Quotes About Mental Aspects of Running

Runner in race

Whether you're using it to summon enough motivation to get out the door for a run or to push yourself through the pain of the final stretch of a race, your mind plays an important role in running. Here are some quotes that address the mental side of running.

1. "You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day, you have to be mentally tough, you have to use others to help you.

The hard part isn't getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape."
-Amby Burfoot

2. "Long distance running is 90% mental and the other half is physical."
-Rich Davis
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3. "Believe you can do it. Think no other way but 'Yes you can.' The human body is capable of considerably more physical endurance than most of us realize."
-Paul Reese

4. "It's very hard in the beginning to understand 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 you to quit."
-George Sheehan

5. "Good physical training is important. But what goes on in your head will determine whether you'll win or lose, whether you'll be able to break through a psychological barrier or not – and whether you'll hold a medal in your hands and smile with satisfaction at the end."
-Tim Noakes

6. "Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body."
-Lynn Jennings


"The only one who can tell you 'you can't' is you. And you don't have to listen."

8. "There are people who have no bodies, only heads. And many athletes have no heads, only bodies. A champion is a man who has trained his body and his mind, who has learned to conquer pain for his own purposes. A great athlete is at peace with himself and at peace with the world; he has fulfilled himself.

He envies nobody."
-Coach Sam Dee

9. "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

10. "I run with my head, my heart and my guts, because physically, I don't think I've got a great deal of talent or ability. I started at the bottom and worked up."
-Steve Jones, former marathon world record holder

11. “It’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clear-headedness that follow a long run.”
-Monte Davis

12. "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, 1980 Boston Marathon champ
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13. "Once you're beat mentally, you might as well not even go to the starting line."
-Todd Williams
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14. "If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
-Vince Lombardi


"The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you."

16. "Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head."
-Joe Henderson, running coach and author

17. "Never underestimate the power that one good workout will have on your mind. Keeping the dream alive is half the battle."
-Kara Goucher

18. "When I started running, I started dreaming.

It couldn't be helped. The mind works as hard as the body does during exercise."
-Bart Yasso

19. "Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

20. "Twenty seconds before a race, there's absolute focus. The key thing is to achieve relaxation, but at the same to have absolute total control. You've got to find the balance between being totally ready to go and being really at peace with yourself as well."
-Cathy Freeman

21. "You can keep going and your legs might hurt for a week or you can quit and your mind will hurt for a lifetime."
-Mark Allen, 6-Time Hawaii Ironman World Champion

22.  "If you train your mind for running, everything else will be easy."
 -Amby Burfoot

23. "There is magic in misery. Just ask any runner."
-Dean Karnazes

24. "No one ever said it would be easy. They promised it would be worth it"

25.  "Every major decision I’ve made in the last eight years has been prefaced by a run. Where else do you get those uninterrupted hours to do nothing but think?"
-Casey Neistat

26. "Running is a mental sport...we're all insane."
-Seen on a runner's T-shirt


Also see: Quotes About Love of Running

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