I just completed my first full Ironman, marking off an endurance bucket-list check. This accomplishment followed a series of Ironman 70.3 races and numerous other endurance events over the years. A question I’m often asked is “what do you think about during the long hours of training and racing?”

During my recent California Ironman — a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run — I entertained my inner ad geek by reflecting on the number of interesting parallels between preparing for an endurance event and creating an effective advertising media plan.

Some common themes included setting clear goals, conducting extensive research, developing a winning strategy, executing with consistency, and using data to make informed decisions and measure results.

Both endurance training and media planning require a combination of discipline, dedication, adaptability, and a focus on the long-term vision.

Whether you’re cranking on a 2024 media plan or considering signing up for a future race, some common rules apply.

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