Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nike: Got Mantra?

originally posted March 30, 2009 by Coach Jay

I love mantras for runners and if you've been reading this for a while you've heard, "If you want to do something you've never done before, you've got to do things you've never done before." And while I still love this, it's not a race day mantra. Do you have a race day mantra? No? Then you need one.

Finding one is simple and I'll give you the most obvious one: "Just Do It." Great mantra, especially when you're running a 5k and you have 1k to go. If you're racing hard then you probably not only hurting at this point in the race, but you have doubts about being able to maintain your pace, let alone accelerate. The solution? Don't think; just go to your mantra: "Just Do It."

My wife was DI All-American, yet her mantra came from one of her high school teammates: "My running is strong and fast; I have unlimited energy." Again, the words don't matter as much as having a broken record of positive thoughts in your mind when the running gets hard. Running is hard, and racing—true racing, where you get to the edge of your capabilities—is not only hard, it's scary. So get a mantra, any mantra, and use it when the race gets difficult.

Coach Jay coaches athletes at and blogs at If you have a question for Jay, email him here: