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5 Reasons Why Self-Talk On The Run Is Working

Pro Tip: Try Talking To Yourself

Runners do many seemingly “crazy” things. We subject ourselves to extreme weather conditions, wear nipple guards and eat strange foods that we call “fuel.” We run until our toenails fall off, obsess over our pre-race routines…and sometimes, we even talk to ourselves. While it may seem absurd, there are actually five very sensible reasons why runners engage in self-talk:

  1. Take it easy. There are some runs when I am tired, exhausted and struggling to keep a pace that’s normally easy. On those runs, it often helps to tell myself “it’s okay.” For some reason, hearing myself say encouraging and kind words aloud helps me stop obsessing about my horrible run, and actually allows me to take it easy.
  2. Pick up the pace. In that same sense, in moments when I need to push myself, I’ve found that whispering or repeating a motivational mantra can be just as effective as a sideline coach! That extra nudge of encouragement can be just what I need to pick up my pace and finish strong. Some of my personal favorites are quite simple, like, “Keep it up!” and “You got it, Steph!”
  3. Scare tactics. From dogs, deer, geese and lizards to bats, magpies and snakes, I’ve had my fair share of encounters with “threatening” creatures on my runs. One method of thwarting their attacks is telling them to “beat it.” Although this is technically not “talking to myself,” I often feel a bit crazy when I do so.
  4. Singing aloud. I routinely find myself on a run with a song stuck on repeat in my head, even when I’m not actually listening to music. On more than one occasion, I’ve been so engrossed in my run that I didn’t even realize I was singing the tune aloud. Depending on the song, this form of self-talk can help me keep a steady pace or increase my speed.
  5. Phone a friend. I’m pretty accustomed to running with other people, so I’m used to talking to others during my runs. While this is not technically talking to myself, I think that it still deserves a spot on this list. Whether we’re encouraging each other, talking about life or simply chatting about the current run, being able to share a run with others is one of my favorite aspects of running.


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Hoppe Feet

Hoppe Feet

Stephanie Hoppe of Hoppe Feet is originally from Richmond, VA and recalls a deep passion for running ever since she was a little girl. From "getting to run the mile!" in elementary school to her first half marathon as a college freshman, she has always loved to run. She was co-president of the College of William and Mary's Running Club, a member of Fleet Feet Chicago's racing team, a coach for Girls on the Run and currently works part-time at a local running store. Running is much more than a hobby: it's a way of life for Steph. She is always seeking a new challenge and has completed countless half marathons, four marathons, an ultramarathon and several triathlons, including a half and full Ironman. The only thing she loves more than running is taking her love for running on the road. She and her husband Matt, who's also an avid runner, plan vacations around destination races. They've gone from Quebec to Iceland and Las Vegas to Mississippi. Steph would love to one day complete a marathon on every continent! Follow Stephanie at @hoppe_feet on Twitter and check out her blog at!!