Leaders and Runners, Don’t Run the Race Alone

Week 12 Mileage: 42-51 miles  (depending on how well you stick with the true plan)

Long Run Distance:  22 miles


I’m gearing up to run the longest run of the marathon training plan tomorrow, and I have to go it alone. This peak week of training happens to correspond with an out of town business trip.

And I am DREADING it.

Whereas a 3-4 mile run alone can be a refreshing experience, running 22 miles solo is just downright terrible in my opinion.  Who wants to do that alone?  There is not enough music and not enough podcasts to possibly get you through it.

All runners, and leaders, especially those out for the long hall, need a wingman, or four as in my case with our training group.  The more the merrier.

In an episode of The Runner’s World Show, Kirstin Armstrong describes the power of a “wingman” when it comes to running. It so worth the listen, and her words and the concept is very powerful indeed.

My wingwoman sent me this just a second ago as I prep for this solo run:

“You made it ok? Find a place to eat salmon tonight?  (Note from me: This the food we’ve decided sets the stage for a good long run based on much trial and error.  I did not eat salmon; I pigged out in a fit of hunger on something else).  If you get bored on the run, call me and we’ll chat! You got headphones? I’ll be working at home so you can call me anytime!”

Leader, do you have a wing(wo)man? Someone you can call at anytime, even when you know they are in the heat of work, and they give you permission ahead of time to interrupt them?  If not, get you one.  It makes the journey so much easier and way more enjoyable.

Here’s some food for thought on gaining some wing strength:

  1. Join a leadership or professional group outside of your office (or a running group).   What professional association or local leadership group- check with your Chamber of Commerce- can you join to discuss topics and challenges so you aren’t out on your own?  Meet in person regularly and form relationships that allow you to pick up the phone and call someone when you need advice or support.
  2. Get tapped in virtually through the same relevant groups online through LinkedIn or another platform.  You may not have ever meet these folks, but you can still reach out for advice and gain practical insights in a virtual setting.
  3. Start a group on your own.  What leaders do you need to meet with regularly that will help keep you accountable and foster your growth and development?  And might a recommend that this group be cross-generational?   I can’t tell you how much valuable insight I’ve gained from two of our running group being two generations ahead of me and several steps wiser.


Who is at your wing?


If you like this post, you may also like:

Who Keeps You Accountable?


Mary Ila Ward

Leave Comment :