Five Business Lessons I’ve Learned From Marathon Training

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Call it crazy. Call it risky for someone with my back issues. Call it a mid-life crisis. Each of those would be accurate an accurate assessment as I take on training for my first half-marathon just weeks before the big 4-0.

As I sit at my dining room table, icing my foot and sipping white wine (don’t tell my trainer), I’d like to share a few lessons I’ve learned from my fitness program thus far that are applicable in the office.

1. Believe that you can.  Sounds easy enough. Think positive thoughts. However, it’s much harder to actually put into practice. I truly do run better, farther and faster on days when I tell myself “You’ve got this!” than on days when I repeatedly moan and whine. The same is true in the business world. Positive thinking can do wonders for your own productivity as well as workplace morale.

2. Make a commitment and see it through.  Pretty self explanatory.  If you say you’re going to cross the finish line, do it. Give it your all. Nothing garners respect in the workplace more quickly than proving you’re good for your word.

3. Have a plan, but know that it may change. It’s not enough for me to wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon. I must have a plan to get me there. It’s also important for me to be flexible enough (and work with someone flexible enough) to adjust according to my ability and any unforeseen circumstances (refer to above mention of ice on foot). The lesson here is that the only thing constant is change. Deal with it.

4. Get outside your comfort zone. It’s the only way to grow. In running, and in life, you will never improve if you aren’t challenged.

5. Enlist help when you need it.  I knew how far I could go on my own fitness knowledge, and when it was time to call in a pro. As a manager, it’s important to know when it’s time to relinquish control and call in the troops.

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