Steve McElhone jogging 2022

So, I’ve signed up for a 100-kilometre (62 miles in old money) ultramarathon at the end of May. I’ve done a couple of ultra runs before, and learned a few things along the way but, at this point, 55 miles is as far as I’ve gone.

With a little assistance from the race organisers (shout out to Threshold Sports), I now have a training plan which, at first glance, seemed a bit light on the mileage. That set me thinking, and there may be a teachable moment here…

For my previous two big distance runs I’ve put together my own training plans, based on books I’ve read (a questionable approach) and things I’ve found on the internet (a deeply questionable approach). These have involved extended periods of running high mileage each week and, probably unsurprisingly, on each occasion I’ve ended up falling short and then beating myself up for it. Perhaps a schedule which is a little lighter, and which I’m more likely to stick to, isn’t such a bad idea after all?

Feel free to draw your own conclusions from this. However, as we all start the New Year, with big dreams for our business and personal lives, here are mine:

  • If you have a major goal to work toward, it’s clearly a good idea to have a plan. It’s a much better idea to have a plan which has been tailored to your specific needs by genuine experts. As opposed to something you’ve cobbled together yourself from a pick and mix of dubious sources.

  • Adopting a more realistic step-plan towards a major objective isn’t indicative of a lack of ambition. In fact, it may be the smart thing to do. (Let’s face it, I’m a slightly overweight middle-aged bloke who has just entered a 100km running race. I may lack many things, but ambition probably isn’t one of them!)

  • Be a bit kinder to yourself. Not only does it make life more enjoyable, but it tends to result in you putting in a more consistent level of effort in the longer term, which in turn leads to better outcomes.

The analogies to my day job, providing legal and practical advice on corporate transactions, are fairly obvious, so I hope you’ll wish me luck in applying this to my work as well as to my running. For my part, I wish you and yours all the best for a happy and successful 2022.


Stephen McElhone is a Corporate Partner at BHW Solicitors and ranked a ‘Leading Individual’ in the 2022 Legal 500.

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