Training for a marathon can be intimidating. It requires a lot of miles and a lot of time to prepare your body for the race ahead. And the same can be said for running a successful business. In both cases, it’s all about the long-term plan and the small victories that get you there.
As an experienced runner, I’ve learned that the most important piece of my training plan is the long run. You need to get your body used to covering the miles and the time in that’s required to run the race. But there’s more to it than that. Just as with running a business, success in marathon training is about consistency, dedication and celebrating the small victories.
As I began my training plan for my first marathon since 2018, I knew it be a challenge. My plan was four months long, with a mix of running and cross-training throughout the week. The most important piece was the weekly long run. I started with a weekly long run of 10 miles and worked my way up, with moderate increases each week. The culmination of the training plan is to get a couple of 20-mile runs completed. If you can get these under your belt, you’re set for race day.
As I progressed through my training plan, I found myself intimidated by the 17-mile run in week 7. It was hard to explain, but for me, that was the magical distance I needed to get to in order to complete a marathon. What if I couldn’t handle it? After all, I was five years older than my last marathon. But I pushed myself out and hit the road. To my surprise, the run went fine and I felt great.
This experience made me realize that success is not just about the big feats. We often get caught up in the numbers — whether it’s yearly sales for a business or the distance of a marathon. But success is much more than that.
Once at an industry conference, I met the owner of a small pest control company. He almost apologetically told me what his yearly sales were. But I stopped him right away and asked him how many families his company is able to support, and how many customers rely on his services. Our businesses and our success are so much more than simply what our sales numbers are.
The same is true of marathon training. Every day there are countless successes that we all achieve. Each and every one of these small victories add up to the big wins. That one good training run or that new satisfied customer can lead to so many great things in the long run.
So just as I celebrate that 17-mile run as if I won the Olympics, I celebrate every success, no matter how small, as an essential part of my long-term success. Running a business is like running a marathon. It takes dedication, consistency, and celebrating the small victories along the way. It’s all those small victories that leads us to the finish line.
Have a great run!