I Ran a Marathon Without Training. Here’s What I Learned and How It Made Me a Higher Entrepreneur.


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Physical exertion has at all times been a vital a part of my routine. In the middle of starting my company, I’ve used long-distance running and cross-training as a method to de-stress, socialize and insert some level of control and predictability into knowledgeable lifestyle that’s pretty chaotic.

I’ll preface this with the apparent: I’m a median athlete. Nonetheless, as I’ve gotten older, my approach to physical activity has actually taught me so much about methods to be a greater company founder and entrepreneur.

These are just a few of those reflections and lessons I’ve learned along the way in which:

Related: 5 Things Running Races Taught Me About Running a Business

Put within the miles

Within the technique of constructing my last company, I picked up David Goggins’ book, Cannot Hurt Me, through which Goggins outlines his personal transformation from a potato chip and chocolate-shake-drinking, gelatinous pest exterminator to a badass Navy SEAL and Ultra Endurance Athlete. I used to be fascinated by Goggins’ story, particularly with how he was capable of train his mind to push through pain to attain his goals. His most famous (and insane) feat was running a 100-mile ultra-marathon in under 19 hours without formal training, which ultimately led to kidney failure and broken feet.

Nevertheless — I believed, what the hell? If this Goggins guy can run 100 miles without training, why couldn’t Justin Vandehey, a median athlete in decent cardio shape, finish a marathon without formal training?

So, that is what I did, and boy, was that silly.

First, I attempted to condense training. I used to be doing CrossFit 4 days per week and purchased a weighted vest to strengthen my legs. In response to my math, if I ran five miles every day with a 20lb vest for 3 months, that SHOULD equate to the wear and tear and tear that my body would experience over the course of 26.2 miles.

The result? I finished my marathon time concurrently Oprah. What’s more, I had stress fractures throughout each my legs and broke three toes.

What did this teach me? For one, I’m not David Goggins. More importantly, as an entrepreneur, the miles really matter. Whether it’s fundraising, sales or constructing products, the way you train matters. There aren’t any silver bullets to learning these functions or constructing an exceptional company. Discover a coach, mentor or advisor who can assist you to construct a plan toward achieving your final result in each of those crucial points of your online business. Put within the miles.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Every Leader Should Run a Marathon

Take the remainder when you may

In my second marathon attempt, I used to be committed to a plan. I purchased an internet training program from Hal Higdon, updated my Apple Watch and commenced actively tracking my miles and heartbeat while putting within the work, including the long 20-mile weekend runs.

My goal was to qualify for Boston, a 3:05 marathon finish in response to my age bracket. I used to be feeling really good. I used to be maintaining a seven-minute race pace during my training runs and had read on running forums that adrenaline normally pushes runners to a fair faster pace through the race.

I desired to put every little thing I had into training for this race, so three days before the event, I elected to get two non-prescribed squat training workouts during my taper week.

The result?

On race day, the adrenaline kicked in, and I maintained a 6:45/mile pace through 18 miles. Nonetheless, I got here out way too fast — and ultimately, those two additional leg workouts taxed my IT band to the purpose where I could not put any pressure on my left leg. That pain led to further GI issues, which arose (literally) at mile 23. My pace for the remaining eight miles fell to nine minutes/mile. I finished the marathon in under 4 hours but fell incredibly in need of my goal

What did this teach me?

Take the remainder when you may get it. Ignoring taper week and doubling down when my body needed to get well was incredibly silly. As entrepreneurs, we frequently cannot force an final result by pushing all the time. When you could rest, or when it’s prescribed that you simply rest, do it. You are working toward the perfect final result for your online business, and there is no such thing as a extra credit if you happen to’re overextending yourself.

What’s more, you may’t control all the variables that occur when things begin to go off the rails. I had trained to eat through the race, however the pain that I used to be experiencing in my IT band triggered reactions from my body that I could have never anticipated. Sometimes negative momentum is just as powerful as positive momentum. Embrace it for what it’s, and be kind to yourself when things aren’t going as expected.

Related: How Marathon Running is Inspiring Present Day Entrepreneurs

Embrace the suck

After a handful of marathons and half marathons, two of my friends convinced me to hitch them as a 3rd teammate in a CrossFit competition (Hey bro, did I mention I do CrossFit?) I entered the competition confident, knowing that I had just come off hardcore marathon training and felt good about my strength endurance. The competition consisted of 4 lifts, all of various movements to check an athlete’s fitness level.

For the primary lift, I absolutely smoked the sphere, which contained a heavy cardio component and an extended outdoor run. Nonetheless, for the second lift, we were asked to do a single rep maximum lift of a clean and jerk movement. This was purely a strength exercise, and I’m unquestionably an endurance athlete with poor shoulder mobility.

The result? I got here in dead last out of 35 people on the heavy complex lift. I used to be pretty embarrassed with my individual performance. Nonetheless, my other two friends on our squad crushed their individual lifts and raised our average to the center of the general competition.

What did this teach me?

It’s okay to suck at something and just fully absorb that failure. It keeps us honest and humble about our abilities and offers us something to construct on. It also jogged my memory of how critical a various team is to overall success. All of us have things we’ll excel at, so concentrate on doing those things well and lean into the strengths of the others in your team. For what it’s price, I did are available in eighth place within the heavy farmer’s carry, which I’m assuming comes from some combination of hauling groceries, growing up on a dairy farm or carrying little humans (a.k.a. my kids) around.

As entrepreneurs, we query the not possible and challenge the boundaries which can be set for us. Many individuals think we’re programmed for achievement (nature) or that we’re born into circumstances that forecast excellence (nurture). I’d argue that this process is an evolution, not a static moment in time nor something that we inherited or are born with. It is also a process that we must always attempt to enjoy.

As I train for an Ironman competition this Fall and have already discovered my lack of buoyancy and the shortcoming to maneuver my hands and feet at the identical time, I’m attempting to do not forget that. So, if you happen to’re reading this and know a great swim coach, you understand where to search out me. I’m the lanky guy within the pool with poor shoulder mobility, laughing and crying while trying to not drown, fully embracing the suck.


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