Q. When and why did you start running? What motivated you to keep doing it?
I’ve always been into fitness since my school days, representing Pune and Maharashtra in Basketball. However, post delivery in 2008 my confidence was at an all time low. I started getting back to running in 2011, when I registered for my very first 4K at the local Powai Run in January 2012. At the time, I had only one goal in mind – to run till the finish line. I followed it up with 10K the next year, first 15k in October 2013, first Half-Marathon in 2014, first Full-Marathon and Ultra in 2015 – now, running has just become a huge part of who I am.
Q. You’ve completed in numerous marathons since you started? What was the first marathon you remember? How did that go and what were some key learning points form it?
For my first Half-Marathon(2014) and Full-Marathon(2015) at the SCMM, I started following Hal Higdon’s Beginner Program – a popular marathon training program designed by Hal Higdon, eight-time runner in the Olympic Trials and four-time winner of the World Masters Championship. Apart from that, Google and Facebook Runner Groups were a great source of everyday inspiration, and guidance. I was also lucky to receive valuable inputs from my friend, mentor and Comrades Finisher – Roshni Rai. I followed my training schedule very diligently, and I firmly believe that consistency is the key to success. Check out the upcoming Marathons in your city!
Q. What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running? Specifically running long distances or marathons?The best part about running, especially long distance running, is the friends I have made along the way and the fun we’ve training together. I’ve met the most amazing, inspiring people.
Q. What’s your favorite marathon track that you have run on? What’s so memorable about it?
Satara Hill Marathon was fabulous. The route is so scenic and crowd support was tremendous.
Q. What do you think is the biggest misconception about marathons or runners in general?
I guess the biggest misconception about runners training for marathons is that people like to think that we discuss nothing but running-related jargon, which is far from the truth.
Q. What’s your training process for a marathon like? How did you prepare–both mentally and physically? A lot of our readers would love some tips!
Once I finalize on an event, we draw up a training schedule and try to follow it religiously. Generally for Half marathons, I go for 3-day run with Speed Intervals, Alternate Tempo or Hill Repeats and Long Easy Run. Also, a 2-day strength training is a must, no matter what. For Full-Marathons and Ultra, I stick to 4-day run, and 2-day strength training which generally suffices. Rest and recovery is equally important, as there’s no point in going overboard just to invite injury. Stick to your schedule and you’ll be just fine. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy whenever you go for a run, or decide to be part of a race. You might just surprise yourself with your timing. Enjoyment is in your hands, the rest is bonus.
Wondering what to eat while you’re training? 10 Best healthy (and tasty!) foods to eat before your morning run!
Q. What’re some upcoming marathons are you’re excited to participate in?
Next up I will be at Durshet and Stone Ridge Valley for Half-Marathons, which are part of the Runbuddies Monsoon Marathon Challenge. I’m looking forward to a scenic route, a lot of fun along the way, and of course – the challenge.
Q. What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to our readers who are are looking to start running or train for marathons?
Just take that first step. Start with a 20 minutes walk. I’m sure you can manage that much time for yourself. Then, do alternate walk-run every five minutes. Keep increasing your tempo slowly and you will find yourself running more than what you started with. I promise you will feel so good and wouldn’t want to stop. If I can do it, you definitely can. Good luck!