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How Training for a Marathon is Benefiting My Freelance Business

It’s really only a half, but I did run the full 26.2 once upon a time.

And the full might have taken me over five hours, but I finished. (I later found out that I was newly pregnant with Shelby. #youngestmarathonerever!)

Enough bragging. I’m obviously not a very fast runner. But it is an efficient way to burn calories. And it always helps relax my mind and gives me the time and distraction-free space to think. (An almost impossible feat with two toddlers around!)

The only way I can ensure I carve out time to run, is to sign up for a race. It’s not so much about racing (we all know I’ll never actually come close to winning), but about committing to a big audacious goal that I have to train for.

So my girl Noelle and I signed up for the Chicago half in late September. She recently moved away from me, so signing up gives us a common goal and guaranteed way to see each other sooner than later.

It’s also boosted my freelance business. Here are two ways that training for a marathon is benefiting my freelance business.

1. An Endorphin High Is a Great Way to Start the Day

I’m a morning exerciser. Always have been, always probably will be.

It’s easiest if I can get it out of the way in the morning; I feel less guilty if the kids are still asleep and there’s no option for me to back out if it’s the first thing on my daily to do list (and it literally is listed as the first activity four out of the five weekdays on my Trello board).

An added benefit for the summer months at least, is that it’s also typically the coolest time to run outdoors. And boy is it peaceful, beautiful and quiet at six in the morning!

But the best part? It sets a positive, endorphin-high tone for the rest of my day. Doing this healthy and physically challenging feat first, sets the rest of my day up for success. I have no choice but to be productive the rest of the day.

2. Podcasts Get Me in “the Zone”

When I was training for the full back in 2012, I found out that podcasts were a great way to pass the time. At one point, I was having to go for four hour plus training runs – in these circumstances, you best have a bag of tricks to get you through!

I used to actually challenge myself to run the first five miles (or hour) with nothing – no music, no podcast, just me and the open road. The next period of time would be spent listening to a podcast or two, which really helped engage my mind and distract me from what I was putting my body through.

Then I would save upbeat music for the end. It was my “saving grace” to get me through the last few miles and pump me up when my energy level was low. Hey, it worked for me!

What I learned about myself though, is that in addition to getting all high on endorphins from running, I’d also get a “motivation high” from listening to business or faith-based podcasts during this time (think EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey, Entrepreneur on Fire, church messages, etc).

Listening to podcasts is an awesome running companion. If you haven’t tried it, you totally should! If you can get into the message, you’ll mostly forget about the pain of running and the time seems to fly by!

Plus, it helps me get up and “running” in the morning, quite literally. I’m excited to listen to my favorite podcast hosts, as it’s not something I often find time for during my workday.

An additional bonus is that most of the podcasts I listen to are around time management, self-discipline or other tributes of highly successful people. I get all jacked up from hearing other entrepreneurs share their stories of killing it and it gets me excited to tackle my own tasks for the day and keep moving my business forward.

And I always feel good about my “self-disciplined” decision to start my day with exercise. Win/win!

In Conclusion

Running sucks. Podcasts rock. But when you pair the two together, it’s a pretty tolerable experience.

We should all be exercising on the daily for both or physical and emotional health. Why not take a page from my book, sign up for a race, commit to a training schedule and start running first thing? Or bike or whatever else floats your boat.

Just know that by getting your body right, having a tangible goal and getting your mind right, you’ll also probably boost your freelance business in the process.

Why not you, why not now?

Share your favorite podcast in the comments! 

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey


Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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