ADHM Runners' Meet

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I attended the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon Runners’ Meet today. It was quite good. There were 4 speakers- a doctor (orthopaedic), a dietitian, a trainer from Reebok Running Squad and Amit Khanna- India’s fastest sprint runner.

I noted down a few points and am going to share them with you. Just to note- these are relevant if you are serious about the half marathon… if you plan to run the half marathon every year… which I do. I understand that nobody wakes up one day and decides to run the 21 km. It is a very ambitious target. I, first, thought about the half marathon when I did the Great Delhi Run of 6 km last year at ADHM. The half marathon seemed achievable after my first 10 km run in December. If you do run or want to take up running long term below tips will be very, very useful. Also, I have never dieted and will never do so. Even when I joined VLCC for weight loss few years back I was made to eat healthy and never diet.

– Food. If you are running/working out intensely on a daily basis. Example, 5 km run every day.

  •  Have oats everyday. They are very, very good. I have oats in the morning with honey and skimmed milk or as chilla
  • Rice is not bad. This is a misconception. Anything you have grown up eating cannot be bad.
  • Your daily requirement is 4000-4500 kcal. This is a lot because I was following a diet earlier where I was eating only 1600-1800 kcal and that also because I worked out 2 hours per day. According to Ritika (dietician) the increase in calories is not in fats but carbs/proteins
  • 15-20% of daily intake should be proteins.
  • 6-12 servings of fruits and vegetables should be taken daily, 15 servings of grains and 5 servings of low fat dairy
  • Banana is the best fruit there is and very, very good as fuel before a workout. I always eat a banana before my workout. Nothing else gives the same kind of energy
  • Have 20-25 almonds/walnuts everyday
  • Peanut butter is a good source of fat. So happy to hear this because I love peanut butter smoothie (skimmed milk+1 tbsp peanut butter+ 1 scoop whey)
  • Have eggs everyday for b’fast. Yolks are very good for health unless you have a cholesterol problem
  • Have daal everyday. It is a very good source of carbs and proteins
  • Before running (1-2 hrs before) – eat food high in carbs and low in fibre. Example- milk/energy bar/cereal/toast/fruit smoothie
  • After running – sweet beverage within 15 mins… high carbs 2-4 hrs later

All the above need to be followed on a regular basis and not just before the half marathon. I will make a plan tomorrow onwards and follow it strictly.

– Exercise

  • There are different kinds of run that need to be done every week
    • 1 long run which should be 10k and above. The trainer suggested we don’t run long distances every week and give the body time to recover. Over the last year I have increased 1 km distance every month and have trained my body accordingly
    • 1 short recovery run. This should be slower than the regular pace.
    • 1 tempo run. This should be faster than average. Target is to beat the pace but should still be at 80% of heart rate
    • 1 interval run. 1 min run, 1 min rest… 2 min run, 1 min rest… so on and so forth. Best done on a treadmill
  • Strength train atleast twice a week. The trainer suggested squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups and planks as the best workouts. The idea is that every part of the body has to be fit- upper body, lower body, core
  • Running reduces flexibility and there should be some activity to increase flexibility. Yoga and pilates are good workouts for this
  • You don’t need to take electrolytes during a run. They can be had after the run. This is good news because I had started carrying extra bottle for electrolyte for long runs.
  • Get ECG/BP monitoring done if participating in half marathon. I will get this done tomorrow.
  • Always warm up before workout… you can either do a few workouts or walk on the 1st km. I, generally, do the latter
  • Cool down after the run. Don’t stop immediately after completely the distance. Walk for atleast 500 m. Generally, my last km in the run is a slow walk during training
  • There has to be strategy while running the half marathon… always start slow… pick up pace in the 2nd half and the last few km have to be the fastest. The last km can be fast only if you have conserved energy initially. When I train… I start slow, pick up pace, slow down, pick up pace and then slow down. But in the half marathon, I will start slow, pick up pace, slow down when tired and then try and complete at a very fast pace. This strategy can only be devised if you participate in various runs
  • 2-3 half marathons in a year are more than enough. Any more and you will tire yourself out.

Below is my plan for the long runs:

– 19th Oct : 15 km

– 2nd Nov :18 km

– 9th Nov : 19-21 km (depending on how much I can do)… I may or may not do this…

– 16th Nov : Rest. There is a trail run organized by Running and Living on the route but am going to skip

– 23rd Nov : ADHM

During the week, I plan to run 3 days- 1 tempo run, 1 recovery run and 1 interval run on treadmill.

These are the timelines required for training for a half marathon according to me:

– If you have never run before this- 1 year

– Have been running for a few months but only as a workout- 6 months

– If you are very, very fit- 3 months. Fit here means:

  • Been working out for years specially strength triaining
  • Body fat is less than 15%

I may even join the Reebok training squad next weekend onwards. Really looking forward to the next Runners’ Meet which will happen during the expo. If it is on a Friday I will take the day off and attend.


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