4 Personal & Professional Lessons I Learned from Marathon Training
If you would have told me five years ago that I would be running marathons, I would have laughed.
I could barely get through a mile jog without being completely worn out and in pain.
Then I picked up running as an easy way to get in shape and hated just about everything about it.
But all that changed in 2013 when I ran my first 5K.
The sense of accomplishment I felt when I crossed the finish line was like nothing I had ever felt before. I set a goal, dedicated myself to a training program, pushed through the pain, and completed the race!
I just knew after that point that I had to keep going.
Over time, 5Ks turned into 10Ks, 15Ks, and half marathons. Then in 2018, I ran my first 26.2-mile race at the Glass City Marathon. In 2019, I tackled the Mesa-Phx Marathon, and I am currently training for the BMW Berlin Marathon at the end of September.
Training for a marathon has stretched and pushed my mental and physical strength to points I never thought possible.
It has also taught me a lot of valuable lessons that benefit me in both my personal and professional life.
1) Time Management & Organization
During a training season, I typically run 40-50 miles a week which amounts to 6-7 hours total.
In order to fit everything in during the week, I need to make a plan in advance. I organize my work schedule, schedule when I am going run each day, and meal prep lunches and dinners in advance. I organize everything in a planner to help keep me on track each day.
If I didn’t make the effort to organize and manage my time, there is no way I’d be able to hit my miles and take care of everything that needs to be done during the week.
2) Have a Positive Attitude
Running takes just as much mental will power as it does strength and endurance. It amazes me that I can run a marathon, but somedays an easy three-mile run is a struggle.
What it comes down to is my mentality. I know that physically, I am capable of running three miles, but my attitude can get in my way. The right attitude helps me push through those days when I just don’t think I can make it.
It wills me across the finish line when I hit a wall at mile 18. It also gives me that extra “something” I need to complete the task at hand.
In conjunction with a positive attitude, surrounding myself with the right people makes a huge difference for me.
On the days where I just can’t pull together a positive thought to get me through a run, my training partners are right there with me to give me that push I need.
And on days when one of my friends is struggling, I can return the favor. I don’t think any of us could make it through the four months of training without the company and support of each other.
When you have a team of people around you supporting you, it can be the one thing that prevents you from giving up.
4) Always Strive to be Better
I am never satisfied with my results. I am always looking to get better.
Every training cycle, I make changes to my training plan, eating habits, how I fuel during a race, etc. I am always looking to improve the process that prepares me for the start line and gets me across the finish line.
After all, there is always room to grow and get better.