Tip #549: A Training Marathon

“Energy and persistence alter all things.” Benjamin Franklin

I do not run marathons, but I have read about the process that marathon runners go through to build up their stamina. Long and short distance runs are part of the strategy. I know that pasta plays a role, too.

Because of my clients’ funding requirements and a probable lack of understanding regarding how much energy it actually takes to conduct a highly participatory training program, I am faced with the daunting task of conducting 10 days of training without any break.

I will be flying to Amman, Jordan (my third trip in three years, for three different clients) to conduct two days of training on Interest Based Negotiation (IBN) Strategies and six days of a train the trainer program to help the staff design their own IBN training.

I will then go directly to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to conduct a two-day train the trainer program for highly technical trainers. This will be followed by three days of trainer coaching and consulting.

When I realized the enormity of the challenge that this training marathon presented, I decided that my best course of action would be to work on building up my stamina. My first step was to start walking on the treadmill, since our Wisconsin weather has been very frigid.

Unfortunately, that first mild exercise attempt left me with shin splints that made even simple walking uncomfortable for a week. Then, just when the shin splints had gone away, I got hit with a bad cold that zapped all of my energy.

Throughout this time, I’ve still had to muster up enough strength and creativity to develop the participant materials, PowerPoint, references, and pre- and post-tests for these three training programs, as well as clarify my room set up preferences and provide explicit printing instructions.

Given that there are 19 separate documents for the six- day Designing and Delivering Dynamic Learning, and 15 separate documents for the two-day Technical Trainer’s Toolbox program, I’m amazed I’ve been able to think them through in a logical and organized fashion. I hope I haven’t been fooling myself!!

So here I sit, with less stamina than I usually have and need for a typical training day. I’ve considered diving into the pasta portion of the regime, but feel that is unlikely to provide any lasting help.

I still have to create the agenda maps for all three training programs and pack up the necessary training materials for each program.

At this point, my back up strategy for Amman and Dubai is to drink copious amounts of water (which will have to be bottled), sit down as much as possible during the training activities, and get as much sleep as I can each night.

My training marathon begins in less than a month. I’m open to any and all suggestions that can help me survive.

I will be spending the next two weeks resting (as much as one can during a holiday season) and doing my best to regain at least a modicum of my energy and vitality.

Laurel Learning Tips will resume on January 5, 2015. In the meantime, I wish you a very comfortable and happy holiday, with good health and good fortune in the coming year!

May your learning be sweet.


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