Running

Marathon Racing Strategy

My strategy to Finish a Full Marathon is to divide the Race into four segments.

One: 5K (1 to 5 kms)

In this segment I focus on getting into the rhythm. I don’t want the HR to shoot up too soon, so I start slow, and then gradually hit my goal race pace. However, this is perhaps the most dangerous point in the marathon when adrenalin can take over but you need to hold back. DO NOT START TOO FAST (even if you are on a Positive Splits). AVOID ZIGZAGGING in panic. Spend the first few kms by getting into the stride. You will have plenty of time left to cover up and beat your PR.

After 5K you’ll notice that I’m warmed up, I have a spaced out route (the start will always be crowded and chaotic) and am looking good to maintain the pace.

Two: 21K (6 to 26 kms)

In this segment I focus on running comfortably and maintaining my race pace. There are times when you feel overwhelmed by the crowd support, loud music and enthusiastic runners around you, but don’t make a mistake of going too Fast just yet. Go as planned, try and stay in the right zone, don’t lose focus and drink plenty of water.

Three: 10K (27 to 36 kms)

This segment is all about recreating whatever has worked for me in training. I want to get a feel of running at a FAST pace (10K Time Trials). So far I have been ticking off the kms and running pretty close to the target pace.

I take some chances, a slight increase in pace and longer strides. Not sprinting really, but a few seconds faster than race pace. This helps add 2-5 minutes of buffer.

Four: Smile BIG 😬 (37 kms to Finish)

Survival is the KEY here. If things are going well, I put everything I have toward the finish.

If things aren’t going well, I don’t have an option but to slow down. However, I know that I’ve covered up 2-5 minutes in the 3rd segment and am okay to finish slow, and yet set a PR.

I am positive and I SMILE BIG. Also, if I see someone else without a smile, I try to cheer them up. Things always fall in place, once I see the finish line. 😊

Run the first segment with your head. Be Smart.

Run the second and third segments with your legs. Be Strong.

Run the last segment with you heart. Be Inspired.

Happy Running.

Running

2019 BMW Berlin Marathon

2019 BMW Berlin Marathon – my first World Major.

The Joy of running a World Major Marathon is hard to describe.

SCC Events has done some excellent work there. There were sufficient aid stations and impeccable course marking to ensure your focus remains on running.

The crowd support was exceptional and like never experienced before. I was pleasantly surprised to hear my name being called out at least 10 times. It feels great when people you don’t know cheer you up by calling in your name. Sending out some Teddybear hugs 🤗🤗

From Power-Ups “that Red Mushroom from Super Mario” to little kids crying-out for a High-Five.

I tried my best to not miss any 😊😊

The Berlin Marathon route was fantastic. Mostly flat with a couple of tiny bridges. I’m so glad to have run this one and I highly recommend it to anyone from anywhere else in the world – You gotta run and experience The Berlin Marathon.

At the start of the race it was NOT a perfect “Race Day” weather. It was very windy (in the opposite direction), slightly sunny and cold with a humidity of 76%. It only got worst half-way into the race with heavy rainfall, strong winds and a further drop in the temperature.

I was drenched and shivering 🥶

Rains ☔️ started at around 25 km mark for me and then the weather changed from being slightly sunny to extremely cold and wet. My HR belt was slipping again and again, so please ignore the HR stats. 🤦🏻‍♂️

I had a perfect start to the race on a not so perfect day and I was going amazingly strong until 32 kms. After that, I felt tingling sensations in my quads, they felt a little tight and I got shit scared 😧.. within a couple of kms I got the worst cramps EVER (never had one in a race before).

I stopped for a bit, had a glass of water, and realised that I was not able to walk. With more than 7 kms to go, running a world major, I cannot screw this one up right?

So, instead of walking, I tried running again (and I don’t know how), however not so fast, a minute to minute and a half slower than my race pace. I somehow crossed the finish line.

I lost a lot of time in the last 7 kms and was not able to clock a sub 03:20. I know I have disappointed a lot of folks who believed that I could even clock a sub 03:15. I’m Sorry. It was also great to know later that my expected target time was showing up as 03:16 at 30K and then it dropped to 03:19 by 35K mark and then 🤭😞 *blahhh*

Thank you each one of you for your motivation and support. You all know my training journey had been amazing and I exceeded all my expectations in clocking more than 100kms in a week to almost touching 400kms a month. No Human is Limited right? I strongly believe in it too. I have thoroughly enjoyed my training and journey to Berlin Marathon. 🏃🏻‍♂️😬✈️

So what went wrong in the race?

NO EXCUSES.

All I know is that I have to work harder and go faster to be able to manage a stronger finish.

After thorough analysis, I felt I should have included at least one 30-35K Time Trial at Race Pace. I had included runs at Race Pace but none of them exceeding 23K. I will work on it the next time and get back stronger for sure. 👊🏼😃

There are Good Runs and Bad Runs, and if a Bad Run can give you your Personal Best, you know you have a lot of potential in you. I was faster by a minute and 26 seconds than my last Marathon in January 2019.

Overall, I’m not Happy Happy, but I’m still Happy about it.

I will celebrate this run. 😃🙏🏼

Keep Running

#RunwithRaah

Body & Mind, Running, Workout, Yoga

It all began with that first plank. Now it’s a part of me.

Remind yourself of what you want to be and then go be it.

It will not be easy. It will hurt. It will take time. It will require dedication and willpower. You will need to make healthy choices. It requires sacrifice. You will need to push your body to its max. There will be temptation. You may get distracted.⠀

But, I PROMISE you, when you will reach your goal, IT’LL BE WORTH IT!

P.S. Don’t wait. The time will never be just right. Use it with intention.

Body & Mind, Running, Workout

LITTLE by LITTLE, a LITTLE becomes a LOT

I like who I’m becoming. A lot.

I was able to clock a sub 1:50 Half Marathon in 2016 and that was after running 8 Half-Marathons in 12 years since 2004. The difference between sub 1:50 HM attempt vs all those years from 2004-2015 is that I only trained for it in 2015.

I never really ran as much as I run today, and it was a couple of short runs prior to race day. My yearly mileage was less than 30 kms per year back then and it was the Mumbai Half-Marathon where I covered the maximum distance.

Running a Mumbai Marathon was a ritual, but then in mid 2014 after not being able to register for Mumbai Marathon 2015 (I did not have a timing certificate), I realised that I am spending too much time in the gym with all the weight training and stuff, I was Strong and Fit (for sure) but I was not seeing any improvement in my running speed and endurance. I always knew that progression beats perfection, and after doing some speed drills and running tests, I had to have a plan to improve my overall running performance. You can say, that’s when I actually got into running.

I am super thankful to my wife , I got disciplined only after I got married. 🤗😘

It all started with Goal-Setting and I promised to myself that I’ll attempt a Full Marathon only when I can clock a sub 1:50 Half Marathon (my last best being 2:05). I worked on an Annual Running plan in 2015 with a goal of achieving a sub 1:50 HM in Jan, 2016. I was sincere and focused on my goals. I clocked a 1:48:21 in Mumbai Marathon, 2016 and that’s how I crushed my first ever running goal. 😃😃😃

Later that year in June I registered for my first Full Marathon in 2017. Since then I have been consistent, taking small steps each day, striving for progress and celebrating every time I cross a checkpoint. It could be a tiny step, a sub-goal or a Marathon.

Raah has been Running ever since. 🏃🏻‍♂️

So, just pull your shit together and go for a run.

P.S. Don’t forget to celebrate every tiny victory. 🤗
#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Body & Mind, Running

2018 you were FANTASTIC!

A DREAM written down with a date becomes a GOAL. A goal broken down into steps becomes a PLAN. A plan backed by ACTION becomes a REALITY. 🤗

Running 2018 kms in the year 2018 – it did scare me a little at first, but when I was successfully putting my plan into action, it seemed rather easy.

They say “All things are difficult before they are easy” and it’s so true. All you need is Patience + Consistency and everything works just fine.

In 2018, I was actively running for 208 out of 365 days in the calendar, on the roads in Pune and Mumbai covering a distance of 2106 kms in around 189 hours and 32 minutes. 🏃🏻‍♂️

I burnt a total of 133157 calories by just running. That’s an average of 640 calories per run for 208 days of running, and an average of 365 calories per day in the calendar year. 🤭😅

My year was FANTASTIC. I hope you had a great year too and are as excited as I’m now for setting “New Goals” for 2019.

Let’s DREAM and set our GOALS on fire.

🔥🔥

Happy Running

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

P.S. Goals always get accomplished when they MATTER to you.

Body & Mind, Running, Workout

3 hours Time Trial @ Race Pace

The Long Run and how to do it RIGHT! 😃😃

Time Trial @ Race Pace

(04:50 – 05:00 mins / km)

STRATEGY: Negative Splits (1%)

PLANNED:

10K: 49:30
21K: 1:43:27
30K: 2:27:16
35K: 2:51:27
~ 36.3K in 3 hours⠀

ACTUAL:

10K: 49:26 ✔️
21K: 1:43:15 ✔️
30K: 2:27:27 ~✔️
35K: 2:51:34 ~✔️
36.71K in 3 hours ✔️

Ran a total of 37K in 3 hours 1 minute 30 seconds.👇🏼

P.S. With this run I completed 300 kms of running in the month of December. 🤭🏃🏻‍♂️🤗

Yes it was 12 degree C this morning 🥶⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

#TMM2019 #MumbaiMarathon

Running, Workout

Mumbai Marathon 2017 vs 2018

However strong the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Here’s the Take Away: To know more, connect with me on Strava or just IM me with queries.

1. Heart Rate – My BPM was too high throughout the Race. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

This year, I have been working on running faster at lower heart rate (BPM). 80% of my Runs are at Lower Heart Rate (Easy Pace) and 20% are Hard Runs. That’s my training strategy for Tata Mumbai Marathon, 2019.

2. Worli Sea Face segment

Looking back.. this is the point where my breathing was absolutely fine but my legs were unable to take me any faster due to fatigue. (Although, I did not suffer with cramps, but I know a lot of people who did).

I have been working on two methods to overcome this.

One by lowering my heart rate (as mentioned in point 1). This will help prevent fatigue and build endurance overtime, thereby allowing the leg muscles to help me go faster for a longer duration.

Two is the Negative Split strategy that I have already shared with you guys last month. Start slow – Finish strong & fast.

3. Peddar Road Uphill stretch

We all know this one is hard to beat, and it’s not just because of the elevation. In a normal training session this slope is definitely long but easily manageable. However, in a Full Marathon Race, this segment comes at KMs 35 & 36 and it becomes a challenge to maintain the pace in the final leg.

I ended up losing 30-40 secs here and yes also the momentum.

Lots of Hill training sessions and the usual negative split strategy (i.e. preserving energy for the final leg of the race) should help overcome this one too.

Hydration plays the most important role in sustaining the pace throughout the race. My strategy is to gulp on 180ml fluid (preferably water) every 30-45 minutes and occasional round of electrolytes, gels etc.. 2-3 times during the race.

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Running

Worth it!

I’m a Runner. I’ve been trained to keep going, even when it’s hard, it hurts or when I don’t want to.

I look past it.

Call it what you want: stubbornness, endurance, determination or guts.

Deep down, I don’t know how to give up..

(..and in the end it’s always worth it.)

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Body & Mind, Running

Start Running Today

Running has taught me that I’m capable of so much more than I ever imagined.

Trust me, running can work wonders for you and your body.

Imagine that day when you can finally say “I did it”, when you can say “I never gave up, I never quit”, where these moments of pain turn into memories and your dreams become reality.

It may take long to reach that moment, but as soon as you get there you’ll thank yourself for the rest of your life.

All you got to do is Start, Today.

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Body & Mind, Running, Workout

Hustle. Be the change.

Are you an efficient runner? 🤔

Let’s formulate,

Running + Strength Training = Stronger Muscles + Faster Runs – Injuries

If you want to be an efficient runner you have to work on your core & leg muscles and be less prone to injuries. (especially if you are a Full or Half Marathoner) 🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏻‍♀️

Consider supplementing running with strength training exercises. Your training plan must include specific set of exercises that enhances your running skills. 💪🏼

It will help prevent injuries, and make you stronger, faster, and more efficient runner.

My strength training includes mostly Bodyweight Exercises. I don’t need a Gym nor any specific equipment to do these. I prefer doing them at Home or in any open area surrounded by greens ☘️

Let’s HUSTLE. Be the change.

#RunwithRaah

Running

Training Plan for Tata Mumbai Marathon 18′

Here’s the journey on how I got from Goal setting to go-getting in the 15th edition of Tata Mumbai Marathon.

Goal Setting

Improve on my previous best Marathon timing of 03:53:06
Go for a sub 03:40:00 Marathon (missed this one by 3 minutes and 43 seconds)

Training Tracker

Completed 73 out of 76 planned sessions and skipped 3 Long Distance runs.

Training Plan – TMM 2018

Race Day Results

IMG_0555
42.2 kms in 03:43:43

Rank-TMM2018

Although I missed a Goal this year, I achieved another.
For me it’s not just about achieving goals – that is something I can always try again and again. More important to me is – to be better than I was yesterday.

A failed goal is success in progress.

It feels good when you Run Hard and Finish Strong. I finished the Tata Mumbai Marathon 18′ in 03:43:43 beating my previous best by 9 minutes and 23 seconds.

Now it’s time to recover, celebrate and plan for the next year.

R U N   E N D S   R U N N I N G   D O E S N ‘ T

#RunwithRaah

Running

End of the Year – Twenty Seventeen

#RunwithRaah stories

End of the year – you know what that means? It’s time to look back, tally up annual totals, analyze boatload of impressive data and set a few challenging goals for Twenty Eighteen.

Running 80 times covering a distance of 868.1 kilometers in 2016, I stepped forward in 2017 and set an unrealistic goal of running 1500 kilometers.

I know that “Success” cannot happen overnight, so, I had to plan myself for the next 365 days and get habituated with the process of setting and achieving goals. I was specific with my areas of improvement and with a realistic and time-bound annual training plan I was able to crush goals weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly and semi-annually. In fact, I was so confident of achieving my targets by year-end,  that I took some time off and was out on a holiday in the month of September.

A goal without a plan is just a wish

To summarize,

I ran 157 times in the year 2017, covering a distance of 1600 kilometers in 144 hours 17 minutes, burning 113332 calories at an average pace of 05:25 minutes per kilometer.
(these stats are all-time highs)

Month Runs Duration Distance
January 8 8:31 hours 94.47 kms
February 9 6:11 hours 68.22 kms
March 14 11:28 hours 126.1 kms
April 9 8:19 hours 92.06 kms
May 12 12:08 hours 131.1 kms
June 16 13:08 hours 140.4 kms
July 17 15:48 hours 175.2 kms
August 12 9:45 hours 108.1 kms
September H     o     l     i     d     a     y !   😋
October 15 15:01 hours 167.6 kms
November 25 25:07 hours 283.9 kms
December 20 18:51 hours 213 kms
Total 157 144:17 hours 1600.15 kms

While I was out there running,  I clicked some “real me” sweaty selfies and curated good memories.

#RunwithRaah

2017-Collage
I don’t remember days, I remember moments.


Personal Bests: This Year

I clocked an all-time high 5K – 10K – 15K – 21K and my first 42K 🙂

ThisYearPB2017

Suunto Movescount automatically analyzes my Moves to identify my best performance in running and other endurance sports like cycling and swimming. To follow my running progress over the year, for example, I can compare my running pace for several pre-set distances including 1km, 5km and 10km. I can also monitor my trends according to effort to see if my running condition has improved.

5K – over the year

5K-2017

10K – over the year

10K-2017

1K – over the year

1K-2017

Training Load Trend

To get an understanding on how much I am pushing my body, Suunto Movescount tracks my long term training load.

The recovery time data from each of my exercises is calculated to produce a cumulative graph, illustrating my training load over time. Monitoring my long term training load is important from the performance perspective to make sure I train at an optimal level towards my goal.

TrainingLoad2017

If the load remains very high for extended periods, overloading may occur and my body will need more time to recover. This way I can monitor my weekly, monthly and yearly training load.

Rest and Recovery

A feeling trend supplements the training load and rest & recovery data. By recording on Suunto Movescount how I feel after each training session and following how that changes over time, I get an additional indicator of my physical condition. For instance, if my feeling trend starts to decline, even though my training load has not increased, it may be a sign I need to take a break.

Feeling2017

Heatmaps

With Personal Heatmaps I can visualize the ground I’ve covered around these cities. These are basically an Athlete’s Playground 🙂🏃

MumbaiHeatmap
Mumbai

PuneHeatmap
Pune


Comparison: 2016 vs 2017

Total Distance

TotalDistance-2016
2016

TotalDistance-2017
2017

Active Days

ActiveDays-2016
2016

ActiveDays-2017
2017

Total Hours

TotalHours-2016
2016

TotalHours-2017
2017

Total Elevation

Total Elevation-2016
2016

Total Elevation-2017
2017

Timeline

Timeline2016
2016

Timeline2017
2017

Max Distance / Time

Max-2016
2016

Max-2017
2017

Goal Setting – Twenty Eighteen

While I’m in the middle of my last training cycle for Tata Mumbai Marathon scheduled on 21st January, 2018, I’m also in the midst of planning activities for the year 2018, and goal setting.

For now, these are the MOST important and challenging running goals I can think of.

  • 2018 kms in 2018
  • A sub 3:40 marathon

I hope to include more Cycling, Swimming and Gym sessions this year 🙂

You can also refer to the Bucket List section on my page.

Thank you,
#RunwithRaah