One of the most important things an endurance athlete can do when training or racing is maintain a positive dialogue in their head. There are lots of factors that are out of an athlete’s control, but something we can control is our attitude. This week we asked our challengers if they have any inspirational quotes or messages that help them push through when they want to quit?
“I actually have two little motivational quotes/messages that always help me push through when the training gets tough. The first has stuck with me since my days of playing college soccer. Our team would always order warm-up t-shirts for us to wear on gamedays, and one year the shirt had the phrase ‘Pain is Temporary; Pride is Forever’. This has stuck with me since, because it is very true. When it comes to training there are going to be times when you need to push yourself until it hurts. It isn’t always going to be fun. But if you put in the hard work, you will begin to develop this sense of pride in yourself when you start achieving your personal goals.
The second phrase that keeps me pushing through is ‘You can do anything for two minutes.’ This phrase comes in handy when I am doing speed work or short interval training. I once took a Spin class, and the instructor would often use this phrase. It has stuck with me ever since, and I find myself repeating this to myself in my head when I am training and have just a little bit further to go. I love it! And sometimes that two minutes will turn into three, five, or maybe even ten.”
I have several mantras that get me through hard times while training and racing, one dating way back 15 years ago! When I’m doing a long run or race like an ultra I say ‘I’m in my happy place’ and that always makes me laugh. My friend came up with that when we were training for our first marathon and it lifts my spirits. On faster workouts I tell myself ‘you’re stronger than you think’ because my friend told me that right before a Boston Qualifying marathon years ago. It really helped me push myself when the race got difficult. If I’m getting whiny…I tell myself to ‘suck it up buttercup’ not very graceful but it works! Finally, I often tell myself ‘relax’ which helps me stay calm and not get too panicky about pace and distance. Racing is such a mental race that if you aren’t prepared to combat the negative thoughts that can creep into your mind it can make for a long tough day….