You aren’t running this year’s Mumbai marathon but are making resolutions to do so next year? Before you set out on your marathon fitness plan, read what advice seasoned marathon runner Sumit D Chowdhury has for first-timers.
“You don’t need to run for long hours to practice for a marathon. The trick is consistency. Get into a habit of running come hell or high water. Take that time out for yourself and step out. Don’t try to run for hours at a time thinking that’s how you’ll train your body. Start with smaller durations, get good at it and then run for a longer duration. The idea isn’t to run a marathon from the very first day.”
Know your body
“This is an important one. Listen to your boy and stop when your body tells you to or else you will injure yourself. At the end of the day, you’re your own competition in a marathon. You’re not competing again the pro athletes; you’re just trying to better your own record. So don’t think that you have to finish the race when everyone else does. Everyone has their own pace, so don’t exert beyond what your body will allow you to. Know when to slow down and walk to the finish line.”
“Know when to drink water and how much to drink. Overhydration and dehydration are both equally bad. People think that you should drink lots of water when you’re running a marathon because you perspire so much. But drinking lots of water is not good during a marathon. So do your research, in the weeks leading up to the marathon experiment and see how much your body needs to stay hydrated without going over the top.”
“Pay attention to how your feet fall on the ground. Remember not to slam down on your heel or on your toe. Land on the middle of your foot and roll onto your toes. And run with your toes pointed straight. Landing wrong can injury your ankles, knees, back and even shins. And always remember to stretch before and after the run to keep your muscles relaxed.”
Get the proper attire
“Invest in the right shoes, clothes, covering and glasses. If you’re not prepared you won’t be able to go the distance. You need the right equipment to do any job well, the same goes with running. The proper attire contributes to your comfort and wellbeing, helping you run in a more positive space.”
“Last, but certainly not the least, believe in yourself. Some people give up before they’ve even started because they’ve convinced themselves that they can’t do it. You have to mentally convince yourself that you can do it; keep chanting that mantra to yourself. Age is just a number, you can do anything you put your mind to. I started running half marathons at 37, finished my first full marathon in 2010 when I was 40, and there has been no looking back!”
Sumit D Chowdhury is founder CEO of Gaia Smart Cities.