For me Decathlon, Sohna Road is a hop, skip and a jump away. I go there often to shop, but it has been limited to whatever my son needs. So, I have always known how well stocked they are for practically every outdoor or indoor sport and even for equipment for less popular sports such as combat sports, roller sports, horse riding, nature sports, target sports, water sports etc. However, it is one thing to see all the products and wonder what one does with them and the other to actually listen to the people who has been avidly using them.
And that’s what the Decathlon Warm Up session was all about. They invited two amazing individuals Chetan Sehgal, an avid hiker and Captain Dharamveer, a running enthusiast to speak about their experiences, why they do what they do and tips on what you need to become a hiker and runner.
But the highlight for me was listening to one of their employees, Samod Kumar, a simple and humble runner with the PB of 1:08 at Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. The beauty of his message was that if you set your heart on something, you can do it. His dedication for running goes a long way and at times he comes from Saket to Gurgaon running and then starts his day at work! They also conduct free training sessions for runner, cyclists, yoga etc. You can follow the Decathlon Sohna Road page on facebook for regular updates on when and where the next sessions are being conducted.
Since my blog is a lot about running and I have shared quite a bit on what Captain Dharamveer had to say, I will concentrate on what Chetan shared. I have done several trail runs specially in Philippines, however, I have been on very few hikes (same day ones). I was kind of closed to the idea of hiking before the session as complicated gear intimidates me. However, Chetan’s presentation which was pictures, loads of stunning pictures of different hikes he has been on and each picture had a story, and that changed my mind. You can keep doing your research online but it’s only when you hear these stories can you get the idea of passion, commitment and sense of curiosity one needs to be out there. And the gear is not all that complicated if you plan well and the fact that each and everything you need is available at Decathlon makes it easy.
“Commitment is important. You can’t afford to be stupid in high altitudes. Prepare well. You have to survive temperatures from -10 to -20”. – Chetan Sehgal
For someone like me who has absolutely no idea about hiking even the most basic information shared was relevant.
Some tips by Chetan Sehgal:
If you are beginner, go for a guided/supported hike first (preferably with friends) and then take up self-supporting hikes.
Start walking/running and strengthening a few months before you go on a hike.
Basic fitness levels are important even for a simple hike. Get your medical test done before leaving for the trek.
Read the guidelines given for the trek well and follow them. Don’t depend on information gathered from friends alone.
Break in to/test your new hiking shoes before the trek just like you would for your running shoes before the race day.
Learn how to pack your backpack. There are enough and more tutorials available online. Pack your heavy items closer to your back, make sure that the bag is steady and is not falling forward or backward once placed on the floor.
Whatever you need to access quickly as you begin your hike like your packed lunch, an extra layer to cover up or a jacket, put that in the middle of your bag so it’s easier for you to find.
Carefully wrap pins and other sharp items that can puncture your bag.
Wear your backpack in a way that 90% of the weight is on your hip muscles and not on your legs or back. A good backpack (like the one in picture) will let you adjust it as per your height.
Keep stretching through the hike.
Do not litter. Carry all the plastic waste back and dispose it in the right way.
For bio-degradable waste, dig a deep trench and bury the waste.
Mostly in fear of dehydration we end up over hydrating. Beware as both can be harmful.
I wanted to know the easy hikes I should try given I have decent fitness levels and he suggested Triund and Mcleodganj. But knowing myself well, I will probably choose something from the Konkan range now that I’m inspired enough.
Overall, it was a Sunday afternoon well spent and I’m glad more and more focus is now on hobbies, passion and fitness.
Pic Credit – Travellingcamera.com