80 Top Motivational Quotes For Running

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Runners need motivation from time to time. When pursuing a running goal, things can get tricky and that’s when you may need some motivational quotes to keep you going. In this article, we’ll look at some of the top running motivational quotes out there.

Why do some runners lose motivation?

Whilst running is one of the best, most enjoyable activities, it can sometimes be difficult to find motivation.

Feeling tired, having little time, a rainy day, a bad experience, procrastinating with an easier activity like TV or social media, or a lack of inspiration, are often cited as reasons for runners feeling demotivated.

If you’re thinking “it won’t happen to me. I love running, and I’ll never be demotivated.’ Then you might need to think again. A lack of motivation happens to the best of us runners and having some motivational quotes to reference during these times can save your running MoJo.

Why are quotes so powerful?

According to Fast Company, motivational quotes are effective due to a ‘combination of good wordsmithing, motivational psychology, and a measure of self-selection.’

When we read a powerful quote from someone successful who has walked the road we wish to walk and achieved results on that road, we look up to them.

We refer these individuals as our mentors, coaches, teachers, and wish to obtain some of their wisdom through quotes they have said.

People love motivational quotes because they often inspire those who read them to act and make a change in their life.

Let’s look at example:

There is no goal too big. Just an underestimation of how much action is required to attain that goal
Grant Cardone (American businessman, salesman, investor, real estate expert)

The quote above, from Grant Cardone, gives me chills when I read it. It states that we’re only limited by what goals we set our selves and that we tend to underestimate how much work we need to do to achieve the goal. This quote encourages me to take more action towards achieving my goals, if I am to succeed them.

As Grant Cardone is a multi-millionaire, successful in multiple wakes of life, I take his advice to be valuable and valid. Therefore, I trust his advice and will hope to apply it in my life as best as I can. Running quotes are the same.

We will be sharing quotes from individuals and organisations who have achieve greatness in the sport and these will encourage you to act towards your goals.

How can I apply these quotes to my running?

Take the time to properly read each quote and to understand its unique message. Some will inspire you more than others, which is totally fine. It’s about finding which quotes will work best for you and your running.

After reading the entire list, select between 5-7 quotes that resonate and inspire you the most.

One selected, live by them. Write them down, stick them on your wall, save them in your phone, repeat them to yourself when on a tough run, say them to yourself repeatedly. Do what you must do to drum the quotes into your head.

Why do we do this? What we constantly tell ourselves on the inside eventually materialises into our external behaviours.

If, for instance, one of our quotes is the famous Nike slogan ‘Just Do it’ then we’re likely to never miss a pre-planned training session and we will throw our self into challenges. Because we believe we will ‘just do it’, this materialises into our running behaviour. I hope that makes sense!


The list is split into 2 categories. One category is ‘pure running quotes’ and the other contains ‘mindset quotes.’

Without further ado, let’s delve into the top motivational running quotes.

Pure Running Quotes


1. ‘To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.’
Steve Prefontaine (Legendary American middle and long-distance runner)

2. ‘Just Do It.’
Nike (Multinational American sports clothing corporation)

3. ‘No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.
Roger Bannister (First person to run a 4 minute mile)

4. ‘Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity.’
Michael Johnson (Retired sprinter, four time Olympic gold medallist)

5. ‘Success rests in having the courage and endurance, and above all, the will to become the person you are.’
Dr George Sheehan (Running author)

6. ‘A run begins the moment you forget you are running.’
Adidas (Multinational German sports clothing corporation)

7. ‘There is no finish line.’
Nike (Multinational American sports clothing corporation)

8. ‘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.’
Arthur Blank (American businessman, co-founder of The Home Depot, owner of professional sporting teams)

9. ‘Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the spectre of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.’
Hal Higdon (Running coach and journalist)

10. ‘A change of pace in terms of your running pace will give you strength psychologically.’
Bill Rodgers (Four-time Boston marathon winner)

11. ‘I would never tell anybody I ran an 8-hour marathon
Dan Pena (American billionaire, high performance business coach, ran ultra-marathons)

12. ‘When you think that you are done, you’re only 40% into what your body’s capable of doing. That’s just the limit that we put on ourselves.
David Goggins (Retired Navy Seal veteran, former world record holder, ultramarathoner, ultra-triathlete)

13. ‘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 (Retired American long-distance runner who won marathon gold at the 1972 Olympics)

’14. 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.’
John Bingham (American marathon runner and author, promoted walking of long-distance events to encourage participation and inspire gradual improvement)

15. ‘Second place is not a defeat. It is a stimulation to get better. It makes you even more determined.’
Carlos Lopes (Retired Portuguese long-distance runner, gold medallist at 1984 Olympics)

16. ‘Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.’
Dean Karnazes (American ultra-marathoner)

17. ‘It’s important that you do the work and you enjoy it, and mentally you try and be strong. Just keep grafting.’
Mo Farah (Most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic history, 2012 & 2016 gold medallist in both 5000 m and 10,000 m)

18. ‘Never limit where running can take you. I mean that geographically, spiritually, and of course, physically.’ Bart Yasso (Runner’s World’s chief running officer)

19. ‘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 (Retired New Zealand former middle-distance runner, three times Olympic gold medallist)

20. ‘Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.’
Steve Prefontaine (Legendary American middle and long-distance runner)

21. ‘We all know that if you run, you are pretty much choosing a life of success because of it.’
Deena Kastor (American long-distance runner, American record holder for the marathon and other distances)

22. ‘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 (American track athlete, proved Hitler and his belief that the Aryan was dominant wrong at the 1936 Olympics where he won 4 gold medals)

23. ‘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 (American author and journalist)

24. ‘All it takes is all you got.’
Marc Davis (Retired American track and field athlete, gold medallist in 1994 Goodwill games)

25. ‘Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.’
Dan Gable (American former folkstyle and freestyle wrestler and coach)

26. ‘Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.’
PattiSue Plumer (American former middle-distance and long-distance runner)

27. ‘Never set limits, go after your dreams, don’t be afraid to push the boundaries. And laugh a lot – it’s good for you!
Paula Jane Radcliffe (British long-distance runner, three time London & New York marathon champion)

28. ‘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.
Priscilla Welch (Former British marathon runner)

29. ‘Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.
Oprah Winfrey (American media executive, actress, talk show host, philanthropist)

30. ‘Life’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Dr. Phil (American television personality, author, psychologist, actor)

31. ‘Every day is a good day when you run.
Kevin Nelson (Running author)

32. ‘Set aside a time solely for running. Running is more fun if you don’t have to rush through it
Jim Fixx (American runner and author who wrote ‘The Complete Book of Running)

33. ‘In my case, I thoroughly enjoy running 100-odd miles a week. If I didn’t I wouldn’t do it. Who can define happiness? To some, happiness is a warm puppy or a glass of cold beer. To me, happiness is running in the hills with my mates around me.
Ron Clarke (Australian athlete, writer and former 17 time world record holder)

34. ‘The runner must be a fanatic for hard work and enthusiastic enough to enjoy it.
Franz Stampfl (Legendary athletic coach famous for pioneering a unique system of interval training)

35. ‘If you want to win something run 100 meters. If you want to experience something run a marathon.
Emil Zatopek (Czechoslovak long-distance runner, 3 time Olympic gold medalist)

36. ‘Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.
Julie Isphording (American retired long-distance runner)

37. ‘What is the purpose of any one workout? Enjoyment? Improvement? Coach said so? Whatever, the hour you run often is the best hour of the day.
Hal Higdon (American Writer and runner, written 34 running books)

38. ‘The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.
John Bingham (American marathon runner and author)

39. ‘Fast running isn’t forced. You have to relax and let the run come out of you.
Desiree Linden (American long-distance runner)

40. ‘When you cross the finish line, no matter how slow or fast, it will change your life forever.
Dick Beardsley (American long-distance runner)


Mindset Quotes

  1. ‘When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.
Eric Thomas (American motivational speaker, author and minister)

 2. ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
Tim Notke (American basketball coach)

3. ‘Don’t stop when you’re tired. STOP when you are DONE.
David Goggins (Retired Navy Seal veteran, former world record holder, ultra-marathoner, ultra-triathlete)

4. ‘Success… seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.
Conrad Hilton (American hotelier and founder of Hilton Hotels chain)

5. ‘Action is the foundational key to all success.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, playwright)

6. ‘Obsessed is a word used often by the lazy, in order to describe the dedicated.
Tai Lopez (American online personality, investor and businessman)

7.’Just fucking do it.
Dan Peña (American multi-billionaire, high performance coach)

8. ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.
Henry Ford (Founder of Ford Motors)

9.’It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
Confucius (Chinese philosopher, politician and statesman)

10. ‘I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.
Estée Lauder (American founder of the cosmetic company)

11.’Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
Thomas Jefferson (American president)

12. ‘The path to success is to take massive, determined actions.
Tony Robbins (American motivational speaker, businessman and investor)

13. ‘An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.
Arnold Glasow (American businessman)

14. ‘God provides the wind, but man must raise the sails.
St. Augustine (Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher)

15. ‘Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.
Baltasar Gracian (Spanish prose writer and philosopher)

16. ‘People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.
Lewis Cass (American military officer, politician and statesman)

17. ‘Let your performance do the thinking.
Charlotte Brontë (English novelist and poet)

18. ‘Well done is better than well said.
Benjamin Franklin (American president)

19. ‘Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Dale Carnegie (American writer and lecturer)

20. ‘Action is the antidote to despair.
Joan Baez (American singer, songwriter, musician and activist)

21. ‘Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission.
Zig Ziglar (American author, salesman and motivational speaker)

22. ‘There is only one proof of ability—action.
Marie Ebner-Eschenbach (Austrian writer)

23. ‘Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear.‘ Norman Vincent Peale (American minister and author)

24. ‘You won’t get much done if you only grind on the days you feel good.
Grant Cardone (American businessman, salesman, investor, real estate expert)

25. ‘There’s no such thing as perfect. Chasing ”Perfect” is the shortest road to not achieving it.
Gary Vaynerchuk (American wine expert, businessman, social media expert)

26. ‘All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.
Calvin Coolidge (American politician and lawyer, served as 30th president of United States)

27. ‘I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
Thomas Jefferson (American president)

28. ‘A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
Colin Powell (American statesmen and former army general)

29. ‘The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!
Marvin Phillips (American professional basketball player)

30. ‘Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Austrian-American actor, filmmaker, businessman, author, philanthropist activist, politician and former professional body builder)

31. ‘Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
Abraham Lincoln (American president)

32. ‘Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding.
Jim Valvano (American college basketball player, coach and broadcaster)

33. ‘Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.
Jim Rohn (American businessman, motivational speaker)

34. ‘The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.
Ayn Rand (Russian-American writer and philosopher)

35. ‘If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.
Hershel Walker (Former American football player, bobsledder, sprinter, ballet dancer & mixed martial artist)

36. ‘Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.
Bo Jackson (Former baseball and American football player)

37. ‘Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.
George Halas (American football coach, player and owner of Chicago Bears)

38. ‘Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.
Pele (Retired Brazilian professional football player)

39. ‘You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
Jack London (American novelist, journalist and social activist)

40. ‘I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
Stephen Covey (American author, educator, businessman)


There you have it! 80 motivational quotes to get you running to the very best of your ability and keep you going.
Bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need motivation. I promise you it will help. Happy running!

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