I heard once that running is 20% physical and 80% mental. Your mental game can make or break your run on any given day. One way to combat this is with your own personal mantra. My running mantra happens to made up of numbers instead of letters. Yep that’s right, I count.
Here’s the crazy part of my counting… I count to 100 5x. When I’m running long distances, I count to 100 5x for 5x. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. Its just what I do.
Counting helps me zone out, run faster and run longer.
Ways counting can get you through a tough run:
- Only allow yourself to look at your watch when you’ve counted to 500 or (100 5x).
- See how far you can run while counting to 500.
- Predict how many times you’ll have to count to 500 before you finish your run.
- Tell yourself that if you count to 500 5x then you don’t have to run any further. Repeat until, you’ve completed your assigned distance for the day.
- The second a negative thought pops into your head, start counting.
- The second you feel like you want to quit, start counting.
That’s a first =) I never heard of anyone counting while running…whatever works right? =)
I love your strategy!! I am seriously going to try this out, as I just get bored when I run and I zone out. Counting might be something that would distract me enough to enjoy it a bit and not get bored. When I’m on the elliptical sometimes I play counting games with myself, and it works well. Why not when I run?!
Morgan (lifeafterbagels) says
Jess you might be in the wrong career, maybe you should be a statistican!
Adi (oatonomy.com) says
Counting sounds pretty good to me! I think part of the reason I’m not a very good runner is due to the mental side. I’m constantly thinking about what it is I’m doing, and then just want to stop… or, run suuuuper slowly. Mantras always seemed cheesy to me (how can I not laugh when I say to myself, ‘you are powerful, you are fierce’?), and saying something like ‘hurry up, you should go faster’ is just stating the obvious and doesn’t encourage me at all.
Maybe it’s all in the numbers! Thanks for getting me thinking.
Wow! I’m totally going to try this.
My running mantra is usually me yelling to the beat of whatever song I’m listening to. I do a lot of “UGHH, YEAHHHs” It sounds so weird but it really works! I’m kind of like a spazzy, running, DJ/MC/front man?!
I do stuff like this too! I turn everything into numbers and math games, even though I am not a math person!
I am SOOOO going to try this and I will report back how it goes for me! Thanks for the advice. Love it.
What a different approach, I never thought of that before! I’m almost always lost in thought, I’d probably be counting and then later realize oh yeah, I’m supposed to be counting!
I focus on the milestone during a run – like running to the intersection where I’m going to turn, or the X mile mark. Then when I hit that spot I start thinking ahead to focus on the next one, and before I know it I’m done!
The fact that it’s mostly mental explains a lot about why it’s so tough for me.
I absolutely believe that running is mental! It’s one of the hardest things for me to help people understand that don’t run.
I love doing math while I run!
Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) says
I don’t run, but I lift. I play mind games in my head, too. Like when a weight is really heavy I pretend it’s light as a marshmallow and I’ll count my reps, “one marshmallow, two marshmallow, three…” It works. (sometimes ;-))
I love love this idea. I’ll have to share this one with my clients.