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Running Quotes


Some think guts is sprinting at the end of a race. But guts is what got you there to begin with. Guts start back in the hills with 6 miles to go and you're thinking of how you can get out of this race without anyone noticing. Guts begin when you still have forty minutes of torture left and you're already hurting more than you ever remember.

- George Sheehan -

Strength training is a smart supplement to a runner's roadwork because it strengthens muscles and joints, which can improve race times and decrease injury risk. 'Running faster is easier if your whole body is working with you,' says Jim Fischer, head coach of men's cross-country and track at the University of Delaware. 'A runner with strong legs but weak arm muscles and weak core muscles will always be slower than a runner with total-body fitness.'

- Adam Campbell -

One of the first lessons running teaches us about success in athletics and in life is that there is no one else. No one else can do your workouts for you. You alone must do the drills, repeat the core exercises, stretch, and lift the weights. You cannot hire someone else to do your cross-training when you are battling injury, or pay someone to run a race and get you a new PR. You are truly your own hero in running. It is up to you to have the responsibility and self-discipline to get the job done.

- Adam Goucher -

Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves. It has nothing to do with how many times you win or lose. It has no relation to where you finish in a race or whether you break world records. But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals.

- Kieren Perkins -

What's beautiful? Anticipating that burn–the breaking point–and pushing right through it.

- Under Armour -

No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life's most rewarding experiences. My times become slower and slower, but the experience of the race is unchanged: each race a drama, each race a challenge, each race stretching me in one way or another, and each race telling me more about myself and others.

- George Sheehan -

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; its when you had everything to do, and you've done it.

- Margaret Thatcher -

I run because I can. Because when I do, there's always the chance to be extraordinary. A chance to start unknown and to finish unforgettable. A chance to overcome all obstacles, to fight through pain and suffering to test your emotional limits and boundaries, to experiment with the potential of the human body and discover just how far you can push yourself. And a chance to feel like a completely different person, a person who inspires others, and who they strive to be.

- Laura Weisberger -

Call it discipline, determination or whatever you want… the means to long-term goals is one of running's great life lessons. Running has taught me that adversity is better faced head-on than avoided. The hill in front of you won’t go away, but it’s easy enough to put it behind you if just press harder for a while. That lesson isn’t taught enough, and too many people never realize that sacrifice is a requirement of life. You either sacrifice today to reach tomorrow’s goals, or you give up your dreams in favor of the fleeting comfort that’s distracting you. Call it discipline, or call it determination; without it you won’t get very far.

- Dave Griffin -

To say that all runners are alike or have an addictive, Type-A personality is like saying everyone who lives in Chicago has blonde hair and blue eyes… Today's runner is old, young, mom-on-the-go, ex-jock on a mid-life athletic rebound, hard-bodied, pear-shaped, highly competitive, or one who considers 'running' 26.2 miles as climbing his or her own Everest, even if takes five or six hours. What all runners have in common is a deep, atavistic love of forward motion. We're rapt pupils of basic algebra whose sole curriculum revolves around calculating distance, rate, and time. We’re constantly traveling from point A to point B, unless we’re obsessively committed to running in place on a treadmill, or going in geometric circles around the track. At big-city runapolooza events, we tentatively find our tiny, personal space amid the collective herd, while waiting anxiously for that exhilarating moment of pure energy release. Although we stand united at the starting line, once the race begins we run alone. When describing the meaning of existentialism, the poet Delmore Schwartz wrote, 'It means that no one else can take a bath for you.' It's the same with being a runner. Running means that no one else can do it for you.

- Bill Katovsky -
1,001 Pearls of Runners' Wisdom

We runners talk about having fun but I don't think anybody believes us. We talk about discipline and endurance, we take care, we exercise caution, we watch our diets and monitor our pace. We are ascetics who talk, unconvincingly, of the bracing enjoyment of self-abuse.

- Peter Sagal -

There is no fuel more combustible than the words “you can’t.”

- Jeremy Chin -
((Author of the book Fuel).)

The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

- John Bingham -

Some runners shy away from competitive situations because they're afraid it will make running stressful. Or they back away from setting goals because they fear failure. Ease in by setting small, easily achievable goals that aren't overly daunting, like finishing your first marathon feeling strong, rather than setting a time goal. By pushing yourself a little at a time, you'll gain the confidence to set larger goals.

- Shaunna Taylor -

Four years ago I wanted to see how far I could run without stopping. I made it to my traffic signal and back, which was two miles, and thought it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Now I get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, lace up my shoes, and go for a run. It's like getting sleep - running that's ingrained... Running let's me take a break and gain some clarity. Short term, long term - it's about taking baby steps all the way to the finish. 

- Ryan Heuser -
(Cofounder and President of Paul Frank Industries)

If any of you want tips about running, never be in a hurry, and never let any of the other runners know you are in a hurry even if you are... I ran to a steady jog-trot rhythm, and soon it was so smooth that I forgot I was running, and I was hardly able to know that my legs were lifting and falling and my arms going in and out, and my lungs didn't seem to be working at all, and my heart stopped that wicked thumping I always get at the beginning of a run. Because you see I never race at all; I just run, and somehow I know that if I forget I'm racing and only jog-trot along until I don't know I'm running I always win the race... I was in my element that afternoon knowing that nobody could beat me at running but intending to beat myself before the day was over.

- Alan Sillitoe -
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

Run like they just found out you talked about fight club.

- Jeremy Chin -
((Author of the book Fuel).)

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. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.

- Haruki Murakami -
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

When I go out and race, I'm not trying to beat opponents, I'm trying to beat what I have done...to beat myself, basically. People find that hard to believe because we've had such a bias to always strive to win things. If you win something and you haven't put everything into it, you haven't actually achieved anything at all. When you've had to work hard for something and you've got the best you can out of yourself on that given day, that's where you get satisfaction from.

- Ian Thorpe -

If there is one lesson runners learn well, it is the connection between their behavior and the consequences. By its very nature, running requires a certain amount of self-discipline and personal accountability. If a runner misses the majority of his or her runs, slacks off during workouts, or ignores proper nutrition, performance suffers. Likewise, when runners consistently work hard, eat right, and do the things needed to stay healthy, they almost always find success.

- Adam Goucher -

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