Live Like A Marathon Runner!

What can you and I learn about life from a marathon runner?

This is an article I wrote last September.  As I am training for a full marathon this year, I thought I would share it with you now.

I had the incredible privilege this morning of running the Chicago Half Marathon this morning, with 20,000 other runners!

This was a goal I had set for myself at the end of last year.  Two years ago I had never run over two miles, and I finished my first 5K.  At that point, I knew I wanted to go to the next level with a half marathon.

mental training sport
London Marathon 25.04.2010 by Julian Mason on Flickr

I’ve trained for this event for over a year, and I was always somewhat half-doubting that I would actually do it.  It became more real for me when I went online, entered my credit card, and paid the entrance fee.  Now, I knew I would need to train for the race, and finish it: my bucks were on the line!

There is nothing  like the feeling of waking up at 4:30 am, conducting a pre-warm up run, then joining 20,000 runners for an ‘official’ race.  For a newbie like myself, it was exhilarating.

But that did not compare to crossing the finish line to the cheers of the crowd, and receiving the runner’s medal at the end!

Which brings me to you!

Do you have a life stretching goal in your life?  One that will make you just a bit uncomfortable, that will make you stretch?

Part of creating a life of abundance is having a worthy goal.

As part of learning how to get to my race, I got in touch with some old-time friends of mine and found out that they had trained with a charity group, World Vision.  Then I found out about all the specialized training they underwent by being part of the charity group.  Every day of the week (with the exception of one day a week to rest and do no exercise) they had a specific training regimen with specific goals.

They also worked with a personal trainer, who advised them on technique and nutrition.  One of my friends, who calls himself the Big Machine, has lost almost 50 pounds since picking up running at the beginning of the year, and he’s on his way to completing his first marathon this year!  When I spoke to him, he impressed me by how much he helped me (did you know you’re supposed to actually drink water and take supplements during a race? I found that out the hard way during a practice run, where I could no longer run (and barely walk) after 11 miles.  He shared with me the important knowledge of hydrating and taking electrolyte or ‘goo’ bars, and this got me through the race!

My point is, that it helps to invest in your with the right coaches and/or professionals.  By doing so, you will be saving yourself a lot of wasted time and effort.

Training With Others Helps!

How many of you are rugged individualists?  How many of you feel that you need to come up with your best ideas on your own?

Well, I’ve kind of had this attitude in training for my event.  But, after talking to my friends who trained with World Vision, I realize that I missed out on a lot of camaraderie, relationship building, and fun!  Having the right reference group in life makes a huge difference!  Who are your ‘training buddies’?  Are they positive, achievement oriented individuals?  Are they generous toward others, and committed to their own personal growth and development? Can you help them out with your own attitude and combination of skills?  And can you learn from them?

I was sitting on the bus shuttle on the way to the event this morning, and got some sage advice from a 5-time veteran.  She said,

When you get toward the end of the race, don’t make the mistake of listening to the negative, whining people around you.  There will be groups of people, here and there, who are complaining of how tired they are, and that they can’t go any further.  Do what I did: find someone who is running ahead of you with a positive mindset and healthy pace, and fix your eyes on them!

What great advice!  Who are you listening to in your life?  More importantly, how are you talking to yourself?

Do  A Little Each Day

The thought of running any race, even a 5K, can be intimidating if you have never run in a race before.  But just like any other big goal in life, amazing progress can be made by taking a little at a time.  Consistent efforts, day in and day out, make a huge difference!

Application?  Practice the power of constant and never ending improvement.  You can make each day a masterpiece by keeping your goal in mind and striving to make just 1% improvement in key areas each and every day.

Here are a couple of great articles I have read about life and business as a marathon:

One of my favorite ever reads as it applies to business in general, and online social networking/endeavors specifically is a post by Larry Brauner over at Online Social Networking.

The name of the article is 7 Tips for Winning the Social Media Marathon.

Leo Babuta from Zen Habits wrote an interesting article called 10 Things I Learned From My Second Marathon.

Greg Blencoe wrote a guest post at Change Your Thoughts called 7 Life Lessons I Learned From Running A Marathon.

Do you have some goals that are stretching you this year?

Do you choose friends who stretch you and who are committed to personal growth and a positive attitude?

Are you committed to making each day a masterpiece?  Even when you feel like giving up?

I’d like to hear from you!  Please comment below!

Speaking of marathons:

You can pay it forward and change the life of a child

Please help me raise $1000 for HAVE Dreams  as I run the Chicago Marathon in October.

Here’s my Running For Autism site!


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  1. says

    Hi Stephen,

    Great post, I am a great believer it is important to practice every day when one is learning and developing skills like a runner . It is a great way to become more confident as well. All the best Rosemary

  2. says

    Well I have never done a marathon!! I did a relay in a marathon and I have done a triathlon! I can remember the thoughts in that! I do have some goals for the year, that will be stretching me!! I also am making a point of finding people who think and believe in moving forward in life, not just existing in what they live. It can be a challenge when many around me are not that, but I find more and more who are, and that is exciting! The woman who you spoke with on the bus on the way to the marathon, spoke words of wisdom, not only for the marathon you were going to run, but for life as well. What a gift that she gave you that day!
    Holly recently posted…Announcing……. Taking a Break from Exercise isn’t a Bad Thing!My Profile

    • says

      Holly, if you’ve done a triatholon, you’re well qualified for a marathon in my book! I find that some of the most positive ‘teammates’ I have found have been online. Like you! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. says

    Congratulations on your determination to run a marathon. That alone is an achievement. I once came to the start and the finish of a marathon, offering massage and gentle bodywork. It was exhilarating for me to be in the presence of all these runners who had a wonderful energy surrounding them.

    I have slowly let go of those who bring me down in any way. I have been involved with a weekly mastermind group for several years and it is amazing to observe the progress each of us has made over time. I have also engaged with different mentors, each offering what I need at the moment to help me move forward, steadily toward attaining my goals and living my dream.

    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…How Old is Old Enough? Reflections on Compulsive Aging by Guest Blogger Jeanne DenneyMy Profile

    • says

      Erica, feel free to come to my marathon! I’m sure you’d be able to get me out of the pretzel shaped cramps I may be experiencing once I finish :) I’m impressed with the fact that you’ve met with that weekly mastermind group. Would you care to tell us how that came about and how you helped make it happen? I, too, have met with a couple of mastermind groups consistently for the past few years; I don’t know where I would be without them.
      Steve-Personal Success Factors recently posted…Live Like A Marathon Runner!My Profile

  4. says

    Congratulations Stephen! I used to run . wow, that was a long time ago, but you are definitely right about a partner making a difference. I have never thought of myself as competitive, but I repeatedly found that when I ran with someone else I pushed myself to go farther faster. I think it’s a bit trickier to partner when you’re an entrepreneur unless your involved with something like network marketing, MLM or affiliate marketing, and there’s a natural built in partnership there. I can’t count the times in the past I shared a small victory with someone only to end up really, really wishing I kept my big mouth shut … now I just write in my journal.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Inspire Creativity by Challenging AssumptionsMy Profile

    • says

      Marquita, the great thing about building online partnerships is that you are many time surrounded by others who want you to succeed. I hope you’ll share your victories with your readers and the rest of your online community. We want to see you go for the gold…and get it! :)
      Steve-Personal Success Factors recently posted…Live Like A Marathon Runner!My Profile

  5. says


    I agree with you totally, success is a process that takes work day in and day out. A lot of times those who have been most uncomfortable or unsatisfied with their current circumstances are the one’s who are most successful. All it takes is a little persistent and a passion for something!
    Dewane Mutunga recently posted…40 Tips to Increase EngagementMy Profile

    • says

      Dewane, thanks for pointing out the blessing of creative dissatisfaction. I think that being content is a great skill to cultivate, but it’s also helpful to be creatively discontent: to treat difficulties as the beginning of opportunity and greatness.

  6. says

    Great post Stephen! So what kind of marathon runner are you? The fun one or the serious one? I love running but not a runner for marathon. LOL. Living like a marathon runner means we should be more focused and disciplined but we have such a love of running that it is by no means a sacrifice,it’s a joy.

    Jeffrey Sooey recently posted…How to Become a Career Coach: 2 Paths to Choose FromMy Profile

  7. says

    HI Stephen,

    I absolutely agree with you that life is a marathon…it’s about setting goals, working to improve yourself in ways so as to be able to achieve your goals and moving forward, finding your next challenge.

    Business is also a marathon of sorts, for while I am barraged with ads and well written sales pitches that tries to persuade me that everything must be done or purchased NOW, the reality is that you are in a marathon race, and the only way to keep moving forward is to work on yourself, build your skills, challenge you beliefs and build a strong foundation.

    Good luck in your marathon, Stephen. Thanks for the insightful post!
    Dr. Bob Clarke@Part Time Network Marketer recently posted…Have You Heard? – There’s a New List in Town!My Profile

    • says

      Dr. Bob, thanks for the feedback. Part of the marathon also includes building trusted relationships with other online friends and readers. I have reflected on how quickly I will purchase or recommend services from a trusted friend, versus from someone I barely know.

  8. says

    Hi Steve:

    I went many years without investing in my personal development and I paid the price for that. Now I am always looking for opportunities. The reward is definitely worth the effort.

    Kevin Martineau recently posted…3 important reasons to have a mapMy Profile

    • says

      Kevin, I’m glad that you are now investing in building up your reserve of strengths and talents. I’m sure the people you serve are blessed by your ongoing efforts.

  9. says


    I’m impressed my brother! I for one know what it’s like to take on a challenge and complete it.

    Only a few years ago I set out to climb Mt.Whitney starting from 50 miles north and taking it from the N.W. face.

    You know… the first thing to do anything successfully is always taking the first step and being committed. For you (and me) putting your credit card on the line was the first part of the motivation and man how did it pay off. Priceless!

    Great posting! 😀

    Dereck recently posted…Simon Sinek: “If You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Business”My Profile

    • says

      Dereck, you make a marathon look like a walk in the park! So, did you complete the the climb? That sounds like a great future blog post. Let me know when you complete the post, and please include any pictures!

  10. says

    You, Rock Star! Congratulations! Great analogy between training for the marathon and training for your life. Your tips to get training partners and get consistent are spot-on! The toughest jobs seem almost fun and easy when you’re sharing the load. I am challenging myself this week to figure out how I can create a ‘team’ to help me work on a big goal. Thank you! Have an awesome week, Allegra
    Allegra Sinclair recently posted…Small Talk Ideas To Improve Your Networking SkillsMy Profile

    • says

      Allegra, once you get everything in place, I’ll look forward to hearing about your goal! I like the way you think, in terms of creating a team to make the Big Goal fun and even easy :)

  11. says

    Hey Steve, great article! I love to run myself and participated to several half marathons myself, so your article is really resonating with me. I strongly believe that “the way we do anything, we do everything”. The way we run, we live :-) The tips we use to run work for life in general as well:

    1) looking to the positive persons ahead of you and not the whining people around you,
    2) taking little, constant daily steps of improvement to run towards the big marathon of life

    I wish you a lot of fun and success with the preparation of your marathon!

    Thanks for sharing!
    marc van der Linden recently posted…The four stages of learning anything in lifeMy Profile

    • says

      Marc, I’m going to remember your mantra: “The way we run, we live”. I like to have some motivational mantras to keep me going through the long stretches. Another great angle on what you said, “The way we do the [seemingly ordinary, small details, private life stuff], we do everything.” It’s a great argument for integrity and excellence in everything we do, down to the smallest detail. Just ask Toyota!

  12. says

    Hi Steve,

    It is amazing that you have achieved your marathon goal… one of the most difficult goals I think! I really do try to run and sometimes think about maybe training for a local “run” but I do find it difficult. I can walk really fast though and these days I kind of prefer that to running!

    However, your analogy is priceless! A social media or internet marketing business marathon is really quite similar to running a road race! We cannot enter it half-doubting that we will succeed; it’s exhilarating to join thousands of others; having a worth goal and finding the camaraderie within a group that has a specific regimen and goals is vital; working with coaches and mentors is important to a speedier success rate; creating a positive environment and surrounding ourselves with like-minded people and removing ourselves from negative people who do not support our goals are all crucial to moving forward always towards our goals in life and in business. This is a great post, worth re-posting again and again as a constant reminder to take the steps, one at a time, toward our success.

    Thanks tons, too, for the referenced Articles.

    Loren Greig recently posted…Anchor Text For SEOMy Profile

    • says

      Loren, I agree about the marathon analogy being helpful. It’s probably been the most helpful analogy as I see to succeed online with building trust, providing value, and also being profitable. Larry Brauner from online social networking first shared the marathon as a great analogy for social networking, and it’s remained with me ever since.

  13. says

    I’m impressed – I would never consider running a marathon! However I working on a 6 week programs that combines diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. It’s pretty intense, and I’m on week five. Yeah! So I’m pretty proud of that. I have set a business goal to double my income by the end of the year. This should all keep me out of trouble. :)

    You might be interested in a movie I watched last night “Running the Sahara” about 3 men who run 4,300 miles in 111 days across Africa.

    • says

      Heidi, that movie sounds very interesting! I’m going to have to look it up. I’m proud of you for achieving your fitness goals, and I hope you reach your business goals as well :)

  14. says

    Hi Steve, I’m root’n for you in the marathon! What excellent thoughts here. Yes, I’d say I have goals that are definitely stretching me this year — most things I’ve never done before and don’t even know how to get off the ground :)

    I’ve just come from reading another blog on community and helping others. Your thought fits so well with that. We do need people who can support us, and people we can support. I’m looking at that. How does one find the right mastermind group?
    Pastor Sherry recently posted…You Can Be Free Of Past Destructive Thoughts (Part 5)My Profile

    • says

      Pastor Sherry, thanks for your support. Some of my best support fans are right here online. I’m proud of you for setting goals that have stretched you. I’m sure, as you continue to grow and learn, you’ll reach those goals. Ah, finding the right mastermind group can be a challenge. I think finding the right mastermind group depends on what your goals are. If you’re looking for a local mastermind group you may want to consider going to Meetup.Com. Or you may want to contact your local chamber of commerce or a business information networking group.

  15. says


    I just want to say congrats! That truly is awesome.

    I’m coming off of a back injury so it’s been tough to get back on track with my exercise routine. I used to run 2-3 miles a day, sometimes more. Now, it’s slow and steady. But at least I’m getting there. Pushing myself, little by little each and every day. Hearing things like this, pump me up to keep pushing harder.

    Congrats again!
    Ricardo Bueno recently posted…9 Ways You’re Doing Internet Marketing WrongMy Profile

    • says

      Ricardo, I’m glad that you are getting back on track. Remember: slow and steady: easy does it. Just don’t push too hard :)

  16. says

    Hey Stephen,
    That’s awesome that you will be running a 5k. I’ve only ran 1k in my life I couldn’t imagine 5K. I have to agree that it’s better to not try to be and do everything ourselves.

    Bouncing ideas and getting feedback from other like-minded people helps us all to become winners. I do have my moments when I feel like giving up, but usually all I need is some rest and I am right back to growing and learning.
    Justin@Mazzastick recently posted…Some Spiritual Aspects Of Being HumanMy Profile

    • says

      Justin, thanks for coming by! Actually, I’m aiming to run a marathon in about 40 days! We’ll see how it goes. I agree with your feeling of wanting to give up and rest sometimes. I think it’s a good idea to stop and rest, just as walking in the middle of a marathon is fine as well.

  17. says

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for this great brag. I ran the LA Marathon 2 years ago and I learned so much about the importance of big goals, baby steps, and having the right trainers and support. Your blog post has inspired me to create another big stretch goal to train for and reach. Thank you!


    • says

      Monick, I am assuming that you are the one who can brag: you’ve already accomplished the highlight of the LA Marathon! I have yet to attempt my feat :) What’s your next stretch goal going to be?

  18. says

    Your drive is inspiring and your message is too. My wife and I have just taken on a business coach for the simple reason of being accountable to another and “running” in circles we are unaccustomed to. Others ask easily of us what we find hard to do for ourselves. Thanks,
    Rick Lelchuk recently posted…How Sweeeeeeet It IsMy Profile

    • says

      Rick, the most successful people, I have found, seek out coaches in their lives. Kudos to you!

  19. says

    Having an opportunity to join a marathon is really a great achievement especially if you become the winner. Being a winner really helps to boost your confidence to yourself and strive more to become successful and win during the next marathons or events that you want to join… And really, your post is a great inspiration to us so thanks a lot!
    Tony Tate@Team Building recently posted…What Tigger Taught MeMy Profile

    • says

      Oh, yes, Hans! You’ll be amazed at how much more easily your run will become with those supplements! You might want to read some articles online, like at, on best practices for preparing in the next two months. Congrats to you on your goal!

  20. says

    I ran my first half-marathon last year. It wasn’t as hard as I expected but it was a great accomplishment since, up until I suddenly decided to do it, I hated running. There so many lessons to learn while you are out there alone with your thoughts. My goal is to run an ultra marathon within a year and a half.

    Fantastic job of relating training to life!

  21. says

    Hey Stephen,

    Marathon runner ! Congrats ! :-)) Frankly, I always admire those sportsmen/women when they won medals. It always tells me that they have the right thought and they were trained perfectly well mentally and physically before the competition. They knew where they are and what it takes for them to get to the finishing line. Their effort to develop their skill is sharpen day by day.

    Thank you for this article and again, I congratulate you for sharing all the must have great attitude here in order to succeed. Such attitude can apply in everything we do.

    Pearly Quah recently posted…Make Your Money Work Harder For YouMy Profile

    • says

      Pearly, thanks for the encouraging words! I admire everyone who is online as well, making the efforts to learn and grow as they improve the value of their offers to others in their niche.

  22. says

    About to start training for Miami. Agree that it’s all about progression!
    Miles recently posted…LA MarathonMy Profile

  23. says

    Congrats on the Chicago marathon – it must have been epic to run with such a large amount of people, most of who are pretty good runners!

    I completely agree with your tips here. Running in a group or with a training partner is one of my favourite parts of training and I think that if i didn’t run with others then I would really suffer over any training distance over a half marathon.

    Happy running
    RunTheLine recently posted…Beginner Half Marathon Training PlansMy Profile

    • says

      Ross, your site looks fantastic! The winner of the Chicago Marathon won it in 2 hours 5 minutes! That’s under 5 minute miles the whole way! Incredible. It was my first marathon, and I ran at the back of the pack, but a tremendous experience :)

  24. says

    Great insight here, Steve.

    I have done marathon training, too, and I think the most important thing I learned was to put your feet on the ground and just keep them moving in a consistent, daily manner. This is called training. It’s hard… impossible… in the beginning. But if you show up every day and do it, as your training plan guides you, a quick look back a few months later will AMAZE you!
    David Merrill recently posted…List Building Strategy for Blogging ProfitsMy Profile


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