7 Motivational Running Movies to Get You Off the Couch

Some days, the weather doesn’t really cooperate for a run. Some days, our minds or bodies won’t cooperate for a run. The next time you are stuck on the couch for whatever reason, pop in one of these movies that will have you up and at ’em in no time!

1. Forrest Gump

Obviously, this one is on every list. Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, sets out on an undetermined run that ends up lasting three years, two months, 14 days, and 16 hours, after girlfriend Jenny Curran (Robin Wright) leaves him. After covering 15,248 miles, it seems as though the past is behind him. You can even follow the running route in real life, if you feel so inspired.

2. The Jericho Mile

Originally a made-for-TV feature, Peter Strauss plays Larry “Rain” Murphy. Murphy was sent to jail for murdering his father, and as there isn’t much else to do in prison, he runs. The warden notices that he might actually have a talent for it, and allows Murphy to train for the Olympic trials.

3. Running on the Sun

If you ever want some motivation to get off the couch and go for a run, watch this movie and know that it could always be worse. Running on the Sun documents the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley up to Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states.

4. Chariots of Fire

This classic running movie, the historical British drama tells the tale of two men – Eric Liddell, a Christian from Scotland, and Harold Abrahams, a Jewish Brit. Liddell runs for the glory of God, while Abrahams runs to overcome the prejudice that Jewish people were facing in the 1924 Olympics. Their commitment to the sport and personal sacrifice will motivate any athlete, from casual to Olympian.

5. Prefontaine

Even people who don’t run have heard of the legend who’s life was cut tragically short – Steve Prefontaine. The movie documents his life and running career, as well as what it was like for American elite runners in the 1970s compared to international elite runners. Without Limits is a second movie about Pre’s life that also gets good reviews, and came out just a year later in 1998.

6. Personal Best

Let’s hear it for the women! Personal Best is about a fictional group of female track athletes working towards the 1980 U.S. Olympic trials,  but features several American athletes from the time. The title is what all the women are left with when the U.S. decided to boycott the summer Olympics in 1980.

7. Run Fatboy Run

Most of these movies are pretty serious, so if comedy is more up your alley, check out Run Fatboy Run. Directed by David Schwimmer, comedian Simon Pegg (from Shaun of the Dead) gets motivated to run a marathon to win back the love of his life. You’ll surely appreciate all of the running puns included in this one.

Feature photo credit: telegraph

17 Inspirational Running Quotes

Here at Fun Run Box, we are all about motivating you to get out there and do your best. Sometimes, a motivating quote will get you out the door. Other times, it can be used as a mantra when the running gets tough. Either way, we hope these inspiring words will help you the next time things feel tough. And remember – we’ve all been there, and every run is a learning experience, good or bad. Happy running!

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must – just never give up.
– Dean Karnazes

Any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.
– John Bryant

Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.
– Steve Prefontaine

Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.
– Tim Noakes

Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.
– Sarah Condor

My philosophy on running is, I don’t dwell on it, I do it.
– Joan Benoit Samuelson

I’ve learned that it’s what you do with the miles, rather than how many you’ve done.
– Rod DeHaven

Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.
– John “the Penguin” Bingham

When you cross the finish line, no matter how slow or fast, it will change your life forever.
– Dick Beardsley

It’s not so much that I began to run, but that I continued.
– Hal Higdon

As athletes, we have ups and downs. Unfortunately, you can’t pick the days they come on.
– Deena Kastor

Given the nature of running, certain things that will never be altered. That’s one of the beauties of our sport. There is no judge; it doesn’t matter how you look.
– Bill Rodgers

Be willing to move forward and find out what happens next.
– Frank Shorter

We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.
– Jesse Owens

Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
– Kara Goucher

There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime off knowing you have.
– Unknown

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
– Doug Larson

What’s your favorite inspirational running quote? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature photo: Odyssey BETA

7 Inspirational Running Books

Even the most accomplished athlete needs a little motivation sometimes, not to mention there are some days that the weather just isn’t cooperating. We get it – it’s tough to lace up and head out in a torrential downpour. So we put together a list of inspiring books to read when you’re feeling sluggish, or when you’re stuck inside. We have a feeling that lack of motivation won’t last very long!

Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon
Neal Jamison

You don’t have to be an ultrarunner to appreciate this book. Jamison interviewed 35 runners about everything from training tips, to pain tolerance, to what is going through your mind at mile 93 of a 100 mile race. Most of the runners aren’t pros, either, so this one might make you feel a little better about your upcoming long run.

Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America’s Greatest Marathon
John Brant

In this book, Brant chronicles the story of the men behind one of the greatest U.S. races of all time – the 1982 Boston Marathon. Not just about the race, but what happened to both men afterwards, this well-written story reads almost like fiction.

Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside With Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, And The University Of Colorado Men’s Cross Country Team
Chris Lear

Many beginner runners don’t know the reputation that the University of Colorado Boulder Cross Country Team has (I know I didn’t). This inspirational story follows the team in their 1998 season while the team was chasing their first national title and Olympic hopeful Adam Goucher (yes, the future Mr. Kara Goucher) was going for his first NCAA cross country title. This book goes inside the mind of the amazing, yet controversial coach Mark Wetmore, and gives readers a glimpse of what life and training is like for some of the best.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Haruki Murakami

When Murakami decided to train for the New York City marathon, he also decided to write about the journey. This memoir about the intersection of his obsession with running and writing, and everything that comes up along the way. He shares his philosophy on running and on life, and is more about the mental process of training for a race instead of the actual training advice.

Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running
Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner

This book is a collection of inspiring stories from women from all over the United States. It’s about women who for friendship, for grief, for health, and for everything in between.

The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life
Amby Burfoot

After running for 35 years, and winning the Boston Marathon, you pick up a few tips. Burfoot shares the 15 life lessons he’s learned, essential traits for a runner, and inspirational quotes that have kept him going along the way. This is a wonderful read for any runner, whether you’re a newbie or have been at it for decades.

Pre: The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
Tom Jordan

Just about everyone has at least heard of Steve Prefontaine, the running phenom who tragically died in a car accident at the age of 24. He was destined for greatness and continues to influence the sport today, even though it’s been 40 years since his death.

10 Trails That Will Motivate You to Start Trail Running

Some of you are probably already trail runners, some of you may have dabbled, and others may avoid them altogether. We rounded up some of the most gorgeous trails in the United States that will have even the most adamant road runner hitting the dirt.

Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit: Bart

With more than 32 miles of dirt trails that wind through the woods, past waterfalls, and along ridges, Rock Creek Park is a great place for beginner and expert trail runners alike. It’s one of the oldest federal parks, established in 1890, and has two main trails – the green-blazed Western Ridge Trail, and the blue-blazed Valley Trail.

Dipsea Trail, Mill Valley, CA

Photo Credit: advencap
Photo Credit: advencap

Found within the Muir Woods National Monument, this place is very popular in the trail running world, because of the Dipsea Trail Race, founded in 1905 (and the oldest trail race in the world). It’s a challenging, technical trail, but many people love the views of the Pacific and the San Francisco Bay so much that it’s worth walking when you need to. Not to mention that it goes through the only old-growth coastal redwood forest in the San Francisco Bay area.

Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Photo Credit: Mike Shaffner
Photo Credit: Mike Shaffner

Again, not the easiest trail (considering the elevation of Colorado), but look at that picture! The Bear Lake trail up to Emerald passes by a couple other lakes on the way, but the trip is worth it.

Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Photo Credit: Dan Dwyer
Photo Credit: Dan Dwyer

There trail is mostly level, running along sea cliffs and through lush valleys with some stunning drop-offs and wonderful views. Look for wild goats grazing along the Kalalau trail!

Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Photo Credit: Shane Lin
Photo Credit: Shane Lin

Most people have heard of the iconic Appalachian Trail, that runs more than 2,000 miles from Maine to Georgia. Any section of the trail is beautiful, but we especially recommend running through the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Want a glimpse at the whole trail? Check out this 5-minute time lapse video from ultrarunner Karl Metzler.

McKenzie River Trail, Eugene, Oregon

It's also super popular for mountain biking. Photo Credit: Dave H.
It’s also super popular for mountain biking. Photo Credit: Dave H.

The whole trail is 27 miles, but don’t let that scare you away – simply go out and back and much or as little as you’d like. But once you get out there, surrounded by greenery, running over log bridges and past lava fields and past hot springs, you may want to keep going.

Moab, Utah

Take a run through Arches National Park. Photo Credit: Bowman!
Take a run through Arches National Park. Photo Credit: Bowman!

The great thing about running in Moab, Utah, is that no matter where you go, you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful red rocks that the area is known for. There are tons of trail options to choose from, so all you need to do is get out there!

Mullens Cove Loop Trail, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photo Credit: Nickajack Naturalist
Photo Credit: Nickajack Naturalist

Close to downtown Chattanooga, the Mullen Cove Loop Trail has amazing views of of the Tennessee River Gorge and beyond.

Alafia River State Park, Brandon, Florida

Photo Credit: Livin' in a Trailer Down by the River
Photo Credit: Livin’ in a Trailer Down by the River

The park is shady and cool, running around swamps, ponds, creeks. You will see an abundance of wildlife across 17 miles of trails at Alafia River State Park.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, Texas

Photo Credit: sarowen
Photo Credit: sarowen

Palo Duro Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of Texas, is the second largest canyon in the United States. With it’s red rocks, creeks, and meadows, you will wonder if you are in Texas or back in Moab.

15 Inspiring Runners to Follow on Instagram

With more than 400 million users, it seems like just about everyone is on Instagram, so naturally it’s one of the first places we turn for a little running inspiration (runspiration?). Whether you are looking for new places to add to your dream destination list, checking to see what kind of training your favorite pro did this week, or just trying a little inspiration to get through your next workout, we’ve got you covered.

1. Deena Kastor

Deena is one of the most famous women runners in the United States, holding the American records in the marathon and half marathon. She is currently writing a book.

deena kastor

2. ashruns100s

A six-time 100 miler, Ashley posts amazing pictures from the trails and her race adventures that will have you jonesing to hit the dirt.


3. runeatrepeat

If you’ve been running for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard someone say “I run so I can eat.” Monica blogs and posts inspirational pictures of quotes and (of course) food.


4. Runnerspace

This is a great account to follow to keep up with the track and field scene.


5. Meb Keflezighi

Recently qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Meb also won the Boston Marathon in 2014, becoming the first American man to win the event since 1983. Check out his account to see how he trains, where he trains, and what running-related events he’s up to.


6. Kara Goucher

Another well-known female runner, Kara posts about her training, her life, and her nutrition.

kara goucher

7. Rickey Gates

Looking for some trail inspiration? Check out Rickey Gates, a photographer, writer, and trail runner.

rickey gates

8. mileposts

Dorothy is the creator of the I Run This Body movement, and is always posting pictures with positive messages. She is also training to qualify for Boston 2017.


9. annafrosty

Anna loves running and exploring the mountains and regularly places in ultras.


10. Voltwomen

Voltwomen is dedicated to celebrating the women’s running community.


11. InstaRunners

Reposts of fun pictures from runners all around the world.


12. Usain Bolt

Mostly running (races and training), some random pictures from his life, and the occasional shirtless photo (your welcome, ladies) of the one of the world’s fastest men.


13. Sage Canaday

This guy runs pretty much any distance on any surface, and has the photos to prove it. He’s pretty fast, too, having qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and won a handful of 50K, 50M, and 100K races.


14. Scott Jurek

Ultrarunner, Appalachian Trail Hike-Thru speed record holder, and vegan, Scott posts about training and eating in Boulder and beyond.


15. Runners Community

Runners Community features a “Runner of the Week” and boasts “if you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far.”

runners community

Who is your favorite runner on Instagram? Share below in the comments!