How to Train Yourself To Do Great Things…

runners-raceI recently attended a Healthy Savannah luncheon entitled “How to Train for a 5K.”  If you know me especially well, you may have heard me say “I only run when chased by someone really scary.” So, attending this talk was pretty remarkable.

However, it was a fantastic experience that I’d like to share with you.  Chris Ramsey of Fleet Feet presented ten tips that apply not only to training for a 5K but just about anything unfamiliar, challenging, and worth doing.

So here goes…

How to Train Your…SELF


  1. Have a goal in mind.  You won’t know when (or if) you arrived if you don’t have a clear destination.  Set goals that are challenging and specific.  Write them down.
  2. Establish a schedule.  Block off calendar time to take the needed steps to achieve your goal.  Don’t simply copy what everybody else is doing – customize the schedule to your needs.
  3. Purchase the proper gear.  Get the equipment (shoes, applications, etc.) that work for you.  Rely on experts to help you make the best selections.
  4. Find a friend/group/support system.  There’s no ability like accountability, right?  Some days you’ll need those folks.
  5. Go at your own pace.  Setbacks will happen.  Life interferes.  Keep moving forward.
  6. Warm up your body and/or mind.  When it comes time to implement your new skill, take a moment to prepare yourself mentally or physically for the task ahead.  Say some affirmations, stretch out, or do whatever it takes to help you be successful.
  7. Allow for rest.  Ensure that your time is balanced across work time, play time, and rest time.  Your definition of “balance” is what’s important here – not someone else’s.
  8. Switch it up.  When training for a 5K, cross-training is important to build various muscle groups.  When training for other, more cerebral goals, approach the problem from new perspectives, practice in different environments, and use diverse methods to develop your new skills.
  9. Stay hydrated.  In other words, don’t get so hyper focused on your goal that you forget your other, more basic, needs.
  10. Have fun with it.  Seriously.  Life is too short to torture yourself.



With the exception of running around a football stadium so that I would not miss the kickoff of my college homecoming game, I have not starting training for a 5K yet.  I have started briskly walking at a local park two to three times per week, though.

Your goals do not have to match those of your neighbor or colleague.  Think about what is important to you, and train yourself to be better in the areas where you need development.

And, if being chased by someone scary helps you stay motivated, I’m only an email away.  Grrrrr…


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


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