Good Quotes for Running Mantras

Woman running in the city
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Many runners use motivational quotes or short phrases known as mantras to help get them through discomfort, pain, or even boredom while running. Some runners will even have several mantras (written on their arm or a bracelet) to use at different points during a long race or run. Mantras can help you stay focused, eliminate negative thoughts, and distract yourself from any minor pain or fatigue you might be feeling.

It's not necessary to say your mantra out loud, but some runners find it empowering to do so. Just keep in mind that you may get some odd looks if you're on the treadmill at the gym.

If you don't have your own running mantra, or you're looking for some new ones, try one of these the next time you hit a rough patch during one of your runs.

St. Jerome

"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best."

Arthur Ashe

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."


"I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done."


"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop."

Mark Twain

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."

Sam Levenson

"Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going."

Samuel Beckett

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."


"Run the mile you're in."

Simone Weil

"I can, therefore I am."

Lauren Bacall

"I am not a has-been. I am a will be."


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

Amelia Earhart

"The most effective way to do it, is to do it."

Emile Zola

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud."

Lucille Ball

"The more things you do, the more you can do."

Norman Vincent Peale 

"It's always too early to quit."

Tom Hanks

"It's supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it."


"What we think, we become."

Theodore Roosevelt

"Believe you can and you're halfway there."

Jim Rohn

"Either you run the day, or the day runs you."


"The body achieves what the mind believes."

Andrew Stanton

"Just keep swimming..."


"All miles are good miles."

Need a little humor? Check out funny running quotes.

By Christine Luff, ACE-CPT
Christine Many Luff is a personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist, and Road Runners Club of America Certified Coach.