Mantras - what's yours?


Not really a mantra but a line from Remember the Titans which always made me smile:

Coach: “What is pain?”

Players: “French bread”


“Relaxed power.”

I’ve been liking that one lately as a form reminder. Basically to make sure the rest of me is as relaxed as possible while still putting out the required power.


This is easier than running!


this one only works if you have no knowledge of french :rofl:


Well that’s just a lie :wink: cycling hurts far more than running ever will


I don’t really believe that mantras can convey will power or motivation. At least, not beyond a few moments.

Singing is a pick me up that lasts a bit longer. I do that sometimes to raise my spirits.


To view true potential, take one step beyond self doubt

(edit: wasn’t meant as a reply)


clear eyes full hearts can’t lose


Emotionally, yes. But that’s because when you’re done running you’re too exhausted to feel anything.



You may be missing the point or use of mantras. If you can sing, you’re not at a point where you need mantras yet. Motivation gets you there, but doesn’t keep you pushing through the pain. Will power will keep you hanging on the edge of pain (refusal to quit) but even that eventually wanes.

Mantras are used best when you’re barely holding on, by your fingertips, and your brain has taken you into a very deep and dark place. All other methods to keep you pushing have failed or been exhausted. Your brain can’t focus, your legs are screaming and you desperately need a refocus. The voices are too loud to ignore. You need anything to grab your attention other than the pain, time or distance remaining. Yes, it’s short lived, maybe 30 seconds up to a few 5 - 10 minutes, but it serves as that bridge to get you over the hill, able to close a gap, hold onto the group, sprint to the finish or complete the last of an interval.

I recommend the book The Brave Athlete, Calm the F@#k Down, that puts it all into perspective.


Can’t speak for @JoeX but he may have meant this the way I think of it, which is repeating a single song lyric in your head over and over again - not actual out loud singing

I certainly use song lyrics as mantra replacements at times - embarrassing pop things that have somehow wormed their way into my brain.


Yup. I’ve got my wide variety…

From Metallica —
Steamroller action crushing all! — to Sia —
I’m unstoppable today!

Mantra literally means “a tool for the mind,” It is used as a means to calm the mind through focused attention. As already stated, when things get mentally rough and the brain starts to pack it in, utilising a mantra can help quell those dark thoughts, even if momentarily, to help you physically push on.

We learn them early —
I think I can…I think I can…:steam_locomotive:




Sometimes I’ll use a variation on, “this is where you get faster” or “good, finally to the hard part”

Yesterday I just repeated “discipline” and committed to HTFU for the duration of each interval. I tend to give up mentally before my body is physiologically not capable of more. Was working on tuning that out, while working through 3 min VO2max intervals.


You’ve not done 5k races? The absolute level of agony of the last 2 kms are beyond anything I’ve ever done on a bike.


My cycling and general life motto:

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.


Everyone does, it’s evolutionary. It’s our brain attempting to make us stop doing that which is causing harm/damage to the body. As stated in the book How Bad Do You Want It?, the brain quits long before the body ever does.

I just read article on the use of Tylenol and riders who used it had a lower RPE than those who didn’t. However, a second test was done utilizing drugs which amounted to complete pain elimination, the riders collapsed half way through the test because they started out so far above their bodies capabilities that they actually physically exhausted their muscles (vs the brain wanting to stop) due to lack of pain. So it would seem overcoming pain is preferable long-term than eliminating pain. Cue mantra…


No I actually sing while I’m racing, not all day or at the top of my lungs of course but it keeps my effort levels down too as well as raising spirits. I only do endurance events where aerobic is king, not crits/sprints. Calms me when alpine skiing too. :notes:

Where I need to go anaerobic, which is pretty rare I don’t see value in mantras, I don’t think I even have a coherent internal voice I just open the rage valve. :grinning:


I think Marianne Vos said she also sings whilst racing…and it drives her competition nuts!


Yeah I’d rather run any day than so vo2 work on trainer road. It’s the worst I’ve faced because the numbers tell me where to be. Might be different if they ever sort running with power