Now reading

27 running mantras to motivate your next run

27 running mantras to motivate your next run
27 running mantras to motivate your next run

With just over a month to go until Portland Marathon, the nerves are starting to kick in. The night before my first marathon, I made a list on my phone of my favourite running mantras and phrases.

The more I run, the more I realize how incredibly mentally challenging it can be. During the last few miles of a long run or a race when my legs are tired and I often want to stop, remembering mantras, words, and quotes can be very helpful and motivating.

Here are 27 of my favourite mantras and quotes that I use to help motivate me during my runs and races. I have also included 15 of my favourite words to repeat, when saying a whole mantra is just too tiring. 

The photos in this post were taken during a recent long run along the Seymour Trailway in Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (also called Seymour Demonstration Forest). If you are in the area, I highly recommend going for a run on this paved path for pedestrian and cyclists. 


“The further I go, the stronger I get.” – Sally McRae

Embrace discomfort – You are not alone in this – This too shall pass

Run with heart – Run for those who can’t

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

This is a gift – Leave it all out there – No regrets – Love the run

I am strong – I am tough. 

“Run hard when it is hard to run.” – Pavvo

“Have the courage to be brave.” – Kara Goucher

Bonus: One Word

Strong, brave, fly, heart, grateful, push, go, relax, breathe, play, celebrate, believe, fight, tough, joy


“You will have doubts and you will hurt but you will keep moving forward.” – Unknown

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“You. You are standing in your own way. And that means whatever it is scares you. It won’t forever… but take your time. Nothing good was ever rushed.” – Suzanne Palmieri

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

“The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.” George Sheehan

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” – PattiSue Plumer

“Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the spectre of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.” – Hal Higdon 

“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” – Brian Tracy

“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.” – Paul Tergat

“Fast running isn’t forced. You have to relax and let the run come out of you.” – Desiree Linden 

“When you recognize that failing doesn’t make you a failure, you give yourself permission to try all sorts of things.” – Lauren Fleshman

“Make your race a playground, not a proving ground.” – Lauren Fleshman

“Once you make the decision that you will not fail, the heart and body will follow.” – Kara Goucher

“You are going to feel terrible the last mile. Luckily, how you feel doesn’t determine how fast you run. You are tough. Prove it.” – Phoebe Wright

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” – T.S. Eliot

“And then I realized that to be more alive I had to be less afraid so I did it. I lost my fear and gained my whole life.” – Unknown

“Just for a moment forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe in the one reason that it will.” – Unknown

“Fear is gradually replaced by excitement and a simple desire to see what you can do on the day.” – Lauren Fleshman

“There is magic in misery. Just ask any runner.” – Dean Karnazes 

Do you use words or mantras to motivate you during a tough moment? What is one of your favourite quotes? 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *