Over the past two decades, voluntarily running long distances has gone from a curious hobby for a few solitary fitness addicts to a full-fledged national phenomenon.
Many of them are backed by their companies, which have seen the direct benefits of the activity in the workplace. It motivates and unites, while it's almost a Zen-like experience for some runners. Physical fitness, it would seem, is a bonus. The marathon holds few terrors for the typical marathon runner.
Running at that level can be exhausting, but it also sharply focuses the mind.
Most people think of running as a solo venture. And while runners appreciate (read: need) quality "me time," there's something quite powerful about running in a pack.
"It's easy to roll over and go back to bed if it's just you," said Gail Kislevitz, an author of running books and coach of Team for Kids, the New York Road Runners Foundation team that raises money for youth fitness. "You know, if you have a group waiting for you on the corner, you don't want to be the one not to show up."
Sometimes just joining the group can be the hardest part. "There's a lot of intimidation for beginning runners early on to go into a group," Mr. Udewitz said. "They think it's like gym class, and they'll be the slowest or be last. But that quickly dissolves."
While 'team building' has become one of the tools to encourage team and individual growth within corporations and businesses, marathons are not what springs to mind when visualizing team activities, but they are now being recognized as excellent lessons in endurance, strategy, team support and a manageable way to push out of comfort zones into new self-respect and belief in ability - adding up to new team strength.
Similarly, team spirit is fundamental to the success of any business.
Healthy bodies are made in the kitchen
Creating a cafeteria with healthy food options is one of the basic requirements for a health-conscious organization. Giving up aerated drinks and adopting healthy alternatives, introducing a runner-friendly menu and nutrition-rich foods from everyday ingredients, etc., are a few steps that can allow runners to keep a check on their diet while at work.
There is a close relationship between the ethics practiced at work and the characteristics exhibited on the running track. Marathon runners often come across as winners as they maintain a work-life balance, always have a balanced state of mind and make time to listen to their bodies.
Psychologically, Marathon running significantly impacts how the thought process starts churning. It helps build a task-oriented approach and gives a rigger to complete goals in a given time, improving efficiency at work by being driven by the task at hand and no other factors like time or money. Marathon runners demonstrate a strong tendency to be high in conscientiousness. Marathon running is intense and daunting. It signals extraordinary self-sacrifice, dedication, time management, and more. Hence, a true Marathoner will always have these qualities.
The goal for a marathon runner is to make it across the finish line, a feat that is a reward for all the dedication and months of hard work leading up to the race. This strife for perfection and wanting to excel while achieving the end goal is an excellent characteristic of the workplace. Understanding teamwork and embracing responsibility are more significant in people who regularly run marathons. They highlight enhanced cooperation and support while undertaking challenging tasks, which makes them outstanding and valuable employees.