It’s race day. You have been training for weeks, and today you will see the results of your efforts… and the fruits of your labor. Running is not all about physical training, mental preparedness plays a key role.
So to give you that extra push, it is important to seek inspiration from wherever possible in order to help you clock your best possible time. That’s why I am going to share some of my favorite inspirational running quotes that I love to use for race day.
Why Are Words of Motivation So Important for Runners?
As we touched up above, long-distance running is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. You need that mental motivation to push past your wall and hit your best time. With these quotes in mind, you will be surprised at how far you can push yourself.
In selecting the right quotes for proper race day motivation, I want to mix some great Steve Prefontaine quotes, along with motivational words beyond the world of running. You’ll find that you can be inspired by people from all walks of life. From philosophers to entrepreneurs, there is great motivation everywhere you look.
63 Motivational Quotes for Race Day
- “I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” -Ronald Rook
- “In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.” -Fred Lebow
- “One run can change your day, many runs can change your life.” -Unknown
- “Running allows me to set my mind free. Nothing seems impossible. Nothing unattainable.” -Kara Goucher
- “I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” – Ronald Rook
- “Don’t dream of winning, train for it!” -Mo Farah
- “When anyone tells me I can’t do anything, I’m just not listening anymore.” -Florance Griffin
- “It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you’re going. If you’re putting on your shoes and going out for a run, you are a runner, you are in that club.” -Kara Goucher
- “All runners are tough. Everyone has to have a little fire in them, that even in tough times, can’t be turned off.”-Shalane Flanagan
- “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” – Juma Inkangaa
- “For me there has always been a place to go and a terrible urgency to get there.” -Joan Benoit Samuelson
- “Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion.” -Gail W. Kislevitz
- “A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways they’re capable of understanding.” -Steve Prefontaine
- “Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body.” -Lynn Jennings
- “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
- “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” -Will Rogers
- “Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste death but once..” -Julius Ceaser
- “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” -Haruki Murakami
- “The five S’s of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit; but the greatest of these is Spirit.” -Ken Doherty
- “Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running. “ -Julie Isphording
- “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” -Japanese Proverb
- “Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don’t think about them, I just do them. The decision has already been made.” -Patti Sue Plumer
- “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
- “Running is my meditation, mind flush, cosmic telephone, mood elevator and spiritual communion.” Lorraine Moller
- “The thing about Pre is that he ran as hard as he could every race, and if you were going to beat him, you were going to have to run harder than he did.” -Bob Kennedy
- “Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” -Steve Prefontaine
- “The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed. “-Jacqueline Gareau
- “Listen to your body. Do not be a blind and deaf tenant.” -Dr. George Sheeha
- “Runners just do it – they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first.” -Unknown
- “It’s rude to count people as you pass them. Out loud.” -Adidas ad
- “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
- “The nine inches right here; set it straight and you can beat anybody in the world.” -Sebastian Coe
- “ “I run because long after my footprints fade away, maybe I will have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I run because it always takes me where I want to go.” -Dean Karnazes
- “Other people may not have high expectations of me, but I have high expectations for myself.” -Shannon Miller
- “I disagree. I look at struggle as an opportunity to grow. True struggle happens when you can sense what is not working for you and you’re willing to take the appropriate action to correct the situation. Those who accomplish change are willing to engage the struggle.” -Danny Dreyer
- “A lot of people run a race to see who’s the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.” -Steve Prefontaine
- “The Hopis consider running a form of prayer; they offer every step as a sacrifice to a loved one, and in return ask the Great Spirit to match their strength with some of his own.” -Christopher McDougall
“The Hopis consider running a form of prayer; they offer every step as a sacrifice to a loved one, and in return ask the Great Spirit to match their strength with some of his own.” -Christopher McDougall
- “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare. “ -Juma Ikangaa
- “You can’t win unless you quit trying.” -Unknown
- “Whatever you may be missing right now – a person, a place, a feeling, maybe you are injured and missing running – whatever it is, have peace and take heart – remember that any goodbye makes room for a hello.” -Kristin Armstrong
- “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” -Theodore Roosevelt
- “The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do.” -Walter Bagehot
- “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
- “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.” -Priscialla Welch
- “We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time.” -Christopher McDougall
- “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” -Booker T. Washington
- “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier
- “What I’ve learned from running is that the time to push hard is when you’re hurting like crazy and you want to give up. Success is often just around the corner.” -James Dyson
- “Life equals running and when we stop running maybe that’s how we’ll know life is finally finished.” Patrick Ness.
- “The human spirit is indomitable. No one can ever say you must not run faster than this or jump higher than that. There will never be a time when the human spirit will not be able to better existing records.” -Sir Roger Bannister
- “If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy.” -Amby Burfoot
- “I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” -Muhammad Ali
- “The long run puts the tiger in the cat.” Bill Squires
- “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
- “Fear is a great motivator. “ -John Treacy
- “If you want to run, then run a mile. If you want to experience another life, run a marathon.” -Emil Zatopek
- “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”-Vince Lombardi
- “Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you if you look closely enough.” -Hal Higdon
- “You made it to the START, you will make it to the FINISH.” -Spectator sign seen at a marathon
- “There is a moment in every race. A moment where you can either quit, fold, or say to yourself, ‘I can do this.” -Gatorade Ad
- “Marathoning. The triumph of desire over reason.” -New Balance
- “It’s going to get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just have to make it through the hard stuff first.” -Unknown
- “Racing is the fun part; it’s the reward of all the hard work.”-Kara Goucher
Final Thoughts on 63 Best Motivational Quotes for Runners on Race Day
You trained for weeks, maybe even months, for this moment. Physically, you’ve never felt better or more prepared. Still, there are times when you will need a little mental push in order to get the edge you need.
We’re human. And that means we get stuck in our heads sometimes. Maybe the weather conditions aren’t what you expected? Maybe there is drama going on at home? Or work is stressing you out?
Whatever the case may be, it’s just white noise. You can filter it out with motivational quotes and phrases. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, there is so much to be gained from race day motivation. Hang onto the positives and clear your head before lacing up your shoes. You’ll be surprised how a little motivation can go a long way!