In November of 2011, Andy Heck, President of Alpin Haus, became an Ironman for the second time. An Ironman is a long distance triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run (marathon). This month will mark two years that he completed his first Ironman in Lake Placid, NY. As he is preparing to go back for the race this year to root on one of his training partners, Andy laid out the lessons he has learned that apply to life and business from competing in the 140.6 mile race.
“An Ironman isn’t an event somebody can just go out and compete in, it requires a lot of training and preparation, mentally and physically. While training and competing, I learned many valuable life lessons that can be applied to almost any situation.
- Time Management- You must become a master and not spend time on things in life that don’t matter. If you schedule everything from work and meetings to family time and fun, your days will be more valuable and more successful. This was key when I was training because the few months before the race, my workouts ranged from 15-20 hours per week. If you are training for a marathon, you need to be able to schedule your runs so you are properly prepared for the race.
- Knowledge- become a sponge, learn from whomever you can that is better and has more experience than you. Do whatever you can to always improve. Read! Read the paper, books, magazines, anything you can to learn about current events, or about what you are training for.
- Preparation- You can’t go into any major event and expect success without being prepared or having a proper plan. You must do the work! In business, you can’t go into a meeting as a manager and not be prepared about what you are going to talk about. This can lead to very unsuccessful meetings. With proper preparation, you could have very short but informative meetings and limit the time you would waste.
- Be a part of a group- Sharing both the journey and the victory is more fun than doing it solo. There will be times when you will need to pick each other up when the motivation is lacking. In life, you have your family, friends, and co-workers. If you are going to run a 5K, run with a group of friends.
- Expect the unexpected- Always be prepared and know obstacles will come when you least expect them. When they come up (and they will) you will have to be ready, calm, and prepared. This is important to remember in all aspects of your life, things happen in your personal life and business. You have to be prepared to face anything that can come your way.
- Failure is not an option- you must be mentally tough, your mind will get you through anything. Don’t say “I can’t” because if you have put in a lot of time and effort into training, for example a half marathon, the day of the race, you are prepared and you can do it and you will. Stay positive.
- If it were easy everyone could do it- this is just as relevant in business as it is for endurance events. Remember that on tough projects and challenging tasks, some of your competition will give up, others won’t even attempt it.
- Rest- being rested is necessary to operate at 100% both mentally and physically. This applies not just to sports but in the business world and in life. You can’t expect to get anything done successfully if you have had no rest and are worn out.
- The main event is the celebration of the effort- in business this would be any major sales promotion or key event.
- Anything is possible!”
Andy also shared that it is important to set goals in every aspect of your life. “Set personal goals, measure against yourself and not others. Set big goals, the bigger the goal the more rewarding it is achieving it. Not only do you have to set the goal but you have to set markers on the path to the goal and picture it.”
***Aside from the Ironman races, Andy has done many others including, 5Ks, 10ks, marathons, and other triathlons. This past weekend on June 30, Andy completed the Tinman, a half-ironman, in Tupper Lake, making that his 45th race since 2007.