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11 Reasons Why Runners Are More Likely To Be Successful

11 Reasons Why Runners Are More Likely To Be Successful

As a long distance athlete, I often get asked: “why on earth do you spend so much time on your running?” My response is often a mere giggle or a one-liner: “it’s a hobby!” The reality though is this: running yields success. Whilst not all runners will succeed, there are clear distinct reasons why runners are likely to be successful.

Having run over 30 marathons, 15 ultra-marathons and 4 Comrades Marathons – I can say with certainty that running yields success. I’ve run with CEOS, Executives, Managers, Supervisors and Entrepreneurs. But success is not entirely limited to financial or professional success. Because running gives you so much time to chat to fellow runners, I’ve had conversations with many athletes who occupy ‘low-key jobs’ in society. As such, chatting to runners such as security guards has often shown me that running gives them life success and contentment that goes far beyond the boundaries of finances and a profession.

To that extent, my definition of success is living a fulfilling and balanced life.

In this post, I want to share 11 reasons why runners are likely to successful.

1. They understand the importance of goal-setting

Goal setting is vital. In 1979, Harvard MBA program graduate students were asked “have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” The result: only 3% had written goals and plans. 13% had goals but they weren’t in writing. 84% had no goals at all.

Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and the result was absolutely mind-blowing. The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down was earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals. The 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined!

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Nothing significant can be achieved in the absence of setting clear and powerful goals. Runners set goals all the time. Speed training is driven by goals. Hills training is driven by goals. Long runs are based on goals. Races are driven by goals. In fact, missing some of these goals can be heart-breaking (more of this later in the post).

2. They measure progress

Runners are obsessed with gadgets. Why? Because these gadgets measure almost everything: speed, heart rate, distance, averages, etc. All this data is important and gets analysed by runners to measure progress.

3. They value time

Time is of the essence to runners. Races start promptly. Chasing a race because you were late is just not cool. At an event like the Comrades Marathon, ONE second can shatter your dreams. Ask anyone who finishes the race in 12 hours and 1 second.

Earlier, I mentioned the heart-break of missing goals. Because Comrades has numerous cut-off points, imagine the heart-ache of getting cut-off because you are few seconds late. To runners, one second is the difference between a medal and non-acknowledgement. One second is the difference between tears of joy and tears of heart-ache.

Below is a picture of runners who were cut off at the 2015 Comrades Marathon. It shows how a few seconds or minutes lead to heart-ache.

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cut off

    The picture says a thousands words.

    4. They are highly disciplined

    Training for a long distance event – marathons and longer – requires self-discipline.

    It takes months of consistency, sacrifice and effort, all of which hinge on this one vital characteristic called self-discipline.

    5. They know how to overcome obstacles

    During training, runners will go through periods of injuries, illness and fatigue – physically and mentally.

    In extreme events like the Comrades Marathon, runners experience grueling obstacles. From the crazy distances to tough weather conditions, runners have to endure challenges that bring out the best in them.

    6. They are patient

    Runners value process. In a world of short-cuts and manipulation, runners understand that the best way to get success is through patience. Patience builds life endurance in you. Patience teaches you humility. In all of these teachings, runners learn that the longest route to success is taking short-cuts.

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    As a result, patience is non-negotiable!

    7. They know that competing with others is not the most important thing

    Competing is great. It improves you and makes you a better person. However, you have to view competition with the right perspective. Whilst competing with others is awesome, competing against yourself is the ideal. That way, you don’t become jealous. You don’t get devastated by other people’s success because you know that your turn to succeed will come around. And when it does, it doesn’t necessarily have to come in the same measure as others.

    8. They build networks

    Be it training or race events, runners meet hundreds of people. Because of the nature of long distance running, you are able to spend hours on the road, interacting with others. Through this interaction, relationships are built. Through relationship building, intricate networks are built – all of which are necessary ingredients to success.

    9. They budget

    Runners have numerous events in any given year. Some of those events are out of town and attract travelling and accommodation costs. As a result, they are forced to budget in advance to avoid the increased costs of last minute bookings. Budgeting is essential to life success.

    10. They understand the power of leverage

    The picture below says a mouthful:

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    going far

      To runners, they understand the power of team work. As such, they often jump into a crowd of runners that has a “pace-setter”, what we commonly call “buses” in South Africa. If it isn’t crowds, they run in batches of two to four runners. Why? Because they know that there is power in leveraging.

      When you run in a team, you are able to encourage one another and share the load and strain. You are also able to glean and learn from the strongest. Ultimately, in a team, you are able to go far. Success is about going far, not sprinting.

      11. They view failure differently

      Failure becomes temporary if you have the right perspective. EVERYONE fails in life. The difference between those who succeed and fail is that those who succeed view failure as temporary.

      As you can see from the Facebook post below: runners learn from failure. They view failure as a necessary transition towards success. A transition that enables them to pick themselves up, give it another shot and persevere.

      1_finish_from_8_starts

        Success is not an automatic process. It requires a certain type of mindset. It also requires a particular lifestyle that is built of productive habits.

        Running is an awesome sporting discipline that builds characteristic in you that can’t be manipulated. No wonder Oprah Winfrey and Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy both ran marathons in 1994 and 2003 respectively.

        More by this author

        Peteni Kuzwayo

        Peteni is the founder of Run For Wealth. He shares about entrepreneurship and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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        Last Updated on May 17, 2019

        This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

        This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

        The pursuit of worthwhile goals is a part of what makes life enjoyable. Being able to set a goal, then see yourself progress towards achieving that goal is an amazing feeling.

        But do you know the biggest obstacle for most people trying to achieve their goals, the silent dream killer that stops people before they ever even get started? That obstacle is the comfort zone, and getting stuck there is bound to derail any efforts you make towards achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.

        If you want to achieve those goals, you’ll have to break free from your comfort zone. Let’s take a look at how your life will change once you build up the courage to leave your comfort zone.

        What Is the Comfort Zone?

        The comfort zone is defined as “a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.”

        What stands out to me the most about that definition is the last part: “using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.” How many successful people do you know who deliver a steady level of performance?

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        The goal in life is to continually challenge yourself, and continually improve yourself. And in order to do that, you have move out of your comfort zone. But once you do, your life will start to change in ways you could never have imagined. I know because it’s happening right now in my own life.

        Here’s what I’ve learned.

        1. You will be scared

        Leaving your comfort zone isn’t easy. In fact, in can be downright terrifying at times, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little trepidation when you’re embarking on a journey that forces you to try new things.

        So don’t freak out or get overwhelmed when you feel yourself getting a little scared. It’s perfectly normal and all part of the process. What’s important is that you don’t let that fear hold you back. You must continue to take action in the face of fear.

        That’s what separates winners from losers.

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        2. You will fail

        Stepping out of your comfort zone means you’re moving into uncharted territory. You’re trying things that you’ve never tried before, and learning things you’ve never learned before.

        That steep learning curve means you’re not going to get everything right the first time, and you will eventually fail when you move out of your comfort zone. But as long as the failures aren’t catastrophic, it can actually be a good thing to fail because …

        3. You will learn

        Failure is the best teacher. I’ve learned more from each one of my failures than I have from each one of my successes. When you fail small, and fail often, you rapidly increase the rate at which you learn new insights and skills. And that new knowledge, if applied correctly, will eventually lead to your success.

        4. You will see yourself in a different way

        Once you move out of your comfort zone, you immediately prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than you thought was possible. And that will change the way you see yourself.

        Moving forward, you’ll have more confidence in yourself whenever you step out of your comfort zone, and that increased confidence will make it more likely that you continue to step outside your comfort zone. And each time you do, you’ll prove to yourself again and again what you’re really capable of.

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        5. Your peers will see you in a different way

        Whether we want to admit or not, people judge other people. And right now, people view you in a certain way, and they have a certain idea of what you’re capable of. That’s because they’ve become accustomed to seeing you operate in your comfort zone.

        But once you move out of your comfort zone, you’ll prove to other people, as well, that you’re capable of much more than you’ve shown in the past.

        The increased confidence other people place in you will bring about more opportunities than ever before.

        6. Your comfort zone will expand

        The good thing about the comfort zone is that it’s flexible and malleable. With each action you take outside of your comfort zone, it expands. And once you master that new skill or action, it eventually becomes part of your comfort zone.

        This is great news for you because it means that you can constantly increase and improve upon the behaviors that you’re comfortable with. And the more tools and skills you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.

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        7. You will increase your concentration and focus

        When you’re living inside of your comfort zone, the bulk of your actions are habitual: automatic, subconscious, and requiring limited focus.

        But once you move out of your comfort zone, you no longer rely on those habitual responses. You’re forced to concentrate and focus on the new action in a way you never do in your comfort zone.

        8. You will develop new skills

        Moving out of your comfort zone requires that you develop new skills. One of the many benefits you’ll experience is that you’ll be stepping away from the “limited set of behaviors” and start to develop your ability and expertise in new areas.

        Living inside of your comfort zone only requires a limited skill set, and those skills won’t contribute much to your success. Once you can confidently step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new skill, there’s no limit to how much you can achieve.

        9. You will achieve more than before

        With everything that happens once you move out of your comfort zone, you’re naturally going to achieve more than ever before.

        Your increased concentration and focus will help you develop new skills. Those new skills will change the way you see yourself, encouraging you to step even further out of your comfort zone.

        Featured photo credit: Josef Grunig via farm3.staticflickr.com

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