When I talk about being a FAST Marathon Runner, I am not talking about how long it takes me to run a marathon. I’m talking about how I used FAST (Focus, Accountability, Simplicity and Transparency) to run marathons.
I’m writing this blog today because on Sunday, Feb 14th, 2016, I will run my 10th Marathon.
I still find it hard to believe especially as, when I decided to run my first marathon just under three years ago, my two best friends were sceptical about my ability to run a single marathon, let alone complete 10. I remember their words very clearly, they said: “you’re too fat, you’re too old, and you’re too unfit to run a marathon, why not aim for something easier like a 10k run“.
Yet here I am getting ready for my 10th marathon, and not only will this be my 10th, but it will also be my 4th in 10 weeks.
One of the reasons I have pushed so hard is that I wanted to use my marathon running as an example of how we could use FAST to not only turn around performance but how we could look to build on it and take things to a level we couldn’t have imagined before.
We all have the ability to do more, but often we either don’t believe it, or we don’t know how. This means that our true potential can often go unfulfilled.
On my marathon journey, not only have i pushed myself to new heights I have also helped several others to achieve their first marathons, even thought they were non-runners previously too.
So how did I apply FAST?
It’s all starts with Focus. We need to be clear on our objective; we need to know what success looks like. For me this was something I was very clear on, it was always about finishing the race and finishing it healthy. It wasn’t about running a certain time or achieving a personal best; it’s always about crossing the line healthy. I remember my good friend Simon telling me any marathon you finish is a great achievement.
Accountability – this is pretty straightforward it’s pretty much all down to me, I’m the one who need to do the training, do the preparation and run the race. But by sharing my goals and objectives, e.g. I will run four races in 10 weeks with my friends, this helps increase my accountability. The public commitment is a great motivator as I don’t want to be seen to be giving up on my goals, certainly not as a leadership expert and coach, as that would look bad.
Simplicity – I take a simple approach to training, I start small and gradually week by week build up the distance. Even for the later marathons, I have used the same approach. For the 10-12 weeks before the race I increase the distance on my long run, usually on Sunday, making sure I run 10 miles 15 miles and 20 miles in the preceding weeks so I know that I can do the distance.
I also use the Galloway Run and Walk approach, which helps to keep me healthy, and which involved me running for 2 minutes and the walking for 30 seconds. It’s an interesting approach because it seems counter intuitive, as you would think walking would slow you your pace. But in fact using this approach has seen me increase the distance I can run and also created improvements in my times.
Transparency – This is about understanding what’s involved, know how far you need to go and how you’ve come. For this, there are many great applications and the one I use the most in Nike Plus. What I love about this application is that not only does it keep track of my performance but it also shows me that of my friends so I can see how their training is progressing which motivates me to keep going.
In the 3 1/2 years that I have been running, I have run nearly 3800km.
I have completed nine marathons, (Dusseldorf, Cologne, Vancouver, Athens, Miami (twice), Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach) I have done three half marathons and have helped seven people complete their first marathon, and have raised thousands of $ for charity.
I achieved all of this by using FAST. It’s an approach that I have used to run projects, departments and as you can see to turn myself from a non-runner into a FAST Marathon Runner.
FAST is an approach that can be used to transforms performance of a company, a department a team or an individual.
It’s simple, straightforward and easy to apply. It helps to make tasks easier by making us more effective and more efficient, but it doesn’t make things easy. As with the marathon running, FAST helps, but you still have to complete 26.2 miles to be successful.
People are not afraid of hard work; they’re afraid of failure!
Using FAST you can show people how they will be successful, what they need to do to achieve their goals, and all of which helps to build confidence which is crucial to being successful.
To find out more about FAST & learn how you could apply it to transform your performance, click here and lets get started FAST!