58 Running Quotes to Motivate You Mile After Mile

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Editor’s note: I was a runner for 14 years before taking on a different physical challenge. This motivational piece is for my sister Tracy who accompanied me on the running path and became a marathoner, and my friend Tortilla who inspired me to compile this list of quotes.

1. “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

2. “My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.” – John Bryant

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

Related: Increase Your Recovery and Performance With a High Protein Diet

4. “They say a good love is one that sits you down, gives you a drink of water, and pats you on top of the head. But I say a good love is one that casts you into the wind, sets you ablaze, makes you burn through the skies and ignite the night like a phoenix; the kind that cuts you loose like a wildfire and you can’t stop running simply because you keep on burning everything that you touch! I say that’s a good love; one that burns and flies, and you run with it!” ― C. JoyBell C.

Runner5. “There are two goddesses in your heart,” he told them. “The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous, and follow you.” Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.” – Christopher McDougall

6. “Their hearts, lost in thought, slowly tick away time. When we pass each other on the road, we listen to the rhythm of each other’s breathing, and sense the way the other person is ticking away the moments.” – Haruki Murakami

7. “I wanna say something that I want you to remember for the rest of your life, OK? I want you to listen closely. I’m giving you a key to life right now, this is the key to life. The key to life, the key to life is running and reading. Oh right? Now listen very seriously, the key to life is running and reading. Right now, why running? When you’re running and you are there and you’re running there’s a little person that talks to you and that little person says “Oh, I’m tired”, “My lounge’s about to pop”, “I’m so hurt”, “I’m so tired”, “There’s no way I can possibly continue”. And you wanna quit. Right? That person, if you learn how to defeat that person when you’re running you will learn how to not quit when things get hard in your life. Running. Oh right? That’s the first key to life. Reading. The reason the reading is so important. There’ve been millions and billions and billions and gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you can have with your parents, with school, with a bully, with anything, there’s no problem you can have that someone hasn’t already solved and wrote about it in a book. So they keys to life are running and reading.” – Will Smith

8. “Movement is the essence of life.” – Bernd Heinrich

9. “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

10. “Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.” – Tim Noakes

11. “There are many challenges to long distance running, but one of the greatest is the question of where to put on’s house keys.” – Gabrielle Zevin

12. “If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” – Emil Zatopek

13. “When I go to the Boston Marathon now, I have wet shoulders—women fall into my arms crying. They’re weeping for joy because running has changed their lives. They feel they can do anything.” – Kathrine Switzer

14. “Elite runners are genetically gifted, sure, but without intense training, those gifts are wasted. Their training creates a strong work ethic that leaves humility in its wake. There are no short cuts in marathoning, so anyone who is a marathoner has worked hard.” – Jeff Horowitz

15. “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

Running

16. “But most of all I was inspired by the stirring examples of all the other runners. In some pictures they would seem like tiny dots in a mosaic, but each had a separate narrative starting a few months or a lifetime earlier and finishing that day in the New York City Marathon, the race with 37,000 stories.” – Mark Sutcliffe

17. “…Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere! We can scald dogs, put records out of reach! Make the stands gasp as we blow into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out! We can become God’s own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls! We can race dark Satan himself till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back straightaway….They’ll speak our names in hushed tones, ‘those guys are animals’ they’ll say! We can lay it on the line, bust a gut, show them a clean pair of heels. We can sprint the turn on a spring breeze and feel the winter leave our feet! We can, by God, let our demons loose and just wail on!” – John L. Parker Jr.

18. “But I also realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.” – Meb Keflezighi

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

20. “Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance-you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet.” – Doris Brown Heritage

21. “I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” – Ronald Rook

22. “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

23. “The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat.” – Bill Squires

24. “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

Runner25. “Even though I can’t tell others whether they should chase their marathon dreams, I highly recommend they do something completely out of character, something they never in a million years thought they’d do, something they may fail miserably at. Because sometimes the places where you end up finding your true self are the places you never thought to look. That, and I don’t want to be the only one who sucks at something.” – Dawn Dais

26. “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. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long as where we are is as good as where we’d like to be. That’s not to say that you need to be satisfied forever with where you are today. But you need to honor what you’ve accomplished, rather than thinking of what’s left to be done.” – John Bingham

27. “A runner must run with dreams in his heart.” – Emil Zatopek

28. “At paces that might stun and dismay the religious jogger, the runners easily kept up all manner of chatter and horseplay. When they occasionally blew by a huffing fatty or an aging road runner, they automatically toned down the banter to avoid overwhelming, to preclude the appearance of show boating (not that they slowed in the slightest). They in fact respected these distant cousins of the spirit, who, among all people, had some modicum of insight into their own days and ways. But the runners resembled them only in the sense that a puma resembles a pussy cat. It is the difference between stretching lazily on the carpet and prowling the jungle for fresh red meat.” – John L. Parker Jr.

29. “The footing was really atrocious. I loved it. I really like Cross Country; you’re one with the mud.” – Lynn Jennings

30. “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

31. “I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards.” – Alberto Salazar

32. “Why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow. I want to learn to run fast.” – Emil Zatopek

33. “Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.” – John L. Parker Jr.

34. “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance, run, yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, and — which is more — you’ll be a man, my son.” – Rudyard Kipling

35. “Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.” – Steve Prefontaine

36. “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

37. “If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.” – Christopher McDougall

38. “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

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

40. “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

41. “Everything you need is already inside.” – Bill Bowerman

42. “Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.” – Julie Isphording

43. “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

44. “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.” – Kathrine Switzer

45. “Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.” – Tim Noakes

46. “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

47. “Running strips life back to the bare essentials. When we challenge ourselves, it breaks down barriers. It brings us back to our essence and peels away the layers of ego we surround ourselves with. Many a grown man or woman will cry during or when finishing a marathon: long regarded as the ultimate achievement in the running world. Emotions flow freely, the struggle is obvious and most of the competition is with yourself.” – Grahak Cunningham

48. “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

49. “Every run is a work of art, a drawing on each day’s canvas. Some runs are shouts and some runs are whispers. Some runs are eulogies and others celebrations. When you’re angry, a run can be a sharp slap in the face. When happy, a run is your song. And when your running progresses enough to become the chrysalis through which your life is viewed, motivation is almost beside the point. Rather, it’s running that motivates you for everything else the day holds.” – Dagny Scott Barrios

50. “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

51. “But you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.” – Christopher McDougall

52. “I have met my hero, and he is me.” – George Sheehan

53. “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

54. “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

55. “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” ― John Bingham

56. “I always thought of running as just dancing forward.” – Tom Hiddleston

57. “If one could run without getting tired I don’t think one would often want to do anything else.” – C.S. Lewis

58. “Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see.” – Jimmy Buffett

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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.