What I Learned About Hustle While Training For a 15k

February 16, 2016

Just finished the 15k

I’d like to think I learned a lot about hustling from The Roots and Jon Acuff (in different ways). I've been reading Jon Acuff’s blogs since Stuff Christians Like, and I recommend Quitter as my favorite (non-idealistic) guide for moving on to your next big thing (which may not be quitting your day job). I also want to stay on his good side in case I need an endorsement for a future book. That being said, I didn't really internalized the hustle until I signed up for my first 15k.

 

Here’s a quick summary of me before signing up for my first 15k which I finished last weekend (at the beginning of February):

 

 

Despite all of this, I saw people signing up for the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k and thought (1) I should challenge myself and (2) I could already run 5k, so it was not challenging enough. So, I signed up in November, kept working out like normal, and, in January, started a real training program. I cut out non-essential cross-training and ran four days a week. I never skipped a run. I woke up even earlier. I monitored my diet before every long run to learn what worked and what didn't. I ran extra-long on Saturdays. Basically, I had to hustle every day to meet my goal.

 

I realized by the end of January that I had been working hard before, but I had not been hustling with a goal to hit. Hustling meant setting a goal where I would be judged on how much I had worked up to that point. It meant temporarily giving up the fun, productive things like boxing and cross-training so that I could carve out more time to train for my real goal. It meant going to bed early, so I could wake up even earlier with energy to run. It meant running when everyone else was asleep or relaxing with friends and family. It meant never skipping a scheduled run (even when that meant running trails at a bed and breakfast during vacation). It meant measuring my results week-by-week by keeping track of my times, and it meant pushing myself extra hard to run 10 miles on Saturday mornings. It meant I finally internalized the hustle.

 

What I learned applies to any area where I have to hustle to be successful (running a race, starting a business, growing a business, etc), and these are my takeaways (in no particular order):

 

 

So, that’s it. I ran my first road race in over 15 years. More importantly, I learned how to internalize the hustle for my personal and professional pursuits and tried to share what I learned here. As always, hit me up on Twitter or in .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have any questions or feedback. If you want to work with me to grow your own business or ministry (and watch me hustle), fill out my handy contact form.

 

Final cautionary note: After basic online research, I am now aware that almost everyone recommends spending more than four weeks preparing for your first 15k (possibly more like 16 weeks). Obviously, that is helpful information that I did not have in January of this year when I started training, but I thought I should pass it on in case you get inspired and don’t want to injure yourself.