Management, Marathons, and the Journey Towards Wellbeing

Originally from the US, Rachel Barger has worked 15 years with SAP (8 of those at Ariba prior to its acquisition by SAP) and is currently Chief Operating Officer of Asia-Pacific Japan Region. It’s a region close to her heart, having spent almost half of her career at SAP in APJ. As an executive within the organisation, it can be a challenge finding the opportunity to be active, which is why she’s preparing for this year’s Melbourne Marathon.

According to Rachel, the Melbourne Marathon Festival is part of the two or three running events she does each year to keep motivated and focused during day-to-day fitness activities. “I also like to help promote healthy activities at work and wanted to participate to help motivate others from the Australian offices to participate too,” she added.

Rachel exercises four or five times a week and often does so with her partner, who’s also a running enthusiast. “While on the road for work I generally do 30 mins of running or elliptical, and when home I love to use my Peloton bike and do a spin workout,” she explained.

“I brought the Peloton from the US and I’m hoping they’ll expand and start officially serving Australia. The instructors are great and really motivational, and you can pick the kind of music you feel like listening to which is a great way to start your day off – and when you finish you really feel like you had an intense workout!”

During her recent completion of this year’s 14km City2Surf in Sydney, Rachel was able to keep track of her pace with her Garmin smartwatch – as she drew closer to the finish line, she could see how close she was to her target time. Now she’s preparing for the Melbourne Marathon with the support of the Fit@SAP platform, which keeps track of her high-level training goals and helps SAP employees maintain a healthy lifestyle as part of a motivated fitness community.

“I was pretty fit coming into the decision to participate and was planning on doing the half marathon, but after a small injury following the City2Surf, I have decided to run the 10K to still be involved,” Rachel said. This has shifted her to a more holistic training approach, which places more focus on warming up, cool-down exercises, and adequate stretching.

“I went through a period where I lost focus on fitness and it really impacted so many aspects of my life, productivity and mood, so I’m very conscious of that now and make time,” Rachel added. “I find it’s a great way to clear your head and make time just for yourself without emails, to-dos, calls, etc. I really encourage everyone to find that ‘thing’ that allows them to do that during the week and ensure that they prioritise it for themselves.”

Rachel is a proud advocate of SAP Health and Well-being programs, including the Fit@SAP platform. She strongly believes in the benefits of leading a healthy and active lifestyle – helping her and her colleagues to stay energised during busy workdays. Fit@SAP, built on SAP Cloud Platform, offers real-time activity data for participants to keep track of their daily steps and fitness levels.

To learn more about race day strategies and the data insights that SAP is providing on event day at the Melbourne Marathon Festival, listen to The Best Run podcast.