Cycling 50 km/day to work, 4 Full Marathons, 1 Ironman Marathon, 2 Half Ironman Marathons, numerous Triathlons – you name it and he has done it.
We are elated to bring to you an interview of the exceptional inspirational ‘software-junkie-plus-ironman’- Mehul Ved.
He took up running in his college days, with the aim of losing some weight and is today amongst the best marathon runners the country has.
This ironman has a soft heart and has been a part of numerous welfare initiatives- like Teach For India and Magic Bus Foundation. To top it all, has done a 100 km fundraising run for his 30th birthday.
A lover of cats, Mehul has had his ups and downs while running but never for once, did he think of quitting his passion for either cycling or running. Read on to get inspired and laugh along with the experience stories that he shared with us.
What is your first memory as a runner?
In the beginning, I could hardly do a 3-5 km run. Forget an ironman, I couldn’t have even imagined a half marathon. All of this came 6-7 years later, when I actually signed up for a few marathons.
So, the first memory of an actual run that I have is the first half marathon in Mumbai around August 2012. It was in the National park, which is actually the most scenic part of the Mumbai.
A ritual that you follow before beginning a marathon or something that you tell yourself.
I am not somebody who is into ritual or superstition, neither do I have a lucky t-shirt or anything. For me running or any workout comes very naturally. I don’t have to push myself or motivate myself for these activities. In fact, I actually love waking up in the morning and going out for a run every single day. Same is the case with marathons.
What are the must-haves in a runners’ kit?
Personally, I don’t bother about these. And I run barefoot so even shoes are not a concern. Though, it does really help having a favorite t-shirt, as everyone wants to look good while on an important run. I have seen people buying t-shirts for special runs and then working out in it so as to get comfortable, but still keeping it shiny and fresh for the special day. Who doesn’t want to look good while on a run?
How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
Usually doesn’t happen to me, but has happened once but that is it. As I said, for me running is something that I enjoy a lot. So at times, I might have difficulties or not feel that motivated, for example during my ironman, I wasn’t having a very good day but still managed to complete it.
I don’t want to ever push myself for something that is not fun at all. Having been part of triathlons – I do cycling, running, swimming and also workout in the gym. So doing all of these keeps me away from getting burnt out. So it’s important to keep taking breaks, that is the reason I just do 3-4 races a year. And in between, I go on cycling trips with friends, so it’s not completely a workout but rather workout with fun.
How does the running culture in India look like to you in 10 years?
Not only the people have started running more but the number of people enrolling themselves for longer runs has been increasing. And over the last one and a half year, this number has gone really up. Earlier people were concerned about only completing a marathon but now are focusing at improving their time limits, like a professional runner. So people are actually setting higher goals.
Also, we are catching up with the rest of the world, where we were not there a couple of years ago and now we are moving ahead at a good speed. Interestingly, besides marathons, we are seeing a trend of ultramarathons and trail runs being built up. So, people are actually going beyond just running on roads.
A quick rapid-fire
- Which song is at the top of your list while running?
I generally don’t listen to music while running but during my 100 km run, I had ‘Eye of the tiger’ from Rocky playing.
- What is your favorite route/city to run?
Marine Drive, Mumbai
- If you could have one post workout meal waiting for you what would it be?
- If there are only hot beverages in a marathon, which one will you have?
- What is your preference- Out and back, point to point or loop runs?
Training- out and back
Pleasure- Point to point
- That one sport you love after running?
- Ever gotten lost, while out on a run?
- Worst injury?
I have been very lucky and never had one.
- A race you would like to relive?
Definitely myIronman race
Would you rather-
- Run a hilly or a flat marathon?
- Run with or without music?
- Run as much as you want on the treadmill or only once a week outside
Every day on a treadmill
- 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?
- Run in the freezing cold or sweltering heat?
Heat, I can’t bear with cold at all.