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Best motivational marathon quotes

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Best motivational marathon quotes
July 30, 2019 Anniversary Wishes For Parents 1 comment

Here are 12 inspiring quotes that any runner can relate to: The Greatest Pleasure in Life is Doing What People Say You Cannot Do.

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Motivation can come in many forms: a family member or friend, running short films, podcasts or audiobooks, signing up for a race or motivational quotes. Sometimes it’s a combination of all of the above. I enjoy all of the above. But today, I’m focusing on motivational quotes. I have a vintage chalkboard in my kitchen which I love to write motivational quotes on. I choose a new quote every couple of months, or sometimes sooner if one isn’t producing the required results.

My two favourite running quotes

1. If it is meant to be, it is up to me…

This isn’t exactly a “running quote” but it does motivate me. During the Stirling Marathon, my mum messaged to say, “if it is meant to be, it is up to me“. It’s so apt. If I want a PB, if I want to finish, then it is up to me to train, to be prepared and to have focus.

2. Every morning in Africa…

“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, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

A shortened version of this comment by Christopher McDougall sat on my chalkboard in the lead up to the Stirling Marathon. It was a great motivator to getting myself outdoors and running before the hot summer sun rose. This quote turned me into a morning runner.

40+ motivational quotes from other runners

I’ve been asking the running community a lot of questions lately because they’re so helpful! Check out some of my other posts where the running community has helped out:

I returned to the running community to ask for their favourite running quotes and they came up with 40+ motivational quotes. Let’s get into them and be sure to write down any you love and take them on your next run. And remember, some of these you can find on a t-shirt.

The quotes that motivate other runners:

  1. The first mile is a liar. Don’t ever trust it.
  2. Don’t let fatigue make a coward out of you – Steve Prefontaine.
  3. Embrace the suck.
  4. Hills are simple math. The faster you run, the faster to the top.
  5. If it’s not fun, you’re doing it wrong – Groucho Marx.
  6. Run the mile you’re in.
  7. If you can, you must.
  8. Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up – Dean Karnazes.
  9. Shut up legs.
  10. Up is the new flat.
  11. Oxygen is overrated.
  12. Your mind will test you long before your body does.
  13. Don’t break yourself.
  14. Hills are speed work in disguise – Frank Shorter.
  15. Get over it. It’s just a hill.
  16. Run here, run now.
  17. Do what you can with what you have where you are – Theodore Roosevelt.
  18. It never always gets worse – Dr Horton.
  19. Train hard, race easy.
  20. You’ve come too far to only comes this far.
  21. All it takes is all you got – Marc Davis.
  22. This race ain’t going to run itself.
  23. Just keep moving.
  24. Pain hurts, but it won’t kill me.
  25. Always do what you are afraid to do – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  26. You never regret it when you do, you always regret when you don’t.
  27. If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.
  28. He who feared he would not succeed sat still – Horace.
  29. If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right – Henry Ford.
  30. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
  31. Believe in yourself.
  32. I didn’t sign up for the 401k at work. There is no way I’m running that far.
  33. She believed she could so she did.
  34. If the bone ain’t showing, keep going!
  35. Suck it up, buttercup.
  36. Pick up your feet.
  37. I paid to do this!
  38. Run for those who can’t.
  39. It hurts up to a point and then it doesn’t get any worse – Ann Trason.
  40. If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon – Emil Zatopek.
  41. It’s not a great day until I workout.

Why not save and print some of these motivational quotes?

Have a motivational quote that gets you up and going and it’s not on this list? Add a comment so I can include it for other readers.

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Tagged 40+ motivational running quotes, runner, Running

Here are my favorite motivational quotes about moving forward/running: 1. “It does not What are some of the best ANTI motivational quotes? 1,484 Views.

35 Motivational Running Quotes for Extra Inspiration

best motivational marathon quotes

Having a rough day? Need some running motivation?

It happens to everyone.

Low-motivation days are normal, and happen to runners all the time.

But how do you move forward? How do you power through it and get back on track?

I always start with reading inspirational running quotes.


Inspiration makes me happy and gives me energy.

Energy gives me motivation.

Motivation makes me lace up the ole running sneakers and run.

And BOOM. I’ve powered through the low-energy moment.


Ready to Get Your Running Motivation Back?

Read these 6 inspiring quotes (and then we’ll talk about additional ways to find that elusive running motivation if reading quotes doesn’t do the trick).


Running Quote #1

“Running has taught me that I’m capable of so much more than I ever imagined”

I love this quote because it’s SO TRUE.

I wasn’t a runner until recently. Before that, I couldn’t even run 2 miles.

But one day I decided my goal for the year would be to run a 10 Miler.

So I signed up. Trained for it. And ran it!

I NEVER would have dreamed of running 10 miles when I was younger….but I did, and it was amazing.

What has running taught you? Did running ever make you feel super capable?


Running Quote #2

“Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.” – Julie Isphording (former Olympic runner)

I love long runs.

I’ve also acquired a deep appreciation for making running a habit.

So what does that mean?

It means I love to run long, and I love to run often.

But sometimes after tough weeks or months-long training cycles, I need a break.

And that break from running…it makes me love running more.


Because I want running to be joyful. Not a forced task. And if it starts to feel that way…it’s break time.

So remember to keep the joy in your running routine. This quote reminds me to do just that!


Running Quote #3

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” -Fred DeVito

Runners know the meaning of this quote very well!

Speed workouts? A challenge.

Hill workouts? A challenge.

Race day? A challenge.

But guess what?

Every one of those challenges makes you a better runner. Your body (and mind) gets stronger when faced with challenges.

So remember to embrace the challenges. In running, and in life.


Running Quote #4

“Running is alone time that lets my brain unspool the tangles that build up over days.” -Rob Haneisen

Nothing is more true.

I cherish alone time.  And running gives me the gift of alone time.

Are you upset? Go for a run.

Are you sad? Go for a run.

Are you happy? Go for a run.

Unspool your thoughts. Work through it. Allow yourself to think and feel without interruption. It’s a magical thing.


Running Quote #5

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

This is one of my favorite running quotes because it reminds me to be resilient and persistent.

Running isn’t always easy.

For example, during my first half marathon, I tweaked my knee around mile 6.

That means I had 7.1 miles left, for those of you playing along at home.

I wanted to give up. My knee hurt. I was frustrated. And sad. And mad.

But I was absolutely determined to finish the race.

So I hobble-ran/walked the last 7.1 miles through gritted teeth (and occasional tears).

The pride I feel about finishing through adversity is indescribable.

Moral of the story: Never give up.


Running Quote #6

“The voice inside your head that says you can’t do this is a liar.” -Unkown

It’s true…that voice can be our worst enemy.

Or our biggest champion.

Ignore the negative voice. And change the dialog. You have that power.

Find a mantra or quote you like, and repeat it in your head when that voice in your head tries to say unhelpful things to you.

My favorite mantra: “She believed she could, so she did”.

It gets me through tough runs. Or tough races (like when I tweaked my knee half way through my first half marathon).

Use the power of your mind to help you instead of hurt you.


5 Other Ways to Get Your Running Motivation Back

In a running funk?


It happens to a lot of runners, for many reasons.

Sometimes we run too often and burn out, other times we train too hard and become tired.

Or, we take too much time off and can’t figure out how to get back into a rhythm.

No matter what the reason is…it sounds like you’re ready to get your running motivation back!

Try these:

  • Take the Pressure Off – maybe you need a break? It’s ok to reduce mileage or take an entire week off if you mentally (and physically) need it. Runners put so much pressure on themselves to hit goals, hit a certain weekly mileage or pace, that we sometimes over-do it. Get your motivation back with a break and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go afterwards!
  • Pick a New Goal or Sign Up for a Race – Or, alternately, sometimes we lack motivation because we haven’t been running enough and need a new goal to generate excitement. Pick a 5K (or whatever your favorite distance is) and sign up for a race! You’ll feel energized and excited to train.
  • Run with a Friend – Commit to running with a friend. That way, you won’t want to break the commitment by bailing. And sometimes the act of getting out and running opens the motivation floodgates.
  • Follow #runnersofinstagram on the Insta -You know all those happy runner posts on Instagram? The ones you kinda find annoying but yet secretly love? Scroll through some. See the excitement in the runners’ eyes. The accomplishments. Try not to get amped up about running after that. 🙂
  • Just Do 1 Mile – A last resort (but it works). Can’t work up the motivation to go for a longer run? Tell yourself you’ll just do 1 mile. Why does this work? 2 reasons. 1.) It takes the pressure off from feeling like you have to run many miles and 2.) It gets you dressed and out there, which usually leads to you running more than 1 mile anyway (but it’s still totally fine if you only run 1 mile!)

What are your running motivation secrets? Tell us in the comments!


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40 Motivational Running Quotes with Pictures

best motivational marathon quotes

Get motivated with our awesome running quotes. Running is a wonderful sport that brings us closer to sky, trees, and the wind. It is exhilarating and calming at the same time. See what these famous people say about running.

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

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going – Beverly Sills

Go fast enough to get there, but slow enough to see – Jimmy Buffett

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

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

Also Read: 40 Motivational Fitness Quotes Pictures

If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it. – Priscilla Welch

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

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

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

A champion is not made when he succeeds, a champion is made when you look back at the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months he has spent preparing

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

Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it. – Oprah Winfrey

With self-discipline most anything is possible. – Theodore Roosevelt

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

Every day is a good day when you run.  – Kevin Nelson

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. – Haruki Murakami

Set aside a time solely for running. Running is more fun if you don’t have to rush through it – Jim Fixx

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

I run because it’s my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I’m going where I’m going and I’m already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise… it’s a consistent reward for victory! – Sasha Azevedo

Also Read: 30 Inspirational Sports Quotes

My philosophy on running is: I don’t dwell on it, I do it – Joan Benoit Samuelson

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 race does not always go to the swift, but to the ones who keep running.

It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

Also Read: Motivational Quotes

When it’s pouring rain and you’re bowling along through the wet, there’s satisfaction in knowing you’re out there and the others aren’t. – Peter Snell

The runner must be a fanatic for hard work and enthusiastic enough to enjoy it – Franz Stampfl

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

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.

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

What is the purpose of any one workout? Enjoyment? Improvement? Coach said so? Whatever, the hour you run often is the best hour of the day. – Hal Higdon

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

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through. – Rosalynn Carter

Also Read: 20 + Confidence Quotes to Inspire You

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. – Lance Armstrong

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people. – Bill Bowerman

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. – Edward Stanley

To give anything less than your best is the sacrifice the gift. – Steve Prefonataine

The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. – John Bingham

Motivate your friends and family to run by sharing our pinnable running quotes. Enjoy your run today!

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That's why we've compiled a list of our favorite inspirational running this quote doesn't deal directly with running, but he makes a good point.

12 Inspiring Quotes for Runners

best motivational marathon quotes

Just like you, the writers and editors of Runner’s World live and breathe running. Also like most runners, we know there are lulls throughout the year when it can be difficult to wake up early, bust out the door when it’s frigid out or when it’s unbearably hot out, and get those miles logged.

So, if you still need an extra push, we’re big fans of mantras and other motivational quotes. Cheesy as it sometimes sounds, there is research that shows when you repeat a positive mantra or change your mindset with an uplifting quote, you’re able to push a little bit harder (and with less effort). And little tricks like that are completely necessary to help you in the months it takes to properly train for a marathon.

Because sometimes it’s just not enough to rely on music, Runner’s World has put together 30 quotes from a few towering figures in the sport of running that encapsulate what it means to train and race 26.2 miles, and what it takes to finish.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Best Running Motivation

Or, maybe you need motivational running quotes to remind you that yes, The power to transform a bad day into a good day; frustration into.

best motivational marathon quotes
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