"You’re running 13 miles? Why would you go and do a silly thing like that when you have a perfectly good car!”
That’s the response I got from some of my friends when I told them about how I was running the Oxford Half Marathon.
It's clear that they're not runners; otherwise, they would a) understand and b) know that a half marathon is 13.1 miles... that 0.1 at the end really does make a difference!
Oxford is an inspiring setting for an event like this and last weekend I was one of several thousands who took part, raising money for the wonderful Thomley Activity Centre.
Of course what most people don’t see is the months of preparation that goes into getting ready for a half marathon and it’s not just about the training either.
I was talking to some of my Thame Cars colleagues about this the other day, as there are many similarities between my approach to my fitness goals and the way we do business.
I’m a big fan of James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, in which he talks about the ‘1% Rule’.
If you strive to be just 1% better than you were the day before, by the end of the year you will be 37 times better in whatever your trying to accomplish.
To be honest I don’t take this too literally (otherwise I would be much faster half marathon runner by now!) but I do agree with the principle.
Big goals and improvements are achieved by making small incremental gains.
With my training it’s not just about running longer every day, but adding in speed work, improving nutrition, getting better sleep, staying hydrated, trainers, kit, mindset…
None of these by themselves are going to make a huge difference but make small improvements in all of them and they add up to big results.
And it’s the same here at Thame Cars. We have always strived to incrementally improve, from the way we do things to the products that we use. Aiming for excellence rather than perfection keeps us open minded enough to spot new ways to improve.
If you haven’t ready Atomic Habits I can personally recommend it, and see where your 1% gains might come from today.
I ran round Oxford in a shade over 2 hours last weekend which I was pleased with, but as always it’s much more about the journey than the destination