Running Quotes

Running quotes

“Our sport unifies, no matter what our pace, no matter how we race, from the front of the pack to those at the back, we all experience the excitement, the pain, and ultimately the joy of the race – in this way we always run together, this year in Boston it will mean even more.”
Desiree Davila 
“The most important force inside you for feeling better all the time is the will to get more fit.”
-Jeff Galloway
“You said I was weak. You said I couldn’t do it. Thank you. You gave me everything I needed to prove you wrong.”
-Steve Prefontaine
“Every time you sleep in, every time you miss a workout, every time you don’t give 100% You make yourself that much easier to beat.”
-Steve Prefontaine
“Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body.”
-Lynn Jennings
“Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.”-Monte Davis
“If there is an indispensable talent required for succeeding in this sport, it is the talent for getting one’s ass out the door every day!”
- Steve Boyd
Training is doing your homework. It’s not exciting. More often than not it’s tedious. There is certainly no glory in it. But you stick with it, over time and incrementally through no specific session, your body changes. Your mind becomes calloused to effort. You stop thinking of running as difficult or interesting or magical. It just becomes what you do. It becomes a habit.”
-Jeff Edmonds
“But the longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind – a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.”
-Scott Jurek

“That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.”

-Kara Goucher

“The more complex our lifestyle,the more we need a simple uncluttered routine.”

-Joe Henderson

“Running, one might say, is basically an absurd past-time upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning, in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team, chances are you will be able to find meaning in another absurd past-time: life.”

- Bill Bowerman

“The enduring satisfaction of distance running is not in records that will inevitably be broken, not in knowing that you were the best on a given day.

It lies in knowing that you have learned how to be brave and to do something better than you first thought you could, and perhaps in knowing you amazed a few people along the way.”

-Kenny Moore

“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.”

-Coach Sam Dee

“You have to know your body. It’s part of the beauty of the training process, and
once you’ve determined how much your body and mind can take, you can then begin
to reach your potential.”

-Frank Shorter

“When I went to the line in Hopkinton that morning, I didn’t know if I could win or not. But I was confident I would make some people hurt that day.”

- Greg Meyer

“You don’t run 26 miles at 5 minutes a mile on good looks and a secret recipe.”

-Frank Shorter

“Success isn’t how far you got, it’s how far you travelled from where you started.”

-Steve Prefontaine

“I do not run to add days to my life. I run to add life to my days.”

-Ronald Rook

“There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down, until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.”

-George Sheehan

“One late afternoon, after swimming in a lake, he began to jog around to ease his chill. Soon enough he found himself running for the sheer exhilaration of it, across the moor and toward the coast.

The sky filled with crimson clouds, and as he ran a light rain started to fall.  With the sun warming his
back, a rainbow appeared in front of him, and he seemed to run toward it. Along the coast the rhythm of the water breaking against the rocks eased him, and he circled back to where he had begun.  Cool, wet air filled his lungs.

Running into the sun now, he had trouble seeing the ground underneath his feet, but still he rushed forward, alive with the movement.  Finally spent as the sun disappeared from the horizon, he tumbled down a light hill and rested on his back, his feet bleeding, but feeling rejuvenated. He needed to reconnect to the joy of running, to get away from the tyranny of the track”

- Neil Bascombe – The Perfect Mile

“We may train or peak for a certain race, but running is a lifetime sport.”

-Alberto Salazar

“Most athletes are ready to make an effort in a race. Few are ready to carry
their efforts through months or years of training and racing.”

-Joe Vigil

“Remember that failure is part of the process of successful running. Performance is a roller coaster; to think otherwise is irrational and will cause you much stress and discouragement. Lighten up on yourself. Ups and downs can be expected. The performance of most serious runners fluctuates by the week. You win some, you lose some; some days you’re hot, some days you’re not. Don’t fight with yourself when failure, the teacher, pays an unexpected visit. Open up to learning from it.”

-Jerry Lynch

“I am seeking an inner satisfaction that only I can determine, not the recognition of applause, headlines or a lot of money. Running is not my job. Running is not, for me, working, though surely it is, at times, hard work. Running for me is a form of self-expression. Though I don’t necessarily intend it as such, it is a statement of who I am and a lot of what I hope to be, even if what I become takes me away from running. Running is the absolute in my life, and I admit to its control over me – a control that may not always seem to be in my best interests, but then, who is to say? Above all else I run for fun, for the expansive feeling I get from running, and while that feeling is enhanced by winning, it is not enhanced by the prospect of being paid for it.”

- Frank Shorter

“When we feel good, look good, and are alert and productive, our bodies will be adapting effectively to stresses (like running) which we place upon them. If we feel tired, pain, in and are washed out, we need rest not stress.”

-Tom Osler

“That is the sort of race which one really enjoys – to feel at one’s peak on the day when it is necessary, and to be able to produce the pace at the very finish. It gives a thrill which compensates for months of training and toiling. But it is the sort of race that one wants only about once a season.”

- Jack Lovelock

“A lot of people don’t 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

“Without strength, efficient organs, intelligence and an absence of secret fears man is only a parody, and for him life cannot be fully lived. He does not dominate his environment, it is the environment that dominates him. Such a man is not free. Only the mentally free and the physically strong can live this type of life to the full.Nature ordains it this way. There is no catch to it.Nature favors the fit.”

-Percy Cerutty

“[Scientific testing] can’t determine how the mind will tolerate pain in a race. Sometimes, I say, “Today I can die.’”

- Gelindo Bordin

“The difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank. “

- George Sheehan

“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

Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.

- T. Alan Armstrong

 “You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.”

- Steve Prefontaine

“By a persistent effort of will it is possible to change the whole body. The athlete must always keep in mind this concept of change and progression. He must never accept his limitations as being permanent, because they are not.”

-Emil Zatopek

“To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day,
one month or even one year – but for a lifetime.”

-Bill Rodgers

“What we were doing wasn’t rocket science… It was just the attitude of the team. He just made you believe.”

-Brett Gotcher on coach Vin Lananna

“If you want to become a better runner, you have to run more often. It is that easy.”

-Tom Fleming

“I run with my head, my heart and my guts, because physically, I don’t think I’ve got a great deal of talent or ability. I started at the bottom and worked up.”

-Steve Jones, former world record holder in the marathon

“To move into the lead means making an act requiring fierceness and confidence. But fear must play some part…no relaxation is possible, and all discretion is thrown into the wind.”

-Roger Bannister

“I definitely want to show how beautiful the marathon can be. I am the opponent of all those who find the marathon bad: the psychologists, the physiologists, the doubters. I make the marathon beautiful for myself and for others. That’s why I’m here.”

-
Uta Pippig

“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

“Before races, I am filled with doubt … Who will get second? Who will get third?”

-Nourredine Morceli  

“You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.”

-Jack Kirk

“What happens when you take a tiger and put it in a zoo? It has food disorders, stops eating, has sexual dysfunction…basically, it turns into us.”

-Christopher McDougall

“Cassidy early on understood that a true runner ran even when he didn’t feel  like it, and raced when he was supposed to, without excuses and with nothing  held back. He ran to win , would die in the process if necessary, and was  unimpressed by those who disavowed such a base motivation. You are not  allowed to renounce that you have never possessed, he thought.”

-John L. Parker

“The important things are to train hard, and not give up  hope.”

-Lasse Viren

“A great coach inspires confidence in his leadership demonstrating in his own person what he wants an athlete do at practice and on the athletic field, realizing it is the intensity of effort that gets the results, not merely the effort being a slave to a printed training schedule.”

-Percy Cerutty

“To win a race, you have to go a little berserk.”

-Bill Rodgers

“There are no secrets to running success, anyone who says there are is probably trying to sell you something.”

-Marty Liquori

“If you start to feel good during an ultra, don’t worry, you will get over it.”

-Gene Thibeault

“Act like a horse. Be dumb. Just run.”

-Jumbo Elliott 

“If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me down, because that means I didn’t run hard enough.”

-Steve Jones

“One thing is sure: if you want running fast in competition, you must run fast in training. The problem is WHEN and HOW, not IF.”

-Renato Canova

“When you begin to believe, that is when you will be on the right track to try and accomplish whatever you have set out to do.”
-Bob Hodge

“My high school coach was an absolute genius at motivating runners so I was  imbued early in the art of competition. He used to tell us “The only thing that  should be on your mind during a race is a seven letter word: DOMINATE.” We lived  by that code. It took us three years before we realized that dominate was an  eight letter word.”

-George Malley

“Do what you can with what you have while you are young and capable. You will  never regret it.”

-Bob Hodge

“I think people can handle 150 to 200 miles a week. But something has to give somewhere. If he’s a student, how’s he going to study? He may be at the age of chasing and courtship, and that’s an important form of sport and recreation, too.”

-Bill Bowerman

“I like running because it’s a challenge. If you run hard, there’s the pain – and you’ve got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is, ‘Don’t overdo it’ and, ‘Don’t push yourself.’ Well, I think that’s a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond.”

-Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, NHL Hall of Fame.

“Running is a very natural activity. If you get too caught up, you find yourself constantly seeking to make running something that it isn’t. You should let it be what it is - a very simple activity. Running has become too complicated for many people and they wind up turning sour on the sport, or losing the focus of their direction.”

-Bill Rodgers

“The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.”

-George Sheehan

“Running fast requires conditioning your body, absorbing proper mechanics to the point where they’re second nature, and then forgetting the details and letting it rip.  It may sound funny to someone who hasn’t been there, but the more you can let go, the faster you can go. Look at films of Mohammad Ali in his prime and you’ll see how he had that little wrist flick on the end of his jab; if he had to think about doing that, he couldn’t have done it.  People have things inside them they don’t know about until it comes out.  When somebody asks me how fast a human being can run, I tell them that however fast they think it is, it’ll be faster.”

-John Smith, UCLA track coach

“There is no satisfaction without a struggle first.”

-Marty Liquori

“Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being — a call that asks who they are …”

-David Blaikie

“One thing I really don’t like about Runner’s World is the amount of formulas and graphs you reproduce — the mind boggling scientific data which tries to reduce people to machines, which given a certain work load will produce specific results. I realize that a lot of people go to a lot of trouble, time and expense to produce all this complex data … But my advice to the average runner is ‘go out and enjoy your running.’”

-Rick Morris

“You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.”

-Frank Shorter

“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

“You should almost let it happen to you. Just go out and run. Philosophically, it sounds almost eastern oriented. On the other hand, remember that you’re working to achieve a little fitness. You shouldn’t do so little that it’s meaningless, but you shouldn’t do so much that become turned off by it. When you overdo it, you’re in trouble.”

-Bill Rodgers

“I’m not talented enough to run and smile at the same time.”

-Emil Zatopek

“There is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.”

-Bill Bowerman

“It is better, I think, to begin easily and get your running to be smooth and relaxed and then to go faster and faster.”

Henry Rono

“Stamina is the key to the whole thing, because you can take speed for granted. No? Look here. Everybody thinks a four-minute mile is terrific, but it is only four one-minute quarter miles. How do you give them the necessary stamina? By making them run and run and run some more, until they don’t even think in terms of miles. There is no psychological magic and no pain barrier to be broken through. It is merely a process of long gradual conditioning.”

-Arthur Lydiard

“I go out jogging. It’s not fast running, just that I do it for a long time. I don’t follow what typical coaches say about serious runners. No physios, ice baths, massages, tempo runs, heart rate monitors. The more time you spend fiddlediddling with this and that, the less time there is to run – or waste time in other ways.”

-Ed Whitlock

“I run because I enjoy it — not always, but most of the time. I run because I have always run — not trained, but run. What do I get? Joy and pain. Good health and injuries. Exhilaration and despair. A feeling of accomplishment and a feeling of waste. The sunrise and the sunset.”

-Amby Burfoot

“If the furnace is hot enough, anything will burn, even Big Macs.”

-John L. Parker, from Once a Runner

Winning races is not all-important to me. The races themselves are, as they provide the stimulus which is necessary for putting in that extra effort to help me excel and achieve the standards I’ve set. I think the runner should base his success on attaining his own standards, not merely winning races. Young runners particularly seem to think winning is the be all end all in running. I consider the improvement to be what it is all about.”

-Jack Foster

“The significance is that it is my challenge; it gets me out of the door every morning and it is good for my physical and mental health which I can monitor on a daily basis.”

-Ron Hill, on his streak of running every day since December of 1964.

“Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don’t have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.”

-Amby Burfoot

“Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”

-Jules Renard

“What was the secret? They wanted to know, in a thousand different ways they wanted to know THE SECRET. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared, to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottom of his running shoes. The Trial of Miles, Miles of Trials, how could they be expected to understand that?”

-John L. Parker

“Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get.”

-Joe Catalano

“You have to hang on and look at the future. This is a very significant point. Running is never a waste. Everything you are doing now is all part of the grand plan. What’s going to happen nine years down the road? The more you train, the more consistent you become.”

-Bill Rodgers

“All I want to do is drink beer and train like an animal.”

-Rod Dixon

“No door remains forever locked against the man of indomitable will and courage. What we most lack is the power to continue: continuity and perseverance–the never quit spirit allied to intelligence is the secret key to success: not great natural endowments,powerful friends and favourable environments.”

-Percy Cerutty.

“Ask yourself: “Can I give more?”. The answer is usually: “Yes”.”

-Paul Tergat

“All you need is a decent base, some leg turnover work and a lot of the scientific stuff is bullshit.”

-Marty Liquori

“Anybody can be a runner. We were meant to move. We were meant to run. It’s the easiest sport.”

-Bill Rodgers

“Running well is a matter of having the patience to persevere when we are tired & not expecting instant results.”

-Robert De Castella

“Desire is the most important factor in the success of any athlete.”

-Willie Shoemaker

“I’ve learned over the years that if you start thinking about the race, it stresses you out a little bit. I just try to relax and think about video games, what I’m gonna do after the race, what I’m gonna do just to chill. Stuff like that to relax a little before the race.”

-Usain Bolt

“Before your next marathon, think about a person who made that marathon possible. Then show your appreciation by dedicating the race to that person.”

-Joe Henderson

“Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price.”

-Jerry Lynch

“The nine inches right here; set it straight and you can beat anybody in the world.”

-Sebastian Coe (as he said this Coe held his fingers up to his head)

“Running is a tool by which you can learn alot about yourself and develop yourself both physically and spiritually as a person. That’s the way it should be viewed. People who focus totally on the evident achievement of winning races or winning gold medals often are the ones that run into all sorts of psychological problems when they retire because they haven’t fit it into their life.They shifted it out of their life and made it a selfish focus.”

Herb Elliott

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

-Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics

“A reporter asked me about the training I did. I told him I didn’t “train” but just went for a run each day. He was a bit baffled at that. The word “training” conjures up in my mind sessions in a gymnasium or out on a track grinding out 200-400 meter intervals or other such repetitive hard work. I refuse to do this. I believe it is possible to achieve results in a less soul-destroying way.”

-Jack Foster

“I have met my hero, and he is me.”

-George Sheehan

“Anyone can run 20 miles. It’s the next six that count.”

-Barry Magee

“Jogging through the forest is pleasant, as is relaxing by the fire with a glass of gentle Bordeaux and discussing one’s travels. Racing is another matter. The frontrunner’s mind is filled with an anguished fearfulness, a panic, which drives into pain.”

-Kenny Moore

“The start of a World Cross Country event is like riding a horse in the middle of a buffalo stampede. It’s a thrill if you keep up, but one slip and you’re nothing but hoof prints.”

-Ed Eyestone

“Any idiot can train himself into the ground; the trick is working in training to get gradually stronger.”

-Keith Brantly

“Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.”

-Doug Larson

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

-Jim Ryun

“We runners don’t need a lot. It is not what we have but what we enjoy that constitutes our abundance.”

-Dean Karnazes

“If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years, then will power is no longer a problem. It’s raining? That doesn’t matter. I am tired? That’s besides the point. It’s simply that I just have to.”

-Emil Zatopek

“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

“I definitely want to show how beautiful the marathon can be. I am the opponent of all those who find the marathon bad: the psychologists, the physiologists, the doubters. I make the marathon beautiful for myself and for others. That’s why I’m here.”

-Uta Pippig

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that.”

-Hiruki Murakami

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

-Lynn Jennings

“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

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

-Mark Twain                                 

“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

“Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.”

-Monte Davis

“We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.”

-Emil Zatopek

“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

“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 than a just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”

- Steve Prefontaine

“The only tactics I admire are do-or-die.”

-Herb Elliott

“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

“Stadiums are for spectators. We runners have nature and that is much better.”

-Juha Vaatainen

“With marathoners, it’s simply a case of mind over matter – they’re out of their mind, and it doesn’t matter.”

-Fred Sewell

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