Posts for Marathons Category

Off to the races

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - June 15, 2017

This article was first published in The Hindu on June 12th, 2017.

I started recreational running when I lived in the Philippines. I explored the sport there for two years before moving back to India. I was still fairly new at it and running here wasn’t very big, so it was a weekly activity and a bunch of runners would get together, decide a route and just run.

But slowly, the scene started evolving. As did I, as a runner. From the running events that excited me in the Philippines, to the ones that made me dash out to register when I had just moved to India, to the ones that get me going now, are all very different. It really depends on the stage of life you are in, how long you have been running, and your personal goals, among other things. However, with a run almost every fortnight, especially in our bigger cities, choosing the one which is right for you can still be a tough decision. If you are new to running or new to participating in organised events, here are some tips to help you pick the best ones to start.

Personal goals

“Figuring out your end goal is most important,” says ACE-certified running coach Shshank Pundir. What do you want to accomplish? Are you running for fun, for charity, to experience the camaraderie, or to test your ability to run a certain distance? Do you want to use the event to train for a longer distance?

Read about the race and then check out the social media pages—you will be able to understand the thought behind the run.

How much time you can commit

I love doing full marathons. However, I scaled down to half marathons due to time constraints. Longer distances demand longer training hours. Going through various training plans will give you a sense of the time you need to dedicate to training. A crazy work schedule might mean that it’s not time to train for a full marathon yet. Perhaps, a half marathon, or even a 10k may be a better idea. Sometimes, it is easier to challenge yourself to simply improve the timing on a distance you are used to doing.

Size of the event

Some people like the electric atmosphere of a big event: the music, the vibe, the crowd. Some thrive on homely, no-frills, local runs, where you gradually get to know the organisers and fellow runners.

The race kit pick-up for bigger events is usually hectic. If you are a new runner, you might want to first participate in a small-scale local event, as getting lost in a large crowd can be intimidating. However, it’s really a matter of preference.

Your level

Dr Deepak Chaudhary, Director, Sports Injury Centre, Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi, and a marathon runner himself, recommends that even if your ultimate aim is to participate in a half marathon, get an exposure to what a race looks like by registering for a 5 or 10km for your first few events, and then scaling up to running a half or full marathon, irrespective of the size of the event.

Budget

Meenal Kotal, an ultra marathon runner, who has run around the world, including Antarctica, says that it’s important to look at the entry fee. With runs ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 50,000 within India itself, you will need to take a call on what you want to invest in. Out-of-town runs have the travel and stay to take care of. Travel expenses will depend not only on the city you are travelling to, but also on the popularity of the race. She recommends that if you’re really set on doing a particular race, plan in advance and save by doing more local, community runs to train for the bigger event you have set your heart on.

Terrain/Race course

Having run various ultra-marathons on tricky yet scenic terrain, Pundir says that you may not want to choose a race with elevation or twists and turns, if your goal is to achieve your personal best. Also, the training for hills is very different from running on flat courses. Or you may just choose a race because of the scenic beauty it offers. In any case, being aware of the elevation gain, terrain, weather, will help you determine whether you are ready or can prepare yourself for the event.

Time of the year

Running and training in warmer weather and participating in events in winter, and vice versa, can make a huge difference to the racing experience. Choosing running events which match your training conditions is always a good idea.

 

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The Dark Side

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - May 30, 2017

One of the biggest revelations during my recovery period from injury last year was that I had become obsessed with running. It was bordering an unhealthy obsession. The very thing that had given me my self worth was now controlling it. I started feeling worthless when I didn’t or couldn’t run. And that wasn’t right as “I’m a runner” didn’t define me wholly. That’s why, when I joined CrossFit to strength train, I already knew where to draw the line. To keep it 3 times a week, an hour each was my goal and I have stuck to it happily. It’s a method I have chosen now to stay fit and running will forever be for the soul.

When I look back and look around, I realise that there is a fine line between passion and an unhealthy obsession. And when I say an unhealthy obsession, it’s nothing to do with the distances one wants to train for. I have met enough and more passionate runners training for 160km and yet take life as it comes. While I have written a lot of fun articles on running and some on how running transforms you as a person (read here), this one might come across as a little harsh.

Here are some signs I really think one must watch out for and it’s not limited to running, biking or CrossFit –

1) Getting irritated if you miss a run or workout because one of the family member is sick. It might seem extreme but I have known someone who was going crazy because she missed her gym for 5 days as her child was sick.

2) When rather than being at peace, you feel life has come to a halt when, for some reason, you are unable to run longer duration.

3) You push yourself to train despite being constantly fatigued or severely injured. “No pain, no gain” isn’t always true. I did that because that’s the only thing I knew and then paid a price for it. Wearing knee pads and continuing to run rather than taking a break to fix that knee, can be really harmful in the long run.

4) When it feels more like a chore. Yes there are some bad runs/workouts and good runs/workouts but most of the time a workout or run should leave you feeling good. That’s a definitive one, if you don’t feel good after a run, give it a break.

5) Trying to squeeze in mileage by compromising on sleep. Sleeping 6-7 hours is really important. Training/workouts need to be balanced and missing one day here and there isn’t going to kill you.

6) When you are tempted to deactivate or actually deactivate social media channels as you feel miserable about missing out.

These are just somethings which came to my mind and I know list is long.  But let’s not forget that

Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
– Baz Lurmann – Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)

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5 mistakes newbie runners make

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - May 17, 2017

This article has ben written by me and first published on The Hindu on 15th May 2017.

What to avoid, how to pace yourself and when to simply push on

When you first start running it’s quite like falling in love. With yourself. You discover a little more about yourself on each run: “I can’t believe I ran five kilometres without a single break!”, “I never thought I could be so strong!” You might discover that you enjoy running on your own, either just being with yourself or the state of zero that you go into when the rhythm of the run takes over. There are many reasons to get addicted to running. And enough studies have proven that running can be one of the most addictive sports. Continue Reading

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When I met Haile Gebrselassie

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 4, 2017

The night before I was to meet Haile Gebrselassie, I was a little uncertain about what I might talk to him about. It was a great opportunity for sure and I respect the man immensely for his endless achievements. But I didn’t get the kind of a feel that I did when I was to meet Nitin Rawat or Scott Jurek, where I was waking up in the middle of the night and writing down the questions that I would ask. I finally realised that the reason was that as a recreational runner there was nothing different to ask him and it would only be a small variation over what I have mostly read about him. So, I decided to wing it. Continue Reading

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Lessons I learned from the Ultra Dog

For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - January 23, 2017

cooling down

It was the second edition of the New Delhi Marathon Stadium run yesterday. A simple format, where a runner has the option of running for 6 hours, 12 hours or be a part of a relay team. I ran in the first edition and loved the experience but this year I was there as a part of the organizing team. I ran a bit here and there with my running buddies and chit chatted with most. The music was loud and the energy at the stadium unmatched. Around 11 in the morning, we noticed a healthy stray dog doing rounds with the runners.

cooling down

Thinking of him as a hindrance, runners initially tried to shoo him away. But he seemed very determined and refused to budge. He wasn’t aggressive, not even one bit, but he wasn’t meek either. He held his ground so we let him run. He paced quite a few runners on different laps. And when he didn’t stop running after a couple of hours, we knew he was there to stay. Continue Reading

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adidas Ultra Boost Review

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - December 30, 2016

Sanjeev Ramki is a lil more than your typical crazy runner. He ran a full marathon two weeks after winning the Jawadhu Hills ultra 100km. His PB for a HM is 1:27 and for a FM is 3:12.

If there’s ones shoe that I would call a total “All-Rounder”, it’s undoubtedly the Adidas Ultra Boost.

What started out as my higher cushioned training substitute for my racing flats to avoid stress post-injury turned out to be my full time racing shoes on trails, tracks and road races after realizing how good its performance is. Continue Reading

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Winter Hydration Tips

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - December 14, 2016

In my last article I busted some common myths about CrossFit. And even though I’m not running much these days, at times, after an hour of CrossFit workout, I feel running 21k is far easier. Probably I didn’t realise the intensity of workout in the initial few days and found myself cramping. But it wasn’t that complicated to figure, it’s almost as if cramps in my body is how I realise that winter is here and I have yet again forgotten to properly hydrate for my workouts. And every year it takes me a while to realise that the reason is hydration. But, I am sure, like me, you would also tend to overlook this little annual problem.

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adidas Supernova X sports bra review

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - October 18, 2016

CONTEST Closed – What would you like to say to your sports bra? Leave in comments and win a voucher from adidas. I would like to say “Don’t let me down :)”. The last date for entry is 26th Oct.

Thank you all for the interesting enteries. The winners of this contest are Shilpa and Shalz. 

I can probably write a book on bra and sports bra woes that women face in India. I’m extremely passionate about it and get equally excited when I find something which fits like a dream. I had reviewed (read here) adidas training Olympic sports bra earlier. I still love that one and use it extensively, however, I had mentioned that I long for an encapsulation bra. Looks like someone heard my plea. This beauty is perfect for high-impact sports to control your every move. It has a scoop neckline with a bit of a plunge meaning it won’t be visible over racer backs (even though I don’t mind showing it off as it comes in lovely bright colors). Encapsulated cups ensure that boobs are not squeezed and look feminine and round. It’s a high support bra so that women won’t have to focus on movement when running or even while doing high intensity exercise.

The material is breathable yet it still has an insulating factor making this a good option when weather starts to get chillier. The design is perfect for women who wear larger cup sizes and need more support. And women who are narrower in the rib cage but bigger on the chest will love it too. Even though I have only done mid distances in it, I have done high intensity CrossFit and I can safely say that it’s the best I have ever used. No chafing, comfortable fit, good range of motion and complements the shape of my boobs. It’s priced at 2,799/-, so it might seem a tad bit expensive but then again it’s an investment and a good fitting sports bra is hard to find, so I would honestly suggest you to give it a try.

PS – Head to adidas stores in CP N block or South Ex if you are in Delhi, Indiranagar if in Bengaluru and Linking Road if in Mumbai.

 

sdr

sdr

 

 

 

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The Running Essentials: before you Train

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons, Running Related Injuries - Anupriya kapur - September 29, 2016

The views expressed are guest author’s personal.

Most of us have had phases of quick 5Ks to Ultra-marathons, cycling obsession/cross training, DNFs through which we’ve fumbled, injured, been through pain, fallen into the ‘No Pain No Gain’ culture and more often gone through phases of confusion interacting with runner turned Gurus in addition to a lot of running theories and information on the web and books.

In an era of information sans knowledge and wisdom, it only makes sense to take a pause and give a thought as to why a primitive and natural activity like Running has been made so complicated? Or is it really so complicated that we need to ponder over it so much? A three-year old runs all-day without talking about recovery, training programs, compression gears, dry-fit clothes, recovery drinks etc. but for us adults running becomes rocket science.

So what happened to the natural runner within us then?
1. The dysfunctional breakdown of the Human anatomy due to the culture of new smoking (sitting) in front of TV, phone, computer, and most often in wrong postures.
2. The era of modern day food taking over the real food we ate “those days” depriving us of essential nutrients and pumping in excess glucose, sugar, and carbs leading to overweight issues, poor absorption ability, and obesity coupled with nutritional deficiencies.

Naturally with the above issues, poor postures leading to under usage and over usage of a certain group muscles and shortage of those important vitamins and minerals it is not surprising that running has become a complicated study. As a running and fitness coach with integrity at the core of my approach and factoring the longevity of my trainees it is my responsibility to ensure running and fitness experience is simple, holistic, realistic, and sustainable. To achieve these goals we first need to look into the essentials of fitness and running before getting into the training and injury loop.

1. Understand past and present fitness, health conditions and lifestyle.
2. Determine future fitness goals and draw a line between short and long-term goals.
3. Understand the nature of job, stress-levels, no of hours available per week for fitness, and food habits.
4. Perform necessary tests: BP, Insulin sensitivity vs. resistance, Vitamin (D, D3, C, and B12 importantly), zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron etc. I’m surely able to connect a lot of dots here!
5. Perform an in-body analysis to determine the BMI, muscle, fat, and visceral fat %.
6. Based on the information work on basic fitness essentials through:
a.) Strength and flexibility training
b.) Cardiovascular health
c.) Yoga and meditation for better mind and body connection
d.) Design a diet based on test results to bring a balance in the body
e.) Correct postures through a series of posture correction and improvement exercises
f.) Achieve ideal weight based on age, body-type and height
g.) Monitor progress time to time.

When the body sets right it evolves back to its true nature and form running efficiency comes a bit more naturally. Without addressing what I call Running Essentials no amount of running specific training will help become a better runner but can back-fire and damage the body further.

Srheyas

 

Shreyas Karnad is a running, weight loss, and fitness coach at Runners360 with an experience of 8 years in the running and fitness world. In the process he has lost 57 kilos overcoming obesity, run a number of marathons and ultra marathons, cycling long distances and raising funds for several causes. Currently, he coaches a group of over 50 people through his fitness venture Runners360 in Bangalore and virtually for marathons, weight loss, and general fitness as strives towards bringing in culture of Holistic Fitness for Fit, Body, and Soul. Besides, he practices Yoga as a part of his Hatha Yoga teachers course and works with an MNC as a Content Engineer. 

 
 
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Things That The Pros Don’t Tell Beginners About First Marathon Training!

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - September 22, 2016

For the last few days, I have been wondering how, despite all the pain one goes through for a full marathon (or even a half even though one can’t compare it with a full), how does one forget the pain so quickly. And then I read about the ‘halo effect’. It is something that describes the positive emotions experienced by a new mother when the baby is placed in her arms for the first time. The happiness of holding her baby for the first time overpowers any pain or negativity from the birth within ten minutes of giving birth! Doesn’t that explain it all? The exhilaration of holding the finishers’ medal will make you forget the last 4-5 months of training as well the last few hours of torture. That also explains why runners who have done more than few marathons, might forget to tell you somethings about your first full: Continue Reading

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