Over the weekend, Nike with three elite runners attempted to run the marathon in under two hours. Something people say is impossible.
Never mind that I usually haven't event broken 13.1 by the two hour mark. These people are FAST.
Even if you are not a runner, here's some pretty amazing takeaways that we can apply to our lives as we try to do the impossible.
1. Environment is key. Breaking two hours would be really hard on a major marathon course with potholes, cobblestones and hills. Nike's team picked a race track in a location where weather could be ideal and most course factors could be controlled. We may not have control over our environment when trying to do the impossible. But environment is key when trying to get a seed to germinate.
2. Research is paramount. Nike held nothing back by looking at many things including the efficiency of the runners, how their bodies performed, what fueling technique they needed, and how their clothes needed to fit. They understood what they were working with so that they could design to improve. The world record for a marathon is basically 2:03 (2:02:57) and so all these researchers were trying to do was to improve by three minutes...about a 2% improvement. But each of the small changes they made add up to give us that elusive sub 2:00 time. We need to research our "impossible" project to understand what we are working with, then make those small tweaks that are going to add up to a huge improvement.
3. Everything is individual. The efficiency of the runner doesn't look like the same stride or the same cadence. It's all individual to the runner. What may work for one runner doesn't necessarily translate to another runner. Yes, in our lives, we should look to others for inspiration or ideas on how to make things better. But don't take something someone else does as a golden standard. It may not work in your working economy.
4. It's ultimately, all about heart. You can have the fanciest shoes, the best course, the numbers to back up the body's ability to run at 4:30/mile. But what I found so interesting about the broadcast was that they constantly talked about how if the runner didn't believe it was possible, it would never happen. If we don't believe that what we are doing is possible, then we are doomed to failure from the start.
Watch the Facebook live broadcast below!