The Best Running Mantras

“Hills make you strong”

“Soft & Strong”

“Just keep running, running, running”

the best running mantras from actual runners

Running mantras are short, inspiring phrases used to help mentally propel you when your body wants to give out. The best mantras are simple and personal. To read more about the psychology of mantras check out The Magic of Mantras on Runner’s World.

I’ve personally used a variety of mantras to help me during my training. Some help me run faster; some help me run stronger; some help me refocus emotionally and spiritually. I think it’s a good idea to have a couple mantras that resonate with you to use over the course of your runs.


My personal running mantras that I come back to over and over.

“I see pride. I see power. I see a bad ass mother who won’t take no crap off of nobody!” –Cool Runnings (best movie!)

“If it was easy everyone would be doing it.”

“The Lord is my strength and my song.”

“Hills make you strong.”

“Run and not grow weary.”

And here are some great ones collected from my running friends:

For Inspiration:

“Keep moving forward.”

“Run fast to get faster!”

“Don’t tell me I can’t”

“Run for those who can’t.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“No matter how slow, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch!”

“Your body determines how fast you go, your brain determines how far.”

“It’s about an active lifestyle, not an elite performance” whenever I start having self doubts and I also think “Run your OWN race” if I start comparing myself to others.

One foot in front of the other. Do YOUR best. Keep moving forward.

For Tough Love:

“PR or ER!”

“The hard is what makes it great.” www.irunwithit. com

“Work that uphill!” lifeafterswimming

“I’ve got this. More than enough.”

“Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit!”


“Suck it up, buttercup”

“4th Quarter, Let’s Go!” I kinda explain the meaning behind it in this post…/

For Cadence:

Breathe in, breathe out, move on (it’s a Jimmy Buffet quote)

Can’t stop, won’t stop! –Mindy Nienhouse

I have, I can, I will.

Run ^this^ mile

Relentless forward motion.

“Soft and tall.” –Jonathan Ubben

Start of a race: Slow and Steady. That’s to make sure I don’t go out too fast and keep with my pace.
Middle of the Race: “Breathe in Breathe out” “Be Quick, Be Light” “Save it, Save it”
End of the race: “Leave it all on the course” “What am I made of” “Think Strong, Be Strong” “No regrets” –Bob Flavin

“Steady breathing, steady pace” –Bethany Wheeler

For Fun:

“Will run for beer!”

“Do or do not, there is no try.” -Master Yoda

Just keep running (to the tune of Just keep swimming that Dora sings in Finding Nemo)

“Run now, curse during, smile later.”

“Keep holding on”

“Just put one foot in front of the other.” Generally said between great gasps for breath. –Sarah Rothaar

So there you go! Some of the best running mantras out there from people that RUN!

What is your running mantra? Any on this list that you want to adopt?

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  1. These are great! Thanks for including mine. I do like “Suck it up Buttercup” and think “PR or ER” is funny, but wouldn’t want someone to take it too seriously! 😉

    1. Very true! Hopefully we’re all smart enough to know when to quit…although I did run on an injury once and will NEVER make that mistake again.

  2. Thanks for the list and here are a few of mine. “If you can finish, so can I.”, “Each step gets me closer to the finish line.”, “I can do it!”

  3. Not sure how to convey this in a post, but think of each line beginning when your left foot hits the road

    Help I can
    Do this

    Works especially good on hills!

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