Nilay Arun- On his running journey

ShikhaRunner Diaries

If you were looking for an inspiration to start running, you have landed on the right blog.
Today, we are profiling ‘Nilay Arun’, a man who is a living example of how to pursue your passion with ease and fun.
Nilay started cycling because he was overweight (his Instagram handle still is- ‘fat.cyclist’) but is now amongst the best runners that India has. He believes in enjoying what he does rather than pushing too hard just for the sake of competition.
This man owns the title of a ‘Super Randonneurs’ amongst many others and is planning to soon conquer the Ironman as well.
We got a chance of asking this phenomenal runner a few questions, read on to know more about him.

What is your first memory as a runner?
It would surely be my first half marathon. I actually didn’t think that I will be able to complete it. I did it for fun. You won’t believe, I was clicking pictures and selfies on that run, I was that relaxed.
After that marathon, I became more dedicated and wanted to do it on a regular basis. I started training and with every run, I would cut down my timing. So where a half marathon used to take me around three hours to complete, I eventually reduced it to around 2 hours or even lesser.

A ritual that you follow before beginning a marathon or something that you tell yourself.
I am someone who believes in keeping a tab. So one thing that I will surely do before beginning a marathon is checking all my gadgets. I even start them a few minutes before the marathon actually starts, so as to improve my timing. Though I never fiddle with my timer, I start it exactly before I start running, to keep a genuine check as well.

What are the must-haves in a runners’ kit?
In my opinion, a pair of good running shoes is a must. And by good, I don’t mean that it needs to be expensive or of a particular brand. People have become too obsessed with brands and don’t really experiment with what suits them best. Second, a smartwatch to keep the heart rate in check. And definitely, good headphones.
There are a few other things that really help while running, like compression socks while on a long run, hydration bottles and the ‘bib belt’ with which you can simply stick your bib rather than attaching it to the garment with safety pins.
My favorite invention though, is energy gels, as they are perfect for boosting energy and can easily be consumed while running.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

If I don’t want to run I don’t run, simple. *laughs*
I am very fond of running but it’s not my job. It’s not something that I obligated to do. It’s something that I derive happiness from, it’s something I enjoy. I don’t do it for the sake of competition, so if I don’t want to do it I never force myself.

How does the running culture in India look like to you in 10 years?
Absolutely blow. As we can see a lot of people are now actively participating in marathons these days. They are also exploring various aspects of it and are reading and talking about it too. Earlier people only had knowledge about a few overhyped marathons, but now they know details about marathons from around the world.

Quick rapid-fire

Which song is at the top of your list while running?
Eye of the tiger

What is your favorite route/city to run?
Panchsheel, New Delhi.

If you could have one post workout meal waiting for you what would it be?
Anything with a lassi.

If there are only hot beverages in a marathon, which one will you have?
Filter coffee

Run in the freezing cold or sweltering heat?

What is your preference- Out and back, point to point or loop runs?
Point to point

That one sport you love after running?

Ever gotten lost while out on a run?
Twice and that too in jungles, which was actually very scary.

Worst injury?
None, so far.

A race you would like to relive?
Bir Billing

Would you rather-

Run a hilly or a flat marathon?
Flat for timing.
And hilly for a view.

Run with or without music?
Always with music.

Run as much as you want on the treadmill or only once a week outside?
Never on a treadmill, rather I call it a ‘dreadmill’.

Run in the rain or snow?  

Run alone or with a big group?

Run in your favorite outfit every day but only wash it once a week or run in clean clothes that you hate every day?

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