The Paris Brest Paris(PBP) 2019 was a brick in the face. I did not respect my body and pushed it through a lot of suffering which it didn’t need. I made severe lapses in training, mock-up races and pacing strategies, which could have been easily avoided. Post-race, everyone I met had this question up their sleeve “What’s the next goal?”. I gave different answers each time – Comrades, LEL, HRC Races, Badminton, Football. I wasn’t sure and didn’t want to jump right away.
Two reasons gravitated me back to running:
- PBP and the post-ride 10-day tour around Europe left a huge hole in my pocket and immediate cycling goals seemed way too expensive for this stage of my life.
- I was way fitter when I ran than when I cycled. I put on a slight tummy post AHM 2018 and it felt irritating when people used to say ‘Itna karte ho! phir bhi aagaya?‘.
I had to do something about it 🙂
A Brief History of My Running
- 2015: Hyderabad 10k Run and Hyderabad Mini Triathlon
- 2016: Sprint Triathlon
- 2017: Purple Run Half Marathon with 1 week of training. Finished with 2h 25min
42 km Marathon to my college with 1 month of training. 6 hrs finish.
42 km Airtel Hyderabad Marathon with 3 months of training. 4h37min finish
Post-September 2019, I had a conversation with Pondiman on my next plans of running the Half Marathon in Feb, and then a marathon in May. Gautam suggested to take it slow and do a 10k in Feb, followed by a HM and a then a Full later. Made more sense. I had to build my endurance slowly and be injury-free. Finally, I registered for the 10K run.
Whenever someone finishes a 10k, people ask Half Marathon kab?
When you finish a Half Marathon, people ask Full Marathon kab?
When you finish a Full Marathon, people ask Ultra kab?
Same with triathlons, Half Ironmans and Full Ironmans.
One thing I hope to learn pretty early on is to Take it Slow. The keypoints here, is to race hard to your potential respecting your body and be injury free in the process. Set realistic goals and have conversations with experienced athletes on what is feasible and what’s not. You might think you are an exception though there’s very less probability that it’s true.
I made a simple 4-week plan of base building, build phase, peak phase, and taper period and to be honest, I probably stuck to 30% of it. My bad! There was also a mix of Strength training and badminton games in between. Here is the excel of how it went.
- The initial goal was to run a Sub 45 minute 10k but I recalibrated it to sub 50 minutes on the 2nd last day after an inconsistent training regime. Glad I made that change in the goal.
- Clothes: Kalenji sleeveless shirt with Reebok shorts
- Shoes: Saucony Freedom ISO 2 Shoes with Kalenji socks
- HRM: Wahoo Tickr
- Watch: Samsung S3 Gear
- Flip Belt for carrying the phone and gel.
- Sleep and Others: I had a 5h 45 min of sleep this time which was a bit interrupted with various disturbances. Slept at 10:15 pm and woke up at 3:45 am. I had a shower and got ready. Reached Rasoolpura metro station and Ashish came by to offer a ride.
-> Banana Shake@4am
2 Bananas, 1 tsp Cow Ghee, 3 blocks of jaggery, 10 Almonds, 5 Walnuts, 5 Kajus, flax and chia seeds-> Unived Run Hydration Mix
One packet mixed in 500ml which I took small sips during the 45min ride to University of Hyderabad, where the run was to be held
- Warm-up: Along with Ashish and his friend, I did a 10-minute session of medium-paced jog with some high knees, lunges, karaoke, rotations sprinkled in. It warmed us up really well and got the heart roaring to go.
I stood at the front line of the pack with my Mivi Thunderbeats headset and playlist ready, waiting for the countdown to turn on both Strava and Wahoo(I don’t trust Wahoo app)
I can divide how my race into four phases:
- The first 2 km: The excitement made me go too hard in the first 2 km and I averaged 4:20 and 4:30. But then I could feel my heart rate going way too up and I slowed down considerably.
- 2Km – 6Km: I was holding the phone with Strava open to keep a check on my pace but it felt too distracting and I was not enjoying the run. Put it back in the flip belt and also had a fast and up drink at the 3km sag point. There were a couple of moments where I felt like stopping and just walking the rest.
- 6Km-9Km: That was when I saw Nakul, the 50-minute pacer and I joined him. We spoke for a couple of times and that was when I realized how out of breath I was, as I had the music on all this while. My heart rate was consistently over 180 and I had a feeling that I was gonna bonk. After the fast and up at 3rd km, I didn’t feel like having another drink, so I popped up an orange which I kept chewing occasionally.
- The Last Km: Once I saw the 9km mark, I increased my pace and switched to a pumpy track hoping to finish before 49mins. But I started to slow down in the last 500 mts. Nakul overtook me and I didn’t have the energy to hold on to him. Thankfully, the other 50-minute pacer Lokesh came and I somehow pushed the last few hundred meters. Once I stopped running and started walking, I could feel the calves hurt, not out of injury but out of the exertion it went through. Something I hadn’t experience for a long while.
I was skeptical if I finished under 50 minutes but seeing the 49min52sec timing alert from timingindia made me chuckle. A good end for the day 🙂
-> Had 2 sips of fast and up recovery drink followed by breakfast of upma, idli chutney, and a sweet dish
- Foam Rolling and Zumba
-> 10 minutes of Zumba with Ashish and his wife, Rohini to the chartbusters of this year followed by laying down at the recovery zone with some foam rolling.
- The Leaders
-> It felt great watching Surendra Paravada at the finish line. He had defended his podium after finishing a super strong run. Also caught up with Paresh Pispati who did great too, finishing 4th.
-> Met Shravani, my classmate in school whom I haven’t met post-2012. It was really a heartwarming feeling and we made some impromptu alumni meetup plans. Looking forward to them 🙂
- I went too hard in the beginning. I should have reflected more on the pacing strategy. Ashish had written down the times for each kilometer to finish sub 65. I could try something similar.
- Music. I should figure out if music improves my performance or hampers it.
- Phone in hand. I couldn’t find my natural rhythm until the 3rd km as I had my phone in hand. I wouldn’t repeat this mistake again.
- Training. A popular quote these days “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle“. Consistent and disciplined training is something I should give more importance for the upcoming races.
Coming back to where we started, what next?
Until next time 🙂