Quotes from Famous Runners that Inspire Me to Run More, Live Better, and Dream Bigger

Plus what to do when you encounter a barking dog on your run

I hope these quotes from famous runners inspire you as they do me. I’m printing off this image above to keep beside my laptop. I won’t set any records with my running, but I can achieve something extraordinary with my life if I believe that I can.

Bill Rodgers Quotes

Don’t feel guilty about driving somewhere nice to run. If people can drive to a park to eat hot dogs, you can drive there to run.

Bill Rodgers

Boy running photo by Luna Lovegood from Pexels

The advice I have for beginners is the same philosophy that I have for runners of all levels of experience and ability — consistency, a sane approach, moderation and making your running an enjoyable, rather than dreaded, part of your life.

~Bill Rodgers

Wilma Rudolph Quotes

The triumph can’t be had without the struggle.

~Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph competes in Amsterdam — September 15 1960 — image in public domain, source Wikimedia

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 up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.

~Wilma Rudolph

Roger Bannister Quotes

Here is some advice from the first man to do what some thought impossible and run a mile in less than four minutes.

However ordinary each of us may seem, we are all in some way special, and can do things that are extraordinary, perhaps until then…even thought impossible.

~Roger Bannister

It is the brain, not the heart or lungs, that is the critical organ.

~Roger Bannister

Jackie Joyner-Kersee Quotes

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.

~Jackie Joyner-Kersee

By now you’ve probably noticed that most of the quotes I’ve selected are more than just running advice, but also contain valuable life lessons. So it is with this advice about “a barking dog.”

If I stop to kick every barking dog I am not going to get where I’m going.

~Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Steve Prefontaine Quotes

No collection of quotes about running would be complete without some Steve Prefontaine quotes. I’ve chosen quotes both about running and life.

Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.

~Steve Prefontaine

Steve Prefontaine 1975 — Image in the public domain, source Wikimedia

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

~Steve Prefontaine

Challenge yourself every day, to be creative, to dream big because….

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.

~Steve Prefontaine

Dear Reader,

Do you have a favorite quote from a runner or about running? Please add it to the comments.


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A programmer by day, author by night. When I put on running tights, I like to imagine I’m a super hero. Creator of Unemploymentville.com. Follow me if you dare.