Last Sunday I had the honor of meeting Nitendra Rawat, who has created a course record (by an Indian) at SCMM this year with a timing of 2:15:48. And after reading quite a few articles on him, I went with an expectation of meeting someone a bit cocky and smug. But I was so wrong. At the shoe store where I accompanied him, the store assistant started showing off his knowledge about heel drop and mid foot landing, unaware of the fact that he was talking to the best Indian elite runner. Nitin didn’t utter a word or get worked up, just tried his shoes and moved on to buy them. His shoes usually last up to two weeks due to the intensity of training, about 270km of running per week. That’s him confident, emphatic yet humble. He answered all my questions without any hint of superiority.
While most articles I read mentioned how he has broken the course record, qualified for Olympics, his Oakleys and ponytail, not much was said about the lack of facilities at the National Camp. Case in point, the three Olympic qualifiers don’t even have a dedicated physiotherapist! Even though the ASI, Pune is a state of the art institute with all facilities, these athletes have to train at the National Camp for most part of the year.
There has also not been a word about his nutrition needs either. If only this one aspect is taken care of, it alone can shave off a couple of minutes from the overall marathon time – as per a renowned sports doctor. Imagine then, what he could do if all the international standard facilities, training and nutrition were available to him. Imagine if the media had concentrated on this, how much more attention these causes would have received – Just like his adidas sponsorship. When the media reported that Nitin had to pay for shoes out of his own pocket, adidas picked it up and offered him a sponsorship.I asked him what about adidas excites you and he said “with proper sponsorship, I will get the exposure of running in other countries, which also means I can choose more favorable marathons. And right now my target is to break the national record of 2:12 which hasn’t been broken since 1978.”
But we can’t blame the media alone, can we? This is the kind of information we want to consume.
Also, I feel as a part of the running community we need to give much deserved attention and love to our athletes.
You can like his FB page at https://www.facebook.com/nitinrawat2012/?pnref=story
Read further if you are interested in a bit of trivia, his diet and training regimen.
A bit of trivia
Nitin came to know that he could run well when he joined the army when at the age of 19 and started representing his regiment in various cross country events. But he didn’t take his talent too seriously till he got posted to LoC in 2006 and didn’t like being there one bit. That’s when he began training a bit seriously for mid distances and cross country at the Army Sports Institute, Pune. The turning point for him was when he won the national medal for cross country in 2011. But he knew he wasn’t fast enough, so he decided to give longer distances a shot, SCMM being only his second full marathon at the age of 29!
He runs 6 days a week at the National Camp with about 5-6 hours of training (split into two) every day. Wednesdays are meant for circuit training and he does strength training 2 days a week. He doesn’t do weight training at all. A lot of his strength training involves the exercises he learned when he went to run a marathon at South Korea.
Pre run – 3 slices bread, 1 banana and green tea
Breakfast – Daliya, bread and 2 egg whites
Lunch – A bowl of dal, a bowl of sabzi, I roti and 2 spoons of rice, lots of salad and green tea
Before training (evening) – lots of fruits
Dinner – A bowl boiled chicken (no salt), 1 bowl dal, 1 roti and lot of green salad.
*No butter/ghee and sugar