Body & Mind, Running

Twenty Nineteen | A “year” like never before

Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits. 💪🏼


Setting a running goal of 2018 kms in the year 2018 scared the shit out of me and with a lot of Patience, Discipline and Consistency I managed. Exactly a year after, having run 1000 kms more in 2019, I feel on top of the world. It is true, good things come to those who work for it and I’m so-so proud of myself. 🤗

In 2019, I was actively running for 234 out of 365 days, on the roads in Pune, Mumbai (and Berlin) covering a total distance of 3021 kms in around 267 hours and 1 minute. 🏃🏻‍♂️

I burnt a total of 157634 calories by just running. That’s an average of 674 calories per run for 234 days of running, and an average of 432 calories per day in the calendar year. 🤭😅

2019 was a GREAT year for me and I’m sure you had a FANTASTIC one too, so here’s a HIGH 10 x 3 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

Set your goals for 2020 now and let me know how you plan on achieving them.
Let’s DREAM together and set our GOALS on fire. 🔥🔥

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️


P.S. The distance between your DREAMS and REALITY is called ACTION. ⠀

Body & Mind, Running, Workout

Tata Mumbai Marathon – Analysis & Strategy

The race for perfection has no finish line, but, we know that a Marathon has one. 🤭

So, here I’m with the year end ritual – analysis for my performance at TMM comparing 2017, 2018 and 2019 and my race strategy in 2020.

My performance in the first half of the race in 2018 (1:42:05) and 2019 (1:42:07) was exactly the same, however, my endurance and strength was at peak in January this year and the result is noticeable in the second half of the race (2:01:16) in 2018 vs (1:47:06) in 2019. I was faster by 14-15 minutes in the second half and this helped achieve the target of running a sub 3:30 marathon. 😬

I was also able to pull off “Peddar Road” slope at 05:06-05:09 mins / kms in 2019, a tremendous improvement from 2017 (>06:01) and 2018 (>05:45). 😃👊🏼

Overall, I was 15 minutes faster in 2019 at the same Avg HR as compared to 2018. HR was still high, but the Speed looked good.

The goal this year was to increase my Lactate Threshold HR and further lower my Avg HR per run i.e. to run faster and finish stronger in 2020. ❤️

I included Tempos and Long Intervals in my training plan and did a lot of Long Slow running.
My Lactate Threshold HR improved from 176 bpm (in 2018) to 181 bpm (in 2019) and my Avg HR is now much lower, less than 145-150 bpm for most easy & medium runs. 🏃🏻‍♂️✅

At TMM I was always on a positive split strategy, and I may continue with the same in 2020.
I did a lot of progressive and negative split running in my training this year. The idea is to get the splits closer to Even before dreaming about running a Negative Split Full Marathon.
(someday) 😃🤦🏻‍♂️

The TMM route is ~500-600m extra, so I plan my timing accordingly. Also, the start in the race will be very crowded and I’d like to have a buffer of 1-2 mins over and above my target time to compensate for this and to avoid the zig-zag running. 🤪

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️


P.S. Successfully running a TMM is all about Hydration. Try and gulp on 180ml fluid (preferably water) every 20-30 minutes + electrolytes or gels every 45-60 minutes. 😅

P.P.S. Taper for 2 weeks and Sleep for 7-8 hours. 💤

Body & Mind, Running, Workout, Yoga

Hindsight: 2019 #Throwback

Berlin Marathon, 2019

Now is the time to reflect on your running in 2019 (and prior years) and think about what’s next for the year to come.

A month from now entire Mumbai will be back on the roads running or supporting the 17th edition of Tata Mumbai Marathon. The excitement and the spirit of Mumbai is something to run for.

But before I move forward, I’m taking an intentional look back. I did the same thing last year and it really helped me achieve my PRs 2019.

However, in contrast to last year, where I simply analysed my races. This year, I have answered the three essential questions to help explore my growth, lessons learnt and experiences that shaped my year.

1️⃣ What did I accomplish this year—big and small, planned and unplanned?

Big Goals that I saw to the finish line.

• A sub 3:30 Marathon – not once, but twice (Mumbai and Berlin).

• First International Marathon (Berlin)

• First World Major Marathon (Berlin)

Small but mighty wins that made me feel powerful.

• I became a Vegan 🌱 in January 2019. Been almost a year now and I feel so happy, strong and guilt free 😃

• 5K, 10K & HM PRs

• Discovered Yoga 🧘🏻‍♂️ and it’s physical + mental benefits. How it kept me injury free and helped maintain a positive mindset throughout the year. Especially during Berlin Marathon Training where I was running 100 kms week after week.

2️⃣ How did I challenge myself to grow this year?

• Advanced Marathoning – with more mileage per week. A lot of slow and long running. Touching almost 380-400 kms in back to back months.

• In 2019, I did not just run, I supplemented my running with a lot of Bodyweight training and Yoga practice.

It was difficult to clock high mileage, and at the same time not miss any Bodyweight or Yoga sessions. Not to forget I’m a Consultant and I have a work life too. 🤭

3️⃣ What did I learn?

Don’t just run. Cross-Train too. If you want to have a strong body, recover quickly and at the same time feel good about it mentally, you must concentrate on your overall fitness levels. You must exercise and build overall strength.

Try and include Weight / Bodyweight training, Yoga, Cycling or Swimming. Do breathing exercises daily or thrice a week to get all the mental benefits it has to offer.

You’ve collected wins all year whether you realised them or not. Savor the success – doing so fills us with positive emotions, motivates us, and keeps us strong in tough times.

Look back at all you made it happen and be proud.

Remember this. You achieve great things each and every year. Carry that positivity with you into 2020, and let it motivate you to achieve a lot more.

Don’t forget to #RunwithRaah

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

Running, Workout

Train slower, Run faster!

You should Train Slower, if your ultimate goal is to Run Faster.

When you Race or set a PB you may not realize this but you’re putting tremendous stress on your bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. (This is one of the reasons why you tend to feel more tired after a Race then a Long Distance Slow Run). Also, there is a high risk factor involved if you are racing too often.

It is advisable to limit the number of times you run hard if your long-term goal is to run for years without any pain or injury.

Advantages of Training Slow,

1) You can run more often and cover more mileage per week.

2) You are allowing your muscles to get enough oxygen thereby reducing the risks of injury.

3) You are “Actively” Recovering from those Hard Runs and you may not have to take a day off from running. 👍🏼

So, it is OKAY to Run Slow – especially when you are training for a Long Distance Race (Half or Full Marathon). In fact 80% of my training Runs are designed to be at Slow/Easy Pace and remaining 20% include the Intervals, Fartleks or Tempo Runs (i.e. not more than one Hard Run per week).

You don’t have to compete with any one else. If your goal is to stay FIT then you must build yourself slow and steady. 🙏🏼 Make sure you plan your training runs accordingly – to include a lot of “Slow” running and register for Races only if they are evenly spaced out.

Happy “injury-free” Running 😃

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Body & Mind, Running, Workout

The only FAILURE is when you say “I Give Up”

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. 😐

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.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It was my last Half Marathon “Race” attempt this year and in the next two months now I will concentrate on my training plan for TMM 2019. 🏃🏻‍♂️👍🏼

So what to do when you don’t reach your goals? Keep calm and stay relaxed, recover and get back stronger. 💪🏼

PRs will come. If not today, some other day. Don’t ever give up. 🙌🏼 Okay?

#RunwithRaah

Body & Mind, Running, Workout, Yoga

Inhale, Hold, Exhale, Hold – Breathing Technique

I prefer doing this exercise after my workouts or runs, but you can do so whenever you feel comfortable. When your body is stressed, it breathes faster to take in more air. This technique below is to trick it into a state of relaxation by breathing out longer than you breathe in.

Training your breath is just like any sort of exercise. The more you do it, the better you get at it. 😃😃

Before you start, exhale through your mouth fully, making a whoosh sound and then follow the instructions below.

  1. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of 3.
  2. Hold the breath for a count of 12.
  3. Exhale through your mouth, again making a whoosh sound, but this time do it for a count of 6.
  4. Hold again but this time for a count of 6.

Repeat more times as you want. If you can’t hold your breath for the entire time at first, that’s okay.

As you master holding your breath longer over time, you can use the same proportions x4 x2 x2 and start the technique by inhaling for 4 seconds i.e. 4 (Inhale)- 16 (Hold) – 8 (Exhale) – 8 (Hold) and so on. 👍🏼🤗

Focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions and energy enabling us to better connect with ourselves. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I highly recommend it. ✔️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Body & Mind, Running, Workout, Yoga

Take a deep breath and let it go 😀

This breathing technique is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. The power of deep calm, easing the body into a state of calmness and relaxation.

Method:

1. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for 4 seconds.

2. Hold your breath for 7 seconds while your muscles tense.

3. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for 8 seconds and let it all go 😀

Repeat 4-5 times or until you are calm and your heartbeat is back to normal.

This breathing technique works so well for me that it puts me into a relaxed state immediately.

I prefer doing this post my Interval runs and / or High intensity workouts.⠀

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Running, Workout

Small daily improvements are the key to long-term results. 💪🏼

To get these results you must focus on your diet, training and recovery.

Sometimes it is okay to cheat on your diet plan or to skip a couple of training sessions.

If you can train well and stick to clean eating 90% of the times then you can say that you’ve achieved your goals and you’ll definitely get the desired results.

The purpose of your training should be about progress, not perfection. If you’re consistent, it is VERY EASY to get those results (I am saying this after completing 12 weeks of my Bodyweight Training successfully). 🤸🏻‍♂️

Most importantly, listen to your body, drink lots of water, get peaceful sleep every night and stick to your plan.

It’s EASY isn’t? 😀😀

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Body & Mind, Running, Workout, Yoga

Cool Down

Last week I shared some insights on Warming Up and why it is so important to do it BEFORE every workout.

Similarly, a Cool-down session is equally important and must be performed AFTER every workout.

Cool-down is a bunch of exercises with lighter intensity, which when performed immediately after a workout helps gradually bring the heart rate back to its resting rate – thereby reducing stress on the heart.

It could be a jog or a walk followed by some stretching or yoga. It will help reduce post-workout soreness and may prevent injury.

It happens most of the times that you are already tired post-workout and you tend to skip on those 5-10 minutes of quickie cool down exercises. Don’t do that.

I recommend to spare some time out for allowing your body to cool down, followed by which you can get re-hydrated and rest well. If you take care, it’ll help recover your muscles and your body will surely reward you for it.

S  l  o  w   D o  w  n.   C  a  l  m   D  o  w  n.

D  o  n  t   W o  r  r  y.   D  o  n  t   H u  r  r  y.

T  r  u  s  t   T  h  e   P  r  o  c  e  s  s. 👍🏼

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Workout

Week 2 – Bodyweight Training

Into the 2nd Week of my Training, I already feel a lot more energetic and I really like the idea of getting most of the workout done without any extra equipment (using my own Bodyweight).

This week was tough (in a good way) with more reps, more volume and more difficult variations (progressively overloading) and since I was recovering from an Ankle Injury; I had to reduce miles and be more careful while running at a quicker pace.

In contrast to Week 1, I added some weight training exercises to work on my Shoulder, Biceps and Chest muscles. Overall, this was one of the most challenging and super-efficient workout so far.

Here it is. 💪🏼

Workout 1

  • 50 Pike Push-Ups
  • 225s Low Plank
  • 200 High Knees
  • 225s Wall Sit
  • 75 Triceps Dip
  • 5 Shoulder exercises with progressive weights

Workout 2

  • 105 Mountain Climbers
  • 120 Sit-ups
  • 60 High Plank Knee-to-Elbow
  • 150s Low Plank
  • 60s Low Side Plank Left
  • 60s Low Side Plank Right
  • 5 Biceps exercises with progressive weights

Workout 3

  • 110 Jumping Jacks
  • 90 Push-Ups
  • 90 Squats
  • 90 Leg Raises
  • 5 Chest exercises with progressive weights

Workout 4

  • 220 Jumping Jacks
  • 80 Tuck Jumps
  • 120 Rockstars
  • 90s Low Plank
  • 90s Low Side Plank Left
  • 90s Low Side Plank Right

Workout 5

  • 60 Push-ups
  • 80 Jumping Jacks
  • 60 Up Downs

*It is very important to warm-up before each workout and followed by stretching.

Yes, I ❤️ Planks and you should too 👍🏼

Happy Workout. Happy Running. 😀
#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️