6 Movies to Motivate and Inspire Every Runner

Who doesn’t love a little extra motivation? Especially on Friday!

Weekends for most runners consist of long runs and workouts. If you are anything like me these are the workouts that you look forward to the most throughout the week.  The runs that you focus on throughout your training. If this is you, then Friday makes a great day for some extra motivation.

To continue with my “Five Things Friday” (or in this case 6) tradition here are some of my favorite running movies. I promise they will help to motivate and inspire you to run your heart out.

Spirit of the Marathon

If you are a marathon runner then most likely you have watched Spirit of the Marathon, or at least heard of it. This was one of the first movies that I watched once I decided I wanted to run my first marathon.

The motivational movie follows runners of all levels as they train to run the Chicago Marathon.  Since my first marathon was Chicago it made it that much more special for me. I loved that the movie showed different levels of runners. At the time, as a first time marathoner, it gave me hope when I doubted I could even run the marathon at all.

Spirit of the Marathon Movie

The same producers have since come out with Spirit of the Marathon II which follows seven runners as they train for the Rome Marathon. I haven’t had the chance to watch this one yet, but I can imagine it was just as inspiring!

 

Chariots of Fire

Chances are at some point in your life you have heard the theme song from this movie.

Chariots of Fire Movie

The movies follows the stories of two runners who are training for the 1924 Olympics.  Eric Lidell is a missionary who runs for his faith while Harold Abrahams is an English jew who runs to help overcome prejudice.  I think this film is a great depiction of the motivation behind runners. We are driven by various things in our lives and this film shows the drive behind these two men coming from very different backgrounds.

 

Prefontaine

There are so many wonderful quotes from Steve Prefotaine, but if you want to be motivated and follow the life of an extraordinary runner you need to watch this movie.

Prefontaine Movie

The movie follows the amazing and tragic life of Steve Prefontaine.  There is no denying his talent and passion for running. That alone makes it such an undeniably motivational movie. It will also remind you of how short this life can be, do what you love now! Don’t wait for it to come to you.

 

Saint Ralph

I went quite a long time before I sat down to watch this movie. I hadn’t really heard much about it and was browsing Netflix one night for a new running movie and decided to give it a go.

Saint Ralph Movie

Ralph takes on the task of setting out to win the Boston Marathon for his mother who is in a coma. Of course, this is a fictional movie but the idea and lessons in the movie are what makes it so great. No matter who said he couldn’t do it, or how many people laughed he still followed his dream.

 

Running Brave

Running Brave follows Native American Indian Billy Mills in his quest to win the 10,000 meters in the Tokyo Olympics.  The story follows his struggle to get the recognition as an athlete and a man.

Running Brave Movie

The final race will give you chills and his passion and drive will motivate you to a new level.  This is a great movie to watch when you need an extra boost of motivation. Mind you it was made in 1983, but no matter how long ago it was made it still can inspire just about anyone who watches.

 

Endurance

This movie follows another talented runner, Haile Gebrselassie.

 Endurance Movie

It starts following him as a little boy when he first began running. He started by running 6 miles to school every day. As he grows older his father disapproves and tries to sway him in other directions outside of running.  The movie goes beyond just showing his running career but digs deeper into his family and spiritual life.

The movie does an excellent job of showing the pressure and perseverance of Haile Gebrselassie to get to where he is today. Though the movie is depicted more as a documentary in some ways, I would highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it already.

 

A few extra additions…

I know I said 6, but I thought I would also mention two other Prefontaine movies: Fire on the Track and Without Limits. They all take an look at the life of this extraordinary athlete.

 

What are some of your favorite motivational movies?

What are your plans (running or other) for the weekend?

 

About Sara

Welcome to my blog! My name is Sara and this blog documents my journey as a wife and a runner. I train hard and put my heart and soul into my running. My life is a crazy journey full of ups and downs, and I am here to share it all with you!

16 comments

  1. I’ve only watched Spirit of the Marathon on this list. I’ll check out the others!

    This weekend, I’m planning on going on a trail run and enjoying the beautiful spring weather on Saturday :)

    • Let me know how you like them if you do check them out! They are all so inspiring!

      A trail run sounds wonderful! Enjoy :) I am jealous of your spring weather.

  2. So glad you have St. Ralph on the list. I LOVE that movie. All the Pre movies are amazing. As you said he was an amazing athlete.

    I plan on going on a nice run before the storms hit on Saturday. Not excited about a rainy Saturday but we need the rain so badly it is hard to complain.

    Happy Friday!!!!!!!

    • St Ralph is a great movie! I love it! Just writing this post made me want to go back and re-watch all of these!

      Good luck on our run!! Happy Friday!

  3. I LOVE Spirit of the Marathon. I always watch it a couple days before I run a marathon. Have you seen Spirit of the Marathon II? I think it’s coming out on DVD soon so check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

  4. Great list! Everyone tells me to watch Prefontaine, i’ll have to do it before the next marathon

  5. Great list! Thank you for sharing. I will have to check out some of these soon!

  6. Great list! I’ll have to check some out. And if you want a running movie that will make you laugh, you have to see “Run, Fatboy, Run”. Simon Pegg is so funny.

  7. Fun list !

    The only one I have seen is Chariots … and I have a secondary memory of that. In the old days before DVDs and omnipresent rentals you had to wait for a movie to be on TV and then tape it or watch it. My parents were out and my dad wanted me to record it (also before VHS machines had timers!), but I was caught late getting out of work and missed the opening two minutes … oh the stress!

    My motivation movies will always be Rocky and Karate Kid, both of which I saw in theaters … and yes, I have had ‘Gonna Fly Now’ on my iPod since, well since before there were iPods! :)

  8. Prefontaine is a great movie! I will have to check out the others. Have a great weekend!

  9. Unbreakable (western States 100) and 1hundred (Leadville trail 100) are Awesome!

    Brian

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