Three Tips for Going the Distance

By Ellen Smyth on 07-04-2017
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With the London Marathon fast approaching, it seems only right that we seek guidance from a famous runner or two. Read on to discover how much of their advice is as applicable to a job as it is on a jog.

  • Amby Burfoot: Find Your Stride

“Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself accordingly.”

On your mark, get set, go! Amby Burfoot won the Boston Marathon back in 1968 which is impressive enough, but the fact that he’s still running at the age of 70 means Burfoot is definitely doing something right.

While Forbes Magazine writes about the benefits of pacing ourselves in the office, distance runners such as Burfoot have advised against setting off too fast. This steering towards a steady start is applicable to your morning work routine too; have breakfast and use an alarm clock rather than the alarm on your phone. This way you’ll be less likely to start the day in an avalanche of tweets, news updates and emails.

Apparently successful people never check their email in the first 35-40 minutes after waking up anyway.


  • Kathrine Switzer: Show Up

"There is an expression among even the most advanced runners that getting your shoes on is the hardest part of any workout."

How about the hardest part of any day? Loafers, boots or trainers - some days getting ourselves out the front door is a struggle no matter what we’ve got going on in the footwear department.

If the thought of the day ahead is daunting, perhaps the Five Ways to Wellbeing could help. These have been researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation to include; connect, be active, take notice, learn and give.

For example, Mind UK suggest taking a different route on our journey to or from work, setting a SMART goal for the day and buying a plant for our desks.

"You can't become a winner overnight, or even in a couple of years - it takes time.”

All training takes time, no matter what you are training for. Staying focused is absolutely key when training, which is why Time Inc. advises against multitasking. But don’t sweat it if reaching your goal takes longer than you anticipated; it’s one of the downsides of being too clever.

  • Paula Radcliffe: Be Patient

For Paula Radcliffe, her training began when she was 12-years-old and she placed 299th in the English Schools Cross Country Championship. Two decades later, she had three London Marathon wins under her belt. The lesson? Practise, persevere and be patient. Chances are it will pay off in the long run.

Ellen Smyth writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching candidates to their dream internship. Check out their graduate jobs listings for roles. Or; if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.

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