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Coaches Blog

Language Matters

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

Language matters.

The words that we use to describe other people matter.

The words in our heads that we use to define ourselves also matter.

by Chris Palmquist

Many of us are kind in our descriptions of other people. Yet when we start “talking” to ourselves, especially during a training session or a race, we may use much more negative and critical terms. Negative language will slow down our pace and distract from our focus.

It is critical to renovate our self-describing language. Instead of words like “slow, old, heavy, tired,” we can instead use words and phrases that help us to stay focused on our goals, form and strength.

What words, phrases or conversations will you have with yourself on race day or your next training session? Here are some possibilities to spark your own list. Identify 3-4 words or phrases to keep you focused, then repeat them as needed throughout the distance.

  • No regrets

  • Finish what I started

  • Fierce

  • Persist

  • Gratitude

  • Quiet Mind

  • Strong

  • Smooth

  • Quick cadence

  • Hips

  • Finish

  • Believe

  • Prove

  • No judgment

  • Stay in the moment

  • Push

  • Unafraid

  • Good

  • Risk

  • Protect the run

  • Patience

  • Keep moving forward

  • Lats

  • Glutes

  • High elbow

  • Front quadrant

  • Warrior

  • Float

  • Dance

  • Exhale

Eliminate the negative judgment and exchange with something beneficial. Your training session or race will benefit!

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