When I crossed the line on my first marathon in Athens in 2018, I was exhausted and jubilant, “Oh God, nine months of hard work and everything was worth it”, but I never thought that this would bring improvements to my skills at work. I also learned many things about my body and mind when running the marathon — things that I needed to improve for my next challenge, the Havana Marathon in November 2019.

That’s great, you’ll think, but how is all of this boosting your productivity at work? Let’s go with it. There are only so many hours in the day, so you have to be efficient. Preparing for a marathon while working full-time can be extremely challenging. I brought from my training plan to my work a best practice that increased my productivity notably as well as my sense of achievement.

Be committed, but flexible

Working toward your goals is a matter of perseverance and commitment, but you need to be able to adapt yourself to changes, state of mind and stuff that escapes your control.

You can’t control the weather, a sudden injury or an unexpected issue at home when you are training for a marathon. You need to be disciplined, yet flexible. I have become more open minded and I’m able to adapt my schedule to my life, so it isn’t a drama if I have to wake up at 6am to have a training session.

Runner recovering from his marathon training. GamePlanA, runners, running, marathon, athlete
Take the time to prepare properly.

The next step is to prepare forthcoming events or tasks that are on the way. I like to plan in advance, but it is mandatory to be adaptable because unexpected things can happen.

Be more structured

You need to be as structured at work as in your training and, at some point, you’ll have to consider both at the same time if you want to succeed at both.

This time my training was much better, much more precise, concise and purposeful. 20 weeks of training, 5 days a week. 2 short runs, 1 long run, 1 speed run and 1 cross-training day.

To give everything the right amount of focus, you’ll need to look at your tasks. Do they need to be done daily, weekly, monthly? Which one is the most urgent? Can I accomplish this particular task on my own? Do I need help from my team or from a client?

Let the planning begin

In the same way I approach my training, each Monday I plan my week and each evening I plan my next day by reviewing my training plan and all my meetings at work. This all goes into a productivity tool so I know when I’m going to do what.

Can I attend all those meetings? Which ones are mandatory for me? Which ones are important? Which ones are accessories? Once I have my work calendar ready, I move my mind to the training plan schedule.

So now that I know where I stand, I’m ready to plan for next week: two gym sessions, two short runs (10km and 7.5km), one series day (8x800m) and one long run (29km).

Monday: Rest day because I will run 29km on Sunday

Tuesday: Gym + short run 10km after work

Wednesday: 8x800m after work

Thursday: Gym

Friday: Short run 7.5km

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: Long run 29km

Group of runners preparing for a marathon. Marathon training, runners, discipline, preparation, mindset, GamePlanA
You can get the best results by being disciplined and structured.

This organization is allowing me to achieve my target at work because I’m more productive and that makes me happy. I really like the sense of achievement at work and, similarly, each time I finish a training session. This is multiplied by infinity when you cross the finish line of a marathon course.

Track > Analyze > Improve > Repeat

The best way of learning for me is with visual elements, so in the infographic below you will find the process I follow to improve my productivity at work and when training for a marathon.

Infographic on how to improve productivity in your running training and work life. Marathon Training, Preparation, GamePlanA
Finding a process that works for you will set you in the right direction. ©Adrian Mas

I will start a training plan for my next marathon in a few weeks and I’ll be applying all the learnings I have gained from my first and second marathon. I’ll also discard those that aren’t working for me.

If my level of motivation decreases, I just go back to my original idea: running a marathon on each continent and that gives me a big shot of positive energy. My plan is to run the Medellín Marathon next September. I’ll let you know how it is going.

And you, are you planning to run a marathon this year? Let me know how you’re prepping for it in the comments below.


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by manuel 11.03.2020
Really helpful and interesting how you related both professional career/aspects with sports, I totally agree and will try to implement your ideas on my trainings and work.
by Adrian manuel 12.03.2020
Thanks Manuel! Remember to use a tracker (a productivity tool or a notebook) to keep the motivation high and improve your effectivity ;)
by Nax 15.03.2020
Good text man!
Is it possible to run a marathon with only 2 months of training or is it dangerous?
Congratulations for your amazing workout routine !!
by Miguel 15.03.2020
Hi Adrian! great article, I really enjoyed it! :) thank you for sharing your formula.
by Adrian Miguel 16.03.2020
Thank you Miguel! Hope helps you :)