Pacing Yourself in Security

Helen Patton
6 min readFeb 4, 2023

Managing the security knowledge gap

A brown and white greyhound with one ear perked up looking directly at the camera
Photo by S J on Unsplash

This article is about leading Security in an organization. I promise. But first, a story:

When I decided to run my first marathon, I joined a running club, which grouped the runners according to speed. Each group had a pace coach — the person who ran with the group and kept them generally on time target. The fastest group (the sub-5 minute milers) would leave first, loping off like the greyhounds they were. Then the 6-milers, the 7-milers, and so on, until my group, the 10 minute milers, would shuffle off, like the bulldogs we were.

When you train for a marathon, each week your “long run” becomes a bit longer, until your longest training run is about 20 miles. Now, if you’re a greyhound, you can run 20 miles in less than 2 hours. But if you’re a 10-minute mile an hour runner, it takes at least 3 hours to run the same distance. It was during one of those long runs that the 5 minute pace coach joined the 10 minute running group — and he suffered.

You see, when you run long and slow, you have a different running style, and you use different muscles. When you run long and slow, you spend more time on your feet, and you take more steps — your feet know it. When you run for almost an hour longer than the greyhounds, you use food less efficiently, and need more of it. And our poor greyhound



Helen Patton

Cyber Security, Technology Ethics, and Humanity. What else? I can be found at or on Twitter @CisoHelen or on Mastodon