Sometimes we can hear all of the advice, tips and information that we can handle.
But it just doesn’t sink in. No matter how much you want it to.
And sometimes there is no better motivation than reading an inspirational quote from one of your heroes.
A quote can be a simple, but hugely powerful way to push you past a roadblock or a plateau that you’re facing in training and racing.
This article sums up the best 49 quotes that can be applied to ultra-running.
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Quotes About Reasons for Running
1) “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: Ultramarathon runner, and author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
3) “Our running shoes have magic in them - The power to transform a bad day into a good day; Frustration into speed; Self-doubt into confidence; Chocolate cake into muscle." - Mina Samuels: Author of Run Like A Girl
4) “Never are my senses more engaged than when the pain sets in. There is a magic in misery. Just ask any runner.” - Dean Karnazes: Ultramarathon runner, and author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
5) “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” - Oprah Winfrey: American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist
7) “In the midst of an ordinary training day, I try to remind myself that I am preparing for the extraordinary” - Shalane Flanagan: American record-holder for the 3000 and 5000 metres
8) “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: Ultramarathon runner, and author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
Quotes About Pushing Yourself Harder and Achieving Goals
9) “If you’re not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you’re not demanding more from yourself – expanding and learning as you go – you’re choosing a numb existence. You’re denying yourself an extraordinary trip” - Dean Karnazes: Ultramarathon runner, and author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
10) “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” - Confucius: Philosopher
11) ”Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing” - Muhammad Ali: American boxer, activist and philanthropist
12) “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” - Norman Vincent Peale: American minister and author
13) “If you concentrate on the rear mirror, you’ll crash and cause an accident” - Eliud Kipchoge: Marathon world-record holder and Olympic gold medallist
14) “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit” - Aristotle: Philosopher
15) “Easy is not a option..No days off..Never Quit..Be Fearless.. Talent you have Naturally.. Skill is only developed by hours and hours of work” - Usain Bolt: World record-holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay
16) “Stepping outside the comfort zone is the price I pay to find out how good I can be” - Desiree Linden: Boston marathon winner
17) “You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits” - Michael Phelps: Most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals
18) “Dreams are free. Goals have a cost. While you can daydream for free, goals don’t come without a price. Time, Effort, Sacrifice, and Sweat. How will you pay for your goals?” - Usain Bolt: World record-holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay
19) “Don’t dream of winning, train for it“ - Mo Farah - Olympic gold medallist at multiple distances
20) “Somewhere in the world, someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win“ - Tom Fleming: Winner of the New York City marathon twice
21) “It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys“ - Emil Zatopek: Czechoslovak long-distance runner who won 4 Olympic gold medals
22) “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen“ - Michael Jordan: American basketball player
23) “Ask yourself, ‘can I give more?’ The answer is usually yes“ - Paul Tergat: Kenyan long distance runner, who held marathon world record
24) “Don’t fear moving slowly forward… Fear standing still“ - Kathleen Harris: Professor of Sociology
25) “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up” - Babe Ruth: American baseball player
26) “Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” - Michael Jordan: American basketball player
27) “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” - Wayne Gretzky: Canadian hockey player
28) “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do” - Derek Jeter: American baseball player
29) “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” - Joe Namath: American football former quarterback
30) “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up” - Dean Karnazes: Ultramarathon runner, and author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
Quotes About Racing and Competing
31) “You have to remember that the race is supposed to be the fun part. The race isn’t to be feared, it’s supposed to be the thing we look forward to. It’s why you did all the stinkin’ work in the first place, so have fun” - Ben Rosario: Elite marathon runner and coach
32) “Winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.” - Meb Keflezighi: Olympic silver medallist in the marathon
33) “The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.” - Les Brown: American motivational speaker
34) “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself - the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us - that’s where it’s at.“ - Jesse Owens: American 4 time gold medallist at the Olympics
35) “There is nothing so momentary as a sporting achievement, and nothing so lasting as the memory of it.” - Greg Dening: Australian historian
36) “Don’t think about the start of the race, think about the end” - Usain Bolt: World record-holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay
37) “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second” - William James: American philosopher and psychologist
38) “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” - Usain Bolt: World record-holder in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay
Quotes About Failure
39) “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed” - Michael Jordan: American basketball player
40) “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up” - VInce Lombardi: American football player and coach
41) ”Some sessions are stars and some are stones, but in the end they are all rocks and we build upon them.” - Chrissie Wellngton: English triathlete and world record holder for Ironman distance
42) “Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick yourself up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” - Wilma Rudolph: World-record-holder and Olympic Champion
43) “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” - Benjamin Franklin: American founding father
44) “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even” - Muhammad Ali: American boxer, activist and philanthropist
45) “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge” - Martin Luther-King: American Baptist minister and activist
46) “Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better" - Samuel Beckett: Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and literary translator
47) “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying” - B.F. Skinner: Psychologist
48) “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe” - Muhammad Ali
49) “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” - Yogi Berra: American baseball player
What’s the Most Inspiring Quote You’ve Ever Hear?
Let me know in the comments at the bottom of this blog, on the Contact Page or on social media below.
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