Endurance running has taught me a thing or two. I’d like to believe it’s not only made me a better athlete but a better person. I’ve seen not only my health transformed but my actions, too. I find that many of the very same principles that guide my endurance running are so perfectly relevant to my business life!
Even if you yourself are not a runner, if you don’t ever plan to run—there are still a lot of great habits that you can pick up and apply to your professional life.
5 Great Endurance Running Habits You Can Apply to Your Professional Life
1) Practice Consistency
Running well is all about consistency. In order to do well in any race, you have to be consistent in your training regimen. That means a dedication to your workouts regardless of your how you feel, what other obligations you may have, or what obstacles are in your way. You make time and you make it happen because you know the payoff is going to be worth it in the end.
This is a lesson we can all take to the business world with us. Success comes with consistency. But what does it mean to be consistent in our business efforts? Consistency doesn’t mean working late hours or taking on more than you can endure. What it does mean is fully dedicating yourself to the time that you have. It means being fully engaged and intentional about what you are doing.
It means avoiding excuses and instead cultivating a path to the outcomes that you wish to see. It means being in it all the way to the finish line.
2) Always Plan for Contingencies
Endurance runners know that the unexpected is always waiting. An injury, poor weather conditions, or just life can all get in the way of being where we want to be in our training and athleticism. Runners know that all of these potential setbacks and more are on the table. They anticipate them. They plan.
Those of us in the business world should do the same. When setbacks surprise us, we don’t tend to handle them very well. We get flustered and upset and these emotions don’t lead to great decision making.
It’s far better to consider what could go wrong, plan for potential pitfalls, and have a plan ready so that we aren’t caught by surprise.
3) Master Time Management
Being a serious runner demands a good chunk of time, especially in the months leading up to a big race. Squeezing in training, planning the right schedule, and dealing with early hours. Not only is there the time management involved with simply planning for training around what is already a busy schedule, but there is the time management involved in optimizing your workout to ensure that it is as effective as possible.
In business, time management is perhaps even more vital. Being able to manage your time effectively means that no time is wasted. No matter how dedicated and skilled you may be, it is all too easy sometimes to get distracted and chase rabbits while on the clock. If you have a carefully mapped schedule, it’s a lot less likely to happen.
4) Search for Self-Improvement
Endurance runners are rarely satisfied with where they are. And because of that, they want to seek out the things that are going to enhance their outcomes when the moment of truth comes. Not only is there a drive to be better, do better, and improve one’s outcomes in real, tangible ways, but there is a desire to seek out new ways to accomplish this self-improvement. An endurance runner isn’t just going to run more to improve. They will cross-train, tweak their eating habits, experiment with their gear, strength train, and more: all to see what factors will ultimately provide the best results.
There’s something to be said for that for the business world, too.
Striving for self-improvement isn’t just about wanting to get better and hitting on the things you already do. It’s branching out and working across different disciplines to see the results you want to see in yourself and in your business.
5) Value Yourself
Lastly, runners value themselves. This is a principle that often gets lost in the shuffle, but it’s so so important. Runners know that they can’t push themselves past their limits without devastating consequences. Running on an injury is going to hurt them a lot more than just sitting out and resting for a while. Taking care to give their bodies, getting the right fuel, and resting adequately means optimizing their performance.
Runners have to put their health and wellbeing at the top of their list.
As a businessperson, so do you. Do you value your own time? Do you allow yourself to rest and take enough breaks? Are you good about actually taking the vacation you’ve earned? Turning off your devices when you’re not working?
Remember: you don’t do the best work possible if you’re working all the time. It’s far better to prioritize your health, rest, and wellbeing so that you can produce your best work.