20 motivational running quotes that are guaranteed to get you up and out the door

When it comes to running, there are few things more important than motivation. And, when you’re training for an event it’s not always easy to get yourself up and out the door time and again.

While running motivation can be found by running in groups, in podcasts or watching an awesome documentary, it can also be found through motivational running quotes. Seriously, sometimes all that’s needed is a few wise words and you’ll have your trainers on before you know it.

Here’s our top 20 motivational running quotes:

1. George A. Sheehan

The music of a marathon is a powerful strain, one of those tunes of glory. It asks us to forsake pleasures, to discipline the body, to find courage, to renew faith, and to become one’s own person, utterly and completely.”

2. Mo Farah

It has been a long journey, but if you dream and have the ambition and want to work hard, then you can achieve.”

Mo Farah, Olympic Runner

3. Lucy Bartholomew

Take your time and bask in the journey of running: this is where the growth happens and the best feelings are created.”

Lucy Bartholomew, ultra runner

4. Dame Kelly Holmes

Sometimes, when I walk out onto the track I think, ‘What am I doing here? Why do I put myself through this?’ But that’s when you really get into your focus… you focus on the race you are going to run.”

Dame Kelly Holmes, Olympic Athlete

5. William Sigei

Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder.”

Credit: Getty Images/Gray Mortimore

6. Paula Radcliffe

Never set limits, go after your dreams, don’t be afraid to push the boundaries. And laugh a lot – it’s good for you!”

7. Alistair Humphreys

“Running has in different times and in different ways, provided an alternative for many things in my life; for alcohol, dancing, sex, brainstorming, meditation, counselling, religion, confession, even adventure. And all this, for the price of a pair of shoes.”

8. Usain Bolt

Worrying gets you nowhere. If you turn up worrying about how you’re going to perform, you’ve already lost. Train hard, turn up, run your best and the rest will take care of itself.

9. Beau Miles

“People ask why, they always do. And you lie and say whatever sounds good. There are some simple answers. For the ease of it; just tying a few simple knots in your shoes and turning a door handle or, of starting, being able to run anywhere between normal life.”

10. Sean Conway

If you’re thinking about starting an adventure or doing something challenging then set up the Just Giving page NOW! Just get started, set up a website, tell your friends, put it in post-it notes on your mirror, follow through with it! Let’s be honest, if you have a reason not to do something, then you might not do it.”

11. Emma Kirk-Odunubi

Not every run is record breaking and I rarely focus on time in my runs – I focus on how they make me feel. If you are starting or intrigued in starting that’s the mindset you should have – how you feel.”

12. Julie Isphording

“Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.”

13. Dean Karnazes

Running is about finding your inner peace, and so is a life well lived.”

14. Jesse Owens

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.”

15. Jessica Ennis-Hill

If you think you’re done, you always have at least 40 percent more.”

16. Susan Sidoriak

I dare you to train for a marathon, and not have it change your life.”

17. Natasha Hastings

You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you take that first step and just go for it.”

18. Alice Liveing

Nobody can kick start your motivation for you. I can show up for my classes, I can shout at you to keep going, but in reality it’s you who needs to show up for you

19. Brittany O’Neill

I was prepared to fail and had given myself permission to walk it if I had to. But at the same time I thought if I could just keep running, no matter how slow, that counted.”


20. Haruki Murakami 

“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level.”

Feeling inspired to run? I’d hope so, let us know in the comments what quotes or inspirational figures help to motivate you.

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Briony is a writer currently living in London. While she spends a lot of time hunched over a desk trying to craft sentences, her other passion is running. She enjoys setting her own goals and is currently training for her second half marathon.

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