Monday, September 14, 2015

Scrum, Running & the Beer Mile is Back!

Join us on September 30th at Urban Elements
for a FREE ChiRunning & Yoga for Runners
In this week's blog, we take a look at how "agile" project management principles can help your running plan, give details on an upcoming FREE ChiRunning workshop, and get you some info on the best damn Turkey Trot in the Burg!

First up, click here for details on the upcoming, FREE ChiRunning workshop and FREE Yoga for Runners class on September 30th!

Second, the Beer Mile! We're at it again. Last year a group of about 20 gathered at an undisclosed location on Thanksgiving morning to run a beer mile. We're planning to be back at it this year. If you're interested, shoot me an email. It's BYOB and anything goes...pony bottles, mimosas, soda...whatever!

Finally, on to this week's actual blog post (also posted at

Add Agility to your Training Plan!

During the day, when I'm at my "real-job," I spend most of my time managing software development projects and I freakin' love it! To most people though, "Project Management" means sitting down and developing long lists of requirements, tasks, risks, and resource allocations. They think of Gantt Charts, strict change management procedures, and a project plan that's printed in permanent ink!

In technology however, things change so rapidly that such a strict approach to project planning simply doesn't work. We need a system that is agile and able to respond to rapid change.

Enter "Scrum!" Scrum is a form of agile project management, centered around 5 core values (Focus, Courage, Openness, Commitment, Respect). These values allow teams to be more productive, stay motivated, and consistently deliver working solutions.

Just as I do at my day-job, when I'm working with teammates & athletes, I coach them to think about their training plan as a road map. It will provide a general direction, but we've got to be flexible enough to make course corrections along the way. Athletes should review their progress every week or two and assess what's working and what's not (in the Scrum world we call this process retrospective & planning, in running we call it a sure way to get faster).Whether I'm coaching an athlete, adjusting my own training plan, or working my day-job, I find it helpful to keep the 5 Scrum values in mind.

  1. Focus: In Scrum, we focus on a few things at a time. In training, I encourage athletes to do the same. Maybe it's a certain aspect of their form that we want to improve, or building their aerobic base with Zone 2 workouts. Every run should have a goal & and focus!
  2. Courage: In Scrum, we work as a team to support each other and provide additional resources when needed. This gives us the courage to undertake greater challenges. In training, look for support from you your coach, training patterns, family and friends. Get the right folks behind you and daunting training day's won't seem so bad.
  3. Openness: In Scrum, we constantly ask each other what's going well, what needs to change, and if there's anything keeping us up at night. In training, talk with your coach and support team. Be willing to take sound advice and be open to adjusting your training plan/model when appropriate.
  4. Commitment: Scrum allows the project team to have a greater control over it' own destiny. When you're training, you're in control! Define what success looks like and commit to reaching it. Revisit your definition of success on a regular basis to ensure it hasn't changed (and adjust your plan when it does!).
  5. Respect: Scrum brings the project team together, sharing success and failure, which leads to a mutual respect among team members. When training, trust in and respect yourself! You're showing up each day to put in the hours and miles. Whether you've completed multiple marathons, or just finished your first half mile, respect the fact that you're out there doing it, that's inspiring!

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