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11 Mantras That Will Get You Through Any Run

  • November Project NYC

    You're Lucky to Be Doing This

    "I was in an accident a few years ago that left me with a broken fibula and tibia," says Alexandra Burke, 27. "I had just run my first half-marathon and was planning to run my first marathon later that year. Instead, I spent nine months recovering, unable to go for a single run. Now, when I hit those tough points during a run, my mantra is, 'This may suck, you may want to stop, but it could be so much worse.'"

  • Laura Ann Walsh

    Mind Over Matter

    "This mantra works my mental muscles," says Laura Ann Walsh, 32. "It forces me to push myself regardless of the conditions or my mindset."

  • Instagram/liysafaye

    Think About Your People

    "During long runs, I like taking every new mile as an opportunity to think about someone I'm grateful for—someone who helped me get to where I am now," says Liysa Faye Mendels, 29. "Every time my watch buzzes, instead of looking down to check my pace, I think of someone who helped me get there, even if they had nothing to do with my running. Those thoughts carry me all the way to my next mile."

  • Caitlin Dilena

    Fight Off Your Demons

    "This is from a weird song by the band Brand New," says Caitlin Dilena, 28. "But it comes up in races where I start doubting my abilities to get through—so my thoughts are my demons!"

  • Jessica Snider-Rodriguez

    Quitting Is Habit-Forming

    "You'll never be upset for finishing a tough run, but you will be upset if you quit," says Jessica Snider-Rodriguez, 27. "Suck it up and finish!"

  • Laura Ann Walsh

    Turn, Turn, Turn

    "These words play on loop whenever I'm finishing a race," says Walsh. "It helps me focus on leg turnover and running through the finish. This mantra powered me to a sub-two-hour half-marathon—a goal I'd been chasing since I began racing three years ago."

  • Dana Tsakos

    Remember Why You're Running

    "Whenever I'm training for a race that's connected to a charity, I think about what I'm raising money for and the people who have donated" says Dana Tsakos, 31. "I remember that someone has donated money to my cause, so I can run X-number of miles to not let them down. "

  • Alexandra Burke

    Power Through

    "Any time I see a big hill, I remind myself to keep my head up, my shoulders back, and my stride short," says Burke. "Just power through, and you'll be up and over it soon."

  • Laura Ann Walsh

    Form, Form, Form

    "Thinking about my alignment versus the time on my watch has gotten me through the most unpleasant of moments," says Walsh. "It's especially handy on hills."

  • Instagram/liysafaye

    Kick It

    "There's nothing I like more than kicking the finish of a race," says Mendels. "So during the race, I'll keep reminding myself that soon it'll be time to kick it." Mendels uses the technique during regular runs, too. "During a training run, I'll think about my finish kick as motivation. It's the best feeling in the world, knowing you've left everything you've got out on the course."

  • Jessica Snider-Rodriguez

    I Get To Run Today

    "There are so many people who aren't healthy enough to run," says Snider-Rodriguez. "But I am, and I should take full advantage of that. Having a sense of gratitude for your body helps bring things back into perspective for a strong finish."