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 donโ€™t know cheer you up by calling in your name. Sending out some Teddybear hugs ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

From Power-Ups โ€œthat Red Mushroom from Super Marioโ€ to little kids crying-out for a High-Five.

I tried my best to not miss any ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

The Berlin Marathon route was fantastic. Mostly flat with a couple of tiny bridges. Iโ€™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 โ€œRace Dayโ€ 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 ๐Ÿฅถ

Rains โ˜”๏ธ 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. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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 ๐Ÿ˜ง.. 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 donโ€™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. Iโ€™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 ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜ž *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. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ฌโœˆ๏ธ

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. ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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, Iโ€™m not Happy Happy, but Iโ€™m still Happy about it.

I will celebrate this run. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Keep Running

#RunwithRaah

Body & Mind, Running, Workout

LITTLE by LITTLE, a LITTLE becomes a LOT

I like who Iโ€™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, thatโ€™s when I actually got into running.

I am super thankful to my wife , I got disciplined only after I got married. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜˜

It all started with Goal-Setting and I promised to myself that Iโ€™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 thatโ€™s how I crushed my first ever running goal. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

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

P.S. Donโ€™t forget to celebrate every tiny victory. ๐Ÿค—
#RunwithRaah ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Body & Mind, Running, Workout

3 hours Time Trial @ Race Pace

The Long Run and how to do it RIGHT! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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 hoursโ €

ACTUAL:

10K: 49:26 โœ”๏ธ
21K: 1:43:15 โœ”๏ธ
30K: 2:27:27 ~โœ”๏ธ
35K: 2:51:34 ~โœ”๏ธ
36.71K in 3 hours โœ”๏ธ

Ran a total of 37K in 3 hours 1 minute 30 seconds.๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

P.S. With this run I completed 300 kms of running in the month of December. ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿค—

Yes it was 12 degree C this morning ๐Ÿฅถโ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €

#RunwithRaah ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

#TMM2019 #MumbaiMarathon

Running, Workout

Mumbai Marathon 2017 vs 2018

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

Hereโ€™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. โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €

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. Thatโ€™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 itโ€™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 ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Running

Worth it!

Iโ€™m a Runner. Iโ€™ve been trained to keep going, even when itโ€™s hard, it hurts or when I donโ€™t want to.

I look past it.

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

Deep down, I donโ€™t know how to give up..

(..and in the end itโ€™s always worth it.)

โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €

#RunwithRaah ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Body & Mind, Running

Start Running Today

Running has taught me that Iโ€™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 โ€œI did itโ€, when you can say โ€œI never gave up, I never quitโ€, 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 youโ€™ll thank yourself for the rest of your life.

All you got to do is Start, Today.

#RunwithRaah ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Body & Mind, Running, Workout

The only FAILURE is when you say โ€œI Give Upโ€

I set a goal, put out a strategy to keep me on track and I gave it my best shot.

Result: I did not succeed in setting a PR and I have NO EXCUSES for that. I believe it is okay to fail sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜

One thing I did not anticipate in my run today is that the 10K Runners would occupy the entire road for the last 3-4 kms and then it is not so easy to run past them at a FAST pace OR to find your way to the finish line.

To fix this, I would remove a couple of minutes from second half of my Negative Split strategy and run the first half slightly quicker. That should compensate for the loss in time towards the end of the race.

โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €

It was my last Half Marathon โ€œRaceโ€ attempt this year and in the next two months now I will concentrate on my training plan for TMM 2019. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

So what to do when you donโ€™t reach your goals? Keep calm and stay relaxed, recover and get back stronger. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

PRs will come. If not today, some other day. Donโ€™t ever give up. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ Okay?

#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

โœ“ Improve on my previous best Marathon timing of 03:53:06
โœ˜ 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 โ€“ 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,ย  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 Hย  ย ย  o ย  ย  l ย  ย  i ย  ย  d ย  ย  a ย  ย  y ! ย  ๐Ÿ˜‹
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,ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 Iโ€™ve covered around these cities. These are basically an Athleteโ€™s Playground ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿƒ

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 Iโ€™m in the middle of my last training cycle for Tata Mumbai Marathon scheduled on 21st January, 2018, Iโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Thank you,
#RunwithRaah

Running

Happiness is… brand new running shoes

โค โค โค

img_7603

After almost two years of injury free running in my Nike Zoom Winflo, I was bound to be loyal to the brand and their classic zoom series.

This time, I was looking for something better in terms of level of support, cushioning and a long lasting upper & lower body, so the best matched affordable fit I thought was the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33.

With a better body, I’m expecting it to be more cushioning for longer runs as compared to the Winflo. However, since the Pegasus series does not compromise on the material, it is slightly on the heavier side.

Anyways, keeping all these stats aside, I am more than excited to get on these and start running. You should too.

Here’s to chasing your dreams in the best pair of shoes you own.

Let’s Run with Raah! ๐Ÿ˜„

Running

Nike Zoom Winflo – Shoe Love โค๏ธ

Dear Shoe,

img_7523

It was Friday, 12th June, 2015, the day you were born. I didn’t expect you for another day or two, but then you made it and were here with me in my arms. I was so happy that day and since then you have always been one of the most important part of my life. ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ

Whether it was your robustness, your durability, your coolness or your supportive nature, very early in your life I got completely attached to you, my shoe (true) love for you have always been so strong since then, so much that I’ve collected all those lovely medals with you, logged my best 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and my first ever Marathon with you. ๐Ÿ…๐ŸŽ–๐Ÿ†

In fact, since your birthday you have been with me for over 190 runs, 1850 kilometers, and almost 750 days & counting. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

It is because of your goodness and your trust-worthy nature that I’ve enjoyed ALL my runs injury-free. The best thing about you is that you were ALWAYS there, and you took care of all the hurdles throughout the journey. ๐Ÿค—

But now, our long lasting happy journey of over 2 years have come to a phase where I would have to make some harsh decisions. I know that you are getting old and for that reason I don’t intend to overburden you with my problems. I will be planning your retirement sooner or later. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ

There is this one thing I can promise, to have you with me and extend this beautiful journey for as much as I can. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Love you always โค๏ธ
Raah.