Recently a friend convinced me in a weak moment to sign up for a half marathon with her and another friend. This wasn’t just any half marathon…it took place in the Coromandel of NZ, was all terrain and SUPER hilly (here’s the link to the course if you’re interested I had three months to train for the run and had rarely, if ever, run before in my life.

As soon as reality set in and in the name of not wanting to let a friend down, I quickly realised I had no idea where to start and needed help. After asking “the runners” at work the advice was largely to download a running app or plan and faithfully follow it to the end. Here’s the link to the one I used

This turned out to be the best advice I ever received. The plan was emailed to me at the beginning of every week, it detailed not only the running plan for the week, but cross-training days, rest days, diet, pre and post run stretching plans as well as a whole  host of other extremely valuable tips and suggestions to ensure you achieve your goal at the end of the three months.

And here’s where I link this back to HR. During this same time period I’ve had one of the busiest work periods in my career to date. I have put in some serious hours over the past few months covering off the evolution of a sales team towards a new culture focusing on excellence and development, a restructure of three of the four main sales teams in the business, the creation of a top performers team identifying, leading and initiating key projects across the department, recruitment and on-boarding of eight new staff members, development of a new model of sales person on a purely commission basis and the list goes on! Getting through all of this and more has been an exercise in preparation, planning, process and attention to detail.

Much like the build up to the half marathon. Without the preparation involved in building up to completing what turned out to be a 25km run, the planning around timing, length and type of training, sticking to the process suggested by the plan and related detail, and of course the attention to detail; clothing, food, weather, hydration etc etc I’m sure the result wouldn’t have been as good as it was. Turned out I loved every minute of my first half marathon. Yes it was tough, and no I didn’t break any records. But the scenery was breath taking, the sense of achievement huge and the time it gave me with close friends priceless. We’ve agreed to make it an annual event…and have all committed to more preparation, planning and process in the build up to ensure an even better result next year. And of course the soaking in natural hot pools complete with cocktails post the event was a huge draw card (check out!

In the meantime we’ve signed up for two more half marathons…next one in four months’ time so there’s no easing up on pounding the pavements – or preparation, planning, process and attention to detail.


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