The Best Running Scenes From TV & The Movies, Ranked
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Sometimes, when I go for a run, I close my eyes and pretend I’m in a training montage. Swelling music plays, the crowd cheers, a quick two minutes pass, and suddenly I’m extremely fit.
If only, right?
The transformation from couch potato to world champion might not happen as quickly in real life as it does in the movies, but the silver screen can still be a pretty good source of motivation. Hollywood loves a good workout scene and while some may be a little more graceful than others, the moral of the story is usually that, if you put in the effort, you reap the rewards.
So to help you on your way, we’ve rounded up ten of the best workout and running scenes from across film and TV. Because if Phoebe Buffay can do it, so can you.
#10 Every Parks and Rec episode Chris Traeger ran, but especially this one
It wasn’t always easy being Chris Traeger, the resident fitness freak in a town that literally pumped sugar through the water supply. But just like the folks doing Nike Go More, Get More run challenge, Pawnee’s healthiest man knew the importance of setting oneself a distance target and chipping away at it bit by bit.
“I’ve run ten miles a day, every day, for 18 years,” he explains. “That’s 65,000 miles. A third of the way to the moon. My goal is to run to the moon.” No wonder he only has 2.8 per cent body fat.
#9 The very different training montage on Run Fatboy Run
Rocky Balboa he is not, but Dennis Doyle’s everyman training montage in Run Fatboy Run has a charm of its own. After deciding to run the London marathon to impress his ex, Doyle realises he is painfully unfit and needs to shape up. Egg whites are drunk (and then vomited up), hills are ascended and, in the end, he makes it across the finish line… 14 hours after the race began. Inspirational.
#8 Every Tom Cruise run ever
Mission Impossible, The Day After Tomorrow, Mission Impossible 2, Minority Report, War of the Worlds, Mission Impossible 3… Tom Cruise does a lot of running in his movies. How could we possibly choose?
#7 Bridesmaids boot camp
For a cheapskates’ guide to getting ripped, follow the lead of Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph in Bridesmaids and hide behind a tree so you can take the outdoor fitness class without having to pay for it. They get caught and flee to eat cake instead but still, points for trying.
#6 A very hot man makes it look easy in Creed 2
Even those who have zero interest in exercise should watch the training montage from Creed 2, because Michael B Jordan.
#5 Danny trying to impress Sandy in Grease
#4 The will-they-won’t-they jog in Silver Linings Playbook
For the Silver Linings Playbook experience, save time by working out a little sexual tension at the same time as your morning jog. No wonder Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar.
#3 Forrest Gump’s epic cross-country marathon
“For no particular reason,” as he tells it, Forrest Gump sets off on a run that ends up lapping the continent and grows a very long beard along the way. His spontaneous jog turns into a three-year, two-month, 14-day, and 16-hour journey around the United States (artfully condensed down to a seven-minute montage) that takes him from Alabama to Santa Monica and back again, and makes a very compelling case for why you push through the wall. Run Forrest, run.
#2 Phoebe Buffay’s, er, unique running style on Friends
It’s a classic Friends set-up: Rachel and Phoebe go jogging together, but Phoebe runs weird and Rachel doesn’t have the heart to tell her. In the end, it turns out Phoebe is right and running is more fun when you don’t care what you look like.
#1 The original (and best) Rocky montage
If you’re not punching meat are you even working out? Often imitated but never bettered, no other film can quite match the gusto of Rocky Balboa’s first training montage.
Also, this is the music that should play in your head every time you run.
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