My work has an internal collaboration space called Neo based on Jive (It’s excellent, you should get it at your work too), and I wrote a blog today about the cross-over between my training and my work. To be as efficient as possible, I thought i’d put it up here too!


I’m currently in week 19 of a 30 week training program that is taking me from regular Neil, to Neil who can do an ironman triathlon. Just 30 weeks of training to be able to swim for 2.4 miles, cycle for 112 miles and just for good measure run a marathon at the end.

If you’d asked me if I was a particularly well motivated person at the start of this, I would probably have said that I was about average. If you’d asked me if I was good at planning or organisation or communication, I would probably have said the same. Being efficient, well as long as I’m doing it, isn’t that all that matters? That is how I’ve approached my training before, get the miles in, get it done, the benefits will naturally happen.

I’ve done things a little different from this, because training the old way just wouldn’t have worked with the distances involved. At this point you are probably thinking “what does this have to do with your work at Pearson, except explain why you have been tired looking all the time lately?” Well, as the weeks progress more and more I think. So here is what I’ve taken from it so far:

Do the research

But don’t let it overwhelm you. If you ask three people for advice, you might get five different ways of doing it. There is no best way, there are only options that have worked for other people. Take the advice and use it to help you but don’t let it dictate to you the best way to do something if you feel differently.

Make a plan

You need to get from A to B, from 0 weeks to week 30. How? What do you have to do? How to do you build up the distances? Map out what you need to do and stick to it as best you can.

Be efficient

Training takes up a lot of your time, when you are out there make it as efficient as possible. Work out a way to check if you are being efficient

Be organised

Organisation directly impacts efficiency. If you forget kit you miss sessions. Write a list, check things off. Reuse the list for the next session.

Know what you are doing

You should know what you have to complete each day. It helps to know what you are doing each week too. Make the list visible, people will ask you about it and then you have some extra inspiration to get it done. Check it off when it’s done

From time to time things happen…

…but how you deal with them is more important that than the actual thing that happens. You can miss sessions, get poorly but how you react defines the impact of the issue, not the issue itself.

Week 0 is as important as week 30

Yes 30 weeks is ages, but those first weeks and how you start off the training directly impacts the later stages. If you haven’t done the background work, you can’t hit the big weeks.

Write down your goals

What do you want to do? Why? When by? Having goals is great, but having goals written down, in front of you gives you something tangible to achieve. It gets other people interested; it gets those other people invested in your goal

Write down your progress
Sometimes when things are not going very well, it’s really useful to be able to look back and see how far you have come, to know that you have got through the bad sessions before. If this is public, you’ll get support from people too. You’ll also find people with similar goals and they might just help you get to your goal too.


I don’t know that anything on the above list is particularly revolutionary, but I know that some things are particularly useful for work projects and that doing these things regularly outside of work definitely helps inside of work.

Lastly, if all else fails and you need that extra push; make a graph.