5 Actions to Ensure a Successful Marathon or Keynote

Posted by martin.parnell |

On May 29th. I’ll be running the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon. Now, to many people this might appear to be a walk in the park, for someone who, in 2010, ran 250 marathons that year.  Not true. I have had to put in the training and get myself organised for the day, just the same as anyone other racer.

For me, that preparation involves running various distances, at differing paces and getting my body ready for the long 42.2km haul to the finish. As well as the physical training, runners have to consider what to wear, which can vary quite a bit, according to weather conditions and the issue of nutrition and hydration, i.e.  What to consume and how much, before and during the run.

Then there are the seemingly minor details that can affect race day. Where do I go? What time do I have to be there? Have I got my race bib and timing chip?   If I do all of these things, I can approach the start line with confidence. During the run, I have to pace myself, take in enough fluids, electrolytes and carbohydrates to keep me going, make sure I follow the assigned route and just run my own race and try not to be affected by what’s going on around me.

I also make a point of remembering to thank all the volunteers who man the aid stations and line the route. After all, without them the race couldn’t go ahead.  I apply the same principals to my speaking career. No matter how many keynotes I give, I know I have to make sure I’m always well-prepared.  Here are some of the things I do to “train” for a presentation: 

  1. Review feedback from my previous talk/ workshop – is there anything I can improve on/ alter according to my audience? 
  1. Check my gear – do I have all my “props”? 
  1. What time do I need to be there – are all my travel arrangements in order? 
  1. Check the venue – is the audio / visual equipment working properly? 
  1. Who will I need to thank? -  This is very important. Don’t just thank the organisers, and attendees, think about the people like the catering staff, volunteers etc, anyone who may be involved in helping to make your engagement a success. 

I have a mental check list for my marathons and a similar one for my speaking engagements. Knowing you are well prepared allows you to approach your event with confidence, enabling you to enjoy the experience and be more likely to have a successful outcome. 

All you need to do then is adopt that “Finish The Race Attitude”!

comments powered by Disqus