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The 9 Career Hacks of Successful Marathon Runners

The 9 Career Hacks of Successful Marathon Runners

Marathon running is one of the most demanding sports in the world. That is why many highly successful people enjoy the sport. Ever wonder about the career benefits of running in marathons? Check out these 9 career hacks marathon runners utilize to win first prize both on the track and in the office. Whether you’re interested in occasional running or training for your next race, you’ll likely find these habits both helpful and inspiring.

1. They Know How To Set Specific Goals

For over a hundred years, the marathon distance has been set at 26 miles, 385 yards (or 42.2 Km). That well-defined distance makes setting goals easier because it encourages runners to set time goals. Setting a goal and working hard to achieve it is a key reason why marathon runners are successful. According to Mary Wittenberg, CEO of New York Road Runners, the average runner’s household income was $130,000

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2. They Invest In The Right Equipment

Taking on a challenging assignment is easier when you have the right tools. That’s why marathon runners often buy top notch quality shoes and other equipment. The same principle applies in the business world. Everyone in your office may have the same basic computer. You can set yourself apart by investing in productivity books such as Getting Things Done.

3. They Work Hard Even When Nobody Is Watching

When you train for a marathon, you have to work hard to stick to your training schedule. There are a lot of mornings where you have to get up and train by yourself. That principle is valuable in the career world as well. If you need to be constantly monitored in order to be productive, your capacity to be promoted will suffer.

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4. They Know That Business Is An Endurance Sport

Running a full marathon takes hours of sincere effort and weeks of strenuous training. Charlie Brown, a sports psychologist, finds that highly successful people have character traits such as focus and persistence. That means they can achieve success in a race and in the business world.

5. They Track Their Results

Marathon runners often become fixated on tracking their numbers. Runners who track their miles, times, heart rate, and other information have the ability to improve their performance. Likewise, tracking your accomplishments with a brag sheet is essential. In a marathon race, your results are clear to everyone. In the business world, you will often to have to track and present your results to be recognized.

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6. They Understand The Mind-Body Connection

Taking care of your body helps improve your mental health. Entrepreneur and Authors Unite Founder Tyler Wagner regularly runs 10 miles a day. “Running keeps me balanced. It keeps me centered and calm. The run is the key to my success.” Balance and mental clarity are valuable traits as you work through major business problems.

7. They Observe Rest Days After Significant Work

Almost every marathon training plan strongly recommends rest days, especially after long runs. Resting and reflecting gives your body time to recover. Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend, found that planning to rest on the weekend is a common trait among successful people. Taking the time to rest gives you a fresh perspective on your challenges and goals.

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8. They Know How To Motivate Themselves

Finding your own motivation is essential to running a marathon. According to Harvard Health Publications, many marathon runners “hit the wall” about five miles away from the finish line. At this stage, exhaustion becomes a major obstacle. Motivating yourself to keep working is essential in marathons and in business. For example, if you are in the sales field, making one or two more sales call per day adds up to major results over time.

9. They Network With Other Successful People

Author Jim Rohn famously observed that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Given that reality, taking up marathon running makes a lot of sense. If you want to be successful in the business world, spending time with people dedicated to tackling tough goals will inspire you. Successful people who have run marathons include actor Will Ferrell and chef Gordon Ramsay. Many leading CEOs also run marathons including Robert Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, and John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile.

Featured photo credit: Runners/Skeeze via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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