10 David Goggins Quotes That Changed My Perspective of Running

10 David Goggins Quotes That Changed My Perspective of Running
David Goggins running in the 2007 Kiehl’s Badwater Ultra Marathon. Photo by Brandon Rogers on Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain

You won’t understand the 40% rule until you practice it.

When you think you’re done, you’re only at 40% of what your body is capable of doing. That’s just the limit that we put on ourselves.

Whenever you feel that first urge to stop or slow down on a run, usually you can put in more. Even on a 1-mile run, the first urge to do this is usually around the 40% mark.

When I ran my first marathon, I never dreamt that I would be able to run a longer distance than that. Now the longest distance I have run is 63 miles and I’m training to run 100 miles.

The only way you’re going to grow is by pushing yourself beyond what you think is possible.

Drop your perceptions of what you think is possible for yourself. 10 years ago, I would have thought it was impossible for me to do a 100-mile ultra marathon. Now I am training to do one. Maybe even a 200-mile ultra will be in my future.

Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.

Perhaps his most famous quote. When we get tired, it does not mean that we are finished. Fatigue sets in far sooner than what the end will be.

When I am on a run, my brain is constantly trying to rationalize shorting a run or not doing what I set out to do. It’s because I’m tired, I want it to be over and I am in charge of my training. It’s easy to stop. No one will be there to judge me. It’s me vs me. The runs with the greatest internal battle are the ones I’m most proud of.

You have to build calluses on your brain just like how you build calluses on your hands. Callus your mind through pain and suffering.

The mind is soft. It wants to find the easy way out in any way possible. After all, it is the path of least resistance.

Building up calluses takes work but so does maintaining them. If you let your mind slip back into old ways, it will only be a matter of time before you will become soft again.

Motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes. When you’re driven, whatever is in front of you will get destroyed.

Motivation is the kindling to the fire. It gets it started but it is not enough to keep you going. There will be days when you will go out on a run when you don’t feel like it. It’s not about doing what you feel like. It’s about getting out there to achieve your goals.

The most important conversation is the one you have with yourself.

There’s a lack of self-reflection in our society today. Next time you go out on a run, run without headphones. Listen to the voice that’s in your head. Maybe it’s trying to tell you something important. Don’t shut yourself out.

Don’t let your past dictate who you are, but let it be a lesson that strengthens the person you will become.

Just because you failed at something in life doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to succeed at it in the future. I tried to run a 100-mile ultra marathon in October of 2022 and failed at it. I’m proud of myself for stepping into the arena to try it. I will try another one again.

We live in a world where mediocrity is often rewarded. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Fight for greatness.

Fight to be the best version of yourself. Do not fight to only be better than the people around you. If you are surrounded by a bunch of losers and you’re trying to be the best loser, you’re still a loser.

If none of your friends and family are runners and you have a dream of running a marathon, do it. Fight for your inner greatness.

If you can see yourself doing something, you can do it. If you can’t see yourself doing it, usually you can’t achieve it.

I know that I’m never going to be a basketball player in the NBA. That one is obvious. Writing a book? I can imagine myself doing it. I’ve written millions of words and hundreds of articles. If I string them all together in one coherent thought, I have a book.

If you can imagine yourself doing something, you can achieve it. You may have to work harder than others to achieve it.

You’re in danger of living a life so comfortable and soft that you’ll die without ever realizing your true potential.

I used to think a glorious life was a postcard picture of sitting on a beach and relaxing. “If I had “x” amount of money to be set for life, then I would be happy.”

This is a fallacy. A glorious life isn’t a life where everything is taken care of for you. A glorious life is where you take on the risks of pursuing your goals and achieving them.

Part of the reason that I run is to break myself down and to keep myself uncomfortable. Now anytime I get too comfortable, I almost feel uncomfortable because I know that I am leaving something on the table.

To people who haven’t lived this way, it’s not a masochistic life. It’s a life where you know that feeling that you can do more and you want to do more because you know that you only live once.