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Motivational speeches to kick your training up a notch

If you're in a training lull and lacking motivation, check out these speeches to rediscover your internal drive

These days, with tracks and gyms closed and group runs cancelled, you might find yourself lacking your usual motivation to train. That’s perfectly understandable, and even in normal, non-pandemic circumstances, runners need a shot of motivation from time to time. Here are a few inspirational speeches that can help get you out of your funk and reignite your desire and drive to train.




Will Smith—Ignore the naysayers

In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith gives his son a piece of advice that everyone should hear.

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“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something,” he says. “You got a dream, you got to protect it.” Non-runners think runners are crazy, and a lot of people will question why you run. If you want to run, that’s all that matters. Don’t pay any attention to those people who might say running is silly. Just go out and do your thing.




Sylvester Stallone—Keep pushing

Sylvester Stallone delivers a speech in Rocky Balboa that is applicable to everyone, no matter what goals they’re chasing. “It ain’t about how hard you hit,” he says. “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

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You’re going to face a lot of obstacles as a runner, both in training and in racing. It’s how you deal with these obstacles that will shape you as a runner. If you let them stop you, you won’t get very far. But if you find a way to overcome these hurdles, you’ll be able to become the best runner you can be.




Matthew McConaughey—Chase yourself

When Matthew McConaughey won his Oscar in 2014, he gave a great speech with a valuable lesson for runners. He talks about his hero—the person he chases—who turns out to be himself in 10 years.

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“Every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero’s always 10 years away.” he says. “That keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.” It’s great to race other people, but your biggest opponent is yourself. You’re the only person who can beat your PBs, so get out there and try to beat past versions of yourself while chasing future versions at the same time.




JK Rowling—Failure by default

In a speech at Harvard University, JK Rowling talked about a lot of her failures. Failure is an inevitability, no matter what field, sport or endeavours you pursue.

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“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default,” she says. As a runner, you might train for a marathon for months, only to walk the final 10K. But so what? It’s better to have given it a shot and failed rather than to have passed on an opportunity for fear of failing. Besides, the great thing about running is that there’s always another race, meaning a chance to redeem yourself after a bad run.