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Runners' Motivation

131 Inspirational Running Quotes

13 Mins read

I love motivational running quotes and sayings.

I’m addicted to them, and I have them everywhere.

In fact, research shows that keeping inspirational quotes and reading them on a regular basis is a great way for keeping motivation for both the short and long term.

As a result, today I’m sharing with you, dear readers a long list of favorite running quotes.

I hope you find them inspirational and motivational like I do.

Note – Looking for the best Beginner’s Guide To Running?
Then Check my Runners Blueprint System Here.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I’d use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. 

The Best Motivational Running Quotes In The World

Motivational running quotes and sayings can give you unlimited enthusiasm and strength! Customizing your favorite quotes into custom lapel pins and wearing them when running or exercising is a good way to motivate. No matter create custom pins with your run group’s logo, or just with items you like, I believe they can give you the best experience.

And please, feel free to share with me some of your best running quotes (if you have any) whether they’re fitness quotes about pain, not giving up, life, you name it.

    1. “Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion.” Gail W. Kislevitz
    2.  “A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways they’re capable of understanding.” Steve Prefontaine
    3. Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body. Lynn Jennings
    4. Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running. Christopher McDougall
    5. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. Will Rogers
    1.  “Struggling and suffering are the essence of a life worth living. If you’re not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you’re not demanding more from yourself – expanding and learning as you go – you’re choosing a numb existence. You’re denying yourself an extraordinary trip.” Dean Karnazes
    2. “My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.”John Bryant
    3. “It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.” Emil Zatopek
    4. All it takes is all you got. Marc Davis
    5. “There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighbors you can’t live in, schools you can’t get into, but the roads are always open.”NIKE
    6. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars. Les Brown
    7.  “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”  Haruki Murakami
    8.  “Never underestimate the power that one good workout can have on your mind. Keeping the dream alive is half the battle.” Kara Goucher
    9. It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness. Seneca
    10. Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can. Lowell Thomas
    11. You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face. Gatorade
    12. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Robert Pirsig
    13. If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run. John Bingham
    14. When it’s pouring rain and you’re bowling along through the wet, there’s satisfaction in knowing you’re out there and the others aren’t. Peter Snell
    15. I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought. Arthur Blank
    16.  “It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination.” John Bingham
    17. “I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.” Bart Yasso
    18. “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”  Dan Gable
    19. “To win without risk is to triumph without glory.” Pierre Cornielle
    20. “The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other,… but to be with each other.” Christopher McDougall
    21. Run like hell and get the agony over with. Clarence DeMar
    22. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius
    23. “To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day, one month, or even one year — but for a lifetime.”  Bill Rodgers
    24. When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.  Theodore Roosevelt
    25. I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.  Alberto Salazar
    26. The five S’s of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit; but the greatest of these is Spirit. Ken Doherty
    27. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Haruki Murakami
    28.  Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste death but once.. Julius Ceaser
    29. Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running. Julie Isphording
    30. Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don’t think about them, I just do them. The decision has already been made.  Patti Sue Plumer
    31. Vision without action is a daydream.  Action without vision is a nightmare. Japanese Proverb
    32.  “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’”Peter Maher
    33.  “Running is my meditation, mind flush, cosmic telephone, mood elevator and spiritual communion.” Lorraine Moller
    34. Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it. Steve Prefontaine
    35. “The thing about Pre is that he ran as hard as he could every race, and if you were going to beat him, you were going to have to run harder than he did.” Bob Kennedy
    36. Good judgement is the result of experience, experience is the result of bad judgment. Mark Twain
    37. The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.  Jacqueline Gareau
    38. “It’s rude to count people as you pass them. Out loud.” Adidas ad
    39. “Listen to your body. Do not be a blind and deaf tenant.” Dr. George Sheeha
    40. Runners just do it – they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first. Unknown
    41. The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life. George Sheehan
    42. The nine inches right here; set it straight and you can beat anybody in the world. Sebastian Coe
    43. Other people may not have high expectations of me, but I have high expectations for myself. Shannon Miller
    44. “Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don’t have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.” Amby Burfoot
    45.  “I run because long after my footprints fade away, maybe I will have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I run because it always takes me where I want to go.” Dean Karnazes
    46. I disagree. I look at struggle as an opportunity to grow. True struggle happens when you can sense what is not working for you and you’re willing to take the appropriate action to correct the situation. Those who accomplish change are willing to engage the struggle.”  Danny Dreyer
    47. -The Hopis consider running a form of prayer; they offer every step as a sacrifice to a loved one, and in return ask the Great Spirit to match their strength with some of his own.”  Christopher McDougall
    48. “A lot of people run a race to see who’s the fastest.  I run to see who has the most guts.”  Steve Prefontaine
    49. The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.  Juma Ikangaa
    50. My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: “Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win… channel your energy. Focus.”  Carl Lewis
    51. When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. Theodore Roosevelt
    52. The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do. Walter Bagehot
    53. “Whatever you may be missing right now – a person, a place, a feeling, maybe you are injured and missing running – whatever it is, have peace and take heart – remember that any goodbye makes room for a hello.”  Kristin Armstrong
    54.  “If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now.  Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.” Priscialla Welch
    55. Stadiums are for spectators.  We runners have nature and that is much better. Juha Vaatainen
    56. “You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.” Steve Prefontaine
    57. “Pain is temporary.  It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.  If I quit, however, it lasts forever.  Lance Armstrong
    58. I often lose motivation, but it’s something I accept as normal.” Bill Rodgers
    59. “We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time.” Christopher McDougall
    60. Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. Booker T. Washington
    61. It is true that speed kills. In distance running, it kills anyone who does not have it. Brooks Johnson
    62. “Running is about finding your inner peace, and so is a life well lived.” Dean Karnazes
    63. “Being defeated is often a temporary condition.  Giving up is what makes it permanent.”  Marilyn vos Savant

  1. “Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain’t easy.”  Mark Will-Weber
  2.  “How to run an ultramarathon ? Puff out your chest, put one foot in front of the other, and don’t stop till you cross the finish line.”  Dean Karnazes
  3. The human spirit is indomitable. No one can ever say you must not run faster than this or jump higher than that. There will never be a time when the human spirit will not be able to better existing records. Sir Roger Bannister
  4. “We are designed to run and we increase our chance of daily happiness when we do so.”Jeff Galloway
  5. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” —Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  6. “Don’t fight the trail, take what it gives you. If you have a choice between one step or two between rocks, take three.” Christopher McDougall
  7.  “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”  Robert Collier
  8. “Recovery from complete and utter exhaustion facilitates individual creativity” Phillip Gary Smith
  9. “Some seek the comfort of their therapist’s office, other head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose running as my therapy.” Dean Karnazes
  10.  “What I’ve learned from running is that the time to push hard is when you’re hurting like crazy and you want to give up. Success is often just around the corner.”  James Dyson
  11. “Life equals running and when we stop running maybe that’s how we’ll know life is finally finished.”  Patrick Ness.
  12. Anything is possible, but you have to believe and you have to fight.  Lance Armstrong
  13. “To be a good runner, you must first be a good athlete.” Jay Johnson
  14. “The human spirit is indomitable.  No one can ever say you must not run faster than this or jump higher than that.  There will never be a time when the human spirit will not be able to better existing records.” Sir Roger Bannister
  15.  “Good things come slow, especially in distance running.”  Bill Dellinger
  16. Some people train knowing they’re not working as hard as other people. I can’t fathom how they think. Alberto Salazar
  17. Runners don’t do drugs, they make their own … naturally. E. Neil Culbertson
  18. If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy. Amby Burfoot
  19. There is an itch in runners. Arnold Hano
  20. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” Bill Bowerman
  21. “You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn’t live to love anything else…We were born to run; we were born because we run”  Christopher McDougall
  22. “We runners are all a little nutty, but we’re good people who just want to enjoy our healthy, primitive challenge. Others may not understand running, but we do, and we cherish it. That’s our only message.”  John J. Kelley
  23.  “What does not destroy me, makes me strong.”  Nietzsche
  24. “It works better for me to be nervous and hungry.”  Lance Armstrong
  25. Ask yourself: “Can I give more?” The answer is usually: “Yes”.  Paul Tergat
  26. “If you don’t think you were born to run you’re not only denying history. You’re denying who you are.” Christopher McDougall
  27.  “If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.”  Christopher McDougall
  28.  “The thoughts that occur to me while I’m running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky always. The clouds are mere guests in the sky that pass away and vanish, leaving behind the sky.”  Haruki Murakami
  29. “To be great, one does not have to be mad, but definitely it helps.” Percy Cerutty
  30. “Run hard when it’s hard to run” Pavvo
  31. “When you experience the run, you…relive the hunt.  Running is about thirty miles of chasing prey that can outrun you in a sprint, and tracking it down and bringing life back to your village.  It’s a beautiful thing.”  Shawn Found
  32.  “We must wake up to the fact that athletics is not, nor ever can be perfected; there will always be more to learn.”  Arthur “GreatHeart” Newton
  33. Other people may not have high expectations of me, but I have high expectations for myself.  Shannon Miller
  34. “All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says.”   Haruki Murakami
  35. My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.  John Bryant
  36. All it takes is all you got.  Marc Davis
  37. Good judgment is the result of experience, experience is the result of bad judgment.  Mark Twain
  38. Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain’t easy.  Mark Will-Weber
  39. Once you’re beat mentally, you might as well not even go to the starting line.  Todd Williams
  40. The five S’s of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit; but the greatest of these is Spirit. Ken Doherty
  41. We all know that if you run, you are pretty much choosing a life of success because of it. Deena Kastor
  42. You are truly your own hero in running. It is up to you to have the responsibility and self-discipline to get the job done. Adam Goucher
  43. “But I also realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.” Meb Keflezighi
  44. “Blaming the running injury epidemic on big, bad Nike seems too easy – but that’s okay, because it’s largely their fault.”  Christopher McDougall
  45. I hated every minute of training, but I said, ”Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”  Muhammad Ali
  46. “You are truly your own hero in running. It is up to you to have the responsibility and self-discipline to get the job done.”Adam Goucher
  47. The more I run, the more I want to run, and the more I live a life conditioned and influenced and fashioned by my running. And the more I run, the more certain I am that I am heading for my real goal: to become the person I am.  George Sheehan
  48. The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. John Bingham
  49. Running! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think of what it might be. In running the mind flees with the body, the mysterious efflorescence of language seems to pulse in the brain, in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms. Joyce Carol Oates
  50. “There is something magical about running; after a certain distance, it transcends the body. Then a bit further, it transcends the mind. A bit further yet, and what you have before you, laid bare, is the soul.” Kristin Armstrong
  51. “The long run puts the tiger in the cat.”   Bill Squires
  52. Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, “Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?”  Peter Maher
  53. Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can.  Lowell Thomas
  54. Everyone in life is looking for a certain rush. Racing is where I get mine.  John Trautmann
  55. Fear is a great motivator.  John Treacy
  56. I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.  Alberto Salazar
  57. “As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are.” Joan Benoit Samuelson
  58.  My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy. John Bryant
  59. “God has given me the ability.  The rest is up to me.  Believe.  Believe.  Believe.” Billy Mills
  60. “You can’t flirt with the track, you must marry it.” Bill Easton
  61. “If you want to run, then run a mile.  If you want to experience another life, run a marathon.”  Emil Zatopek

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Running Quotes list






There you have it. You just read more then more than 120 awesome inspirational running quotes by famous runners, fitness legends, and other sources.

Got more inspirational exercise quotes for runners? Please share them in the comment section.

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