On April 23rd I am running a full marathon for the first time, in my home city of London. I’m in training. Nothing very original about this – there will be tens of thousands of us lining up at the start line at 10am. Of course I have my own story and sense of purpose behind running, and you can read my story if you are interested, but I want to focus on what preparing for the race is teaching me about business and life.
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This week I will be running 13 endurance miles at the weekend, doing a gruelling one hour hill training session (running up and down a steep hill as fast as I can) a one hour ‘tempo run’ at the fastest pace I can manage and a gym conditioning session. Every week adds 10 minutes (about a mile) to my endurance run. Put aside for a minute the demands of running a business and having a family, the training demands self-discipline, determination and resilience. I am in my 50s so there is a more risk of injury (running takes its toll on the muscles and joints!) and all of these activities have to be sandwiched by dynamic stretching, cold and hot water and occasionally physio. It’s a lot of time and effort mixed in with the pain and strain. I won’t bore you with the dietary stuff, but it’s another demand. The training is about 6 months, for London that means during the worst weather months of the year.
So what have I learned?
18 years ago I set up Value Partnership and anyone who has created their own business, taken on their first employees, won and served clients and managed money will know the labour of love this requires. It’s a true test of your character because you face so many setbacks along the way. Training for the marathon is a test of mental and physical strength. It’s a lesson in life and business.
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