It’s a marathon not a sprint

As a lot of you know, two of my favourite things aside from family and friends are running and work! Whilst out pounding the pavements of London I began thinking of the similarities of running and work and how they go hand in hand.

1. You don’t need to do it alone.

I love both running alone or with company. Whether it’s a leisurely jog chatting whilst we go or being dragged along by someone much faster, I enjoy both (strangely)! Nate Filer and James Borett have both destroyed me on a lunchtime run but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The same can be said in the workplace. You can be continually searching out help from others, either more experienced or younger. When I caught up with Dominic Christian (CEO – Aon Benfield) recently he revealed he has a reverse mentor, a 24-year-old who gives him advice on modern technology! Having a coach or mentor is crucial to help you on your journey and I am lucky enough to have Stuart Davies who constantly keeps me on my toes. Eliud Kipchoge would not be the runner he is without Patrick Sang and he declared there isn’t a single day in the last 18 years where Eliud hasn’t asked him for help!

2. Determination, will power and discipline are key!

The biggest challenge about training is putting your trainers on! Once you’re out of the door, you have done the hardest part. I’ve been lucky enough to train amongst some incredible athletes both at Loughborough University and at various running clubs in London. The best competitors have all said the same thing… “it’s about consistency and determination. Keep turning up, doing the basics right and ticking off the miles.”

This somewhat resembles the workplace. To make it to the top takes time. It takes dedication to becoming an expert in your field and discipline to keep going when things go wrong. I recently read ‘Shoe Dog’ (the Nike story by Phil Knight the founder) and was surprised to read how many times that Nike nearly went under in their first 20 years. Phil kept going through sheer determination and that has led to the business it is today.

3. Set a plan

Whilst training for a race, I follow a (fairly) strict training plan. It is written out on paper and each day gets ticked off following each session. Something similar can benefit your career, thinking about what you want to have achieved in a certain time period and what needs to be done to progress to the next level.

“People who are successful in business often know how to set big goals and break them down into doable steps.” – Laura Vaderkam

4. Step out of your comfort zone

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary but your mind gives up in running a long time before your body does. In races I try to trick my mind to keep going and tend to start counting when it hurts or make deals with myself “get to the next lamp post and you can quit!” When I’m there I then pick the next lamp post and so on! 

Within the workplace it can be scary to step out of your comfort zone and ask for that promotion, pay rise or to move jobs. One thing is for certain though, you are unlikely to get what you’re looking for unless you step out of your comfort zone.

“Be Brave, take risks. Nothing can substitute experience!” For any career advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Written by William Gallimore – 0207 337 8826

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