Race Day Countdown and Running Mantras

Hope your week is going well so far! I am getting super excited to RACE on Saturday! There has been so much build-up over the past few months, I am excited to finally get my prize: to run this marathon. Regardless of the race outcome, I know that I will reflect on the entire experience and smile. I am so thankful for my coaches, family, friends, and all of my amazing blog followers for their endless enthusiasm, support, and motivation throughout this winter training cycle. While running is only a hobby of mine, I have learned that goal setting is only half the battle: surrounding yourself with unwaveringly supportive people can significantly bolster your goal reaching capabilities and overall happiness. After this race, it will be my turn to encourage you all! 

There are many ways to mentally (and physically) prepare for a race, or any big event. I have previously posted about the benefits of visualization, an exercise which I have been doing a lot of lately. Another powerful method for race preparation is positive thinking about the race and your ability to perform well. Here are other strategies I use to get ready for race day:

  1. Review your training log and reflect on all of the work you’ve put in. On race day, trust your training and fitness, and have no doubts about your race plan. It also helps to reflect on the specific races or good workouts you’ve run during your training, and feel inspired by their results.
  2. Visualize a positive race outcome, whether it be meeting your “A” goal (which I have for Phoenix, but won’t share until I meet it! :)), feeling strong at the finish line, and/or the joy you’ll feel after accomplishing a marathon.
  3. As I mentioned above, remember that running is just a hobby (of mine at least)! While this race is important, keep in mind that there are so many others in the future. Try to relax! It’s important to stay focused on the prize of finally being able to run that race that you’ve been working towards for months! 
  4. Mentally prepare for the pain that is to come during the race (especially miles 23-26.2). But also keeping in mind that this pain won’t last forever:

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5. Lastly, repeating motivational mantras and positive affirmations is also a helpful way to prepare for a race. Here are some of my favorites:

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And lastly, something I cannot promise :)

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Questions for you:

1: What’s your favorite running mantra? What is one way in which you mentally prepare for a big race/event/competition?

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2: I need to update my marathon playlist!! What is your favorite pump-up song/band/go-to workout song?

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3: Where is your favorite place to run, or best run you’ve had recently?

This photo was taken during one of my favorite runs while training for Phoenix (in Concord, MA):

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Have a great run today, or enjoy being outside if you can. Thank you for all of your comments and motivation before this weekend. Catch you in Phoenix!

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66 thoughts on “Race Day Countdown and Running Mantras

  1. GOOD LUCK! My favourite running mantra is “it’s meant to hurt” which i repeat along with “it’s not meant to be easy, I wouldn’t be doing this if it was easy”. It does seem to help! Song-wise, I love Town Called Malice by the Jam – it’s got a fantastic beat that always perks me up. And my favourite place to run.. actually, I don’t know. I like to run anywhere with a good view and something beautiful to look at. The best runs I’ve had for that were in Spain because they were beautiful but not too horrific a terrain to appreciate it!

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    1. Thanks so much for your inspiration! I’ll have to check out that song as well. Spain must be an amazing place to run– have you raced out there? I’d love to run the Barcelona marathon one day (in my dreams!).

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      1. Yes! I did Barcelona last March as my first marathon, it was amazing. Also did the Madrid triathlon but I wouldn’t do that again as it was unbearably hot by June! I lived in Madrid for six months so lots of Spanish running :) I hope your race went well!

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  2. Wow! I hope you have an awesome race! I have a few favorite “pump me up” songs, be warned, some of them contain a fair amount of profanity! I like Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine, Fuel by Metallica Rock Superstar by Cypress Hill, B.O.B. by Outkast, Nod Your Head by Busta Rhymes and Run by Kill it Kid- those are just a few, they have good beats, and help me feel a little more Bad A**! Again, Good luck, and I’m sending so many positive vibes your way!

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  3. Ahh! This is exciting. I can imagine how excited you are, but maybe also a bit nervous. You’ve seen my recap from my marathon two weeks ago, so there’s a lot of my answers to your questions (I like the mantras you have, though. May have to use them for next time).
    As for a song, one that really, really got me going was “Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay. The lyrics fit. Florence and the Machine “Heartlines” works well too.
    And of course, “Hall of Fame” from the Script. There’s one mile for you, there!

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  4. So exciting, good luck tomorrow! You’ll do great! I’m getting excited/nervous for my race on 3/20, but I keep reminding myself to trust the process and to just have fun. I love listening to music during my long runs to keep me pumped up–Macklemore’s ‘Can’t Hold Us’ is one of my faves!

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  5. Good luck in the race this weekend, Jane. My go to mantra for races helps me focus on my rhythm more than my thoughts. It is, “smooth and strong” and “strong and smooth”. I repeat these to myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed, tired or out of sync.

    My favorite pump me up song also helps me with rhythm. it is “Soul Sister’ from Train. It has special meaning to me as it was popular when I ran the Boston Marathon with 3 very wonderful girlfriends!

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  6. I don’t believe you’ll stop talking about your race… After all, you do have a blog for such things, a somewhat popular blog, on which a lot of people comment frequently. I don’t think any of us are expecting you to stop taking about your race. Have a blast and Godspeed.

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  7. Great tips and advice, I just keep reminding myself that the race is the reward of all those hard weeks of training and I’ve accomplished much just getting to the start line. Have a good trip and look forward to hearing all about the race!

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  8. I’m very excited for you and I look forward to your race recap.

    I’m not sure I have a Mantra. Mostly I just try to remain aware of what’s happening right in the moment, knowing it will pass.

    Drive On ~ Johhny Cash – solid encouragement to keep moving

    My Favourite Game ~ The Cardigans – fast paced and will get you moving (used in a racing video game) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh1q3uZcOJw

    Rakes Song ~ Decemberists – angry energy, good for a sprint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM1NuFhXhgA

    Mariner’s Revenge Song ~ Decemberists – also angry and good for a faster pace with a sprint finish. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Sw61oITuts

    Prisencolinensinainciusol ~ Adriano Celentano – a gibberish Italian roock song meant to sound like American Rock but with no real words. It’s fun, upbeat and makes me smile. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQQPWxslmP0

    Ok that’s a lot but I have a lot of music that comes to mind. Maybe I should do a post about it. Until then:

    Get your run on!

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  9. My favorite Pandora playlist for running right now is Ke$ha radio. That girl gets me PUMPED UP! It also plays Katy Perry, Flo Rida, Brittney Spears etc. It’s great :-)
    My running mantra is “I can do anything for “x” minutes” which I usually repeat during speed workouts haha. And also “KICK IT IN THE ASS!” <—that's a favorite one :-)
    Enjoy the race and finish with a smile!

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  10. Love your attitude! Fave running song is “Run Boy Run” by Woodkid, and mantra/quote is “what the mind can conceive the body will achieve” not sure where it came from but I’m holding onto it during my own training! Good Luck!

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  11. The only mantra I have is only “X” miles to the half way point, only “X” to the end. Other then that my mind is thinking about odd things like; huh, was that a fish that jumped or just a duck; oh it was a Dolphin, well that’s odd why are Dolphins in the bay; I wonder if I could swim out to them; what does Dolphin taste like any how. Oh where am it? Hmm 2 miles to the half way point. Freakin Leprechauns, where that pot of gold!

    I’ve been listing to Electro House Mixes lately while running… that could be why all the odd though.

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  12. Good luck!!!!! I don’t know that I have a mantra, probably because my brain can’t really isn’t functioning rationally by the point I need one! But when I wanted to stop during my last marathon I kept thinking “It’s only going to feel good once I’m done so I may as well just keep running and be done faster.” :) My favorite running songs are Blackout by Breathe Carolina and Geronimo by Sheppard

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  13. The nearest I get to a mantra is occasionally I feel a little anxious about whether I will achieve a goal or something will work out as I want it to. When I feel that I make a point of “letting go of the attachment” and accepting that what happens will happen.

    Go run your best and enjoy it Jane. What happens will happen and it will neither define you as a success or a failure. Marvel and wonder at each step along your journey!

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  14. Good Luck!
    I repeat a couple of mantras when the going gets tough:
    “Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving up. Keep going”
    and
    “JUST RUN. Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit.”

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  15. My motivational quote for the last long miles:

    “When you are going through hell – keep going” – Winston Churchill

    All the best for the run, I’m sure it’ll be a blinder! Looking forward to reading all about it x

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  16. While running I just like to repeat “Iou can do this” or “I can do hard things” to get me through a hard run. At the beginning of a race, to make sure I don’t go out too fast I try to remember “Don’t be a hero.”

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  17. This is a great post! I will need to look back at it when my race gets closer and I need some pre-race inspiration. Good luck on your race!! I try to remember “keep going”, but honestly, when I get exhausted at the end of the race it’s just a mumbly goo of “where the *#%@% is the finish line??” and “how can that old guy be passing me??”. haha!

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  18. Thanks for liking my race report! I hope you have an awesome marathon in Phoenix.

    To answer your questions:

    1. My mantra/motivation is reminding myself how far I have come since ACL surgery two years ago. And just repeating to myself “one step at a time”.

    2. Right now 4 songs always on my playlist is:

    The Adventure — Angels & Airwaves
    I Lived — One Republic
    Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
    Shake it Out — Florence & the Machine

    3. Best run was today, first time with no pain in my legs/feet in over 2 years. Favorite place to run is the Metroparks near my house.

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  19. My favorite songs to pump up to on a run is probably My House by Flo Rida and Confident by Demi Lavato. I also love my Sammy Adams pandora radio. Pandora is my favorite for running because a radio will play a lot of the same songs but it is still random. I can’t stand the same order over and over!!

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  20. Oh I love this!! I adore running near the ocean any time! And I have just taken up trails and it’s so peaceful!

    As far as music, my husband swears by Daft Punk (old school stuff). I change my playlist allll the time. I think I stick with the same kinds of music that you would dance to.

    My mantra, since I still consider myself at the beginning of life as a runner is “trust the process” or “YOU ARE an ATHLETE”

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  21. This post really hit home for me. About a year ago now, I started coaching to help others unleash their inner strength, especially busy moms, and during one of the training sessions I head a mantra “don’t quit 5 minutes before your miracle” I swear it is with me all the time. ANy time I want to quit, I just think, but what will happen if I keep going?

    Love your blog, a marathon is on my bucket list. Can’t wait to say I have done one, one day!

    Like

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