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66 Inspirational Running Quotes That Motivate You To RUN

A collection of timeless inspirational running quotes to boost your endurance, overcome adversity, and ensure you NEVER GIVE UP.

As an avid runner with over a decade of experience running marathons and ultramarathons around there world, I understand the importance of motivation, especially when it comes to staying consistent with my training.

Running quotes can provide that extra boost of inspiration, right when we need it the most.

In this post, I’ll share some of the most powerful words in running that have stayed with me over the years, techniques to incorporate these quotes into your training plan or routine, and ways to share the inspiration with others because together, we are stronger – and at the end of the day, we are all born to run.

Many of these quotes come from not runners or athletes, but inspiring leaders, survivalists, and adventurers who have a way with words and inspire others to explore more, adventure, and push their limits.

So many parallels can be drawn between seeking the motivation to run or achieve big, audacious running goals and challenges, and the motivation to overcome and succeed in other aspects of life.

Applying Inspirational Running Quotes to Your Training

Using Quotes as Motivation During Runs

Incorporating running quotes into your training can help you stay motivated during difficult moments. You can repeat these quotes in your mind, allowing them to serve as personal motivation.

For example, “Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be crossing the finish line.” This simple reminder can help you focus on the present moment and keep moving forward.

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Another strategy is to create a playlist with songs that feature inspiring lyrics or motivational speeches. Listening to this playlist while running can help you maintain a positive mindset and keep you pushing through challenging parts of your run.

Displaying Quotes in Your Environment

Another way to incorporate inspirational quotes for running into your daily routine is by displaying them in your environment. Consider creating posters, phone wallpapers, or sticky notes with your favorite quotes about running.

Seeing these words every day can remind you of your passion for running and inspire you to lace up your running shoes, even on a bad day.

You can also create a dedicated space for your running goals and achievements, incorporating quotes, race bibs, and medals to serve as a constant source of motivation and inspiration.

Supporting fellow runners by sharing these motivational quotes

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Sharing these running quotes with fellow runners can foster a sense of camaraderie and provide much-needed encouragement.

Whether it’s through social media, text messages, or in-person, offering words of wisdom can help others overcome their obstacles and continue on their running journey.

Running communities like running clubs, whether local or online, can provide a platform to share your favorite quotes and connect with like-minded individuals.

This support network can help keep you accountable and motivated, making it easier to stay consistent with your training.

Best running quotes collection

To help you stay motivated and inspired, we’ve compiled a collection of inspirational running quotes, funny running sayings, and the best short quotes that can resonate with every runner, no matter how fast or how far they run.

Here are some of the best running-related quotes but keep reading as we’ve added some really great ones later in this post relating to various types of struggles that will stick with you forever too.

  1. “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham
  2. “Run your race, and the rest of your life will fall into place.” – Unknown
  3. “Running is the best way to remind ourselves that we are alive, capable, and free.” – Dean Karnazes
  4. “Believe in yourself, and you can achieve anything.” – Kara Goucher
  5. “Running is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be.” – Unknown
  6. “The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.” – George Sheehan
  7. “Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.” – Oprah Winfrey
  8. “What seems hard now will one day be your warm-up.”Unknown
  9. “A short run is better than no run.”Unknown
  10. “A runner is real when she takes the first step.”Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  11. “Run like you stole something”Unknown
  12. “I breathe in strength and breathe out weakness.”Amy Hastings Cragg
  13. “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”Haruki Murakami
  14. “There will come a day when I can no longer run. Today is not that day.”Unknown
  15. “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”Dean Karnazes (The Ultramarathon Man)

By incorporating these quotes into your daily life and training, you can maintain a positive mindset, stay motivated, and inspire others to embark on their own running journey.

Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or just starting, the power of words can provide the fuel you need to push through challenges and reach new heights in your running endeavors.

Motivating and inspiring running quotes

Remember, every runner’s journey is unique, and motivational running quotes can serve as a powerful reminder of why we lace up our running shoes, hit the trails, and strive for greatness.

Keep these quotes close to your heart, share them with fellow runners, and let them inspire you to become the best runner you can be. Are you ready for more great quotes? Here goes…

Motivational and inspiring quotes for gaining perspective on the challenge you are facing – running or otherwise:

I think of these quotes as those that basically say – it’s a challenge/problem/difficult situation: get over it and deal with it! The authors of these quotes put this sentiment in a few different ways.

I say these to myself when I am tackling a steep, seemingly never-ending mountain on tired legs, in the heat with a dwindling amount of water – which happens fairly frequently.

  1. “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” – Nike advert
  2. “Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.” – David Mccullough Jr
  3. “Don’t stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done.” – Unknown
  4. “Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.” – George Whitefield
  5. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

That last Confucius quote is a great ultra running mantra if ever there was one. Just… keep… moving.

Running quotes about overcoming challenges, having self-belief, and pushing your limits

Long-distance running (that could be a 5k if you’re just getting started in your running training), for example, presents many challenges, and overcoming them is a testament to a runner’s resilience and determination.

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But with the right mindset, motivation, and support from well-written, mind-bending quotes for runners, you can conquer these obstacles, start running again if you’ve been on a break, and emerge stronger than before.

These inspirational quotes will help you overcome even the toughest of challenges:

  1. “It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela
  2. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  3. “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try” – John F Kennedy
  4. “Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” – Roy T. Bennett
  5. “Running is a lot like life. It’s not always easy, but the rewards make every step worth it.” – Unknown
  6. “When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.” – Unknown
  7. “I may not be the fastest or the strongest, but I run with my heart, and that’s what makes me unstoppable.” – Unknown
  8. “Running is not just an exercise; it’s a way of life.” – Joan Benoit Samuelson
  9. “You didn’t come this far to only get this far.” – Unknown
  10. “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” – T. S. Eliot
  11. “Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.” – Jerry Dunn
  12. “The danger of an adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort.” – Paolo Coelho
  13. “The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.” – Swati Sharma
  14. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
  15. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
  16. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.” – Mark Twain

Quotes for maintaining a positive attitude in any situation

So many things can be achieved if you have the right positive mindset (or PMA, ‘positive mental attitude’ as I like to call it) when you go about them.

You can see this in so many aspects of life, and the best representation I see is when I read books by endurance athletes and adventurers, as well as when I watch shows and documentaries about survivalists, such as the books featured in this list of the best survival books for ultrarunning mental strength.

Those who stay positive and creative tend to fare the best when it comes down to it – and let’s face it, sometimes an ultramarathon (or any long, hard run) can seem like a survival situation at times.

Running can be an excellent way to channel negative emotions and transform them into something positive. If you’re having a bad day, lace up your running shoes, hit the pavement (or trails), and let the act of running help you release your frustrations.

Here are some running quotes to keep in mind when you need to channel your energy and turn your day around:

  1. “Don’t waste your time looking back; you’re not going that way.” – Ragnar Lothbrok
  2. “Run when you’re sad, run when you’re happy, run when you’re angry. Running has the power to heal and transform.” – Unknown
  3. “Running is like life; it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other and keeping your eyes on the finish line.” – Unknown
  4. “Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.” – Unknown

Has there ever been more of a truth uttered than that last quote?!

I wish I knew who first said it. Proponents of Type 2 fun are experts at having the right attitude when it comes to defining what is an adventure vs. an ordeal.

By the way, if you’re wondering what ‘Type 2’ fun is, it can be summed up as something that isn’t ‘fun’ at the time but it certainly makes for an exciting story when it’s over – the type of fun that sits comfortably on the fine line between misery-inducing nightmare and epic, character-building adventure.

Here are some more quotes to help you maintain a positive attitude in any situation:

  1. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
  2. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
  3. “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” – Henry Ford
  4. “Success does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

As ever, Mahatma Gandhi hits the nail on the head. It is said that 90% of an ultramarathon is run with your mind.

I’m not sure if the percentage is right, but if your willpower and heart are not in it and you’re not fully committed, then you are less likely to succeed.

Cross the Finish Line: Celebrating Achievements

Whether you’re running your first 5k or preparing for a marathon, crossing the finish line is a significant accomplishment. Celebrate your victories, big and small, with these inspiring running quotes:

  1. “There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.” – Unknown
  2. “The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race.” – Unknown
  3. “Don’t be afraid to dream big, work hard, and cross that finish line with pride.” – Unknown
  4. “The only race that matters is the one you’re running right now.” – Unknown

Running sayings: Words of wisdom for every runner

In addition to motivational and inspirational running quotes, sometimes simple running sayings or short funny running quotes can provide valuable wisdom and insight.

Here are some running sayings to keep in mind as you embark on your running journey:

  1. “You CHOSE to do this. Be grateful that you’re here and appreciate the opportunity.” – Anna Frost
  2. “Run with your heart, not just your legs.” – Unknown
  3. “It’s not about how fast you go, but how far you’re willing to push yourself.” – Unknown
  4. “The only bad run is the one you didn’t do.” – Unknown
  5. “The best runs are the ones where you forget you’re running.” – Unknown
  6. “Running is the ultimate form of personal motivation. It’s just you, the road, and the will to keep going.” – Unknown

Running is an incredible journey filled with ups and downs, triumphs, and challenges.

By integrating these powerful running quotes and sayings into your daily routine, you can harness the power of words to stay motivated, inspired, and focused on your goals.

Remember, every step you take brings you closer to becoming the runner you’ve always dreamed of being. Keep pushing forward, embrace the journey, and never give up.

Embracing the Joy of Running

There is something truly magical about the act of running, whether your goal is to run faster, run long, lose weight, have a good workout for better health, OR simply RUN FOR FUN; running brings joy and a lot of satisfaction to countless runners worldwide.

As you continue on your running journey, allow yourself to embrace the love of running and all the incredible experiences it offers.

Here are some quotes to remind you why you love running:

  1. “I love running because it gives me the freedom to explore the world at my own pace.” – Unknown
  2. “Running is the perfect way to quiet the mind and let your soul speak.” – Unknown
  3. “The beauty of running is that it’s a constant reminder of the amazing things our bodies are capable of.” – Unknown
  4. “When I run, I feel alive, powerful, and unstoppable.” – Unknown

Making Every Run Count

Every run is an opportunity to grow, learn, and become a better version of yourself. By prioritizing your running goals and committing to your training, you can unlock your full potential as a runner.

Here are some running quotes to help you make the most of every run:

  1. “Today is a new day, a new run, and a new opportunity to become the best runner you can be.” – Unknown
  2. “You don’t have to go fast; you just have to go.” – Unknown
  3. “Every run is a chance to discover new strengths, overcome challenges, and celebrate victories.” – Unknown
  4. “One day, one run at a time – that’s all it takes to change your life.” – Unknown

Exploring different aspects of running

Running is a diverse and multifaceted activity that offers endless possibilities for growth, challenge, and enjoyment.

By exploring different aspects of running – from speed work and hill training to trail running and marathon racing – you can develop a well-rounded running experience that keeps you engaged and motivated.

Here are some quotes to inspire you to discover new aspects of running:

  1. “Running is a journey filled with endless opportunities for adventure, challenge, and personal growth.” – Unknown
  2. “There’s always something new to learn, discover, and achieve in the world of running.” – Unknown
  3. “The more you explore the world of running, the more you realize how truly limitless it is.” – Unknown
  4. “Never be afraid to try something new in your running journey. You might just find your new passion.” – Unknown

Running is a powerful and transformative activity that offers countless benefits to those who embrace it.

By incorporating motivational and inspirational running quotes into your daily routine, you can stay focused, inspired, and committed to achieving your goals.

Remember, every step you take brings you closer to becoming the best runner you can be. Keep pushing forward, believe in yourself, and never give up.

The Power of Words in Running

Running is more than just physical activity; it is a mental challenge that requires dedication and perseverance.

Hearing the right words, at the right time can inspire a runner to push through barriers, stay motivated, and achieve their goals whether they’re starting their running journey, in the middle of a long run, or hitting the wall during a marathon.

How Quotes Can Inspire

Motivating and inspiring running quotes

A well-timed inspirational quote can resonate with a runner, providing motivation and encouragement during tough times.

Whether it is a bad day or facing the many challenges of long-distance running, a quote can remind us of our love for running and the reasons we started in the first place.

With a vast array of running quotes available, there are a thousand reasons to keep running, and endless quotes that will connect with every runner’s emotions and experiences.

There are also a lot of average quotes that either don’t make sense or just don’t resonate like some others, needless to say, I’ve left them out of this post.

The Psychological Impact of Motivational Quotes

Motivational quotes have the power to influence our mindset and emotions. They can serve as a reminder of our goals, ignite our passion for running, and help us channel that energy into our training.

By focusing on these words, we can transform frustration into speed, allowing us to push through obstacles and become the best runner we can be.

Research has shown that positive affirmations and motivational quotes can improve our mood, boost self-esteem, and even enhance performance.

When we internalize these messages and repeat them to ourselves as mantras, our brain starts to believe in our abilities, making it easier to push through barriers and achieve our goals. FACT.

Creating Your Own Inspirational Running Quotes

Now it’s your turn to get creative and come up with some of your own quotes based on the struggles you may have faced and eventually overcome.

Crafting personal and meaningful running quotes can provide additional motivation and serve as a testament to your unique experiences.

Reflect on your accomplishments, challenges, and the reasons you love to run. Then, use these insights to create your own running sayings that resonate with you and inspire others.

Experiment with different styles, tones, and themes to create quotes that inspire and motivate you in a way that’s unique to your running journey. Have fun, and leave your quotes in the comments below! 🙂

If you enjoyed these motivating and inspiring running quotes, you may also enjoy some of the adventure, survival and running-themed books that I have read and enjoyed, too.

As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.


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