Mental Toughness Quotes

 Quotes on the Mental Side of Running

In many ways, mental toughness is an individual pursuit. Think about what motivates you to push through the pain barrier to reach your goals. Maybe some of the quotes below will help you in your own  mental toughness journey.

"Confidence is the key. I am constantly thinking that these guys have not done what I’ve done in training, so are they going to beat me in a race"?

Mo Farah

“The best way to become a mentally tough runner is to believe that you're a mentally tough runner.”

-Ryan Hall

Rather than thinking “My legs starting to feel very tired. I don’t know if I can keep going”, turn the thought around and tell yourself: ‘The feeling in my legs is normal for the corresponding effort and I know I can push through the pain because I’ve done so before in previous races and training efforts”.

Mo Farah

“He pushes harder mentally harder than I believe any other coach in the world pushes their athletes. He is constantly putting us in very uncomfortable situations, whether that’s adding extra intervals if we are having a great workout, or asking us to run faster than maybe we thought we could. He knows how to get you out of your comfort zone. When you do that in practice on a daily basis, you learn to handle a lot of things”.

Galen Rupp talking about his coach

“When I race, my mind is full of doubts. Who will finish second? Who will finish third?

-Noureddine Morceli

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us find out what we are made of.”

-Patti Sue Pulmer

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift.”

-Steve Prefontaine

“You can read all the mental toughness books in the world. However, mental toughness and great performance boils down to consistency in training and belief in your God given ability. Consistency means showing up for practice each day. Belief means really trusting and living the Scripture Philippians 4:13: " I can do all things in him who strengthens me."

– Unknown

 “There are a lot of guys out there now who know they are not working as hard as other people.  I can’t fathom how they think.”

– Alberto Salazar

 “Consistency is king.”

– Unknown

“Good things come slow, especially in distance running.”

 – Bill Dellinger

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.”

– Bill Bowerman

 “Most people run a race to see who is fastest.  I run a race to see who has the most guts.”

– Steve Prefontaine

“One thing about racing is that it hurts.  You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.”  

 – Bob Kennedy

 “Run the first two-thirds of the race with your head and the last third with your heart.”

– Unknown

“In football, you might get your bell rung, but you go in with the expectation that you might get hurt, and you hope to win and come out unscathed.  As a distance runner, you know you’re going to get your bell rung.  Distance runners are experts at pain, discomfort, and fear.  You’re not coming away feeling good.  It’s a matter of how much pain you can deal with on those days.  It’s not a strategy.  It’s just a callusing of the mind and body to deal with discomfort.  Any serious runner bounces back.  That’s the nature of their game.  Taking pain.”    ‘

 – Mark Wetmore

“The human spirit is indomitable.  No one can ever say you must not run faster than this or jump higher than that.  There will never be a time when the human spirit will not be able to better existing records.”

 – Sir Roger Bannister

“God has given me the ability.  The rest is up to me.  Believe.  Believe.  Believe.”

 – Billy Mills