My greatest passion is empowering others to improve their quality of life and achieve their goals by choosing healthy thoughts and habits.
Running Success Is a Reflection of More Than Just Physical Strength
Many people set out to be runners, but fail along the way because they simply can't motivate themselves to keep going. In all honesty, many people want to be runners, but fail because they can't even motivate themselves to start.
The truth is that while many people see running as something that is for the physically strong, the real factor that separates the runners from the runner wannabees is mental strength.
I wasn't a very physically strong person when I started running, but because I was able to find the mental toughness to keep going even when it was hard or felt impossible, I was able to succeed not only in becoming a runner, but in losing almost 100 pounds.
In my obese state, it wasn't my super strong muscles that kept me going; it was my powerful will to keep going.
With that being said, I want to share a few affirmations with you that have been useful not only to keep me going when the going gets tough, but also to propel me into greater running successes.
Affirmation 1: I'm Getting Stronger With Every Step!
I love this affirmation! I use it almost every time I run.
A lot of times I repeat it to myself over and over again as I first start running, and sometimes I use it again later on in my run if I need a little bit of a pick me up to keep me going.
Call me crazy if you want, but I think our brain has a lot more power than it usually gets credit for.
Obviously, the very activity of running is going to strengthen my body with every step that I take because of the muscles I'm using, but I like to think that my conscious focus on this idea supercharges my body to achieve even greater levels of strength.
I know this might sound weird to some people, but I usually start out my run with a prayer thanking my Heavenly Father for the strong and healthy body that I have been blessed with. Then I ask him to bless me so that I will literally become stronger and healthier with every step of my run.
Taking time to be grateful for my body's health and strength makes me more motivated to take care of it, and I truly believe that as I pray for continual health and strength, I will receive what I'm asking for.
Affirmation 2: I Am Leaving All Negativity Behind Me and Running Forward Into a Beautiful Future
This affirmation might sound a little hokey for some people, but I love it!
I find running to be very therapeutic, and sometimes it really is a way for me to process difficult situations, leave negative emotions behind and move forward to a more positive state of mind.
If I'm frustrated, I can leave that frustration behind and run forward to a more peaceful and calm state of mind in the day ahead.
If I'm anxious or worried, I can leave those feelings behind and move forward to a more collected and confident state of my mind.
If I'm feeling down, I can leave my sadness behind, and run right into a day that I can feel more enthusiastic about.
Affirmation 3: Each Step Energizes Me and Propels Me Forward
When I say this affirmation to myself, I like to think of my feet being little springs filled with potential energy.
As my foot hits the ground it is like a spring being fully compressed. It receives an energetic charge that is released as it propels my foot off the ground with great force and energy behind it.
In actuality, the way our feet are built does allow them to act as springs in the exact fashion that I visualize as I'm running, but most people just don't think about it that way.
This is one reason that I love minimalist running. It allows my feet to work at their full spring-like capacity.
Affirmation 4: I'm Running at a Comfortable Trot
This is the affirmation I use on those days when it's really hot, or I'm really tired, or for whatever reason I just really don't want to go out for my run.
I know that in the end I'll feel better if I run, so it's totally worth pushing myself to go, but I do think my body needs a little bit of a break at times, and that means I'm not always going to push myself to the limit.
Telling myself that I'm running at a comfortable trot sends a message to my brain that this is a conscious decision that I'm making rather than a failed attempt at breaking a record. It gives me permission to relax a little bit on days when I need it without feeling guilty.
Usually the fact that I'm running at a comfortable trot makes it so that I can easily complete my run even on days when I'm feeling like I don't have the energy.
It also helps me to keep going if I am tempted to stop and walk, because it's only logical to keep doing something if it's comfortable.
Affirmation 5: I'm in the Zone and I Could Do This All Day Long
This is an affirmation that I often use when the going gets tough.
To be honest, I've never tried to literally run all day long, but telling myself that I'm enough in the zone that I could do it, definitely makes it easier to keep going.
It also makes me feel like the distance or time ahead of me is pretty easy compared to running all day which helps me to finish.
After all, if I could run all day long, I could definitely run another mile or two.
Affirmation 6: I Am Powerful!
This is an affirmation that I love for when I'm running up a hill.
We all have a lot of personal power that is never touched, because we fail to claim it. When we claim our personal power, it is there to propel us forward and sustain us through difficulties.
I love recognizing my personal power and the fact that because I'm powerful I don't have to be intimidated by something like a hill.
Affirmation 7: This Is Easy!
This is another one that is great for hills or just for those times when you feel like you need to take a break.
Tell yourself that running is easy until you believe it, and it will become easier.
Obviously running gets easier as you get into better shape, but as we've already discussed, being in shape isn't the only thing that makes you a successful runner.
You don't have to wait for a change in body composition to make your run easier. An increase in mental toughness can do the same thing for you.
By the way, if you think that I can trick myself into thinking a run is easy simply because I'm a track star, I need to correct you. I've never been known for my speed (or for being an impressively good runner in general), but I am known for my persistence and hard work.
Affirmation 8: I Am a Champion! I Can Do Hard Things!
You might think this would be an affirmation that I'd use as I'm running up a hill or doing something difficult, but as you've probably noticed, for those scenarios, I like to use affirmations to trick myself into thinking those more trying parts of my run aren't hard.
I actually use this affirmation more often right as I'm finishing a challenging stretch of my run. I often say it to myself right as I reach the top of a hill.
In fact, if I don't think anybody's looking, I'll even raise my arms up into a "V" above my head in a victorious motion to really seal the deal in my mind that I'm a champion. It might seem silly, but I love the idea of being able to supercharge myself even more by using a power pose as I run.
Affirmation 9: I'm Like a Metronome, Steady and Consistent
For those of you who aren't familiar with metronomes, they are devices that musicians use in order to practice keeping a steady beat. They simply tick, beep, or light up at a specified tempo, and they never vary from it unless they are set for a different speed.
I don't know if this affirmation will work for everyone as well as it works for me, but as a musician, the image of my legs being a metronome is enough to keep me at a steady pace when I feel like slowing down.
As I listen to the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground with each step, I picture that tick, tick, ticking of the metronome that is consistent and unchanging, and it keeps me going.
Affirmation 10: Every Step Energizes Me and Makes Me Faster
This is an affirmation that I use when I'm at the end of my run.
I usually try to push myself a little harder at the end of my run just to prove to myself how fast I can go.
The interesting thing is that when I use this affirmation, it doesn't really feel like I'm pushing myself, it feels like my increased speed is just a natural result of running.
If each step energizes me and makes me faster, I don't have to put forth much effort to go faster. It just happens on its own.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Rebecca Young