An Athlete's Favorite Mantras to Dig a Little Bit Deeper

We spend a lot of time in our heads out on the race course. While we may be surrounds by hundreds of fellow athletes it is just us out there, we are the ones pushing ourselves to the limits and testing our bodies to see just how far we can take them. Because we spend so much time by ourselves that means we also spend a lot of time in our heads and sometimes those thoughts can turn very dark when our brain starts to tell us that we have had enough.

There are a lot of things we can do to get past that mental hurdle that maybe we are barreling straight towards but one of my favorites is this idea of a mantra, or a cue that we tell ourselves over and over again in order to jump start our motivation to not give up. Last week I shared some of the cues that I personally use on my Instagram profile, I will also share here below, and asked everyone what their little cue or mantra was that they repeated to help them get over the mental barriers that we all face out there. They were so good that I want to share them with you, but first here are the few little things that I say to myself in the middle of the deepest darkest parts of a race:

🌟Come on Kayla!!! You’ve Got This!!!

🌟It’s only one more mile till that aid station and you can do anything for a mile

🌟You are a runner, you are a strong runner, you are the best runner, you can outrun anyone

🌟This is what we do, we pick them off one by one, come on Kayla one by one

🌟You’re Kayla Bowker you’re tougher than the rest

🌟You have to be tougher than the rest

🌟Four miles till the finish line, you do four miles for breakfast, you can run four miles in your sleep

🌟It has hurt worse than this before

🌟She’s only a few minutes ahead of you you have to be the one who DOES NOT GIVE UP!!!

🌟Just F#$%king DO IT

Here is what a bunch of other amazing athletes out there said helps them when they are deep in the pain cave:

“Come on!! You never know who you inspire…don’t let them down”

"You’ve never quit a race in your life. Dammit, this isn’t going to be the first. Doesn’t need to be a PR. Just keep one leg in front of the other”

“Get out of your head”

“I get to do this!! Remembering those who can’t”

“Trust yourself, trust your process. The best never give up”

“How bad do you want it?!?”

“I sign Izzy Azalea ‘Fancy’, I’m so fancy…you already know… I can’t worry ‘bout no haters, gotta stay on my grind.”

“Failure is not an option”

“Patience and determination.”

“Just keep swimming, just keep biking, or just keep running”

“Stay calm. Breathe.”

“Stay focused. You’re mentally tough. You got this.”

“Balls out. Push through. Finish it”

“I can and I will. watch me”

“One more mile/one more minute”

“This is your moment”

We say a lot of things to ourselves when we are deep in the pain cave of a race, or even when it is a hard day of training. We train ourselves to be mentally tougher than the person next to us, and it takes something different for every single person. It is these little pieces that when you are deep in the hurt locker that you can grab onto to light that fire deep within you to help you put one foot in front of the other. What you say to yourself does not have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be anything unbelievable, it just has to be what works for you. The key is to find something that works for you, grab a hold of it and never let it go. Repeat it over and over again until you are sick of the words, until there is no room in your brain for any other thoughts to take over. You are stronger than you think you are and your body is much stronger than your brain thinks it is.