Let My Marathon Training Help Plan Your Life

Are you feeling stressed? Overwhelmed? Over-worked? Like you can never complete everything you are supposed to complete? Do projects never seem to be as good as you want them to be?

Here’s an illustration I hope will help.

I’m training for a marathon. I didn’t start with a 10 mile run. Actually, I’m a consistent runner and try to stay in good enough shape to run a half marathon anytime I choose to run one, but when I started marathon training, the first day out I only ran 3 miles. Why? Because I’m running a marathon, not a sprint.

Take a look at my first few weeks of training (I use a Hal Higdon Training schedule):

Now consider my last few weeks of training:

Do you see how this works? It takes time to train for a marathon. This plan includes 18 weeks of training. I can’t instantly start running 26.2 miles…or even 15…sometimes even 10. A couple weeks before I actually run the marathon, I’m not scurrying to get last minute training in…I’m resting up for the big day. After many weeks of endurance training, I’m ready to finish the big day with excellence!

Here’s where you may come into this blog post.

Some people try to complete a marathon project in church or in business by starting at the last minute… They start planning for the big events just a few days or weeks before the event is to occurs and they run out of time to get everything accomplished they hope to complete. The project overwhelms them and fails to be as good as it could be.

Many try to run their life that way… They sprint rather than pace themselves through life and before they finish their goals they wear out or if they finish they achieve less than desired results.

Allow my running plan to help your life plan.

Spread out the load…discipline yourself….write a plan….schedule out the key assignments…put timelines and benchmarks on paper…get the proper training and coaching….buy the right equipment…pace yourself….work the plan…

Then run the race strong to the finish…

The idea is not to create an elaborate or sophisticated document. The idea is to get something on paper that will be a workable and realistic plan to get you to your desired goal with excellence!

Do you need to better pace yourself so you can accomplish more and better results?

Often being “overwhelmed” with work is not a matter of having too much work as much as not having a plan by which to do it.

Why not spend a few minutes today writing a few goals, then back out a plan over a reasonable time, with benchmarks along the way, to achieve your goal with excellence?

Just curious, what tips do you have for pacing yourself, what calendar system/planning tools do you use?

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9 thoughts on “Let My Marathon Training Help Plan Your Life

  1. Great post! I love sports analogies related to life and our walk with the Lord. I used to be a competitive adventure racer and that taught me more about my faith than almost any other activity I've ever under taken. In adventure racing if you don't quit you'll likely be one of the top finishers. With so much attrition finishing would usually put you in the top 20%. Of course, my team also spent countless hours training just to finish too. Doing the hard work up front always pays off in the end.

  2. As a marathon runner, I am/was particularly moved by this post. My work and my walk with Christ can sometimes seem 'not enough' and using the marathon training schedule as a reminder that we are all works in progress was great for me. Thanks, train safe and smart, and God bless. –

  3. I like Joe's "5 swings of the axe". I'm trying to get back to running after a year of a bad back and allergy induced asthma. It's going to be a long road. But it's a road I've been down before.

    Ron, good luck on your running and I hope we meet on the road soon.

    The smallest things done consistently have the power to change your life dramatically!

  4. Love running marathons, and Hal Higdon's training plan has helped me through both that I have run. As an author, I am sure you have recognized that writing a book is similar to running a marathon.

    I use the principle of "5 swings of the axe a day". I put the "big task" in my calendar and take the equivalent of 5 swings at it a day. That means about 15 to 30 minutes of focused, uninterrupted effort (usually in early morning or late late afternoon) to write or address the big task at hand.

    Over time, it is not a matter of "if" the tree will fall, it is a matter of when.

    Great post, Ron!