I ran the Blackmore’s Sydney Marathon on September 17.
It’s one of the more scenic marathon courses around the world.
You get to run over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, all over the city and finish right in front of the Sydney Opera House.
42.2km is the furthest I’ve ever run, and it was truly an awesome experience.
I learned tonnes of things.
From preparation to leg and ankle anatomy.
Random sports science facts to pushing my limits.
And lots, lots more.
I made a tonne of mistakes and thought I would share 5 things I learned over the last ~10 weeks:
- Commit and figure the rest out later – There’s never a perfect time to get started. According to Google, you should ideally do 12-15 weeks prep for a marathon. I registered 10 weeks out and started training 9 weeks out. It was never going to affect me finishing but it meant I increased my running load too quickly, which caused injuries and in turn slowed my time down. Very happy I registered even though the circumstances weren’t ideal.
- Great quality help is worth it’s weight in gold – I hired running coach Sean Bowes to help me prepare for it. He’s done a fast marathon (2:26) and taught me so much in a short period of time. I would have made 50x more mistakes without his help. It would literally take me years to build that kind of knowledge for myself. By paying him I dramatically shortened my learning curve and did far better than I would have if I just went for it myself.(It actually made me think about how I help my clients, it would take them forever to figure marketing out all by themselves. I was kidding myself to think I could figure marathon running out in a reasonable time frame)
- Most things that can go wrong, will – I was sick on the day, I couldn’t walk 2 weeks out due to my right ankle, I had a stitch 3km in, I wrecked my knee at 20km, had too much sugar gels and jelly beans (they were delicious haha). Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Expecting a high number of things to go wrong helps you relax when they inevitably do go wrong.
- Once you’ve hit a new PB, you can’t go back – Since doing this, I feel like a triathlon is something I could do. I previously never thought I would even consider doing one. I feel this is also so true with revenue in businesses. Once you’ve done a 10k, 50k, 100k, 500k+ month, you mentally know it’s possible – and it’s hard to go back.
- *Big one* I should do more non-business goals – One of the biggest things I thought after the race is ‘man I should do things like this more often’. I love working, but I realised I should make the effort to actively seek out different challenges or fun things to do. It’s had a really positive flow on effect to the business (new conversations with potential clients, more energy, happier, renewed focus).
In the days after the race I had lots of conversations with people about ticking off non-career related goals.
Lots of people mentioned to me all sorts of things they’ve been meaning to do for years.
If you’ve been putting off doing something until later, I’d highly recommend just taking the first step and get the wheels in motion.
I had no real, solid reason why I hadn’t done it sooner.
I had every opportunity but didn’t prioritise it.
For me the tipping point was saying f*ck it and filling out the entry form + paying the fee.
Once that micro decision was made, the rest largely took care of itself because I had momentum.
What’s the one baby step you can take towards doing something you’ve been putting off?
If you had to do it this year, how would you get it done?
It could be the best thing you’ve done in a very long time.
Hope you found that useful and have a great week,
Ps. If you were wondering (maybe you weren’t) here’s what I would do differently next time:
- Train sooner – Start training 15 weeks out
- Different shoes – Buy slightly softer shoes (bought new nikes which were light and beautiful, but a little hard for a full marathon distance)
- Softer taper – In the last 2 weeks before race, have vitamins and spend more time taking it easy, eat healthy and avoid any risky foods
- Adjust quicker – If I hurt my leg, adjust my running style straight away (instead of walking briefly and complaining) so I don’t slow down for long
- Let the crowds go first – so I have more space to run a faster line (I ended up running almost a km extra by the end of the race)