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Apr 12

Marathon pic

Today, as I cheered on the Brighton Marathon 2015 runners, it reminded me what a truly amazing feat it is to dedicate oneself to the training needed to complete the 26.2 miles.  As I shook my little girl’s maraca (beats getting sore hands from clapping), shouting out well done, you can do it, not long to go now, I was overwhelmed by emotion knowing the mental and physical endurance those runners have put themselves through.

It got me thinking about some of the disciplines or values you need as a marathon runner and how these can be applied at work, try adopting some of these principles and see if you achieve better results…..


#1 Get to the end goal by tackling it in bite size chunks

Most marathon training schedules build up to the distance over months by adding a mile or two every week.

At work, if you’ve got a big task to tackle, break it down into bite size chunks, which are more achievable to attain, and will ultimately allow you to complete the task.


#2 Don’t put it off until tomorrow, when it needs to be done today

As a marathon runner, there’s nothing worse than when you open the curtains on a Sunday morning, it’s pee-ing it down with rain and your training schedule says you need to go out and run 18 miles, dedicated runners take it on the chin, stick on a weather proof jacket and get on there and get the run done.

The same goes for putting things off at work, it’s easy to give yourself reasons not to get on with the difficult tasks, but think of the sense of achievement when you do complete them.


#3 Train hard, rest well

One of the biggest rules of marathon training is give your body time to rest and recover between runs in order to become fitter and avoid injury.

Sadly, with the trend towards being “on 24-7” due to smart phones and email overload, many workers are not getting the recuperation time they need after a days work; make sure you are building down time and switching work “off’ to achieve the right work / life balance.


#4 Fuel your body – what you put in affects what you get out

For a marathon runner, it goes without saying that diet and nutrition is really important, to be able to run distances you need to fuel your body with the right food to give the right levels of energy.

All to often, demanding work schedules can compromise your intentions to maintain a healthy, balanced diet; skipping meals or substituting them with coffee is commonplace for many busy executives. Think about your daily diet, plan ahead and always try to start the day with a healthy breakfast and make sure you have a supply of healthy snacks in your desk drawer.


#5 If you hit the wall, believe in yourself and you’ll get through it

Hitting the wall is common around the 18-20 mile mark on a marathon, the negative voices in your head telling you that you just cannot go any further.  Every runner will have their own way to overcome this feeling, one method is visualisation – imagine yourself crossing the line and drinking a glass of champagne at the end!

Again, all too often work pressure can get you down and you start to question yourself and your abilities, try the regular practice of visualising your goals and aspirations as already complete, this can rapidly accelerate your achievement of those goals.


Essentially, being more effective and making progress is all about being more disciplined, looking after yourself and thinking positively – not exactly rocket science, but sometimes easy to forget when you’re in the thick of it and can’t see the wood from the trees.

Congratulations to all of those who took part in the Brighton Marathon today and good luck for all of those runners hitting the streets of London next week!