Top Motivational Running Quotes

Get Inspired With These Quotes

Here are some great running quotes to motivate you. Stick one of them on your fridge or mirror as a reminder of why you keep running.


Dr. George Sheehan, running author:

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"It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit."


Gatorade ad:

"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face."


Steve Prefontaine:

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."


Nina Kuscik:

"Running gives freedom. When you run you can determine your own tempo. You can choose your own course and think whatever you want. Nobody tells you what to do."


Lou Holtz:

"Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."


Lowell Thomas:

"Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can."



"The answer to the big questions in running is the same as the answer to the big questions in life: do the best with what you've got."


Doug Larson:

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible."


Eleanor Roosevelt:

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."


Percy Cerutty:

"Hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer."


Sir Roger Bannister:

"No one can say, 'You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.' The human spirit is indomitable."


Michael Johnson:

"Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity."


Bob Greene:

"I believe in using races as motivators. It's hard to keep an exercise program if you don't have a significant goal in sight."


Gail W. Kislevitz, writer:

"Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion."


Dr. George Sheehan, running author:

"Success rests in having the courage and endurance, and above all, the will to become the person you are."


Adidas ad:

"A run begins the moment you forget you are running."


Dean Karnazes:

"For me, as for so many runners, there really are no finish lines. Runs end; running doesn't."


Arthur Blank:

"Running is a gift I give myself almost daily. Even at days when everything seems to go wrong, I treat myself on the satisfaction of a lap of 30 to 40 minutes."


Henry David Thoreau:

"Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow."


John Treacy:

"Believe in yourself, know yourself, deny yourself, and be humble."


Bill Bowerman:

"God determines how fast you're going to run; I can only help with the mechanics."


John Wooden:

"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."


Lynn Strickland:

"Find your limits and exceed them."


Hal Higdon, running writer and coach:

"Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough."


Fred Lebow, co-founder of the New York City Marathon:

"Experienced runners learn to respect the changing needs of their bodies. That’s the wisdom that comes with time, and – for good or bad – with age."


Bill Rodgers:

"A change of pace in terms of your running pace will give you strength psychologically." 


Frank Shorter:

"Experience has taught me how important it is to just keep going, focusing on running fast and relaxed. Eventually pain passes and the flow returns. It’s part of racing."


Dr. George Sheehan, running author:

"Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach."


Dean Karnazes:

"Running is about finding your inner peace, and so is a life well lived."


Joyce Carol Oates:

"Running! If there's any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can't think what it might be."


Deena Kastor, U.S. Olympic Marathoner:

"When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring how to excel."


John Bingham:

"Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I'm content with what I can do and if I'm completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner. It's only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards."



"Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of the brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going."


Bill Rodgers, winner of four Boston and four NYC marathons:

"My whole feeling in terms of racing is that you have to be very bold. You sometimes have to be aggressive and gamble."


Carlos Lopes:

"Second place is not a defeat. It is a stimulation to get better. It makes you even more determined."



"The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you."


Steve Prefontaine:

"I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it."


David Bedford:

"Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge."


William Arthur Ward:

"Adversity cause some men to break; others to break records."


Herb Elliott:

"I have never been a killer. I'm not an aggressive personality and if I can remember any emotion I felt during a race it was fear. The greatest stimulator of my running was fear."


Kip Keino:

"As a sportsman, I accept being beaten. Everybody tries to be a winner, but only one in a race will win. It's fun to win. But I don't find unhappiness if I lose."


Vince Lombardi:

"If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."


Maurice Greene:

"To be number one, you have to train like you're number two."


Kenneth Harkless:

"It's the training that gets you to the starting line. It’s the pacing and energy management that gets you to the finish line."


Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon Co-founder

"The simplicity of running is the heart and soul of the sport. The ordinary, everyday runners are the mainstream. I can never forget this because I am one of them, regardless of what else I am."


Steve Jones, former marathon world record holder:

"I run with my head, my heart and my guts, because physically, I don't think I've got a great deal of talent or ability. I started at the bottom and worked up."


Bart Yasso:

"Never limit where running can take you. I mean that geographically, spiritually, and of course, physically."


Jillian Michaels:

"You have no idea how strong you are, you think you can't do it, you think you're going to die, but I promise you, if you just stick with it, you realize that you had it in you the entire time."


Dean Karnazes

"I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run… to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that."


Dr. George Sheehan, running author:

"For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight."


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