In just 2 short days, I’ll be running one of the toughest races of my life.
This Sunday, myself and several members of the PGi team will be participating in the IRONMAN 70.3 in Augusta, Georgia, some 150 miles or so from PGi’s corporate headquarters. Either as individual competitors or three-person relay teams, we’ll be swimming, biking and running our hearts out in the (hopefully) mild Georgia autumn air.
Between all those miles on the bike, in the pool or on foot, training for a race like this gives you a lot of time to think. Here are a few things I’ve learned while preparing for the IRONMAN and how they relate to my work here at PGi:
Mix It Up – And Challenge Yourself
Some people are happy as runners, or cyclists or swimmers. While I don’t claim to be great at any of the three, the variety is what keeps me engaged because my workouts are always changing. But even if you’re a one-sport athlete, the challenge of a new distance or milestone can be the push you need to energize your training and motivation.
Work is no different. If you start feeling that burn-out, the heavy weight of just-another-week, mix something up. This could be as simple as working from a coffee shop instead of your desk to something as drastic as tackling an entire new skill or project outside of your comfort zone.
The point is that you have the power to keep things interesting. Challenge yourself professionally, and throw some variety into the mix to combat workplace fatigue.
Always Have a Plan
When I was younger and trying to stay fit, I didn’t need a plan. I could run a little here, bike a little there, watch what I ate and boom! My health just kind of took care of itself. It’s a lot like being a young professional. You’re young. You’re hungry. You don’t always know what you’re doing. You may practically never know what you’re doing. But you forge ahead, you learn, you get better.
This time around I had to have a plan. An IRONMAN (even a half IRONMAN) is a grueling event that will test your limits. There was no way I was approaching this casually. I had a strict training regimen, dietary advice—even my stretching and resting were carefully planned. That’s just like the point I’ve reached in my career. Strategy is everything. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tactics of business, but to truly excel in this mile-a-minute age we work in today, you have to elevate the conversation and your knowledge. Get out of the weeds and get strategic with your planning.
Keep Things in Perspective
Finally, it’s easy for training—just like business—to overtake your life and make you lose touch with what’s truly important. Workouts take up a lot of your time, and IRONMAN workouts consume hours of your week. And we already know that work is no different; 88% of respondents from a recent PGi survey said they work more than the traditional 40-hour work week.
As important as your training or job may seem, don’t let it consume your life. Make time for the important things, whatever that means to you: family, friends, pets, hobbies, etc.
As for me? I’m lucky enough my daughter took an interest in my training, and we get to run together all the time. I wouldn’t trade that time together for the world.