Inspiring Running Quotes

running quotes

Running quotes can be powerful motivation for runners, whether they’re just getting started with running, training for a big race, or in the middle of a marathon.

Here are some of my favorite motivational running quotes. Put quotes you love (running or non-running related) in places you can see them easily — on your phone, bathroom mirror, social media — so you have frequent motivation boosts throughout the day. Write inspiring running quotes in your running journal or training log so you see them when you’re recording your workouts.

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must – just never give up.”
Dean Karnazes, ultramarathoner and author

“Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.”
-Sarah Condor

“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, four-time Olympic gold medalist

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest.”
Haruki Murakami, author of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“Love yourself, for who and what you are; protect your dream and develop your talent to the fullest extent.”​
-Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic women’s marathon gold medalist

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

“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, running writer

“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.”
-Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

“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.”
-Dr. George Sheehan, best-selling running author

“Never limit where running can take you. I mean that geographically, spiritually, and of course, physically.”
-Bart Yasso

“Running is that big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'”
Peter Maher, Olympic marathoner

“The benefits and opportunities of running are available to anyone. You don’t have to be born a natural athlete, and you don’t have to be uniquely gifted. A life-shaping experience is there for the taking, waiting right outside your door.”
Donald Buraglio, in The Running Life

“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

“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, U.S. Olympic runner and running legend

“That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.”
-Kara Goucher, U.S. Olympic women’s marathoner

“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

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great!”
Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own

“Relish the bad training runs. Without them it’s difficult to recognize, much less appreciate, the good ones.”
-Pat Teske

“Out on the roads, there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.”
-George Sheehan

“Running has taught me, perhaps more than anything else, that there’s no reason to fear starting lines…or other new beginnings.”
-Amby Burfoot

“There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But you take a drink of water, and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.”
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

“To know you are one with what you are doing, to know that you are a complete athlete, begins with believing you are a runner.”
-Dr. George Sheehan

“Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.”
-Julie Isphording, American distance runner

“Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.”
-John Bingham

“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…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.”
-Roger Bannister, first sub-four-minute mile runner

“You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”
Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run


More Running Quotes:

Quotes to Inspire a Running Habit

Funny Quotes About Running

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