It is often said that running is 90 percent mental, but I wouldn't limit that ratio to running. For me, a large part on any workout is mental. I could always just hop off the elliptical and head toward the sauna, so I have a lot of convincing to do. Having a workout mantra is a great way to keep your mind on task while exercising, and if a phrase is too long you can always try a word.
Marathoner Kara Goucher told me that when she's competing, she uses power words that are distilled from the phrases she mentally repeats during practice. When competing on a track, her word is "fighter" to remind herself to fight until the end and to be a little scrappy if need be. When racing 26.2 miles, her word is "courage." It takes courage to keep going for the long haul.
What do you tell yourself to keep on keeping on during your workouts? Do you have a phrase, a mantra, a power word? I know for some folks, a certain song can help them hang on when the going gets tough. Tell me what works for you in the comments section below.