A few days ago, a good friend asked me why I liked running so much. I thought about it long and hard, before answering ‘because it gives you transferable skills.’
What’s a skill?
It doesn’t matter what we do in life, we all need skills to do tasks well. Having a skill means you have an ability to do something. It could be anything like communicating information, organising a space, being on time, responding to pressure, motivating yourself and so on.
Speaking to friends and family requires an ability to be confident and communicate, managing your finances requires organisation and attention to detail, having a job requires motivation and perseverance.
Running arms, you with valuable soft skills
Okay, the skills are what they call ‘soft’ skills. Running won’t teach you a hard skill like computer science, repairing a faulty fuse box, or the ways of the law. However, soft skills are incredibly valuable for everything we do in life.
Without soft skills, it’s difficult to speak to people, make friends, have an order in your life, and to motivate yourself to do important things. Run to develop these soft skills and become a more well-rounded person.
Run to make yourself more skilled
One of the great things about running is that it gives you lots of valuable skills you can transfer to other areas of your life.
Simply put, running will drastically improve the quality of your life.
Without further ado, here are 7 Transferable Skills Running Gives You
Being organised is a transferable skill running helps to develop. If you struggle with remembering to complete tasks, don’t have much order, and need a system for things, running can help with all these things. Running can make you more organised.
Having a proper system in place for what you do in life is essential for success. If you’re unorganised, your environment will be incredibly messy, and you won’t be able to find anything. Also, it’s likely you’ll forget important tasks, and fail to prioritise your actions. Simply put, being unorganised is not a good way to go.
Being a runner helps you become an organised person. You’ll need to create (or find) and follow a training plan (often written down), have a designated place for all your running gear (often in a wardrobe), plan and follow a nutrition plan, book and make your way to running events, follow instructions given in the event pack, and so on.
Think of where being organised can help in other areas of life. At work when completing a project, booking a holiday and completing everything that comes with it (packing, flights, accommodation, transfers, currency exchange), preparing a meal, running a business, cleaning a property, writing a novel. The list is endless.
Develop your organisation skills with running.
one skill which is universal in all wakes of life, across every profession and every field of interest, is the ability of self-motivation.
When we want to achieve something worthwhile, it often requires a lot of effort. When something requires lots of effort, it becomes easy to procrastinate and get lazy. After all, doing nothing is easier than working towards an objective.
Embarking on a running regime means you’ll need a great deal of self-motivation. You’ll need to get find or make a training plan, get some running shoes, take yourself out of bed, plan a route, get out the front door, and go for your run. Whatever the weather, no excuses.
Once you’ve established the ability to motivate yourself as a runner, you can transfer this to other areas of your life. It’ll be easier to motivate yourself to cook, study, practice an instrument, learn a language, and so on.
Running develops the ability of self-motivation. One fantastic reason to get involved with this sport.
3. Ability to work under pressure
Being a runner means you’ll need to work under pressure. Working under pressure means being able to calmly work through the current demands of a situation. Even though they’re particularly challenging and hard to overcome.
Dragging yourself through a lung-busting 5K, ascending a calve crunching hill, or bouncing along in dessert like heat on a hot day, all develop your ability to work under pressure.
Think about where else this could be of use. Dealing with an angry customer, a busy workflow, looking after multiple children at once, competing in an event, or even in a job interview.
If there’s one thing associated with being successful, it’s confidence. Confidence means you believe in your ability to do something. It could be absolutely anything.
Mowing the lawn, reading a book, speaking to a stranger, running a meeting, organising your house, going for a job interview, acing an exam, are all things we do on a day to day basis which require confidence to execute successfully.
To develop confidence, we need evidence that we can do things well. We need references. Being a runner means you will quickly create these mental references of when you’ve done something well. Going for a run is a concrete example. Physically acting to achieve something. It doesn’t get more obvious than going for a run.
Even after your first run, you’ll feel good about yourself. You’ve put yourself out there to complete the distance, and that’s exactly what you’ve done. Being a runner creates many examples of when you’ve done something well, which will increase your confidence. A perfect skill to transfer to other areas of your life.
5. Adapting to new situations
Running increases your ability to respond to new, novel situations.
It’d be nice if life was predictable and went to plan. However, this is rarely the case. Friends cancel on us, a family member invites themselves over, an unexpected gas bill is an equivalent of crashing into a brick wall, dealing with an angry customer, an increased demand in customers, are all examples of life applying pressure unexpectedly.
Thankfully, running can help you adapt to new situations easier.
The situation can change quickly on a route, and you must respond calmly. You might take a sip of water or have an energy gel, slow your pace, alter your technique, or momentarily push yourself.
Being a runner means you’ll find it easier to adapt to new situations quickly and act when it’s most important in your life.
Being a perfectionist means holding yourself to a high standard and making yourself accountable.
Think of where this soft skill could come into use. Managing a project, raising children, cooking a meal, leading a team at work, organising an event, playing a musical instrument, and so on.
Running presents lots of opportunities to develop your perfectionism.
One way is to focus on proper running form, ensuring your head, feet and arms are moving in an energy and speed efficient manner. Alternatively, you can strive to achieve a certain time for a specific event like running a sub-20-minute 5K.
Run to develop a sense of perfectionism. A transferable skill which can be used in other areas of life.
Being able to communicate is a fundamental skill necessary for success. Running can help develop communication skills.
Communication means a transfer of information from one person to another. It can be verbal (spoken) or non-verbal (body language).
Everything you do will require a degree of communication skill somewhere along the line.
Negotiating a mortgage or car purchase, bringing up your children, speaking to your romantic partner, selling something, conveying whether you’re happy or sad, explaining how to do something, and so on.
Being a runner means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop communication skills. You can meet and develop relationships with other runners in communal runs (like park run and sweatshop runs).
Meeting other runners and starting these relationships will give you a chance to strengthen your verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Transferable to other areas of your life.