Running Quotes: 80 Inspiring and Motivating Quotes for Runners

running quote

Need some motivation for running?

What is better than some inspiring running quotes?

Words are powerful. They can ignite a fire within us when we need it the most.

So let’s celebrate this awesome sport with some wise words from the wisest of us.

80 Quotes for running Motivation

  1. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”


  2. “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

  3. “It’s not about the legs; it’s about the heart and the mind.”

    -Eliud Kipchoge

  4. “Some people create with words, or with music, or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s style. It’s doing something better than everyone else. It’s being creative.”

    -Steve Prefontaine

  5. “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself — the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us — that’s where it’s at.”

    -Jesse Owens

  6. “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”

    -Kathrine Switzer

  7. “I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.”

    -Ronald Rook

  8. “It dawned on me with blinding brightness. I realized: I had jumped into another rare kind of stratosphere — one that only a handful of people in every generation are lucky enough to know.”

    -Jesse Owens

  9. “It really gets grim until the competition begins. You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”

    -Steve Prefontaine

  10. “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

  11. “Winning isn’t about finishing in first place. It isn’t about beating the others. It is about overcoming yourself. Overcoming your body, your limitations, and your fears. Winning means surpassing yourself and turning your dreams into reality.”

    -Kilian Jornet

  12. “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

  13. “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

  14. “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

  15. “I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”

    -Jesse Owens

  16. “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”


  17. “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

  18. “Life equals running and when we stop running maybe that’s how we’ll know life is finally finished.”

    -Patrick Ness

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


  20. “We must wake up to the fact that athletics is not, nor ever can be perfected; there will always be more to learn.”

    -Arthur Newton

  21. “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”


  22. “Someone who is busier than you is running right now.”


  23. “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”

    -John Bingham

  24. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

    -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  25. “Everything you need is already inside.”

    -Bill Bowerman

  26. “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

    -Kevin Durant

  27. “If not now, when?”

    -Hillel the Elder

  28. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

    -Will Durant

  29. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”


  30. “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”


  31. “Only those who risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go.”

    -T.S. Elliot

  32. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”


  33. “Nobody plans to fail. They just fail to plan.”


  34. “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”

    -Juma Ikangaa

  35. “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

    -Dean Karnazes

  36. “Someday you won’t be able to do this anymore. Today is not that day!”


  37. “Good things come slow, especially in distance running.”

    -Bill Dellinger

  38. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t”

    -Jerry Rice

  39. “There is a magic in misery. Just ask any runner.”

    -Dean Karnazes

  40. “Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain’t easy.”

    -Mark Will-Weber

  41. “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

    -Robert Schuller

  42. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.”

    -Bill Bowerman

  43. “A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.”

    -Steve Prefontaine

  44. “Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”

    -Steve Prefontaine

  45. “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”


  46. “All it takes is all you got.”

    -Marc Davis

  47. “What was the secret, they wanted to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials.”

    -John L. Parker, Jr.

  48. “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.”


  49. “Run the first two-thirds of the race with your head and the last third with your heart.”


  50. “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

    -Steve Prefontaine

  51. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

    -Fred DeVito

  52. “If you want to win a race you have to go a little berserk.”

    -Bill Rodgers

  53. “Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.”

    -Ann Landers

  54. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

    -The U.S. Navy SEAL

  55. “You can’t flirt with the track. You must marry it.”

    -Bill Easton

  56. “Yet that man is happy and poets sing of him who conquers with hand and swift foot and strength.”


  57. “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.”

    -Frank Shorter

  58. “Pain is temporary, glory is forever.”


  59. “The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat.”

    -Bill Squires

  60. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

    -Samuel Beckett

  61. “To be great, one does not have to be mad, but definitely it helps.”

    -Percy Cerutty

  62. “Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions.”

    -Eliud Kipchoge

  63. “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”

    -Jim Rohn

  64. “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

    -Jesse Owens

  65. “You need three things to win: discipline, hard work and, before everything maybe, commitment. No one will make it without those three. Sport teaches you that.”

    -Haile Gebrselassie

  66. “A man who sets out to become an artist at the mile is something like a man who sets out to discover the most graceful method of being hanged. No matter how logical his plans, he can not carry them out without physical suffering.”

    -Neal Bascomb

  67. “It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.”

    -Emil Zatopek

  68. “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

    -Haruki Murakami

  69. “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.”

    -Hal Higdon

  70. “Stepping outside the comfort zone is the price I pay to find out how good I can be. If I planned on backing off every time running got difficult I would hang up my shoes and take up knitting.”

    -Desiree Linden

  71. If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it….

    -Rudyard Kipling

  72. “I often lose motivation, but it’s something I accept as normal.”

    -Bill Rodgers

  73. “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.”

    -Dean Karnazes

  74. “Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.”

    -Doug Larson

  75. “Crossing the starting line may be an act of courage, but crossing the finish line is an act of faith. Faith is what kepes us going when nothing else will. Faith is the emotion that will give you victory over your past, the demons in your soul, & all of those voices that tell you what you can & cannot do & can & cannot be.”

    -John Bingham

  76. “The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other,… but to be with each other.”

    -Christopher McDougall

  77. “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

  78. “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

  79. “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

    -Art Williams

  80. “Running isn’t a sport for pretty boys…It’s about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet. Its the frozen spit on your chin and the nausea in your gut. It’s about throbbing calves and cramps at midnight that are strong enough to wake the dead. It’s about getting out the door and running when the rest of the world is only dreaming about having the passion that you need to live each and every day with. It’s about being on a lonely road and running like a champion even when there’s not a single soul in sight to cheer you on. Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fiber in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you’ve finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that’s all that you can ask for.”

    -Paul Maurer

I hope this collection of running quotes will make you appreciate running and inspire you to keep going.

Your turn now. What’s your favorite quote about running?

Do share in the comments.

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