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.

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.

Running, Workout

Tata Mumbai Marathon, 2019 (03:28:43) – sub 3:30

Race Strategy #TMM2019 sub 3:30

I started slow allowing my body to Warm Up and not worrying too much about the Runners who sprints too early into the Race. Always remember they are having their own Race Strategy and you are on your own.

I chose to stick to my plan.

Split @ 2 km – 00:10:07 (Pace 05:04)

From NCPA to Peddar Road the roads get wider and I progressively picked up my pace. Not pushing too hard yet. Just keeping it cool and slowly moving closer to my race pace. The strategy was to conserve as much energy as I can for the 2nd Half of the Race.

Split @ 10.4 km – 00:51:36 (Pace 04:58)

Next up was a quick downhill from Peddar Road to Haji Ali and one of my favourite “sprinting stretch”. I clocked a 04:19 in my 11th km and got back into a steady mode from Haji Ali until the end of the Sea Link, making sure that I’m not pushing too hard yet.

Split @ Half Way – 01:43:47 (Pace 04:56)

Note the Avg Pace progressing from 05:04 in the first 2 kms into the Race to 04:56 at Half Way mark – and I knew by then that my race strategy was working.

The next stretch from Sea Link to Worli Sea face via Mahim was MY ZONE. Here, I was faster than my Race Pace starting from 22nd km until the end of 32nd km. The idea is to push hard when you are at your Best. (Also, at this point I was not too sure how things will workout post 35 kms – so I decided to go Fast instead).

At Half Way mark I was a lot more confident, my heart rate was steady and I had conserved sufficient energy to help me push as hard as I wanted.

It was time to run FAST🏃🏻‍♂️💨

Split @ 27.5 km – 02:14:52 (Pace 04:55)

Split @ 32.1 km – 02:36:53 (Pace 04:54)

At the end of 32 kms, I knew that I had another 2-3 kms to go before I climb the “Peddar Road” uphill and also that I was super strong in the last 10 kms. My strategy then was to slow down a bit and go steady at ~05:00 pace for the next 2 kms. I wanted to get into the climb without getting too tired and wanted to try and maintain that pace (not trying to push too hard before the climb).

I was trying to conserve some energy before the uphill stretch, because I had no intention to slow down or walk at Peddar Road. I knew that I had already covered some distance at a great pace and it was a good idea to slow down a bit from there. (I had Time in my bank there!)

I clocked a steady pace (05:00 – 05:05) for the entire stretch and then pushed harder again from downhill of Kemp Corner bridge towards Babulnath.

Split @ 36.1 km – 02:57:37 (Pace 4:55)

As you all know, I was Targeting a sub 3:30 Marathon and I had exactly 6.1 kms to go and less than 33 mins to get there. 🎯

Honestly, I was too overwhelmed by now, a little bit tearful and I had to wear my shades to cover it up. 😢😎

All I had to do now was to go steady and not lose my momentum. I was somewhere in between 05:00 – 05:10 for the next 30 mins, relaxed, chilled out and super happy to finish the race on time.

Full Course – 03:28:43 (Pace 04:57)

If you train well for your Race, hydrate well, follow the right nutrition, NOTHING can go wrong. Even the Mumbai Weather will not affect your timing.

If you want to do well and meet your Target, then you have to be consistent and you have to focus on your Goals. Don’t make a mistake of setting too many Goals. Target them Little by little, one at a time.

P.S. Forget the mistake, remember the lesson. 🤗

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂️

Results link:

Tata Mumbai Marathon, 2019

Running, Workout

Sub 2 hours – Half Marathon (21.097 kms) with a negative split racing strategy.

Firstly: You must set your Half Marathon goal time 2-3 minutes faster in case the course is a bit longer (it usually is) or if you have to beat the crowd at the start of your race. Don’t worry. These extra minutes will also come in handy when things get really tough towards the end.

Secondly: AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR RACE SLOW DOWN!⠀⠀⠀⠀

Now, coming back to the negative split racing strategy. It is a strategy that involves completing the second half of the race faster than the first half.

For a 21K, things may not seem as easy as it did for a negative split 11K strategy I shared last week. However, it follows the same disciplined technique to progressively increase speed, to conserve energy for the 2nd half of your race and to finish strong.

As I said earlier, YOU MUST start slow.

Go for a 06:20-06:10 mins / km in the first 3-4 kms and allow your body to warm up.

Towards the end of the 4th km you should be running at 06:00 mins / km. From there on in the next 3-4 kms progressively move from 06:00 to 05:45 mins / km, and then go steady at around 05:45 mins / km for the next 3 kms i.e. until the end of 10th km.⠀

  • 1-2-3 kms @ 06:20 -> 06:00 mins / km
  • 4-5-6-7 kms @ 06:00 -> 05:45 mins / km
  • 8-9-10 kms @ 05:45 mins / km

You should be able to manage a 10k in less than an hour.

Now that you have conserved good amount of energy by going slow in the first half, you should be feeling good about it.

It’s time now to move closer to your race pace of ~ 05:35 mins / km in the 11th km.

Let’s go for it !⠀

In the 11th km shift gears from 05:45 to 05:30 mins / km and then go steady for the next 3 kms. You have now covered 14 kms in less than 1 hour 22 mins.

  • 11th km @ 05:45 -> 05:30 mins / km
  • 12-13-14 kms @ 05:30 mins / km

In the 15th km again shift gears from 05:30 to 05:15 mins / km and then go steady for the next 3 kms.

  • 15th km @ 05:30 -> 05:15 mins / km
  • 16-17-18 kms @ 05:15 mins / km

Go FAST in the last 3 kms @ 05:00 mins / kms or the best that you can (I usually sprint the last 2-3 kms). 🏃🏻

  • 19-20-21.1 kms @ 05:15 -> 05:00 mins / km

Yay 👊🏼 and you have NAILED IT !

Stay hydrated through out your run (and have 100ml of water at every water station 3-4 kms away). This can avoid injury or cramps towards the end.

Good luck. 😀👍🏼⠀

#RunwithRaah 🏃🏻‍♂