10 Motivational Running Movies

Running is undoubtedly one of the best forms of exercise. It helps strengthen your joints, boost your confidence, relieve stress, and more! In other words, running is an excellent way to increase your overall level of health. You’re probably reaping these benefits if you love running. But no matter how committed you are to the sport/exercise, there may be times when you feel unmotivated to run the tracks or even hit the treadmill.

Well, you can beat the slump by being entertained. And one great form of entertainment is watching movies! Good thing there are good films about running that will inspire you and make you want to get off your couch, lace up, and unleash the runner in you again. Here’s our list of motivational running-themed movies that you will enjoy and relate to!

Prefontaine and Without Limits

Get some inspiration from these two biopics about American track legend Steve Prefontaine. Both movies chronicle Pre’s running tactics, his short career (including the 1972 Munich Olympics disappointment), and his tragic car crash at the age of 24. You’ll discover how incredible he was as a runner. His intensity and spirit can bring your running to a whole new level.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

This 1962 British film was based on a book by Allan Sillitoe. It tells the story of Colin Smith (Tom Courtenay), a young working-class and rebellious man with a talent in long-distance running. The film conveys how running can be used as a form of physical, mental, and emotional escape.


This movie about Kenyan marathoner Wesley Korir will not only motivate you. It will also help you become more aware of what’s happening around the world. Running allowed Korir to escape poverty and life’s hardships in Kenya. But after winning multiple marathons, he chose to return home to try to help improve the life of his fellow Kenyans.

Marathon Man

If you’re into suspense/thriller, you’ll enjoy this 1976 film about running obsessive Thomas “Babe” Levy played by award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman. The film shows how Levy used his endurance and leg power when he got caught up with the Nazis and some stolen diamonds. Racing scenes showing the feats of Ethiopian Olympic legend Abebe Bikila in Rome and Tokyo were included in the film.

Chariots of Fire

Considered as one of the most epic running films ever made, Chariots of Fire is a tale of the lives of British Olympians Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams. You’ll be thrilled to watch inspiring scenes from races around the University of Cambridge courtyard to Liddell and Abraham’s triumph at the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Forrest Gump

This Oscar-laden film starring Tom Hanks deserves a spot on this list. Everyone remembers that “Run, Forrest, run!” line when Gump sets off on an epic run after his childhood sweetheart Jenny Curran left him. Gump finally stopped running and decided to “leave the past behind” after three years, two months, 14 days, and 16 hours, covering more than 15,000 miles!


This movie follows the life of 1936 Olympian Louie Zamporini in a World War II prison camp. The runner’s strength, courage, determination, and character helped him face and survive the obstacles during those tough times. If he can survive war, you can certainly handle several miles.

Personal Best

Female athletes will be inspired with this provocative and critically-acclaimed film showcasing a group of female track athletes training for the 1980 U.S. Olympic trials. The cast is composed of real-life athletes including Olympic hurdler Patrice Donnelly. After watching this film, you will be motivated to achieve your personal best on your next run.

McFarland USA

In this Disney movie based on a true story, Kevin Costner plays coach to a South Californian cross country team composed of seven young men with talent but will small future prospects. If you love underdog stories, you’ll enjoy this one and be motivated by the passion and determination of the athletes in the movie.

Run, Fat Boy, Run

Long-distance running is tough, but this light and funny movie will make you feel empowered to take it on anytime. It’s a story about Dennis Doyle (played by comedian Simon Pegg), who goes from being an unmotivated affable loser to a determined marathoner in order to win back the love of his life.

These 10 movies depicting running will motivate you in case you’ve been skipping a few runs lately. Whether you feel like watching something funny, suspenseful, drama, or documentary, we have that on the list. Regardless of whatever you choose, one of these movies will definitely remind you why you love running and how it makes you feel good.

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