5 Ways Running a Marathon is Like Running a Business

Yesterday, I ran my second half marathon. I pushed myself to my limit and knocked 2 minutes off my time from last year!

I can’t help but see the parallels between my experience running my half and running my business here at Murnan Creative.


5 Ways Running a Marathon is Like Running a Business

As I’ve thought about this analogy, I’ve come up with 5 ways ways running a marathon is a lot like running your own business:

1.  It Requires Persistence:  Training for a marathon takes hard work and dedication. You will need to dedicate countless hours to training and make it a priority in your schedule to get your runs in. In business, the same rings true. Long hours and stick-to-itiveness are keys to gaining traction.

2.  You’ll Need a Strong Support System: I could not have done my half without the support of my amazing wife Joanna. She kept me motivated and supported me being away for long stretches of time for my practice runs. During the day of the race, Joanna, Eleanor and my mom Sandy came to cheer me on. That support energized me and motivated me to do my best. When leading a business, you’re going to need help along the way. Your friends and family are the first people you talk to about your business and act as a great sounding board. They are also your best cheerleaders to help spread the word.

3.  Measuring Progress is Key: I used RunKeeper to measure my progress every step of the way. The app not only gives me a synopsis of each run, but it also gives me mid-run audio cues with my average pace and total time / distance. When pursuing your business goals, it is important to make them measurable. You may want to get a certain number of readers or likes on Facebook. You may want to bring in a certain dollar amount this month. No matter what the metric is, if you do not measure and track it, you have no way to know if you are going in the right direction.

4.  Push Through to Overcome Challenges: Training is never simple and rarely goes perfectly according to plan. About 2 weeks before my race, I got a nasty cold. I was unable to run for a solid week and was really worried that the lack of miles would hurt me. I also injured my left hamstring and that derailed me for another week. I didn’t let these setbacks stop me and reminded myself that not everything goes to plan. Challenges can pop up in business at any time. You may have a client go with a competitor or you may lose a valuable contract or advertiser. These things happen and I’ve learned that perseverance will help you weather the tough spells.


5.  Crossing the Finish Line Feels Amazing: Words can’t describe the amount of relief I felt when crossing the finish line. During the Omaha Half, the home stretch of the race ended at TD Ameritrade park. There is something truly amazing about finishing something you start. I started to fade in the final 100 yards but pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of to make it through that finish line. All too often in business, we start strong and don’t quite finish it. The best business leaders find that extra gear to push themselves to finish what they start.


I am so happy with how my race went and wouldn’t change a thing. I’ll take the lessons I’ve learned during this journey and will apply them to what’s next for Murnan Creative.

Your turn: what challenges have you overcome building your business / blog? What are your metrics for success?

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  1. Just finished reading your five points of progress and was impressed by your remarks. You’ve grown into a remarkable young man. I’m so proud to be your Aunt( ahem, favorite?). Who would have thought that when you were growing up you’d like running! Especially when you think back on those ski trips and how angry you would become at yourself when you fell. You loathed failure then and now as an adult you can turn those set backs into learning experiences. That’s maturity! I’ll continue to read your blog(?) or is it a website(?). Job well done!!!

    1. Thanks Aunt Mary! I am amazed with how much I have changed since the Jeff of those ski trips. Who would have thought that I’d enjoy running?

      I’ve learned a lot about how you can use life’s failures as opportunities to improve. Thank you for reading this blog (I guess I can call it that now!).

    1. Thanks Erin! It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and my legs are still jelly at this point, but it was all worth it!

    1. Thanks Amanda! It was a lot harder than I thought to shave off that extra time! I’ve heard amazing things about the Lincoln, I definitely want to try it!

    1. Thanks Heidi! I am I very proud that I improved! Congrats to you for finishing you half marathons. Part of me doesn’t want to do it again…part of me wants to go for 3 years in a row.

      I might try the Lincoln next time, I have heard that it is CRAZY to get registered — I’ll keep that in mind!

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