There are many parallels that you can draw between running (especially long-distance running) and personal finance.
The expression “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” is often used for investing and building wealth, but it also applies to other aspects of money management, such as paying off debt. All of these things can be really difficult, take a lot of effort and hard work, and you will go through both physical/financial and mental ups and downs throughout the process – but they are all worth it in the end.
Since getting a place at the London Marathon, I’ve had to learn a lot of new things about long-distance running, nutrition, avoiding injury etc. I’ve found training plans that others have used successfully, and I will be following them as well. I need to be patient, trust my chosen plan and stick to it instead of jumping around from plan to plan, and build the endurance, willpower and discipline required to get to my goal. I will be slowly building my strength and increasing the distance I can run – there’s no point in trying to run a marathon after only being used to running 5k, as that would obviously end disaster.
When I first started learning about personal finance, it was very similar: I needed to learn the techniques that were best suited for paying off debt and growing wealth, I needed to make a plan and stick to it, and I needed to be patient. Focusing on one goal at a time is important; if I try to achieve all my financial goals at once, I won’t make progress with any of them.
I’m confident that the skills I have learned when working towards my personal finance goals will benefit my latest “project”, and that paying off debt and building wealth has improved my willpower and discipline. Similarly, I’m sure running 26.2 miles will give me a new strength and resolve in achieving my financial goals.
You never know how two different interests can support each other!