19 Boston Marathon Runners Share Their Running Advice

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The Boston Marathon: World’s oldest and most prestigious marathon. Inspired by the marathon at the 1896 Olympics, 15 men ran the first Boston race in 1897. Only 10 finished. Since then, the field has swelled to tens of thousands of runners, each of whom had to achieve a challenging qualifying time in another marathon to even be allowed on the starting line in Hopkinton, MA. So the men and women who run Boston know a thing or two about running (now there's an understatement!). Here are 19 great quotes from some of the race’s best that can help you run, train or recover better.

1

Kara Goucher on Perseverance

credit: Kara Goucher Kara Goucher

“I don’t think someone who decides they want to get fit should say, ‘There’s no way I can do it.’ You will.” -- Kara Goucher, U.S. Olympian who’s finished third and fifth at Boston (in 2009 and 2011, respectively)

Related: One Olympic Marathoner's Toughest Workout

2

Wilson Chebet on Accomplishment

credit: Cory Lum/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images Cory Lum/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

"As runners, we all have the same challenges and share the same experience, with the goal to accomplish something and better ourselves." -- Wilson Chebet, Kenyan long-distance runner who took fifth at the 2012 Boston Marathon

Related: Find Your Motivation

3

Deena Kastor on Recovery

credit: Peter Larsen/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Peter Larsen/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

“When I'm awake and training, I expect so much from my body, so I really need to let it rest as deeply as it works.” -- Deena Kastor, Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist (2004) and fifth-place Boston Marathon finisher (2007)

Related: 5 Tools to Help You Recover Like a Professional Athlete

4

Ryan Hall on Recovery

credit: Ryan Hall Ryan Hall

“The art of running is learning when to push and when to rest, but in general, I have found that when in doubt, it is best to err on the side of rest.” -- Ryan Hall, U.S. Olympian who holds the U.S. record for the half marathon and has run the Boston Marathon in 2009, 2010 and 2011

Related: 11 Easy Post-Workout Snacks and the Science of Why They Work

5

Kathrine Switzer on Patience

credit: Luca Teuchmann/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Luca Teuchmann/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty

“We all want immediate results, but we need to be patient. It is far more important to build a strong, healthy base -- even if it takes longer -- than it is to progress too quickly and risk being discouraged or injured.” -- Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon (1967)

Related: 12 Workout Mistakes That Sabotage Results

6

Tilahun Regassa on Support

credit: ANP Photo ANP Photo

"The Marathon distance is very difficult to cover and without the support of all of the fans and people cheering us on and the other runners, we would have a very difficult time to run the full race. So we work together to make a marathon happen." -- Tilahun Regassa, Ethiopian long-distance runner who ran the Boson Marathon in 2014

Related: 20 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Life

7

Ron Hill on Finishing the Race

credit: Gary Louth Photography Gary Louth Photography

"Get going. Get up and walk if you have to, but finish the damned race." -- Ron Hill to Jerome Drayton during the 1970 Boston Marathon

Related: Fun Facts About Running a Marathon

8

Meb Keflezighi on Drive

credit: Jerod Harris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Jerod Harris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

“If you've done the work, then there should be no reason you shouldn't pass the test... When it comes to a race, you're doing what you can just to get there healthy. Once you get to the race, it's all mental.” -- Meb Keflezighi, Olympic silver-medalist and winner of the 2009 New York City Marathon and the 2014 Boston Marathon

Related: 22 of the World's Best Marathons

9

Joan Benoit Samuelson on Racing

credit: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times

“I always say I’m going to run my own race, because you never know what you can do until the day of the race. You have to stand on your own, believe in yourself, and give it the best effort you can on that particular day.” -- Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1984 Olympic gold-medalist and winner of the 1979 and 1983 Boston Marathon

Related: The 10 Toughest Endurance Challenges (You Can Actually Do)

10

Lanni Marchant on the Running Community

credit: Rick Madonik/Toronto Star Rick Madonik/Toronto Star

"Being a runner, professional or recreational, means that you are part of a community that stretches across the globe." -- Lanni Marchant, fastest Canadian runner at the 2014 Boston Marathon

Related: The 10 Most Extreme Fitness Tests in America

11

Jacqueline Gareau on Mental Toughness

credit: Benoit Rioux/Agence QMI Benoit Rioux/Agence QMI

"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed." -- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon Champion

Related: 10 Tips for Perfect Race-Day Photos From the Pros

12

Dick Beardsley on Discovery

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“I learned more about myself in the last two-and-a-half minutes of that race that have helped me through so many situations in my life. It’s about not giving up.” -- Dick Beardsley, runner-up of the 1982 Boston Marathon

Related: 12 Unique Races To Run in Your Lifetime

13

Alberto Salazar on Recovery

credit: David Madison/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images David Madison/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

“The important thing about Boston is to realize that you are going to be very sore afterwards. The best thing is just not do anything for a week or so. Get off your legs and don’t beat them up. Allow yourself to recover.” -- Alberto Salazar, winner of the 1982 Boston Marathon

Related: 10 Races You Can Run for a Cause

14

Bill Rodgers on Staying Humble

credit: Robert Riger/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Robert Riger/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

"The marathon can humble you." -- Bill Rodgers, winner of four Boston Marathons, including three consecutive years from 1978 to 1980

Related: 17 Proven Motivations to Get You Running

15

Desiree Linden on Drive

credit: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

“Rarely are we ever satisfied with our performances. There is a competitive mentality that keeps us coming back for more, day after day, race after race and year after year.” -- Desiree Linden, runner up at the 2011 Boston Marathon

Related: 18 Celebrities Who Run

16

Amy Hastings on the Boston Marathon

credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images Andy Lyons/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

"There is a unique energy surrounding the Boston Marathon that you can't help but feel. It includes every runner and every person along the course. It brings every person there together as one." -- Amy Hastings, U.S. Olympic runner

Related: 11 Myths About Running, Debunked

17

Tom Fleming on His Mantra

credit: Runner's World Archives Runner's World Archives

“Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.” -- Sign on Tom Fleming’s wall when he was training for the Boston Marathon

Related: 16 Best Motivational Quotes for Fitness

18

Bobbi Gibb on Shattering Stereotypes

credit: Kathleen Dooher/Tufts Magazine Kathleen Dooher/Tufts Magazine

"I thought about how many preconceived prejudices would crumble when I trotted right along for 26 miles." -- Bobbi Gibb, first woman to finish the Boston Marathon course (1966)

Related: Sign Up to Receive the FREE LIVESTRONG.COM Weekly Newsletter!

19

Rosa Mota on National Pride

credit: Michel Lipchitz/AP Images Michel Lipchitz/AP Images

“I was motivated to win the Boston Marathon not only for myself, but for the Portuguese people of Boston. They were with me all the way and made winning the race the nicest moment of my life.” -- Rosa Mota, three-time winner of Boston Marathon and Olympic gold-medalist

Related: 20 Top Trainers' Favorite Motivational Quotes

What Do YOU Think?

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Have you ever run a marathon? The Boston Marathon? What helped you get through your last race? What words of wisdom do you keep front of mind when you're training for your races? Share your thoughts and experiments with the Livestrong.com community by posting in the comments section below!

Related: 17 Reasons to Start Running

The 29 American Olympians' Instagrams to Follow Now

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Overview

The Boston Marathon: World’s oldest and most prestigious marathon. Inspired by the marathon at the 1896 Olympics, 15 men ran the first Boston race in 1897. Only 10 finished. Since then, the field has swelled to tens of thousands of runners, each of whom had to achieve a challenging qualifying time in another marathon to even be allowed on the starting line in Hopkinton, MA. So the men and women who run Boston know a thing or two about running (now there's an understatement!). Here are 19 great quotes from some of the race’s best that can help you run, train or recover better.

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