Being a runner, a distance runner in particular, requires a lot of mental discipline.  Part of training is not just logging the miles but finding REASONS to run.  In other words, psychological motivation is as important as physical preparation.  With that in mind, we offer the following inspirational quotes, articles, and recommended reading.  We hope it inspires you!



The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Running

by Bill Rodgers

A great resource for first-time runners from a legend in the sport.


Once a Runner

by John L. Parker, Jr.

Runner’s World labeled this “The best novel ever written about running.”  It does a great job of portraying the physical duress and personal sacrifice of dedicated runners.  Sure to inspire!


Marathoning for Mortals

by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield

An insightful and entertaining guide for those new to the sport from John “the Penguin” Bingham and trainer Jenny Hadfield.  The book offers a lot of great advice.


The Last Pick: The Boston Marathon Race Director’s Road to Success

by Dave McGillivray

The Boston Marathon Director recounts overcoming physical adversity as a child and some of his legendary endurance feats including a 1978 run across the entire country (move over, Forrest Gump).  Along the way, Dave shares wit, wisdom and his personal philosophy on life and success.


My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon

by Bart Yasso

Known as “the Mayor of Running”, Bart Yasso has likely participated in more running events across the globe than any other person.  This book recounts some of the more intense and entertaining experiences he has had as a runner.  A nice balance of wisdom and humor.


Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

by Dean Karnazes

A first person depiction of the extreme lengths you can take your running to by the most famous man in ultra-running.


The Extra Mile: One Woman’s Personal Journey to Ultrarunning Greatness

by Pam Reed

The most famous female ultrarunner give an honest portrayal of her struggles with anorexia and how she ultimately set numerous American running records, including the world’s first non-stop 300 mile run.


Running the Edge

by Adam Goucher & Tim Catalano

RUNNING THE EDGE “the best running book to come along since ‘The Complete Book of Running’ by running guru Jim Fixx in the 1970s, which at the time helped launch the running boom in America.”- Hal Lifson – Desert Palm Patch

The smartest and most spiritual running book I have ever read. Thank you, thank you, thank you! —Shira Flowers Newman







“Often, people can’t understand how running can have such power.  They say it’s little more than a slightly ambitious version of walking.  True, running is a simply, primitive act.  Yet in its subtleties lies tremendous power.  For in running, the muscles work a little harder, the blood flows a little faster, the heart beats a little stronger.  Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense.  I like that.” – Dean Karnazes


“I like the solitude of running.  Long-distance running is a loner’s sport, and I’ve accepted the fact that I enjoy being alone a lot of the time.  It keeps me fresh, keeps me—oddly enough—from feeling isolated.  I guess a lot of people find it in church, but I turn to the open road for renewal.  Running great distances is my way of finding peace.” – Dean Karnazes


 “The solitude experienced while running helps me enjoy people more when I am around them.  The simple, primitive act of running has nurtured me.  I’ve become more tolerant, more patient, and more giving than I ever thought I could be.  Suddenly the commonplace is intriguing, and I’ve learned to dig the little things in life, like being squirted in the ear with a water bottle by a five-year-old child.  This is what running has taught me, making me—I hope—a better man.” – Dean Karnazes


“I like running because it’s a challenge.  If you run hard, certainly there will be pain but you’ve got to work your way through the pain.  Nowadays it seems all you hear people say is ‘Don’t overdo it’ and ‘Don’t push yourself.’   Well, I think that’s a bunch of crap.  If you push the human body, it will respond and you need to push it to achieve anything worthwhile.”-    Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers GM and NHL Hall of Famer


 “Distance running is like farming in that it’s all about preparation.  You spend months and months cranking out mile after mile, just as a farmer fills his barn day after day with bales of hay. Race day is harvest time!  The hard work has already been done.  Just as the bales of hay are pulled out of the barn one at a time, a distance runner runs out all those miles one after another. Pretty soon the barn is empty and you’ve just completed a marathon.” - Randy Van Straten, Bellin Run Race Director


 “Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day.  It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’” – Peter Maher, Olympian and sub-2:12 marathoner


“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.  It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.  It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – African proverb


“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” – Oprah Winfrey


“Running is very beneficial.  It is good for your legs and your feet.  It is also very good for the ground.  It makes it feel needed.” – Peanuts creator Charles Schulz


“Some people create with words or with music or with paint and a brush. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’  It’s more than just a race, it’s style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative… To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine


“Out of the silver heat mirage he ran.  The sky burned, and under him the paving was a black mirror reflecting sun-fire.  Sweat sprayed his skin with each foot strike so that he ran in a hot mist of his own creation.  With each slap on the softened asphalt, his soles absorbed heat that rose through his arches and ankles and the stems of his shins.  It was a carnival of pain, but he loved each stride because running distilled him to his essence and the heat hastened this distillation.” - James Tabor, from “The Runner,” a short story


“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a civilization work.” -Vince Lombardi


“The thing about the marathon is that your body chemistry changes so much during the race. In 100 feet, your whole world can turn upside down. Your body can say, I’ve had enough, and I’m going to shut down earlier than you expected. I mean, it’s a race that lasts for over 2 hours. I’m not sure that distance was what the human body was meant to do. A lot of times while I’m running a marathon, I just feel awed: 26.2 miles? I think, What am I doing? Why am I doing this?” - Marathon runner Ryan Shay who passed away tragically during the men’s Olympic trials in November 2007


Two campers in the woods heard a bear growling outside of their tent. After the initial shock, one of them calmly started putting on his trail shoes. The other said, “Why are you doing that? You can’t outrun a bear.” The first one responded, “I don’t have to outrun the bear.  I only have to outrun you.” -    Unknown

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