Running has major health benefits, especially when you add time and distance to the equation. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a challenge, especially when you move away from the 5k’s, and into the more difficult half-marathons that are becoming more popular by the day.

Whether it is in a race, or in training, next time you are fighting to Get through those miles, remember the power of positive thinking. Here are thirteen mantras to help you push through.

  1. Just A Little Further - I have found that breaking things down into manageable chunks makes any major task easier for me. So when I tell myself I have only a little ways more to go, even if it isn’t true, my brain starts to respond with a more positive outlook on the overall process.
  2. I Can Do Hard Things - A simple one, but effective. Telling ourselves that we can’t do something is one of the most discouraging ways we sabotage our progress. You've probably heard before that doubt kills more success than failure. Doing the opposite is very motivating and uplifting. Remind yourself of the hard things you did in training to get to this point and push forward!
  3. Other People Are Doing It, So Can I - I have always been inspired by watching other people succeed. So when I see the other runners making it mile after mile, I want to join them. If they can do it, I can, too.
  4. I Am a Feather On The Wind - Or a leaf in the breeze, or a piece of cotton fluff on a sneeze! Anything that makes you feel lighter is a great way to lessen the feeling of heaviness in the body.
  5. What A Good Burn!- That burn in the calves and thighs is a well known nemesis for many who are getting into distance running. The trick to overcoming it? Tricking your brain into thinking you love it.
  6. Just Watch Me - Sometimes you just need a bit of good old fashioned defiance. Think of anyone or anything that made you feel inferior, and use those thoughts to drive you into proving them wrong. Or better yet, maybe your motivation comes from your children. Show them that you are strong and capable so they follow in your footsteps.
  7. Just Three More Minutes - Three minutes is an arbitrary number, admittedly. It is the amount of time that hits the sweet spot between too much and too little, at least for me. You can replace it with any number of minutes that works for you.
  8. Stopping Now Won't Take Away The Hurt - Let’s say you stop halfway through, or a mile from the finish line. Will you be less tired than if you had kept going? Probably not: you'll miss out on a pride-filled finish and you'll still be crippling sore tomorrow. Make the pain worth it!
  9. I Don’t Have To Be Fast, I Have To Be Fierce - Not everyone is going to be breaking time records. Don’t worry about how fast you are, just focus on being fierce and finishing - just keep moving.
  10. It's Just Another Wall - Hitting a wall is tough, but not insurmountable. Tell yourself to break through and you will, just like you have every time before.
  11. Not Today, Blerch! - The Oatmeal has a great comic about running, and the antithesis of running, The Blerch. Read it, and you will see why it is a motivating mantra.
  12. Cake, Pizza, Beer, OH MY! - Yeah, yeah, rewarding yourself with food is bad. I still do it, and with how many calories I burned, I think I deserve it. The further I go, the more I can eat.
  13. Breath In, Breath Out - Just keep breathing. It will be OK. Count your breath and pace yourself to take your mind off the fatigue.

Whenever you can find a mantra - something that's inspiring and resonates within you - you can push past boundaries you've placed on yourself to discover that you are capable of more than you thought. Every runner starts somewhere and has to build to where they are now! No one has achieved difficult goals on a whim so remember: If they can do it, so can you.

Author's Bio: 

Tyler Jacobson is a husband, father, freelance writer with experience with organizations that help troubled teens and parents. His areas of focus include: parenting, social media, addiction, mental illness, and issues facing teenagers today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn