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9 similarities between training for work and a marathon

At the first session of 2021's eLearning Indaba - hosted by New Leaf Technologies and emceed by Elan Ressel - Thijs van Zundert, partner manager at online learning platform aNewSpring, compared his experience training for a marathon to that of training for work and your career.
9 similarities between training for work and a marathon
© ximagination – 123RF.com

Training for work or a marathon similarity #1 - Determine your goal

Be clear about the goals you set - whether your end goal is running a 42km marathon or completing a certification, know what it is you want to achieve.

Training for work or a marathon similarity #2 - Create a plan... with room to breathe

Have a game plan. Set aside the time in your calendar every day to dedicate to your training. But also remember that sometimes life happens and events occur that are beyond your control. Factor in the potential of unknown variables and allow yourself this time to breathe without panicking that it's thrown you off course.

Training for work or a marathon similarity #3 - Inform and involve your loved ones

Let your loved ones know what it is you're trying to achieve and that you'd appreciate their support. Ensure they understand the goal you have in mind and what you will need to do to get there - which may include constraints on your time... These compromises are necessary with the end goal in mind, but it won't be forever.

Training for work or a marathon similarity #4 - Ensure you have the right materials

Just as you need a pair of running shoes to train for a marathon, you need to ensure you have the right tools to successfully complete any learning course - books, pens, pencils... PC or tablet, data, the necessary programs, apps or logins required to access the learning material.

Training for work or a marathon similarity #5 - Get tips from others who have already done it

Van Zundert says that too often people just sign up for courses and don't bother asking about the experience of those who have already completed the course. Don't be shy to ask advice from those who have already run the path you're about to step on - the information they have may be invaluable to your experience and can help give you the foresight to better navigate and, therefore, enhance your own journey.

Training for work or a marathon similarity #6 - Just do it

Don't procrastinate. Just do it. If you have any setbacks, make the space and find the time to continue doing what you set out to do.

Training for work or a marathon similarity #7 - Don't try to do too much at once

Just like you shouldn't expect to be able to run a marathon after you've only jogged around the block once, don't expect to pass your exam if you only opened your textbook the night before the test. Pace yourself. Start the learning process well in advance for the best results.

Training for work or a marathon similarity #8 - Enjoy the ride

Learn to enjoy the training process - don't just do it for the trophy at the end. If you don't like what it is you're learning, what makes you think you'll enjoy the career in which you'll be implementing everything you've been taught? The more you enjoy what you're actually learning, the easier the task at hand will become, and the more fulfilling the final achievement (and everything beyond) will be.

Training for work or a marathon similarity #9 - Get results

Van Zundert says the more effort you put in, the more substantial the results. What you achieve at the end is a direct reflection of the amount of work you put in to get there. Make it count.


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