Run to live

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 16 January 2020

Rajat Khurana, managing director at ASICS India, who is an enthusiastic marathon runner himself, gives us a bit of an insight on how to go about a marathon

A working professional in the 21st century chooses to have it all — a perfect family, a rewarding career and a healthy lifestyle. And running is among the most cost-effective way of staying fit. All you need to do is, well, run! 

This Sunday, one of the most prestigious marathons of the country — Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 — will be held. For those who want to run the marathon but can’t travel to Mumbai for whatever reason, ASICS, a leader in the running segment, has launched the virtual running experience ‘Run as One’. Powered by their mobile app ASICS Runkeeper, it will give runners an opportunity to be a part of the Tata Mumbai Marathon from wherever they are in India, on the same day and also grab a chance to be rewarded with a TMM digital certificate and a digital medal on completion of the run. 

Applicants can start their race anytime after the official start time of the Tata Mumbai Marathon — 5.15 am and need to complete the race by 5.15 pm on the same day.

Rajat Khurana, managing director at ASICS India, who is an enthusiastic marathoner himself, gives us a bit of an insight on how to go about a marathon. 

Dos and Don’ts 
The first phase in your running schedule as a beginner is preconditioning. This will prepare you for the heavier training later. The aim is to start slowly and build up stamina. It gets your muscles ready for longer distances and can help you avoid injury. Khurana says that one must consider the following dos and don’ts.

Start early: Mornings are the best time for a quick run. Listen to your body and give yourself ample time to warm up and get comfortable.

Have a hydration plan: Once you are used to running shorter distances, it’s time to gear up to go distances of 10 km or more. It’s important to stay hydrated as you run. Decide if you prefer to run with a bottle or take drinks at the water stations ahead of time and incorporate that method into your training so you’re ready for the race day. 

No to garbage miles: To curb running the ‘garbage miles’ (extra miles), the ideal weekly workout should have a few days dedicated to weight training and the other days to a long run. This will help the body recover from the rigorous regime while steadily building a tremendous stamina.

Muscle training: It is very important to work on muscle training and the best way to do the same is to push yourself to the decade-old practice of running faster paces on a 800-m track or even the treadmill in the gym. This exercise trains your body to not exhaust itself and motivates the runner to run with increased strides. And a great way to end your long distances, is to push yourself to run faster in the last mile so that the legs get used to finishing the marathon at a higher intensity.

Focus on you performance, not time: In a longer race, it can be useful to mentally divide the course in manageable sections. This also works by running to points within view like lamp posts or street corners.

Why running posture matters and how to improve 
As a runner, you might work on the pace and endurance, but do you ever focus on your form? Khurana points out that for most runners, the beauty of running is its simplicity. They head out for a run whenever there is free time. “They run to work on their speed, they take to the hills or go on long runs to challenge themselves every day. Unfortunately, what many runners neglect is practising the technique,” says he. 

The runner is of the opinion that running postures and techniques help improve efficiency and reduce injury risk.

To achieve the correct running posture, he suggests to focus on:

Head: Look straight ahead and keep your chin up. When your head dips, you’re more likely to start slouching.

Shoulders: Keep them low and relaxed — if you feel them creeping up and tightening up, stretch them out quickly to get rid of the tension.

Arms: Your arms should always swing back and forward and not across your body. Elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle to maximise efficiency.

Hands: Never clench your fists since this increases tension in your upper body.
Torso: Keep your torso straight so that you continue to ‘run tall’. If you start to slouch, take a deep breath and you’ll find yourself straightening up.

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