Three Ways to Run

Three Ways to Run (Your Business)

I’ve learned that there are three approaches to running (your business).

The first is to create goals for yourself, maybe with a training (change) program. You start running and try to run 5 km. When the pain doesn’t kill you, you could set yourself a target for next time: 6 km. And if you survive that ordeal then maybe next time you can run 7 km. This goes on and on until either you run a marathon, or you never run again because of the shin splints, wrecked knees, and the terrible pain in your back.

The second way to start running is to focus on good form (practices) and not care about speed or distance. You learn how to place your feet (midfoot strike), how to make steps (behind you, not in front), how to balance your pelvis (vertical crunching), how to make speed (lean and fall forward), how to swing your arms (not sideways), etc., etc. If you do everything well, you run without injuries, and possibly without progress.

The third way to start running is to do both. You set your own goals, because they help you focus on what really matters. But you only embrace progress that emerged from following the good practices. Any targets achieved by skipping good form don’t count. When your goal is to run with a smile every day, instead of killing yourself over a marathon just once, you cannot afford repeated injuries.

How are you running (your business)?

photo (c) 2013 See-ming Lee, Creative Commons 2.0

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  • sery0ga

    I would suggest to rename ‘practices’ to ‘principles’ but the analogy will lose its gracefulness then 🙂

  • brny

    I tried to
    run fixed time only. Let’s say the limit for running not to kill myself is 30
    min. I passed 2,5km in this time, later 2,7km etc. After some period I discussed
    my “strategy” with an experienced runner and I learned how to place my feet and
    how to make steps. After some practice the running was more enjoyable.

    So my approach
    was: try it out gently, try to be better by yourself and then take a coach 😉


  • Michael Göthe

    This is a very good analogy. Not only business people but surprisingly also many athletes (and their coaches) do the same misstake to just focus on the performance targets or results. This was the key point in a sports coaching seminar I recently attended. With my business clients I often encourage them to have both performance targets (like 6km in 30 min) as well as a learning goal (ability to run in even pace). The when you are out running (track or business) you keep focus on your learning and applying the practices. Now and then you can check in your performance target but that is just to increase your learning. Oh, this lap went slower than the last, lets try this.

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