6 reasons why marathon running can make you better at business

My name is Stuart Leaney and I’m a director of a dynamic Recruitment Company in the Financial Services Sector. Marathon running is much more than a hobby for me, it’s a passion that drives me to excel. The preparation and training required for marathons helps me to be better in business and here are 6 reasons why.

1. It promotes mental clarity and focus:

No matter how busy or stressful your work schedule, you will quickly feel the benefits of including a training schedule in your life. The time I spend training gives me time to think clearly and without distraction. It allows me space to de-stress, promotes clarity of thought, and gives me time to reflect and plan. That is vital and hard to come by in the modern workplace.

2. It starts your day on the right foot:

A morning run wakes you up and sets you up for the entire day. A lot has been said of the benefits of the ‘5am run’ in business and it’s true. Runners often feel a ‘runners high’ and whether this is psychological or neuro-chemical is irrelevant − it simply leaves you feeling better. I arrive at my desk awake, alert and energised. I’m ready to work and not still fighting that ‘just woken up feeling.’ I’m lively and positive and that rubs off on my staff.

3. It keeps you fighting fit:

In the modern workplace it’s easy to gain weight and get out of shape. In running circles it’s widely regarded that for every 1lb above your ideal weight you’ll run 2 seconds slower per mile. That’s why I eat nutritious food which promotes weight loss but also keeps me healthy. The benefits of this (apart from an improved time) is that I feel great. I have a very consistent mood and I have less days off sick.

4. It reminds you that the price of success isn’t cheap:

Staying dedicated to running up to 110 miles a week isn’t easy, nor is running a business. Even I have days when I would rather stay at home. When that happens I just remind myself that nothing beats the elation of crossing the finish line of a marathon or achieving ‘budget’. This feeling is why I work so hard and happily go the extra mile.

5. It builds structure in your life and encourages planning:

I don’t wake up and think, ‘I’ll run x miles today,’ I already have my training schedule planned in advance. An effective training plan has structure, it’s well reasoned and is in many ways similar to an effective business plan. You need to dedicate time to it, follow it carefully, and benchmark your results. But by doing this you can refine it into a recipe for success that works for you.

6. It’s a marathon not a sprint:

As I stood behind Mo Farah on the start line of the 2013 Virgin London marathon I knew exactly what pace I wanted to run and the time I wanted to achieve. This knowledge was based on the 1500 miles I had run in the previous 14 weeks, including numerous preparation races. What shocked me was how many runners of a similar ability shot off the start line as if they were racing Usain Bolt! Needless to say I passed most of them later on in the race. With a business it’s important to remember to play the long game and to stick to the plan. Impulse and expression can be great but they shouldn’t cloud your judgement or distract you from the core goal of what you want to achieve.


On 9th December Recruit UK’s director Stuart Leaney, is attempting to smash the world record for fastest 50km run on a treadmill, whilst aiming to raise £1,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust. To sponsor Stuart please click on the link to visit his page.

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