I don’t want to cross the finish line feeling half dead, I want to cross that line feeling victorious no matter what place I’m in.
I’m not a running coach or professional trainer but, as I was working my way up to 13.1 miles in preparation for my first half marathon, I had a specific method to my treadmill workouts (it was cold outside).
I would start slow (my usual starting pace was 5 mph) and I’d increase my speed as the run continued. When I reached a comfortable speed (5.5 mph early in my training faster the stronger I got) I’d stay there for most of the run. On longer runs I would drop back to 5 mph and then build up to 5.5 or higher to finish.
The point is that I was training myself to finish better than I started, and the important takeaway is that it’s a gradual but building process. The same is true in life and business. A business doesn’t go from $100,000 in revenue to a million overnight, they build up to it over time.
Sometimes it’s necessary to pull back, to intentionally slow down, so you can be fresh and have the energy needed to see the goal to the end. How many people and businesses keep the pedal to the floor but run out of stamina or money?
That’s why rocket launches stop at T-2:00 — to reassess and make sure they’re ready for the next phase. No one faults them for this delay. On the contrary, rushing to launch would be a mistake.
As I was increasing my speed on the treadmill I thought about what incremental changes I could make in my life, what could I do more of to get ahead. As I was dropping back to my starting speed I thought about what I could let up on so I could focus on more important things.
This gave me a whole new perspective and I wanted to get off the treadmill right then and get to work (ok, I just wanted the workout to be over). So I finished strong and turned my attention to other ways I’ll be sure to finish strong.