Eloquent Quotes about Running from Haruki Murakami

These quotes about running from Haruki Murakami describe the deeper joys, pains and experiences of his life as an Ultra Runner.

Haruki Murakami was born January 12, 1949 in Kyōto, Japan. He has worked extensively as a novelist, short-story writer and translator whose deeply imaginative and often ambiguous books became international best sellers. He also owned and ran a jazz bar in his earlier years, but is lesser known for his dedication to long distance running.

portrait in black and white of Haruki Murakami.
Haruki Murakami

He is an accomplished runner in his own way, however in his excellent book “What we talk about when we talk about running”, published in 2007, he explains his emotional, physical and spiritual connection with the sport in his own unique way.

Quotes about Running from Haruki Murakami

“The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.”

“I’ll be happy if running and I can grow old together.”

“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself.”

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer.

But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that.

Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life – and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree.”

“I get up early in the morning, 4 o’clock, and I sit at my desk and what I do is just dream. After three or four hours, that’s enough. In the afternoon, I run.”

Find out what Murakami thinks of Surfing

“All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says.”

“I’m often asked what I think about as I run. Usually, the people who ask this have never run long distances themselves. I always ponder the question. What exactly do I think about when I’m running? I don’t have a clue.”

Sport has often played an inspirational role in Murakami’s creative process. His website explains the inspiration behind his decision to write his first book.

“In 1978 Murakami was in the bleachers of Jingu Stadium watching a baseball game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp when Dave Hilton, an American, came to bat. According to an oft-repeated story, in the instant that he hit a double, Murakami suddenly realized that he could write a novel. He went home and began writing that night.”

His first novel, ‘Hear the Wind Sing’, won the Gunzou Literature Prize for budding writers in 1979. This success was followed with two sequels, Pinball, 1973 and A Wild Sheep Chase, which all together form ‘The Trilogy of the Rat’.

Mountain and cloud in black and white
Mountains © Hao Wen

Murakami’s other novels include:

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World; 
  • Norwegian Wood; 
  • Dance Dance Dance; 
  • South of the Border, West of the Sun;
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
  • Sputnik Sweetheart
  • Kafka on the Shore
  • After Dark 
  • 1Q84
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

He has written three short story collections:

  • The Elephant Vanishes 
  • After the Quake
  • Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

He also completed an illustrated novella entitled ‘The Strange Library’. He credits Raymond Chandler, Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Brautigan as being important influences for his work.

If you love quotes, get inspired for your next trip with these travelling quotes to stir your wanderlust or reconnect with the natural world through this curated selection of nature quotes for wild adventurers. Alternatively, pick up simple life lessons from one of the brightest minds in environmental history.

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