hay and involves looking at yourself in the mirror as you make these positive statements.

Awkward yes and that’s kind of the point!

Personally I like to say my affirmations during the first mile of my run, you know those moments where you’re still working out the kinks, not quite in flow yet.

Don’t forget the mental side of training to run your best race – mantras and affirmations to push through #runchat Click To Tweet

How to Create Your Running Affirmation or Mantra?

After looking through some of the examples, you might find that you are ready to create your own affirmation specific to your goals and desires.

Here are a few key tips:

  • Speak as though what you ask for already is; (I have, I am)
  • Use only positive words; (eliminate not, don’t, won’t)
  • Include feeling words; (joyfully, happily, generously)
  • Say it with feeling
  • Visualize what you are saying. (This one takes practice, but is the most powerful way to enhance the effect of affirmations)

If you are looking for more affirmation resources, I highly recommend You Can Heal Your Life and Making Your Thoughts Work for You by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer; Byron Katie

12 Running Affirmations to Help You Push Through

If you’re anything like me, I still need examples to go forth and create my own thing!

Give me a starting point, just like a training plan that you tailor to your needs.12 inspiring quotes for tough runs, hard training or just getting through life

Muhammad Ali once said, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.

If they’re good enough for him, then I’m on board!!

  • All I need is within me now and I have the courage to see it through.
  • Every day and in every way, I’m getting better and better.
  • Every mile, I’m getting stronger and stronger.
  • I am prepared, focused and ready to complete this run.
  • I love every cell in my body and it loves me back.
  • Today is a new opportunity for me to grow and become a better runner.
  • I have completed many similar runs and trust in my body to do so again today.
  • I enjoy filling my body with the foods that are best for me.
  • It’s easy for me to get up for my morning workouts.
  • I quickly forget bad workouts because everyone has them.
  • I start each workout strong and finish even stronger.
  • I love the run and go in to each one with enthusiasm and joy.

Looking for more mental training?

Do you use mantras, affirmations or quotes during training?

How do you get through a rough training patch?

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