How far could you go in your business if you used the long slow distance approach? Ernst van Aaken was an internationally known running coach in the 1970’s who proposed long slow distance training for peak race conditioning. This method is primarily aerobic, where you have a steady supply of oxygen. How can you apply this to your business and keep a steady supply of energy?
I read an early copy of The Van Aaken Method during the 1970’s running boom. There was one part that really got my attention then, which I recalled just a couple of weeks ago when I decided to go for a run.
I am in good condition, but hadn’t run for quite a while and my legs didn’t cooperate. Then Van Aaken’s message played in my mind. Paraphrased, “Anyone, whether male or female, at whatever age, can run 10K or 6.2 miles, provided you are healthy and you run it slowly and steadily.” In addition to completing 6.2 miles, you will become extremely fit over time – step by step, day by day.
It worked. I slowed way down, making sure I could breathe easily. Lo and behold! I found myself both breathing and running easily through the first stretch and soon the last. I was back home and had run the entire time.
The long slow distance – or LSD – approach is great for physical conditioning and it has some huge pay-offs in business, whatever your business. Rather than burning out with a fast, frenetic pace, or being stalled with low energy because the end result seems so impossibly far away, you will have a steady supply of energy, increase your confidence along the way, and go the distance one step at a time.
There are many applications to business. Here are four that come to mind:
Do one marketing activity every work day – It’s amazing how the energy builds – both your personal energy and the energy for your business.
Have consistent, scheduled times – for ongoing, daily activities such as writing and making phone calls. Do each task at its time, and only one task at a time. Your focus will grow stronger, and you will sustain your energy. Eventually, the time itself will call you to the given activity and prepare the way.
Create long-term goals – and break them down into shorter-term goals or activities which you do consistently. For example create a 90 day goal, a monthly goal that supports your 90 day goal, a weekly goal that supports your monthly goal, and two daily activities that support your weekly goal. And do them, day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month.
Don’t forget the LSD approach in the physical realm – regular aerobic physical activity will build and sustain your energy immensely for the rest of your life. Choose the number of days you will exercise (between 3 & 6) and “just do it,” one step at a time.
The key to the LSD approach in your business is creating simple systems for a few clearly identified activities and doing them repeatedly and consistently over the long term. These activities will help you go the distance in your business. There are many others besides the ones I mentioned above. Take a few minutes now while the idea is fresh and create two or three for your business.
There is more to peak running conditioning than long slow distance, just as there is more to building and sustaining your business. However, the LSD approach provides a strong energetic and systems foundation from which to build the rest, and helps your business thrive over the long term.
I am laughing as an old football cheer resounds in my mind. “Take it easy, take it slow, but go, go. . .”
Step into your greatness! Step-by-step, day-by-day. . .