Skip to Content

21 of the best motivational running quotes for race day


When you’ve trained for months, running a race of any distance is a huge achievement.

Many runners like to use inspiring and motivational running quotes for race day to get them into the winning state of mind and across the finish line. 

In fact, Strava’s largest ever study on running motivation found that the finish line is part of the run that is most loved by runners. 

Motivational running quotes like the ones in this guide can have a powerful impact on your training and mindset. 

Whether you need motivation to cross the finish line or inspiration to keep you going through those long winter months during training, here are 21 of the best motivational running quotes for race day.

Related: 21 funny and motivational running quotes to inspire you

5 tips to motivate yourself to go for a run

When it comes to running motivation, it is something that is incredibly unique to each individual runner.

If you’ve lost your running motivation, or you’re struggling to maintain it, then here are some tips on how to find your running motivation:

#1 Add some variety in your training

When your training becomes boring or stale, you will quickly lose interest or your running motivation.

To make sure this doesn’t happen, make sure you add variety into your training.

Whether this be finding a new running route or experimenting with new forms of running workouts, it’s completely up to you.

Just make sure you find something that works for you, and more importantly, a routine that you enjoy.

#2 Forget about pace and distance

When training for a race like a 10k or half marathon, the enjoyment of running can quickly be overtaken because you’re worried about your pace or weekly mileage.

You should be running because you actually enjoy it, not because you striving to excel in a training plan.

Enjoy running for the opportunity it provides – the chance to get outdoors in the fresh air, amongst nature.

Leave your running watch at home and go for a mindful run. You’ll feel much better for it.

#3 Run with a friend

Running with a friend has so many benefits.

Not only does it keep you accountable for your runs, but you are able to make a social event of your run.

#4 Join a running group

A running group could be just what you need to reignite your running mojo.

Depending on the type of group you join, you could receive some helpful hints and tips on how to improve your running performance.

Running groups are also great for the social side of running, with many groups nowadays organising group runs that end up in the local pub or cafe.

#5 Think of the post-run reward

Probably one of the best ways to motivate yourself to go for a run is the post-run reward.

Going for a run is a huge achievement, and with any achievement comes the reward!

This reward could be in the form of a hot shower, a wholesome smoothie, a sweet treat or a delicious meal.

Just make sure it’s something that will get you to the end of your run!

Related: 49 game-changing female fitness quotes

motivational running quotes for race day

21 of the best motivational running quotes for race day

  1. “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
  1. “When you put yourself on the line in a race and expose yourself to the unknown, you learn things about yourself that are very exciting.”
  1. “I also realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.”
  1. “Let’s just say it and be done with it. Racing hurts. But here’s another truth: having put in the effort to prepare for a race and then not giving it your all hurts even more. The first kind of hurt goes away in hours or a day. The second kind of hurt can last a lifetime.”
  1. “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”
  1. “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.”
  1. “No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life’s most rewarding experiences.”
  1. “What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.”

Related: 51 inspiring keep pushing quotes to keep you motivated

motivational running quotes for race day
  1. “For me, races are the celebration of my training.”
  1. “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
  1. “It’s amazing how the same pace in practice can feel so much harder than on race day. Stay confident. Trust the process.”
  1. “Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don’t have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.”
  1. “My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: ‘Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you’ll win… channel your energy. Focus.’”
  1. “Be confident in the work you did to prepare for the race. Take a look back at your training logs to remind yourself that you’ve done everything possible to prepare. The race is the fun part where you get to see the hard work pay off. Enjoy it.”
motivational running quotes for race day
  1. “Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running.”
  1. “A lot of people run a race to see who’s the fastest.  I run to see who has the most guts.” 
  1. “Pain is temporary.  It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.  If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
motivational running quotes for race day
  1. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
  1. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
  1. “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.”
  1. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ”Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” 
Caroline Geoghegan