Six Inspiring Manifestos for Runners

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OK, maybe I’m a sucker for creatively expressed beliefs, but I find certain manifesto’s to be particularly valuable sources of daily inspiration –for family-time, for my job, for writing, and for running.  Obviously, I believe in the power of manifestos to not only motivate others, but as a cornerstone in one’s own belief system – and that was the purpose behind The Running Manifesto.  Here are six others that I hope you find only slightly less motivational.

Cult of Done Manifesto

The Cult of Done Manifesto

Photo Credit: Cult of Done by Flickr User Joshua Rothhaus, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Cult of Done Manifesto, by Bre Prettis, is designed to encourage creative types to just get moving on their project, to stop worrying about perfection and start acting.  Of course, such advice may not apply to everyone – as Merlin Mann wisely points out, maybe surgeons should care a bit more about perfection.  But for runners, there are valuable thoughts here:

  • Banish procrastination is an essential element to starting your journey – not just every day, but for your ‘career”
  • Often times, just getting out and doing something is enough – even if you don’t know exactly what you are doing
  • We too learn the most from our mistakes – whether that’s from going out too hard in a race, or getting injured.

The Expert Enough Manifesto

The Expert Enough Manifesto

Photo Credit:  The Expert Enough Manifesto by Corbett Barr, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license.

The Expert Enough Manifesto, from the blog of the same name, reminds us that, for most of our activities in life, we already know everything we need to know to succeed.  It teaches that breadth is generally better than depth, and that action is the key to reaching our goals.  For runners, this means:

  • Just start – you will learn what you need to know along the way.
  • We only gradually discover what we are capable of, so patience is key
  • We don’t have to be the greatest runner in the world, or in any given race, to be able to enjoy it.

The Happiness Manifesto

The Happiness Manifesto

The Happiness Manifesto is a less elegant document, but that’s part of the point behind Celestine Chua’s Personal Excellence blog.  It reminds us that happiness is a choice, and specifically for runners:

  • Be grateful that you have reached the point where you can have a “bad” or “easy” 6-mile run.
  • Understand and remember the purpose behind your running, when the motivation lags.
  • Often your best results will come when you let go of your expectations.

lululemon athletica manifesto

lululemon athletica manifesto

In a world saturated with mundane and meaningless corporate mission statements, how nice it would be to see inspiring manifestos at the heart of more organizational cultures.  While I don’t necessarily agree with every statement presented, I have to believe that the lululemon athletica manifesto does far more than most company value statements to encourage specific behaviors among the employees. And it can encourage such behaviors for runners too:

  • Don’t “try” for a Boston qualifier (BQ) or a personal record (PR) – state and believe that you “will” achieve your goals
  • The success of your training will not be determined by your best workouts, but by how you bounce back from your worst ones.
  • You should occasionally do a workout that scares you. And then floss.

Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Begin Anywhere - Point 9 of the Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

What is running about if it isn’t about growth, and specifically growth that is never really complete?  While the title Incomplete Manifesto for Growth means that the manifesto itself is incomplete, the implication is (or should be) that growth never really ends either.  And part of the point is that, despite it being “incomplete”, it is published anyway.

Many of the 42 points in this statement of beliefs, originally intended for designers, applies for runners too – after all, we do in fact have quite a bit in common with designers.  We design plans to create the perfect body, and they create designs to achieve, well, whatever.

  • In the long run, the training process is more important than any specific race outcome – it is not one season, and the culmination thereof, that defines you as a runner.  It is the body of work that you put in over many years that helps you achieve your health or performance objectives.
  • If you find the right person, imitation can be a great tool for developing your capabilities.
  • Forget about good – if you want to achieve meaningful breakthroughs, you can never be satisfied with just “good enough.” We constantly need to stretch our imaginations to pursue new possibilities.

The Holstee Manifesto

The Holstee Manifesto

Finally, in another “corporate” manifesto (though from a smaller company than lululemon), the Holstee Manifesto captures the spirit of this bootstrap startup focused on clothing made from recycled material. It is about pursuing your passion and grabbing life by the horns – what better theme is there for runners?

  • Stop over analyzing, life is simple – when you get too consumed with your goals, step back and take time to appreciate the simpler aspects of running.
  • Getting lost will help you find yourself.  If you have the time someday, go out with no destination in mind, and get lost – it may be the most memorable run you have.
  • Live your dream and share your passion – nothing will inspire others to run like seeing your own love of the sport.

Does anyone have any other manifesto’s they’d like to add to the list?  I’m always looking for new sources of ideas and inspiration.


Head over to Healthynomics this month to enter their contest, with prizes including a TRX Suspension Trainer Pro Kit and a Functional Strength Program.

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