Posts for Full Marathon

You are still a runner

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Running Related Injuries - Anupriya kapur - August 4, 2017

The best part about running as a recreational sport is that it is inclusive. That probably explains its popularity the world over. Anybody can run, it’s that simple. And the more runners I meet, I realise how therapeutic it is and how it forces you to take note of yourself. For me, it was as if I connected with myself for the first time when I started running. Even pregnancy had failed to do that for me. However, nowadays it also comes with a lot of noise and commotion. There is pressure of what races are you signing up for, your finish time, how much you are running in a week etc. It feels good initially as a new runner but slowly the pressure builds up. Of course, it’s great if you want to improve continuously and important to strength train to remain injury free but it’s not ok to constantly compare yourself with others. Continue Reading

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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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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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An injury is an opportunity

In my article, ‘5 stages of grief’  (read here) I had discussed the emotional turmoil we go through when we are injured. But what if you are out of the running scene for really long? I have been out  practically for the last six months except a few decent 10kms and 5kms.

I have come to believe that an injured runner is like a caged animal. No matter how you might treat it, it will never be truly happy until it is set free.

However, this time around I have not struggled to reach the “acceptance” stage. Of course, it’s everything to do with how I choose to deal with it. I have finally realised that running is life long. It’s a way of life rather than short term obsessive goals.

So here are some of those things that help me and might just be of some use to you:

1) Find another recreational fitness activity – And there are plenty only if we runners are ready to give  it a fair chance. It’s ok to not be out there for everything you choose to do. For me it’s stationary cycling which I find extremely boring but it’s safe and at least it tires me out.

2) Shut off yourself from running whatsapp groups if it’s making you feel miserable. Even though I’m still a part of it, I rarely ever check it. Continue Reading

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Be Like Bobbi

For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - April 15, 2016

Boston Marathon is considered the Holy Grail of marathon running. And there is much to its fascinating history. But what struck me the most is the story of a woman who changed running forever (I actually had tears in my eyes). Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to run Boston Marathon 50 years back and unofficially so as women were not allowed to compete in distances more than 800 meters. Why? Because it was believed that they were not physiologically capable of running a long distance such as 42.2km. To begin with Bobbi Gibb wanted to participate in the marathon because of her love for running. She started training for it and underwent a spiritual journey. However, when her application got rejected, she took it upon herself to make a statement about what women were capable of achieving. But the question was how? How can she prove when she wasn’t allowed to participate? She decided to race unofficially without a bib. She hid behind a bush close to the start line, let half the men start running, and joined them wearing a big hoodie and her brother’s shorts so that she could disguise herself all the time scared that she might be arrested. The men running by her side realised it’s a woman and assured her that they won’t let anyone stop her from completing the run. It gave her the confidence to throw the heavy hoodie away and run freely. Word got around and the crowd frenetically cheered for her. She ran conservatively (alright if 3:21 for a full marathon can be considered that!!!) as her idea was to prove that a woman can run this distance and run it well, if she trains enough. She knew that she couldn’t afford to collapse or stop as that would only reinforce the prejudices and set women’s running back another 20 years. She was greeted with much aplomb at the finish line. She managed to change the way men think about women and the way women thought about themselves. She ran unofficially again in 1968 and 1969. Boston Marathon officially started allowing women to participate in 1972.

She will be the Grand Marshal for the 2016 Boston Marathon on Monday. I’m definitely going to pick up her book Wind In The Fire: A Personal Journey soon. She started a running movement and as runners we owe a lot to her. (check the short video below to see how gracefully she has aged).

 

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Strengthening – It’s half the game *videos*

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - February 10, 2016

I think it was August last year when I attended a clinic by Dr Rajat Chauhan who’s a renowned sports doctor and also the race director for La Ultra in Ladakh. Since he is one hell of a runner himself (his PB for full marathon being 2:38), I paid a lot of attention to all the things he said. He kept reiterating the basics which we tend to ignore in pursuit of clocking more mileage. At that time, I used to feel as if my legs are very heavy, as if some weight is tied to them, making running a task rather than fun. He advised me to strengthen my leg muscles and do planks regularly in order to run injury free in the long run. And well, it worked. I made a couple of videos with him and would work on more to demonstrate the simple strengthening exercises and stretches he swears by.

 

 

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The Marathon Man

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - January 28, 2016

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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.12631519_957329514303978_1212204902924277503_n

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!

Training regimen

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.

His diet

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

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Winter is coming!

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - December 11, 2015

I am not a winter person. I have a hard time getting out the house, let alone going for a run in freezing temperatures in the wee hours of the morning. And now that ADHM is also done, I have truly run out of reasons to brave the cold and the wind.

But I have already taken a week off since ADHM and now  I have to get back into the groove. I could run in a cosy gym on a treadmill but I would much rather watch Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo (no not really). This is usually the time when I start cursing myself for registering for the Mumbai full. So, long runs mean 4am alarms and pushing myself through the supremely powerful cosy comforters and talking to motivating myself to go out there and give it my all.

 Here are some things I try telling myself:

Run at any time of the day – In winters I run whenever I feel like it. It doesn’t have to be early morning or late evening. A lot of times I drop my son to school, finish my assignments and set out to run at 12 in the afternoon.

Gratitude – I remind myself there are so many people who want to do this and be in my place but can’t. It’s my way of being thankful for a healthy body.

Right gear – The right winter gear which keeps me sufficiently warm in order to take that first step out of the house is key. On particularly gloomy days, brighter the better. And I prefer running in shorter loops in case I need to get rid of or add layers.

ultra light jacket

ultra light jacket

Running with friends – That’s the only way I can do it during peak winters. People in the North know what I’m talking about.

To binge guilt free – I eat moderately for most part of the year but winters I want that levy to have that cup of hot chocolate with cream at Starbucks and the paranthas laden with the very salty amul butter!

I’m badass – Not too many have the guts and determination to do it. And ‘You are totally mad’ sounds sweeter when you finish your run in freezing cold temperatures.download (1)

By signing up for shorter runs – I couldn’t have thought of this 2 years back but now we have enough and more short runs (5k & 10k) to choose from. The idea is to stay active.

Post run chai tastes really like really good.

If you have any tips to tackle running or staying active in winters, do pour in your suggestion 🙂

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The 3 R’s. Run. Rest. Recover.

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons, Running Related Injuries - Anupriya kapur - June 12, 2015

I did my first full marathon on road this Jan, followed by another full marathon (this time on trail) in Feb.

I was feeling completely sapped post the back to back runs, so I decided to give my body as much recovery time as it demanded.

I didn’t run in March. And started running a bit recently. I was told yesterday by a fellow runner, you are “slipping out”. Just the way, I don’t understand why the “finish time” is so important to everyone around in our running community here, I don’t understand the obsession with “being seen” at all events. Riding high on runners’ high we tend to forget that running 42 kms takes a toll on the body and mind.

I have made a lot of mistakes in the last few years. I ran too much too soon. I had’t given my body enough time to recover from injuries in the past. Every body is different, some might need longer time to recover than others. I love to run and I want to be able to run over a longer period of time than to burn out.

I know it’s a tough call in today’s anytime-anywhere world or should I say everytime-everywhere world!. I have finally learned to say “no” and don’t let the feeling of being “left-out” bother me.  Taking a break isn’t a sign of weakness or aloofness.

Over a period of time I have realised that “resting” has little negative impact on the current fitness, and the long-term gains in any case outweighs any temporary reduction in fitness. So now I strictly base my running on how I feel.

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Why Mumbai?

Marathons - Anupriya kapur - February 6, 2015

I have always looked forward to running Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. I used to think its energy and vibe is one the best that such events can offer – until I ran SCMM for the first this year. In Mumbai, a city where I was told people are indifferent and “no-nonsense”, I was pleasantly met with folks in huge numbers, who had no reason for being there, come out and enthusiastically cheer for total strangers. It was heart-warming to say the least. In fact the overall experience of the event was so good that I didn’t feel the need to put on my head phones even once. Here is why I think every Delhi runner actually all runners should run SCMM atleast once –

1)    You get to run 5.6 km on the scenic Bandra-Worli sea link.

image from Google

image from Google

2)    Only in Mumbai would crowds at the 5th km mark shout out “only 37Km to go”. Only 37? Yeah, right! But love them for saying it.

3)    For the two cool zones in the last 5 km stretch at 30 degrees with harsh sun shining down on you.

4)    People of all ages offering food – dates, oranges, watermelon, biscuits, chocolates – and even ice; and cheering you during the entire stretch of 42km!

5)   You get to distract yourself at the Peddar road incline by talking about the ugliness of Antilia with a fellow runner. And once again on your way back if you are running the full!

One of  the uglier pic I got from google!

One of the uglier pic I got from google!

6)    You will find kids most enthusiastic about giving high fives as you cross Mahim. And if you miss one of them and they shout – “Arre! Miss kar diya Aunty!!”

7)    You get a glimpse of Siddhivinayak Temple, Haji Ali, Chowpati, Queen’s Necklace – all in one run. (And twice if you running the full!)

8)    People hold up funny placards to keep you going…my favourite being – “Run fast! I just farted!”

I tried!

And I tried!

9)    Post the run, you get a chance to bring the roof down at excellent hangouts like Café Leopold and Café Mondegar.

Hulla

Hulla

with some awesome runners

with some awesome runners

10) Women runners get a free volini massage and stretching by Reebok instructors.

The after-glow of running :)

The after-glow of running 🙂

 

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