Endurance sport according to my translation takes you beyond the 1 hour mark of constant activity. Most training we do is in a gym or going for a run and lasts 30-50 minutes plus a warm up and cool down – generally within the one hour barrier. When the move is made to longer distances or events, the training also has to move beyond the hour and becomes endurance training for an endurance sport.
I have done many sports that are seriously competitive: 80 minutes for a game in my rugby days and training would be for a couple of hours several times a week (amateur sport). It changes when you switch to training for a sport for you own pleasure, not a team, not necessarily trying to win, just to compete with yourself and complete the activity.
When I was attempting to climb Mont Blanc a few years ago the training changed my outlook. I had become a very good base line gym fitness expert, completing 45 minute cardio sessions whenever possible with the time I had available. Time was the limitation in my training so that was how I trained, doing just enough to keep the waistline in check.
Herein lies one of the great challenges – finding the time to switch from baseline gym fit or equivalent to endurance training and endurance sport. Ask all marathon runners how they manage to complete the training for their event, getting up at unpleasant hours of the morning and trudging through dark, wind and rain so they are fit enough for the event. That is exactly what I’ve had to do for the Channel swim – repeated early starts, uncomfortable swims, cold wet and miserable – serious effort that could so easily have been put off or avoided, but success would have been put in jeopardy without it.
Business is an endurance sport – it’s not about a quick sprint that the wingingit.com approach to training and preparation will provide you. It’s a long haul – the equivalent of trudging step after step after step up the side of a snow and ice covered mountain, with safety ropes of course, so if it goes wrong the fall isn’t too far. Or swimming stroke after stroke after stroke, in a strangely hypnotic and meditative kind of way, and a support boat next to you of course.
The key for me and the difference between winging it and success is having the right PowerTeam around you. Consider the PowerTeam we have for the channel swim – a coach, swimming coach who challenged techniques styles and ways of swimming for greater efficiency in the water, plus the knowledge from others that had been there before and shared their knowledge with us. The paperwork and the numbers were all looked after tightly so that complete transparency was available, in all teams most don’t read all the emails but still want the knowledge that was contained within them. The team there to cajole support and provoke others – we were only as strong as the least prepared swimmer in our team – if one person failed we all failed. No pressure there then. Two years of planning to get the team ready, personally to be strong enough mentally to go for it having ironed out all the potential challenges in my head beforehand so I would be at my best come the day.
All of this is the same as running your business – long-term endurance planning and training so that the stamina is there to see you through to success. It’s not about quick wins, the game is far bigger than that and you need to treat it like an endurance business. Launching new products, changing target market or simply taking on a new team all takes time, there are quick wins in business but banking on them without the endurance focus more often than not results in failure or at best un-optimised success. Get set for the long game with the best PowerTeam around you, train for endurance.