Running Motivational Quotes

Champion Marathon and Cross Country Runners

"Often I visualize a quicker, like almost a ghost runner, ahead of me with a quicker stride. It's really crazy. In races, this always happens to me. I see the vision of a runner ahead of me, maybe just 15, 20 meters ahead of me, and the cadence of that runner, which is actually me in the future, is a little quicker, so if I am going (his rhythm/breathing), then my ghost runner, the vision of me, ahead of me, like opening up and just going for it, is quicker".
Gabe Jennings

 

Mind is everything: muscle - pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind.
Paavo Nurmi

 

Distance running mental training

 

Some people create with words, or with music, or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, "I've never seen anyone run like that before." It's more then just a race, it's a style. It's doing something better then anyone else. It's being creative.
Steve Prefontaine

 

"The longer the race, the shorter the champ."
Manciata

 

"No one can say, 'You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.' The human spirit is indomitable."
Roger Bannister

 

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win."
Roger Bannister

"The mile has all the elements of a drama."
Roger Bannister

 

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice The Gift".
Steve Prefontaine

 

I dont just go out there and run. I like to give people watching something exciting.
Steve Prefontaine

 

"I've always felt that long, slow distance produces long, slow runners."
Sebastian Coe

 

A lot of people run a race to see who's the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.
Steve Prefontaine

 

"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, U.S. Olympian

 

"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"
Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

 

"To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who has never run it is like trying to explain color to someone who was born blind."Jerome Drayton

"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 runner to run a sub-4 minute mile

 

"Ask yourself: 'Can I give more?'. The answer is usually: 'Yes'."
Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner

 

Having a true faith is the most difficult thing in the world. Many will try to take it from you. Steve Prefontaine

Pain is weakness leaving your body.
USMC

 

If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me down, because that means I didnt run hard enough.
Steve Jones

 

Run so hard you come in with bloody feet and missing toenails. Rob De Castella -

"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

 

"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"
Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

 

"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."
Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile

 

Few of us know what we are capable of doing... we have never pushed ourselves hard enough to find out.
Alfred A. Montapert

 

There is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.
Bill Bowerman

 

"If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got"
Mark Twain

 

 

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"In my 1976 Training Diary there is a photo of Jack Nicholson from 'One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest.' It's a facial shot of him trying to pull out the drinking trough and use it to smash one of the barred windows to escape. One of the other patients said: 'dont be stupid, you cant do that.' Jack replied, 'Yes I can, anything is possible.' He strained his guts out working at it for a few minutes with the veins sticking out of his neck. Of course he couldnt move the bloody thing. They all said: 'We told you that you couldnt do it.' Nicholson looked at them and said: 'At least I tried, you bastards.' To me that summarizes what I think about life."
Chris Wardlaw, Australian marathon runner

 

The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.
Juma Ikangaa, Tanzania

Good things come slow - especially in distance running.
Bill Dellinger, coach

 

All top international athletes wake up in the morning feeling tired and go to bed feeling very tired.
 Brendan Foster

 

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

 

Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.
Tom Fleming’s Boston Marathon training sign on his wall

 

I don’t train. I just run my 3-15 miles a day.
Jack Foster

 

The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat.
Bill Squires

 

Everyone in life is looking for a certain rush. Racing is where I get mine.
John Trautmann

 

The mile has a classic symmetry....It's a play in four acts.
John Landy

 

I wanted to run my race. I didnt want to sit there and play games and see who could kick the hardest. I wanted it to be a race.
 Marla Runyan, Olympian

 

I am going to go and leave my blood all over the track.
Nick Rogers, Olympian

 

Big occasions and races which have been eagerly anticipated almost to the point of dread, are where great deeds can be accomplished.
 Jack Lovelock

 

Fear is the strongest driving-force in competition. Not fear of one’s opponent, but of the skill and high standard which he represents; fear too, of not acquitting oneself well. In the achievement of greater performances, of beating formidable rivals, the athlete defeats fear and conquers himself.
 Franz Stampfl

 

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 Plummer

 

The pride you gain is worth the pain.
 Dennis Ogilvie

 

Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like muscles of the body.
Lynn Jennings

 

Dream barriers look very high until someone climbs them. Then they are not barriers anymore.
Lasse Viren

 

Hills are speedwork in disguise.
Frank Shorter

 

Running hills breaks up your rhythm and forces your muscles to adapt to new stresses. The result? You become stronger.
 Eamonn Coghlan

 

If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want—Why? Because (a) you’ll burn all the calories you consume, (b) you deserve it, and (c) you’ll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway.
 Don Kardong

 

"A lot of people dont realize that about 98 percent of the running I put in is anything but glamorous: 2 percent joyful participation, 98 percent dedication! It's a tough formula. Getting out in the forest in the biting cold and the flattening heat, and putting in kilometer after kilometer."
Rob de Castella

 

Only think of two things - the gun and the tape. When you hear the one, just run like hell until you break the other.
 Sam Mussabini

 

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
 Doug Larson

 

No negative thoughts cross my mind on race day. When I look into their eyes, I know I am going to beat them.
 Danny Harris

 

Tough times dont last but tough people do.
 A.C. Green

 

We cant all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.
 Will Rogers

 

Stadiums are for spectators. We runners have nature and that is much better.
Juha Väätäinen, Cross Country Runner

 

You don’t run against a bloody stop watch, do you hear? A runner runs against himself, against the best that's in him. Not against a dead thing of wheels and pulleys. That's the way to be great, running against yourself. Against all the rotten mess in the world. Against God, if you’re good enough.
Bill Persons

 

There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be.
 George Sheehan

 

Your toughness is made up of equal parts: persistence and experience. You don’t so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head.
Joe Henderson

 

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It is true that speed kills. In distance running, it kills anyone who does not have it.
Brooks Johnson

 

Some individuals dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.
Beth Lukens

 

Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those doing it. Michael Johnson’s trainer

Games require skill. Running requires endurance, character, pride, physical strength, and mental toughness. Running is a test, not a game. A test of faith, belief, will, and trust in ones self. So hardcore that it needs a category all to itself to define the pain. When game players criticize, it's because they aren't willing to understand, not because they're stronger. Running is more than a sport; it's a lifestyle. If you have to ask us why we run, you'll never understand, so just accept.
Jessica Propst

 

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.
George Sheehan

 

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

 

The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.
Roger Bannister

 

We fear the things we want the most.
Robert Anthony

 

People cant understand why a man runs. They dont see any sport in it. Argue it lacks the sight and thrill of body contact. Yet, the conflict is there, more raw and challenging than any man versus man competition. For in running it is man against himself, the cruelest of opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability, with brain and heart to master himself and his emotions.
Glenn Cunningham

 

To be number one, you have to train like your number two.
Maurice Green

 

"My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: 'Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you'll win....Channel your energy. Focus.'"
Carl Lewis

 

"Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn't matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving."
Maurice Greene - Distance Running / Sprinting / Track & Field

 

Why do I run? Why do I Breathe?
Nike ad

 

This is the truth. The clock doesn't stop until you force it to. That is the elegant beauty of track. It is the simplest, and hardest, of sports. Hear a gun go off, and run fast. That's the simple part. The hard part is, run faster than anybody else out there. This is the truth. The clock will run until somebody makes it stop. It might as well be you, dont you think?
ASICS ad

 

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

 

The will to win means nothing if you haven't the will to prepare.
Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner

 

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.
Jacqueline Gareau Boston Marathon champion 1980

 

There are people who have no bodies, only heads. And many athletes have no heads, only bodies. A champion is a man who has trained his body and his mind, who has learned to conquer pain for his own purposes. A great athlete is at peace with himself and at peace with the world; he has fulfilled himself. He envies nobody. Wars are caused by people who have not fulfilled themselves.
Coach Sam Dee

 

It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.
Emil Zatopek

 

Top results are reached only through pain. But eventually you like this pain. You'll find the more difficulties you have on the way, the more you will enjoy your success.
Juha Vaatainen

 

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

 

Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I dont think about them, I just do them. The decision has already been made.
Patti Sue Plumer

 

I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.
 Mike Fanelli

 

My whole feeling in terms of racing is that you have to be very bold. You sometimes have to be aggressive and gamble.
Bill Rodgers

 

A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways as they're capable of understanding.
 Steve Prefontaine

 

Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.
Escher

 

"Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity."
Michael Johnson

 

 

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"The gun goes off and everthing changes... the world changes... and nothing else really matters."
Patti Sue Plummer

 

"No negative thoughts cross my mind on race day. When I look into their eyes, I know I am going to beat them."
Danny Harris

 

"It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys."
Emil Zatopek

 

"Top results are reached only through pain. But eventually you like this pain. You'll find the more difficulties you have on the way, the more you will enjoy your success."
Juha Vaatainen

 

"I prefer to remain in blissful ignorance of the opposition. That way I am not frightened by anyone's reputation."
Ian Thompson

 

"Once you're beat mentally, you might was well not even go to the starting line."
Todd Williams

 

"Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win."
Tom Fleming

 

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
John Wooden

 

One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential.
Maya Angelou

 

Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.
Christian Bovee

 

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
Luis Escobar

 

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

 

You dont run 26 miles at five minutes a mile on good looks and a secret recipe.
Frank Shorter

 

Runners dont run with their legs, they run ON their legs. In reality, they run with their Arms!
Percy Cerutti

 

Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I dont think about them, I just do them. The decision has already been made.
Patti Sue Plumer

 

Those who say that I will lose and am finished will have to run over my body to beat me."
Said Aouita

 

If it hurts, make it hurt more.
Percy Cerutty

 

You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone.
Percy Cerutty

 

Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves - to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.
Stewart B.

 

Explore your limits and get to know yourself. You'll never feel more real than after the hardest workout, the longest run, the toughest week, or the best race of your life. Constantly make your own standards tougher.
Luke Watson

 

When in races, take a chance, it is better than wondering what you could have done.
Jonathon Riley

 

You're running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You're delirious. But you keep running because there's no way out of this hell you're in, because there's no way you're not crossing the finish line. It's a misery that non-runners dont understand.
Martine Costello

 

I had a dual goal in my running that was to win and to achieve excellence, so I was never happy with a slow tactical time. If the race were slow I would get in front and pull it up again. I couldnt stand a slow race. A lot of people seem to get screwed up on tactics. There is only one tactic in a race and that is to always be in a position where you can win it.
Herb Elliott

 

Many runners worry about who is in the race, or they think about the time they must run to win. I only try to run as fast as I am capable - nothing less.
Henry Rono

 

If I am going to get in these races and run against the best guys, I am going to be there with them. And if I die, then I die, but I am not going to walk away from the track saying, 'I didnt give everything.' Ever again.
David Krummenacker

 

Training is very simple. It's like lifting weights or studying. The harder you work, the better you get. I ran a race faster every year I raced. If someone beat me, it was because they were training harder than me. I looked at what others were doing, saw what I could use and did a little more. I enjoyed going out on the track and putting in a workout that I hadnt done before, or that I thought no one else in the world was doing. The races took care of themselves - I got to where I looked forward to them because the pain didnt last as long.
George Young

 

 

 

 

 

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