The Power of Having a Plan and Someone to "Run" With

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I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say I never thought I’d call myself a runner. Thirteen months ago my personal trainer asked a group of us if we wanted to participate in a local Thanksgiving Day race, and with a lot of trepidation in my mind I agreed to register. I had never run a race over 5 kilometers before and the race I’d just agreed to run was twice that distance. After giving me a few minutes to process the decision I’d made, my trainer laid out the training plan to make sure all of us would complete the goal of running the race. The process she outlined for us was simple and effective and consisted of the following steps:

  1. Start Small – “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu. I’m pretty sure my trainer never met Lao Tzu (mainly because he died in 533 BC), but she took the idea and applied it to our training plan. We literally started small…1 mile runs twice a week, 1 minute running, and 1 minute walking. The distance and time it took to complete the exercise was easy for us and all of a sudden we were off and running (and walking).

  2. Gradual Increases – As the group gained confidence in our abilities to run farther and for longer intervals, something else started to happen. Individuals who may have been quiet during other workouts started making supportive comments. “Keep going!” “We’re almost there.” “You can do it; don’t stop.” And my favorite, which would become our mantra on race day, “Just keep lifting your legs.”

  3. Race Buddies – Towards the end of our 8 week training program, some early adopters had decided they weren’t going to actually run the race. When it was all said and done, only Molly, Sarah and I showed up to run. We had our plan, we had stuck to our training program, and we were ready to accomplish the task ahead of us. Even though the race was long and there were times each of us wanted to stop and walk, the power of encouraging and supporting each other kept us moving forward.

Funny thing about preparing for and completing a race, it’s just like preparing for and running a business. Just wanting to have a successful business isn’t enough to guarantee it will happen. Investing time to plan, to map out the processes to get you from where you are to where you want to be, and having the right support team in place is critical. As a business coach, my role with clients parallels that of my personal trainer. She had a process and helped us execute on the plan to achieve our goals. She didn’t run the race for us, but gave us the tools to be successful, and that’s exactly how I serve my clients.

Remember – when you feel like quitting and think you can’t go any further, you’re only 40% done. You still have 60% left to give, and having the right coach/race buddy can help you tap into those reserves.

“Just keep lifting your legs.” – Sarah V.

Comment below on what action or actions you’re going to take this week to guarantee you keep moving forward.  We look forward to reading your comments.

Author: Drew Schwegman, Northern Kentucky Business Coach