Leadership Lessons From My First 25k Run

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t make it? That your body was going to fail? Your legs felt like jello?

That was me on May 12th, 2012.

Finish Line of Race

Image Via Creative Commons

I decided I would do my first 25K run by participating in the 35th annual 5th 3rd Riverbank Run. For those not familiar with the metric system, that is 15.625 miles in the imperial system. It’s quite the distance.

Through my training and the actual run I learned 4 valuable leadership lessons.

  1. Your environment matters
    When you’re training for a race, you need to find an environment that is similar to the one you’ll be running in. Find out if there will be hills, lots of turns, and what kind of surface you’ll be running on.

    If you don’t, you’ll be in for a world of hurt. You’ll become fatigued when you hit the hills or you’re unsure of how to take a turn. It slows you and brings you down.

    The same holds true to your leadership environment. What kind of situations will you run into? Will you be ready when you need to slow down to take a turn?

    While you can’t prepare for every type of environment you’ll come across as a leader, you can prepare for most.

  2. Cheerleaders will spur you on
    When you run 25k you’ll start to become fatigued. You might feel as though you won’t be able to make it. That’s where cheerleaders come in.

    As we were running the Riverbank Run there were cheerleaders every 3 to 4 miles. These were people who came out to cheer on their loved ones.

    Yet it was encouraging to us as we passed by and they gave us a holler or a high five. A transfer of energy was given. Their cheers were refreshment to our weary bodies.

    Look for those in your life that will cheer you on. They’ll give you the encouragement and energy boost to continue on until the finish line.

  3. Look to those you’re working with you to push you to the next level
    The Riverbank Run 25k had approximately 7,000 runners. Some were amazing athletes. Some were average. Some were poor.

    Once you crossed that line and started running, it didn’t matter. You were a runner and they wanted you to finish.

    As you slowed down someone would look over and give you a look saying “You can do it. Just a little bit more. I know you have it in you. Run with me.”

    You were invited into their lives through this mission to complete the race. For me, it made me want to take my run to the next level.

    Team members and other leaders want to see you succeed as well. Look to them to push you to the next level of leadership.

    Let their words of encouragement and friendship bring you up.

  4. A proper diet is essential
    Diet is a huge factor in how you will do on race day.

    Eating junk food will burn you out quickly. Pastas and carbohydrates are the foods you’ll want to feast upon the day before your big run.

    You need to have a proper mental diet to become a successful leader.

    Take in great books. View great movies. Listen to inspirational and educational audio.

    Make sure you’re feeding yourself with the proper material to grow strong in your leadership.

Question: What other lessons have you learned about leadership? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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