I’ve heard people say that they don’t have time to train for a marathon. I have found that training for a marathon actually seems to give me more time. It might sound counterintuitive, but during marathon training, I find that I have way more energy and that I am more productive than at other times.
I am currently training for my 8th marathon and found this to be true each and every time! Back in September I wrote about how I would be counting down to my daughter’s high school graduation, preparing for a big move, and building my business – and that this was also the time I chose to run another marathon.
To the 99.5% of the population who has never trained for or finished a marathon, running all these extra miles while focusing on these other goals seems ludicrous. You can’t possible do all of that, and do all of it well! It doesn’t make sense. But it works.
Back in the fall I was finishing my coaching certification. I also created a list a mile long of things that needed to be done before I could put the house on the market and begin preparing for my big move. I was working with a new life coach on building my business model so it was something that would produce the life I’ve envisioned. I started with a new running coach and began ramping up my miles and my workouts. On top of all that, I’m still a single mom of teenager (who, without going into details, can be a bit challenging at times).
I finished the year where I wanted to be with my various to-do lists, but didn’t always feel as productive as I wanted to be. Then in the first week of January marathon training officially began. Now here I am through week four – and what I’ve been able to accomplish! The house is ready to go on the market next week, I found clarity around my business model and even revamped this site (go take a tour, and please give me some feedback!).
There are three reasons I believe we see increased productivity during marathon training:
Discipline. I have found that the discipline I apply to marathon training spills over to the other areas of my life. I keep a training log. And then I start treating the other things I need to accomplish the same way I approach my workout schedule. I create a projects log. Sticking to my workout schedule becomes a constant reminder that it just takes discipline to get anything accomplished.
Healthy Habits. When training for a marathon, other things like getting adequate rest, eating right, drinking enough water, core strengthening and cross-training are extremely important and you become more conscious of getting it right. And guess what? All of those healthy habits have tremendous positive effects on everything you do!
Endorphins. Yes, the Runner’s High. While running doesn’t always feel good when you’re doing it, it always feels good to have done it. And that feeling is something you take into the rest of your day or your week. That energy – that high – gives you clarity and helps your planning. I find that I work more efficiently and my memory is better when I’m training at this level.
There is one exception to being more productive. For me that’s Sunday – the day of my long run. After an 18 or 20 mile run I typically don’t plan to get anything else done that day. Nothing. At. All.
This week in marathon training: