I Ran 40 Miles On My Birthday…Now What?

In conjunction with my recently celebrated 40th birthday, I accomplished something I’ve long promised to do. A big bucket list item I’ve talked about on and off for at least the last 5 years.

To commemorate my 4oth trip around the sun, I ran 40 miles in one day.

To a seasoned ultra marathoner that doesn’t sound like much, but given that it was the furthest I ever ran in a day (specifically 13.8 miles longer than any marathon I’ve run), it was significant, symbolic and meaningful to me.

It was also amazingly emotional, cathartic and fulfilling. I didn’t do it for anyone but me, but it was good to hear how impressed and proud people were that I actually did it.
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Hope Is Not a Strategy for Runners

A few years back, I worked as sales representative. While the job was very demanding, it was also very rewarding. Closing a big account or having a good month as a team didn’t happen by accident. Due to a clear sales plan, succeeding wasn’t an aberration or an accident. In many ways, training to run a race is the same way. You’re probably not going to PR in a race without a proper plan – or good training schedule to follow.

“Hope Is Not a Strategy”

Rick Page’s sales book, which is a sales bible for many, was almost a mantra to our sales manager. We we weren’t allowed to simply hope a sale would come through. Before each sales call, we were expected to have a  clear plan in place where we knew the prospect inside and out and determine their hot button selling points. Most importantly, we had to give ourselves the best chance to succeed by removing all known barriers to a sale before the meeting ever took place. While our planning and strategy sessions were a culmination of personal experiences and other sales books, it was Page’s book that our sales manager would constantly point to.  If you’re in sales and are interested in developing your own sales strategies, I’d highly recommend picking up a copy – if you haven’t already.

What does this all have to do with fitting in runs? A lot, as I found out. When I started running, I didn’t really have a plan. While just stepping out the door to run can be fun, if your goal is to run any long distance races you’ll need to have a plan. Without a plan, you’re not going to accomplish your goals anymore than a salesperson will close a sale by simply showing up. You had to do your homework in sales and you have to do your homework with running.
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