How marathon training helped me in the workplace

By Friday, December 30, 2016 0 Permalink 0

I’m a running “addict” … I cannot imagine not being able to run! It really is so much more than simply ‘keeping fit’. It gives you the opportunity to completely switch off and relax (yes you read that right…. running is relaxing!)

Those of you that know me well are aware that I’ve been running for a while now, in fact I took it up off the back of a bet after being so unfit I couldn’t even walk 13 miles so “obviously” there was no way I’d be able to run a half marathon???? Of course that was proven wrong … after 8 years and many, many medals later the longest break I’ve had was when I had to have surgery on my ear when even sitting up was proving difficult!

But why am I telling you this and why do you care…? (if you’re still reading!) In my opinion I think running has shaped me as a person and more importantly helped me at work. Training for, and running a marathon taught me many things including how I see things in the workplace…

“Be the person listens twice as much as you talk”

The very first marathon I was training for I got injured with just 6 weeks to go, I was absolutely gutted! The thought of all that training “going to waste” was really disappointing. I went to see a sports therapist who told me I had pulled my peroneal tendon and that I needed to rest for 3-6 weeks. After just over a week of no running I felt stronger and eager to get back out there, and believe me I was tempted, I was ready to disregard the advice and run! But… I did listen to the advice I was given and I continued to do my strengthening exercises and took another 2 weeks’ rest, and you know what… I got to that start line and I ran the entire marathon, and it was the proudest moment of my life! If I didn’t listen I’m sure my injury would have remained and I never would have crossed that line. This experience taught me a lot… obviously listening and following advice was important in this situation, but actually the important lesson for me was the only way to learn and be truly successfully was to LISTEN. In my opinion it really is as simple as that…. Listen to what people have to say and you will be a better person for it 🙂

“It always seems impossible until it’s done”

The most daunting part about marathon training is the horrific 6:30am alarm on a Sunday morning… that piercing alarm noise is enough to put anyone off running! Your brain immediately tells you that you are crazy for even considering the thought of 26.2 miles! There’s been many times I’ve convinced myself that it’s impossible and that I might as well give up now… so why did I keep going? (good question!). For me, its about knowing what you will achieve at the end! With that end goal in mind your brain convinces you that it’s worth it! … And exactly the same concept applies in the workplace, when something seems impossible, I learnt that the most important thing to remember is the reason you are even talking about it… that shiny end goal waiting for you! I’ve been in many meetings where we have all discussed how something seems so unlikely (…of course you are right at the start of that journey) but when you remind people why you even started that journey in the first place, it gives everyone the motivation to continue! That motivation is enough to reach your goal 🙂

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

Can you imagine putting your trainers on for the very first time and running 26.2 miles? Of course not! That why we have a plan! I’ve known many runners who decided that running a marathon would be “fun” and decided that no plan was needed and that they could “just do it”! Some of them were brave enough to appear at that start line! But in reality how many of them really achieved a result they were happy with? In fact, the biggest question is, how many of them even crossed the line? … The same applies at work! How can you have a real goal if you have no idea how you will reach it?! One of my most memorable meetings was a specific individual stating a goal the team needed to achieve (apart from the initial shock) the first question was “HOW”, how on earth were we meant to to get to that goal??!! In my opinion you should never state a goal without having at least a rough plan or “mini” goals on how you will get there, and show the steps needed in order to achieve it

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