Friday, May 24, 2013

Running & Bangalore Monsoon Season

The summer is vanished and the rains have started.  It gives a heavenly feeling to suddenly find the temperature drops in Bangalore.  The first thing that hits you in the morning is the very energizing cool breeze and drives you mad to go for a long run.  We are lucky to get rains only in the evening and I hope this phenomena continues.  No longer we worry about sweating due to the dry or humid summer heat and there are all reasons to feel happy that we sweat due a hard workout.
Try running in the Horahalli Village roads in the early morning and you will certainly understand what I'm talking about.   Yesterday, the run became adventurous for me when I spotted another runner along the road.   Yes,  I came across a slithering runner this time... coolly sitting in the middle of the road. It took some time for me to realize that this snake was already run (;)) over by a bike.   Poor fella.. dint follow his parents advise for crossing roads ;).   Check out the picture attached. I'll soon post a video and share.
Alright,  please note the changes to our club timings from this week onwards.
Saturdays and Sundays we will meet at 8.00 am (hope to see more kids turning up).   This also provides space for the long weekend runs for those who signed up for the Hyderabad Marathon.
The schools are about to begin and the Saturday evening session will be planned only based on demand.
ALSO PLEASE NOTE THAT I'LL NOT BE AVAILABLE THIS SUNDAY and request you to continue your strength workouts or long runs or cross training.
Its going to be 4 months since the club was started and I'm going to engage with each one of you again to revisit your plans and check were you have reached.  I'll start this from next week onwards.
Parents : please encourage your kids to be regular to join the weekend sessions and some form of physical activities during the week days.   Its proven that continuous physical exercise make the children very strong and active especially during the school days when they are bound to be stressed a lot.   I hope you would agree with me that it's a lot of fun working out together in a jolly manner.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

First TCS World 10K run

In this week’s edition, I’m going to talk about the new young achiever of the Kay’s runners club, the results of the TCS World 10K event and my experience of running the first TCS World 10 K race and finally about the upcoming Airtel Hyderabad Marathon in August.
Kay’s Young achiever
I was extremely thrilled when I received a message on my cell phone from Anand on 14-May at around 20.31.
Hello, I have just now gone for a 3K run; can we have a water melon party on Saturday?” It was Samatv, one of the youngest members in the Kay’s Runners club who sent an update about his recent accomplishment.  It was truly fabulous to receive such a cute message from this small but strong boy.  I was really proud to be having him as a member of the club.  It was a great effort from Samatv and thanks to Anand for encouraging and supporting him.
p.s I also saw Samatv setting a new 5K goal.  Good luck with it Samatv!!!
TCS World 10 K race results - 19-May-2013:
From Kay’s Runners Club, there were two participants this time for this mega event.  Anand Janakiraman’ s first official 10K event….he had completed the race at 1:04:54 his personal best.  Congratulations Anand!!!
I had completed the race with a personal best of 48:47, overall rank 258 (out of 8150 runners participated)
Last week, what it was
Most of the week was spent on completing the last minute training routines for the TCS World 10 K event, tapering efforts and charging up to give my best attempt to set my personal best.  The 10 K that I did (49.15) on 18th really helped me set a new benchmark of crossing the sub 50 min barrier and I was confident to set myself a target of 48.30 mins at the TCS World 10 K on Sunday. 
The Saturday, was supposed to be a rest day but it wasn’t.  My family visited a temple in the morning and spent some quality time at a friend’s home, reached home at 2.00 pm, had a good lunch and took a solid sleep, got up at 4.30 pm and got ready to go to Jayanagar 4th block (a good 20 kms from Yelahanka) with my family to meet Vinayak Joshi, Actor, Director….celebrity in the Sandalwood.  Vinayak has been a great inspiration for the running world.  He has already delivered a strong message to the world “through commitment and dedication one can achieve anything”.  Through running and following a strict workout routine, he had lost more than 30 kgs (he used to be a chubby boy) and he is now a fantastic Marathon runner.  Wow!!! What an achievement.  Vinayak has organized to get a place for one my runner friends who missed her registration due to a goof up by a charity organization she supported.    Vinayak helped in getting her an entry in the TCS World 10K.   Thanks a lot Vinayak!!! You are truly an amazing person!!!
On Saturday night, I had to sleep at my cousin Bro’s home located right on the MG road.  It was unique and nightmarish experience.  I couldn’t get good sleep due to heavy traffic noise at the MG road.   When I got up on Sunday morning, I realized that I had only 2-3 hours of sleep which was absolutely inadequate considering the fact that I had to give my best attempt to run on Sunday morning.
4.15 got up, got into shower, got ready
6.15 reached Kanteerva Stadium, thanks to my Anna Bond Bro!!! Lt. Col Krishna for dropping me, he is one of the greatest and best motivators in my life.
6.30-6.50 Nike warm-up session
6.50 to 7.10 stood in a long Q to pee L (Procamm race organizers!!! why can’t this get better)
7.10 rushed to the Category B hold area…
7.20 gates were opened….7.22 gun fired…race started…
I was able to break through the crowd and when it was 19.12 mins at the first split @ 3.8 kms.  I was confident and kept pushing my limits to maintain a 12.2-12.3 average and reached 6+ KMS right after 30 mins.  After getting into the Cubbon Park it was wonderful to see my wife Meera, friends Varnita and Samatv cheering.  I took a turn at the Hudson circle with at 47+ mins time.  I had maintained the same speed and when I touched the finish line my Runkeeper showed 48.45 mins.   It was a great run and I was happy to just finish the race closer to my target.
I’m also happy to find Nikhil, Shreya and Soumya returning back to the weekend club activities after a long vacation.  Hope to find more of the missing members during the next weekend.
Airtel Hyderabad Marathon, 24-Aug-2013
The registration for the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon is open and Anand (first Half Marathon and I (my first full day time marathon) have already signed up for this ‘one of the well-organized events’ in the country.
Just about 3 months to go, I’ve already started focusing on my training routines and the mileage and efforts will increase during the next few weeks

Monday, May 13, 2013

Marathon vs. Sprinting

To experience the other end of Marathon, the whole of last week I read articles and watched videos about 'Sprinting' (running very fast in a short distance).  It was fascinating to understand how the combination of physical strength, muscles (to react fast), form and movement (to lean forward and generate speed), body weight, dietary needs, training plans etc., etc.; differ between a Marathoner vs. a Sprinter.  Eventhough both are considered to be 'running', they are really not the same.  During my young age, I was greatly inspired by the great Carl Lewis, Linford Christie etc., and I have a great respect for all the fastest men and women.  The amount of excitement this track event brings is unmeasurable and very daunting to learn how the slightest variations in the wind, humidity etc., affect the overall performance.  I was also proud to read about India's Payyoli Express / Golden Girl, P.T Usha (and her efforts to build wold class athletes) and 'Anil Kumar' (India's fastest runner) - one more from Kerala.  The Gods Own Country seems to have produced a lot of greatest athletes in India, their struggle to come up in life and compete with other elite International athletes.
I never had run during my school, polytechnic and engineering college and I was always a 'field' person trying my hands and feet on long jump, height jump, triple jump and polevault - I still miss those days.
p.s. I've decided to be happy to settle down as a Marathoner and decided not to threat Usain Bolt :)
The whole of last week I focused on the pace and tempo in preparation for my TCS 10K race on 19th.  It’s just 5 days left for the event and I'm all excited about the preparations.  It was amazing there are going to be around 11,000 runners participating the Open 10 K event (and a overall 22,500 runners for all the categories put together).  I felt comfortable with the route as Anand and I ran almost the entire course yesterday.  Wow Bangalore!!!!
For those who are not going to run on that day, I would strongly recommend you to come down to Kanteerva Stadium to witness this mega event and cheer your running friends.
Last week Hari, another runner had made to the 5K club.  With this, KRC has produced 8 achievers making to the 5K and 10K club.
5K Achievers Club - Sriram, Hari
10K Achievers Club - Aditya, Anand, Sunshrey, Nikhil, Meera, Ashwin
.....we also have several others in the making and love to see many more achievers filling these clubs during the coming months.  I'm also eager to find someone opening the account in the 21K club soon.  The immediate next opportunity is the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon in Aug.  I've already signed up for my first 'day time' Full Marathon and planning to focus on my trainings routines starting from next week.
The school holidays will soon come to an end and I'm awaiting the return of many energetic club members (small and big) who are still vacationing. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Running & Goal Setting

We all go through a cycle of emotions when we think about our goals.  The day you are very energetic you would want to think about 'I'll do this...' 'I'll complete this....' etc., but at the same time staying committed becomes difficult if there is no clear goal set to accomplish them.  Due to this reason, I stopped taking New Year resolutions as the resolutions started becoming meaningless if I couldn't stay committed in executing them.  
It’s the same thing when it comes to fitness or running.  If someone's goal is to 'Generally to stay fit', due to lack of a definition for a measurable fitness levels, sometimes one tends to lose the focus, skip the training routines or even indulge in eating certain stuff which will not help you in staying.  Instead of saying 'Generally fit...' have a challenging goal associated instead.  It could be something like,
'I want to play tennis with Jimmy (a friend of yours who plays tennis better) for 1 hour continuously and still have energy to play for another 1 hr.'
'I want to run 5 kms in 40 mins before end of June and still have energy to run another 3-4 kms without any pain anywhere in the body'
'I want to go for a mountain hiking at 'place' and back to work to the next day'
'I want to lose 2 kgs weight in before 30-May-2013' Or walk 15 stairs in Althea 3 times up and down....still want to do more :)
Make sure the goals are realistic (and a stretch one at the same time) and you are confident in achieving them.  Don't forget to attach a time limit for it - otherwise the goals would take forever to accomplish.
By setting goals like this - you are certain that there is a clear definition, you have something engraved in the wall and you have a certain plan to achieve it.  Also, achieving goals work very well when you go and share your goals with your friends, post it on your social network and share it with all your well-wishers.  Even if you forget it, someone who has read or heard it will definitely remind you.  Lastly do not forget to celebrate your milestones, however small they are whenever you cross them.   As parents support your children to accomplish their goals by helping them set the goal, cheer and motivate them time to time and attach a reward at the end.  It could be a trip to somewhere, a toy or a book or a nice pair of running shoes or anything they really like and would stay motivated to reach their targets.
There is a nice collection of material in the site and please refer to ‘Personal Goal Setting Link here...'
When it comes to running, if you are gunning for 10k, 21k or 42k races, the Marathon event calendar is a great place to start with. Beginning of each year the calendar of Marathon events in India is published and you can pick and choose the events.  Once the dates are marked in the calendar it becomes easy to decide the training plans to support it.   For the beginners, start with your first 5k or 10k or even 2k continuous running if you are really ready to begin running.
It’s just less than two weeks for the TCS 10 K event.  The route maps are already published in their sites (click for 10k route map here...).  Those who have signed up - please do share your preparations here.
I have also signed up for the Full Marathon category in the Aitel Hyderabad Marathon scheduled on 25th of Aug 2013.  Last year I had run the half marathon and it was a wonderful experience.  The course was tough as well as interesting (there are 2-3 flyovers + Banjara hills + added fun due to rain....).  The event was really organized well and the sponsorship is excellent.  There were adequate amount of food and drinks stocked in the fuel stations / post-race and literally Gatorade was pouring in the roads.  I'm planning to continue my training routine with increased weekend mileages and at least one day run in a month at the Nandi Hills.  I'm also looking forward to see at least one or two half marathoners from the club.

Can photographers teach us?

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