Going for a run is one of the best things you can do for your body, both physically and mentally. But what happens when your fitness mojo starts to fade? You check out these helpful tips and 20 inspirational running quotes for a quick dose of motivation, of course! These tips and quotes will help remind you of the reasons you love pounding the pavement.
Quick Tips to Maintain Your Motivation to Run
If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, it should come as no surprise that running is not only my favorite exercise, but my passion. Whether I’m running through the neighborhood or pushing through a triathlon, I feel my strongest when I’m running. However, as much as I love it, there’s no denying that the motivation to do so can wane from time to time!
Do you ever have this occur too? Don’t fret – even the most experienced runners can struggle with this. In fact, it’s to be expected. When you do any activity often, it’s pretty normal to have days where you don’t feel like doing it.
So, what can you do to maintain your motivation to run? Try these quick tips:
Identify your motivation sappers and create a plan to counter them
Think back to the last few times when you just didn’t feel like running. Were you tired after a long day of work? Was it too cold? Too hot? Too late? Too early? Were you more worried about getting something to eat?
If you can find a theme to what triggers your lack of motivation, it makes it easier to resolve those issues so that they aren’t a problem.
For example, if you tend to hate running when it’s too early, try switching to an afternoon run after work. If you can’t find your motivation to run when you feel like it’s too late, it might be worth it to run first thing in the morning. (That’s also a good time to run if you often feel too tired to run at the end of the day.)
If you hate running in the cold or heat, find a time during the day that has more optimal weather for you. You could also take a look at what you are wearing for your runs to be sure they are weather-friendly. Or consider investing in a treadmill or gym membership so you can run anytime indoors.
And if hunger can keep you from running, assess how your meal and training schedule line up. Try going for a run either a few hours after a big meal or an hour after a carb-rich snack. Or, for short easy paced runs, you can always go first thing in the morning knowing you can come home to a nice breakfast afterwards.
Remind yourself of why you run
Sometimes, all we need to do when we lose motivation to do something is remind ourselves of why doing that thing is so important.
Perhaps you run to improve your health. Maybe you run to lose weight or gain muscle. Maybe you’re training for a big event. It could be that you love running because you meet a bunch of people with a similar passion. Or maybe you just love that feeling of accomplishment when you finish a challenging run.
Whatever your reason, think about it when your motivation to get up and go got up and went. You might find that same drive to run come rushing back to you.
Read some inspirational running quotes
I don’t know about you, but a good, inspirational running quote can sometimes be just what I need to put aside my excuses and buckle down to whatever task is ahead of me. If motivational quotes do the trick for you as well, keep reading. I’m sharing 20 of my absolute favorites with you. I hope that they serve you well when you need a little dose of inspiration to get moving.
20 Best Inspirational Running Quotes to Motivate You
1. “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”- John Bingham
I love this quote because it shows that the destination isn’t the most important thing about running. It’s the actual getting up and running part that is important. So many people have these big goals, but don’t even start. So taking that step to actually do something is pretty major, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. After all, how can you ever finish a race (or anything) if you don’t even start?
2. “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
This is another one of my favorite Bingham quotes. Some people believe that in order to be considered a runner, you have to hit some type of speed milestone or fill some type of running quota. I disagree. I think that if you lace up your running shoes and run – whether on a treadmill or on the road, whether fast or slow, whether one mile or ten – you, my friend, are a runner.
3. A course never quite looks the same way twice. The combinations of weather, season, light, feelings and thoughts that you find are ever-changing.” – John Henderson
If you’ve ever lacked the motivation to do your daily run because you’re tired of running the same ‘ol route, you have two options: change where you run or change the way you look at it. This quote helps me do the latter when the first option isn’t really viable, like when I need to get a quick 3 miles in before work (in which case, running from my house out and back is the easiest way to fit it in).
You might be surprised when you start paying more attention to your surroundings. Is the air thick and humid, or crisp and fresh? Are the flowers along the way finally blooming? What people or wildlife are you seeing? What new playlist could you listen to on the same path?
There’s a route I run frequently from my house and up until a few weeks ago, I never realized there was a little hidden trailhead off to the side. It’s amazing what you discover when you slow down and enjoy it.
4. “I don’t run to add days to my life. I run to add life to my days.” – Ronald Rook
Running can be a great way to improve your health, and there’s no doubt that exercise may be associated with longevity. We know that it reduces the risk for many chronic diseases.
But think outside of that box too. The experience of the run itself is something to look forward to, as it can make your day better!
5. “Get going…walk if you have to, but finish the damned race.” – Ron Hill
We’ve all had one of those runs – whether during training or a race – when it just isn’t going your way. You feel like your feet are carrying twenty-pound weights; no matter how much you try you just can’t seem to hit that pace you want to hit. Who else has been there?!
When you experience those times, keep this quote close at heart. Muster up the willpower you need to push through to the end. It doesn’t matter if the pace isn’t great or you’re not going to hit your PR. Let go of the stress and just finish.
As an aside, training runs like this are actually really valuable in your overall progression, because they give you the mental strength and stamina you need. When I was training for my first marathon, I had the absolute worst 16-mile training run. But knowing that I pushed through and got it done made me feel like I could do anything.
6. “Strength does not come from the physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”- Gandhi
Though Gandhi didn’t speak these words of wisdom about running, I feel like it is applicable. When you are in the middle of a hard run, you rely on your strength of willpower to get you through. You don’t have to be the most muscular or have the strongest legs. You need to have that strong desire to finish.
7. “I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run…to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.” – Dean Karnazes
This quote is the embodiment of my earlier tip to remind yourself of why you run. Remember what running makes you feel like. Think about the less-than-awesome activities that running replaces.
8. “Some seek the comfort of their therapist’s office, others head to the corner pub and dive into a pint, but I chose running as my therapy.” – Dean Karnazes
This quote reminds me that running can be a really great form of emotional self-care. When you’re out there running, it gives you a way to physically release stress and frustration, and also gives you a rush of endorphins. And even more so, the quiet alone time can help give people time to work through problems and emotions in their brain while out on a run. All of these combined show just how powerful exercise can be for mental health.
9. “How to run an ultramarathon? Puff out your chest, put one foot in front of the other, and don’t stop until you cross the finish line.” – Dean Karnazes
Ok, I know you’re probably wondering when I will stop quoting Dean Karnazes. But the man has some great ones! This one reminds me that running really is just putting one foot in front of the other until you finish. It may seem overly simplistic, but sometimes that is just what we need to focus on – taking it one step at a time
10. “Ask nothing from your running…and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.” – Christopher McDougall
When you feel the pressure of running, take a step back. Run for the sake of pure enjoyment. Go explore a new path, put on some new music (or none if you’re a traditionalist), take some deep breaths, watch the scenery…just enjoy it. You’ll find yourself refreshed and remembering why you love this sport.
11. “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau
I have to agree with Thoreau on this one – and you can easily substitute in “run” for “walk”. Starting the day with exercise is almost certain to put you in a better mood for the whole day. So, if you’re trying to find the motivation to get in your morning run, think about the effect it will have on the rest of your day.
12. “Yes, I am round. Yes, I am slow. Yes, I run as though my legs are tied together at the knees. But I am running. And that is all that matters.” – John Bingham
Goodness, this one hits home for me. Please, remember that it doesn’t matter what you look like when you run. It doesn’t matter if you are curvy and slow and feel like you don’t belong with all the other runners – because the truth is, you deserve your spot there just like everyone else. All that matters is that you run.
13. “But I also realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.” – Meb Keflezighi
If you’re feeling discouraged because you didn’t win your division or age group or whatever other measurement you expected to hit – don’t let it get to you. Ask yourself, “did I do the best I could today?” If so, that is all that matters.
14. “It’s very hard to understand in the beginning 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 to quit.” – George Sheehan
Yes, yes, yes! Even outside of racing, we all know that little voice in our heads. It’s the one saying “But you don’t need to go out this morning, it’s cold out – and it’s so comfy under the covers!” Or telling you mid-run “Come on, you’re tired, just walk.”
Remember this quote when you need to overcome that pesky little voice. Building up your mental strength and being able to ignore that voice will help you achieve more successes than you can imagine.
15. “Nothing, not even pain, lasts forever. If I can just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I will eventually get to the end.” – Kim Cowart
This quote is the perfect metaphor for not only enduring when running, but enduring in life.
16. “Just stick with it. What seems hard now will one day be your warm-up” – Unknown
I have no clue who said this, but it really fires me up! When we are first trying something that’s new and challenging, it can be easy to feel like it’s just too hard for us or that we’re not up to the challenge.
But if we stick with it, something amazing happens – it gets easier! One day, you will be able to look back and remember when it was hard for you to do something that you can do now with ease.
As a coach, consistency is by far the biggest contributor to success among any athlete. Stick with anything long enough, and you’ll be amazed at he improvements you see. (PS – need some help? We’ve got more than 20 free running and triathlon training plans for you!).
17. “With self-discipline, all things are possible.” – Theodore Roosevelt
When you feel like giving up or not sticking to your running routine, view doing it anyway as a way to strengthen your self-discipline. When you have a lot of self-discipline, you can achieve some pretty incredible goals.
(It was self-discipline and consistency that took me from not running at all to completing my first marathon in just 9 months.)
18. “The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you decide to do.” – Unknown
This on is a little bit of a reality gut punch – but so true. What do you want to do when it comes to running? Finish your first 5K? Do your first marathon? PR in an ultra? No matter what your goal is, the difference between right now and achieving that goal is all the work you decide to put in. Every day is a decision to work towards your goal, or maintain the status quo. Which will you decide?
19. “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it…The hard is what makes it great.” – Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own
I love this one. In the movie, it was geared towards professional women’s baseball, of course. But this quote has always been one that gave me warm and fuzzies in every aspect of life that feels challenging. Training for a race may not be easy, but the challenge is truly what makes the end result of crossing the finish line that much sweeter.
20. “Jogging is very beneficial. It’s good for your legs and your feet. It’s also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed.” Charles M. Schulz
This one just makes me chuckle every time. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for the ground. 😉
I hope that these quotes provide you with the motivation you need to lace up your running shoes and get in your run. What are some of your go-to inspirational running quotes? Let me know in the comments below!