Can we all take a moment to acknowledge how awesome runners are? Good. Because runners are the freaking coolest.
If you’re smart (and you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t) there is only one particular timeframe when you don’t want to be around a runner – that period after the long run and before the shower.
I realise that this claim would sound a whole lot more legitimate if I wasn’t a runner too, but the truth is that runners are pretty awesome people. The attitudes developed out on the trails and roads inevitably extend to other parts of runners’ lives.
If you’re an endurance runner, running affects every other part of your life. It affects the social part of it (by making it close to non-existent, if you’re me) and it affects the professional aspects of it too. Nothing is immune to the overflow of awesome.
Among other reasons, here is a succinct explanation of why endurance runners make the best employees:
1. Endurance runners are usually happy and healthy people
It’d be pretty hard to be an endurance runner without a decent degree of health and fitness. Healthy fit people don’t need to take that many sick days. There are also about 235 million scientific studies about how running makes people happier (I’d Google some for you but I live in New Zealand and bandwidth is a luxury so do it yourself). Contrary to what you might be thinking, there aren’t mystery sick days after a long run, because the legs are too tired to make it to work. There’s nothing better than gloating about not being able to move from your office chair because you ran a marathon the day before.
The bottom line is that not only do runners not take days off due to sickness but they’re also always happy in the office, whether their legs work or not.
2. Endurance runners know how to work efficiently
Training for an endurance event teaches runners a lot of things, like the fact that carbs are good and beer has a lot of them, or even what really early mornings look like. It also teaches runners that it’s important to be efficient about things like stride, pace and nutrition so we use our energy sources wisely and don’t crash and burn halfway through the run because we went out too fast. Endurance runners can consistently maintain a comfortable pace allowing them to run for a long period of time. Such smart cookies.
3. Endurance runners understand that hard work pays off in the long run
I know I should be ashamed of this lousy “in the long run” pun but I’m really not because it’s true. Every single run counts towards the result of the ultimate event. Every 5km training session is part of a much longer plan towards the goal of the marathon. A marathon isn’t something you can procrastinate on for months and then train for in the last couple of weeks. Knowing that is what gets runners out of bed in the morning when it’s disgustingly cold outside. Training for an endurance event is the proof that hard work is the key to success (hard work and jelly beans, actually) and that you can’t cut corners if you want to achieve that. The mile you ran a couple of years ago, in a moment of insanity, does not count for anything unless it has since been followed by a lot of other miles. This is why so many runners develop almost unhealthy obsessions with tracking every single kilometer of their progress and spend almost as much time analysing their results as they spend running.
Moreover, endurance runners understand that procrastination will only get them in trouble on race day. If you want an employee who won’t spend the day searching for recipes on Pinterest instead of getting work done, you should hire an endurance runner.
4. Endurance runners love a challenge
Why else would they willingly give away money in exchange for entries to races they’re not entirely sure they can survive?
5. Endurance runners are goal-oriented people
We follow training plans for months at end with one goal in mind. We stay on track (mostly) and count down to the day when we’re going to put all that hard work to the test. We give our co-workers something to look forward to as well – the day when we’ll finally run that stupid event and shut up about it. It’s good to have a goal to look forward to, even if it’s just your co-worker shutting up about something.
6. Endurance runners are less stressed
Again, far too many studies for me to search for. The point is that we leave our frustrations out on the road instead of bottling them in until the day we take a machete into the office.
I think I’ve made my point. Next time you get a CV from an endurance runner, you should hire them. You don’t want to end up with the unfit machete-wielding guy in the office instead, do you?