Quotes About Running:
Runners are Inspirational

These quotes about running can propel you to greater heights in your workouts and goals. We scoured our favorite running books and pulled out the most compelling (and sometimes just funny) thoughts for you. We hope this shared knowledge will motivate you as it has us.

We couldn't forget to provide some classic motivational quotes that will encourage you in running and life in general. Learn, strive, and fill your life with inspiration!

Record-breaking Quotes about running from
The Four-Minute Mile
by Roger Bannister

quotes about running

The following quotes about running are from from Roger Bannister's description of the amazing day he broke the four-minute mile: Thursday May 6, 1954 at Oxford University (by the way, it was an extremely windy day).

Failure is as exciting to watch as success, provided the effort is absolutely genuine and complete. But the spectators fail to understand - and how can they know - the mental agony through which an athlete must pass before he can give his maximum effort.

In the excitement, my knowledge of pace had deserted me.

I had a moment of mixed joy and anguish, when my mind took over. It raced well ahead of my body and drew my body compellingly forward. I felt that the moment of a lifetime had come. There was no pain, only a great unity of movement and aim.

My body had long since exhausted all its energy, but it went on running just the same. The physical overdraft came only from greater willpower. This was the crucial moment when my legs were strong enough to carry me over the last few yards as they could never have done in previous years.

In the wonderful joy my pain was forgotten and I wanted to prolong those precious moments of realization.


quotes about running

More of Roger Bannister's quotes about running:

. . . sport leads to the most remarkable self-discovery - of our limitations as well as of our abilities. The discovery is partly physical; one learns, for example, that feeling tired does not mean that the limit of exhaustion has been reached. But mainly the discovery is mental, brought about by the stresses that sport imposes.

. . . running has proved to be a truly amateur activity after all, on which it is neither necessary nor desirable to spend unlimited time and energy. Fitting running into the rest of life until one's work becomes too demanding - this is the burden and joy of the true amateur.

We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. It also does us good because it helps us to do other things better. It gives a man the chance to bring out power that might otherwise remain locked away inside himself. The urge to struggle lies latent in everyone. The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, 'You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.' The human spirit is indomitable.


Hilarious quotes about running from
The Runners Rule Book - Everything a Runner Needs to Know - And Then Some
by Mark Remy and the Editors of Runner's World

These quotes about running are funny but true!

Rule 1.4  Black toenails are badges of honor.

Rule 1.9  Pass gas, not judgment. It's fun to pretend that the gas you have just expelled is helping to propel you forward, like a little booster rocket.

Rule 1.25  Love your tan lines. You may be tempted to "even out" any tan lines left from your running watch, socks, and/or ID bracelet. Don't. Those tan lines aren't something to be ashamed of. Far from it. They are hard-won emblems of accomplishment. Sport them proudly!

Rule 1.26  Training plans must go on the fridge. Remove a child's artwork to make room, if need be. We won't judge.

Rule 1.35  Just run around the block. On days you don't feel like running at all, tell yourself you'll just jog around the block. Then go do it. Nine times out of 10, those few minutes of movement will be enough to kick you into gear, and you'll want to keep going. And that one time out of 10? Hey, at least you've run one block. Which is one block more than most folks will run that day.

Rule 1.38  Running alone is the best; so is running with a group. This is just one of the beautiful things about running - the fact that it can be equally rewarding done alone or with others, and the way that each of us is left to determine what sort of mix works best for us. Run alone. Run with others. It's all good.

Rule 1.47  Let angry motorists go. Have an urge to teach someone a lesson? Do it in a classroom, not on the roads.

Rule 1.62  Having a million things to do is an excuse for running. Not an argument against it.

Rule 1.66  Dogs are harmless, except when they aren't. *(This page is incredibly funny - get the book!)

quotes about running

Rule 2.12  Write off the first mile. The first mile or so of any large race is pandemonium, as folks ride a surge of pent-up adrenaline and try to run half a step in front of everyone else. You'll see a lot of frantic people jockeying for position during those first few minutes. Ignore them. Be cool. Run your own race. The people sprinting, weaving, and darting around you are wasting tons of energy, and you'll likely pass them later. Probably sooner than you think.

Rule 2.15  You will hear the theme from Rocky. For road racers, hearing the theme from Rocky isn't a question of "if," but "when." During any given race, the chance that you will hear the theme from Rocky blaring at the start/finish line, or from a spectator's stereo along the course is 75 percent. If the race is in Philadelphia, that probability soars to 98 percent.

quotes about running

Rule 2.27  Run the mile you're in. Be mindful of the full distance, of course; mentally and physically, you should be aware of how far you've got to go. Primarily, though, keep your head in the here and now. That's a nice metaphor for life, too, by the way. In case you were looking for one.

Rule 2.32  Do whatever it takes to finish ahead of a costumed runner. Because being outkicked by Elmo is too much to bear.

Rule 2.35  Scoot through the chute.

Rule 3.9  Diversify your wardrobe. If you head out for a run and notice that your cap, shirt, watch, shorts, socks, and shoes are all from the same manufacturer, head right back in and change at least one of the above. Well, unless you're an elite. In that case, you're all good.

The Runner's Rules of Thumb

  • If you have to ask yourself, are these shorts too short? The answer is yes.
  • Buzzing your hair with clippers before a race will make you feel 8 percent faster.
  • A long-sleeved shirt and shorts will always look better than a short-sleeved shirt with tights.
  • You can never have too many safety pins in or on your gym bag.
  • The first runner to crest a hill is the strongest runner of the group.
  • The last runner to crest a hill is the funniest of the group.
  • If you care even a little bit about being called a jogger versus a runner . . . you're a runner.
  • Whenever possible, choose a primary care physician who is also a runner.
  • You lose fitness faster than you gain it.
  • If you never have a "bad" day, you're probably doing something wrong; if you never have a "good" day; you're definitely doing something wrong.


Dynamite training quotes about running from
Daniels' RUNNING Formula
by Jack Daniels, PhD.

If you're serious about your training, you may already have this book. If you don't, now you know and you can get it and really impress your running friends with your quotes about running!

quotes about running

The Ingredients of Success - Don't waste your time wishing for things you don't have. Do your best with what you do have.

The four basic ingredients of success I have always referred to will determine how successful any person will be as a runner. These ingredients are, in their order of importance, inherent ability, intrinsic motivation, opportunity, and direction. *(By direction, he means coaching.)

Fortunately for runners, running is available to just about anyone, in just about any climate and any type of terrain.

From a runner's standpoint, consistency in training is the single most important thing that leads to success. That consistency comes from concentrating on the task at hand - neither dwelling on the past nor looking too far forward. The only thing you can control is the present, and when you focus on that and remain consistent in your training, you'll find your greatest success.

. . . it takes months for muscle fibers to fully adjust to the stress of regular running.

Rest and recovery are a vital part of a training program, not an attempt to avoid training. There may actually be times when you will benefit more from rest than from going out for another run, and sometimes doing a less stressful workout will produce more benefits than will a harder session.

. . . the fitter you become, the less benefit you get from training harder.

Again, people who are not in very good shape when starting out in a running program do not need to train very hard, or often, to gain considerable benefit.

A little running goes a long way. -Wendy from WeightCruncher.com *(I had to throw my own quote in here - I've been saying it for years, and it agrees with Dr. Jack Daniels!)

. . . it is easier to maintain a level of fitness than it was to achieve that fitness.

Remember to always try to achieve the greatest possible benefit from the least amount of training rather than getting the greatest possible benefit from the hardest training possible.

Stride Rate:
During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, my wife and I spent every day of the running events counting different runners' stride frequency . . . In all we examined about 50 runners, both male and female and in events from the 800 to the marathon. Of all the runners evaluated, only one took fewer than 180 steps per minute.

It is quite clear that runners seem most comfortable with a particular rhythm, and that rhythm varies little as they change stride length to increase speed during different races.

Don't compare yourself to other runners; focus on your own fitness and performance.

Most distance runners are careful to record the total amount of mileage they accomplish each week.

Running is something you can enjoy for your entire life.

Imagine something good about every race you run, and learn to be an optimist.

It typically takes about 10 minutes for the running muscles to start increasing their temperature.

It's not winning that is most important; it's getting to participate that counts the most.


Long range quotes about running from
Marathon. The Ultimate Training Guide
by Hal Higdon

quotes about running

Hal Higdon is pretty awesome. By the way, on his website he has advice and training schedules for everything from marathons to "couch potato to 5K." Practical and knowledgeable quotes about running.

For many experienced runners, it's not merely the race itself but the experience that goes into the race.

I continue to run daily, not to improve my times at the marathon and at other distances but simply because I enjoy running.

Finishing a marathon changes your life forever.

One beauty of the marathon is that there are many more winners than those who finish first overall or in their age groups.

"Everyone's a winner" is a dreadful cliche, but it happens to be true when the race involved is 26 miles and 385 yards long.

The marathon never ceases to be a race of joy, a race of wonder.

quotes about running

Most runners enjoy the training as much as, or more than, the marathon itself.

If you've never run before, focus your attention on time rather than distance or pace.

The only goal worth considering for first-time marathoners is the finish line.


Although statisticians find it convenient to talk about median or average times, I like to believe that there are no average runners.

We all begin with various levels of talent, but we improve in relation to the amount of effort we expend and how we maximize that talent.

Interval training is probably the most efficient workout for developing speed.

Success requires being totally focused on one goal.

Before you make a plan, you need a goal.


The Bible - Yes, the ultimate quotes about running

quotes about running


Psalm 119:32
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have set my heart free. *(This quote is on the wall of our exercise room.)

Proverbs 4:11-13
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.

Proverbs 18:10
10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.

Isaiah 40:30-31
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

1 Corinthians 9:23-25
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Hebrews 12:1-2
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Generally Motivating Quotes About Running
(and Life)

quotes about running

Some of my favorite quotes in this section are from Abraham Lincoln.

The life each of us lives is the life within the limits of our own thinking. To have life more abundant, we must think in limitless terms of abundance. -Thomas Dreier

Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny. -Tyron Edwards

Every man is free to rise as far as he's able or willing, but the degree to which he thinks determines the degree to which he'll rise. -Ayn Rand

Change your thoughts and you change your world. -Norman Vincent Peale

Unhappiness indicates wrong thinking, just as ill health indicates a bad regimen. -Paul Bourge

The body manifests what the mind harbors. -Jerry Augustine

Since the human body tends to move in the direction of its expectations - plus or minus - it is important to know that attitudes of confidence and determination are no less a part of the treatment program than medical science and technology. -Norman Cousins

No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves. -Dwight D. Eisenhower

Great things are not something accidental, but must certainly be willed. -Vincent van Gogh

Optimism, unaccompanied by personal effort, is merely a state of mind and not fruitful. -Edward L. Curtis

What we prepare for is what we shall get. -William Graham Sumner

If one asks for success and prepares for failure, he will get the situation he has prepared for. -Florence Scovel Shinn

Men will get no more out of life than they put into it. -William J.H. Boetcker

Act as if it were impossible to fail. -Dorothea Brande

Always imitate the behavior of the winner when you lose. -Anonymous

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. -Henry David Thoreau

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. -Helen Keller

Circumstances - what are circumstances? I make circumstances. -Napoleon Bonaparte

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. -Chinese proverb

quotes about running


Practice being excited. -Bill Foster

Knock the "t" off the "can't." -George Reeves

It is never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot


To every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage. -W. Clement Stone

How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us. -Park Cousins

What we love, we shall grow to resemble. -Bernard of Clairvaux

Energy is equal to desire and purpose. -Sheryl Adams

What one has, one ought to use; and whatever he does, he should do with all his might. -Cicero

Enthusiasm moves the world. -J. Balfour

A man can succeed at almost anything for which he as unlimited enthusiasm. -Charles M. Schwab

We can accomplish almost anything within our ability if we but think that we can! -George Matthew Adams

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing. -Abraham Lincoln

Success is due less to ability than to zeal. -Charles Buxton

Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch. -Ivern Ball

A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows. -John Powell

If you want to do something, do it! -Plautus

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. -Chinese proverb

quotes about running

The first step is the hardest. -Anonymous

The most important thing about getting somewhere is starting right where we are. -Bruce Barton

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge one for yourself. -James A. Froude


More power than the will to win is the courage to begin. -Anonymous

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor. -Robert Louis Stevenson

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The really happy man is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. -Anonymous

Success is not a doorway, it's a staircase. -Dottie Walters

Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted. -David Bly

Success is dependent on effort. -Sophocles

Success comes before work only in the dictionary. -Anonymous

Sweat plus sacrifice equals success. -Charles O. Finley

The only way to enjoy anything in this life is to earn it first. -Ginger Rogers

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. -Friedrich Engels

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. -Will Rogers

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. -Motto of the Special Olympics

If we take care of the inches, we will not have to worry about the miles. -Hartley Coleridge

Nothing can be done except little by little. -Charles Baudelaire

We conquer by continuing. -George Matheson

Success generally depends upon knowing how long it takes to succeed. -Charles de Montesquieu

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. -Beverly Sills

We rate ability in men by what they finish, not by what they begin. -Anonymous

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. -Franklin Delano Roosevelt & Eleanor Roosevelt

Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure. -Edward Eggleston

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