Marathon training is not something you just pick up and do on a whim. It takes planning. It takes hard work. It takes dedication. And you learn a lot along the way. About more than just running.
Training for and completing a marathon – whether it’s your first or your fiftieth – is something you will never forget. And the effort you put into running all 26.2 miles will make you more successful in life.
How? Here are just three of the many ways.
1 – Set and Achieve Long Term Goals
You are constantly being pushed towards instant gratification. Every alert from your phone or update on social media pulls you in. Do it now!
Still, some of the most important things in life require a slower approach. Long term goal setting is becoming a lost art. But marathon training will help you get it back.
It takes months of training to prepare for a marathon. You can’t just decide you want to go and run one tomorrow. You have to visualize your goal, create a plan, and follow through to achieve success.
That applies to many areas of life – like business, finances, family, and personal relationships. Learning to set goals and revel in their achievement will help you succeed everyday.
2 – Compete Against Yourself, Not Others
When you get into a marathon starting corral, you’re surrounded by other runners. But they’re not your competitors. Instead, each runner is just like you: a focused, driven individual who has struggled to get to this point. And you all share a common goal: push yourself to do your personal best, not to crush others.
This is a valuable lesson that extends to many aspects of life. Even in the cut-throat business world, learning to compete against yourself is extremely valuable.
Comparing yourself to others leads to frustration, jealousy, and other negative reactions. Striving for your own personal best will help you get ahead with positive vibes – just like you crossed the finish line proud of your hard work.
3 – Face Challenges, Don’t Run from Them
The long months of marathon training are sure to be full of challenges. Many runners face:
Injury: From runner’s knee to plantar fasciitis, there are lots of ways to get hurt. But if you’re going to stick it out and keep training, you’ve got to learn to take care of yourself, adjust your runs, and listen to your body.
Time: Getting in those long runs is never easy. You have work, family, and other responsibilities to balance. But as you learn to juggle your schedule and include your training runs, you also learn how much you are capable of. And just how efficient you can become when you’re focused on a goal.
Motivation: Sure, you want to run a marathon. But it’s easy to forget that when your alarm goes off on a cold morning at 5am for a 20 mile run. When you push yourself to get up and go, you discover personal motivation. That’s the same drive that helps you stay successful at any endeavor, big or small.
Running a marathon is a big deal. But those 26.2 miles on race day are just the culmination of months of hard work and training. Every run and every workout push you to be a better runner… and a more successful person.
What has marathon training taught you? How has it benefitted you and made you more successful?
David Porter is a runner and Marketing Director for Glacier Nutrition, offering nutritional supplements for men and women made from all-natural ingredients.