40 Running quotes to motivate you for your next run

40 motivational running quotes from a wide variety of athletes and all-around inspirational people.

You didn't come this far to only come this far (motivational running quote)

Getting out the door to run or hit your next workout can sometimes be tough. Here’s a list of 40 running quotes guaranteed to make you lace up your shoes and hit the road.

Use this blog post as a resource, save it for later, and return for that much-needed running motivation from time to time!

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional”

– Hauruki Murakami (writer)

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”

-Lance Armstrong (seven times tour de France winner)

There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”

-Derek Jeter (chief executive of Miami Marlins)

An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.”

-Emil Zatopek (long-distance runner, well known for winning three gold medals at the 1952 summer Olympics in Helsinki)

Elite runners running a race

“Don’t dream of winning, train for it.”

-Mohamed Farah (2012 Olympic gold medallist 5,000 & 10,000m)

I always believed. And when you do that, life can get unbelievable”

-Jessica Ennis (three-time heptathlon world champion)

Sometimes when you get disappointed it makes you stronger”

-David Rudisha (2-time world champion and world record holder in the 800m)

Dreams are free. Goals have a cost. While you daydream for free, goals don’t come without a price. Time, effort, sacrifice, and sweat. How will you pay for your goals?”

-Usain Bolt (100m world record holder and often considered the greatest sprinter of all time)

Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions.”

-Eliud Kipchoge (marathon world record holder: 2:01:39 hours)

Group of people running a race“Pursue what’s in your heart, and the universe will conspire to support you.”

-Rich Roll (author of Finding Ultra, ultra runner, and plant-based living enthusiast)

If you don’t think you were born to run you’re not only denying history. You’re denying who you are.”

-Christopher Mcdougall (author, with books including, Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes)

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 Radcliffe (fastest female marathoner of all time)

I just felt like running.”

-Forrest Gump – one of the best and most classic running quotes of all-time, it would almost be a crime not to include this one… (the character played by Tom Hanks in the film ‘Forrest Gump’)

Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there. When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time. My father thought sport was something fun – he didn’t know it was a way to make money.”

-Haile Gebrselassie (two Olympic gold medals over 10,000m and four world championship titles)

When I run-up to the hurdles, I’m very nervous, but I’ll tend to think about technical things to keep my mind focused. I wasn’t the kind of kid who would get A’s without even trying. I had to work to get good grades, but I was very organised about it because I always wanted to do well at everything I did.”

-Jessica Ennis (three-time heptathlon world champion)

Woman running a marathon

“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

-Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky saga)

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 (arguably the greatest bodybuilder of all time)

What I’ve learned from running is that the time to push hard is when you’re hurting like crazy and you just want to give up. Success is often just around the corner.”

-James Dyson (founder of Dyson Ltd)

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

-Fred Devito (vice president of mind-body training)

Most people never run enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.”

-William James (American philosopher, labelled as the father of American psychology)

There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession.”

-Conor Mcgregor (professional mixed martial artist and boxer)

Two women competing in a running race“Keep listening to your body. It’ll tell you when something’s not okay.” 

-Emily Infeld (American long-distance runner)

If you concentrate on the rear mirror, you’ll crash and cause an accident.” 

-Eliud Kipchoge (marathon world record holder: 2:01:39 hours)

If you want to be the best, you have to do things that other people aren’t willing to do.” 

-Michael Phelps (Olympic American swimmer and most decorated Olympian of all-time)

You can be in the shape of your life, then injury strikes. So you have to grab your opportunities.” 

-Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Olympic British Heptathlon athlete)

Growth only happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. Whether you step outside or you’re forced outside, you’re guaranteed the growth if you stay out there long enough.” 

-James Aspey (Australian animal rights activist and lecturer)

The most important conversation is the one you have with yourself.” 

-David Goggins (former navy seal and “toughest man alive.”)

Everybody wants a quick fix. You may get results, but they won’t be permanent. The permanent results come from you having to suffer.” 

-David Goggins

Man running in a running race

“Running unites us. At one point, every culture on earth relied on running. It’s baked into our DNA.” 

-Sanjay Rawal (American film director)

You find the most honest version of yourself in complete exhausation.” 

-Ross Edgley (Ultra-marathon sea swimmer and author)

I hated every minute of training, but I said: “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion.” 

-Muhammad Ali (Professional American boxer)

Every single one of us possesses the strength to attempt something he isn’t sure he can accomplish. It can be running a mile, or a 10k race, or 100 miles.”

-Scott Jurek (Professional ultra-endurance runner, author, and public speaker)

Get going… walk if you have too, but finish the damned race.”

-Ron Hill (English running and clothing entrepreneur)

Some people train knowing they’re not working as hard as other people. I can’t fathom how they think.”

-Alberto Salazar (Former world-class long-distance runner & Olympic American running coach)

I have come to appreciate that great beauty lies in destruction.”

-Rich Roll (author of Finding Ultra, ultra runner, and plant-based living enthusiast)

I’m the champion, and to stay ahead, I have to work harder.”

-Mohamed Farah (2012 Olympic gold medallist 5,000 & 10,000m)

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will acomplish nothing in life.” 

-Muhammad Ali (Professional American boxer)

If you don’t have answers to your problems after a 4-hour run, you ain’t getting them.”

-Christopher Mcdougall (author, books include Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes)

Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.

– Christopher Mcdougall

To conclude

There’s no better way to motivate yourself before running than some inspirational running quotes. Use this blog post as a resource, something you can look back on when motivation is low. Be sure to share with others, helping them out the door when it’s cold, windy, or you simply can’t be bothered to run…

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