I used to run for years now and mainly on tracks and roads. But for 5 years I am running long trails. I mean more than 50km, in the countryside, defintely outside of roads. Being able to run over 42km of a marathon required something that it takes me some time to realize.
The Power from within
My longuest run was 76km in winter, at night (www.saintelyon.fr). It took me a long long time but preparing this event, I learned a lot about the power that stand within me and training learned me a lot about myself, my life and my profesionnal activity.
To be able to run over 50km a hard training is necessary. During this training you run sometime over 4hours, most of the time by yourself. And that’s the point. Running by yourself allows you to take a step back regarding your daily activities and task and more over it helps you to take hard decisions.
The benefit of the training
I see several benefits regarding such a training regarding my professional life.
I used ot run 5 times per week, most of the time around 1h, sometimes over 4 hours. To be able to deploy such a time consuming routine, planning is key. Save every minute, be efficient in your daily task to free some time around, protect the quality of your recovery, and most important protect your family life. That’s a real discipline which is so close from project management...
Talking about project management, Work Breakdown structure is also of importance. I started during my latest training to real analyse my day as tasks with sensitive ones, ones that could be moved and so one… Back to planning with a kind of critical path. But knowing your task and what is your day made of allows you to focus on what should be done. Work, train, recover, eat, sleep etc…
- Achieve intermediate goals
Of course setting goals is one way to stay motivated during the good 5 months of a training period. At the begining, stay focused on sensations and back to the pleasure you have to run. Then put some more ambitious targets etc… That’s exactly what management is and what motivation requires.
- Time to think by yourself
Believe me I took some of the most important decision of my life while running (I would add that I took those decisions after 2hours of run…). Being by yourself running allows you to better organise your mind, hypothesis, positive and negative impacts, risks and so on. Everything becomes clear and orgainsed, decisions are cristal clear…
More than all of that…
As all endurance sports, trail running is something that teaches you humility, perseverance, value of hard work, recognition and satisfaction to go behind what you thought was impossible. That’s the main message of long trail running. Nothing is impossible with a good (training) plan.