Be sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for…..

I’m a runner who cycles. Yes – it’s that way round! I’m waiting for post Covid days to run my first marathon having trained for one twice.  In the meantime I bought a road bike this Spring and fell in love with the open road once again.

So you’d think I know a lot about elevation and distance?

Planning road running routes is easy – generally I go from home and I know where the hills are! I sometimes use an app which shows me the hills in feet.  I’m comfortable with that: it’s my niche.   Bikes are a different matter: I plan those routes by finding an existing route then using Garmin to stretch or shrink that route! Don’t switch off: there is a point to my ramblings!

See these graphs?  The top one is from Garmin and the bottom from Strava.  The top one is in metres and the bottom one is in feet.  It’s a 55 mile route and the furthest I’ve ridden to date.  I read the metres as feet and so thought it was flatish.  My friends reminded me of the terrain.  I didn’t listen.  We set off at 07:30 – at least that part of the planning went well because we were out in the hills of Derbyshire for 7 hours!

This has provided me with an interesting parallel.

How often do we set off to manage a new programme without doing all the preparation?

I should have looked twice and three times.  I should have listened to my friends’ advice.  Easily translates to listen to all your Stakeholders and understand where they are coming from

How often do we not read the background info, not check the stats, not fully understand the benefits plan or the business case?

Should have checked the scale.  Could have looked on Google. Read it, read it and read it again.  Never (totally) trust your instincts. 

How often do we find we shudder to a stop halfway or realise that we should have listened beforehand?

At one point on the ride I said to my husband “I can’t finish this”. We slowed down, took more breaks and got to the end.  Don’t be afraid to change route, change delivery style, ask for extra weeks.  Success is a journey, not a destination

And when we’ve seen our mistake (or had it pointed out) how many of us continue to trudge down that route and refuse to budge?

Most importantly: how often do we learn from our mistakes and not do the same thing next time?

You can bet I’ve learned mine…

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