Admit it: we’ve all been there.
We keep researching, learning and gathering information and yet it always feels like we’re never getting anywhere. The conflicting opinions and never-ending debates most often than not leave you confused.
As you try to decide which training method to follow, how much you should be running and what nutrition is apt, going online is definitely overwhelming. This is where the help of experts comes very handy.
Take Pramod Deshpande for example. A running coach and mentor of Jayanagar Jaguars(JJ), the largest running group in Bengaluru, Pramod has used his years of first-hand experience watching people transform their lives through running and that has been his inspiration to pen a book titled “Master Your Run – A guide for your running journey”. The bi-lingual book (Kannada and English) is titled “ನೀವು ಓಡಬಹುದು – ಅತ್ಯುತ್ತಮ ಓಟಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ಮಾಹಿತಿ” in Kannada and will be published by Sawanna Books which is due for release on 22nd August 2019.
Through this book, Pramod aims at reaching a wider spectrum covering all aspects of runners be it a newbie, a seasoned runner, and even the stakeholders.
I had the opportunity to talk to him about his book, so let’s dive in.
For the last 5 years, I have inducted thousands into running and many of these busy professionals have competed in various marathons and ultra-marathons. It is intriguing to see someone leading a sedentary life until their 30s and suddenly morphing into an astute runner. I have had the privilege to watch and shape such fascinating stories of transformation and grit. Observing these ‘working athletes’ manage their work-life balance has been a great learning for me as well.
Despite having 17 locations across Bangalore and Pune, I realized that I was reaching only a limited section of society and yet there are many more who want to start running. I felt the main hurdle was the lack of access to comprehensive information encompassing the benefits of running, dispelling myths, looking at possibilities, initial guidance on training, etc.
Of course, there is a ton of information online but often this is fairly advanced for a beginner. Hence, I thought if I could capture my observations and learnings from the numerous transformational journeys of JJ runners, it might help many aspiring runners. Importantly, I wanted to release a Kannada version, as well as many readers, maybe comfortable reading in the local language. This would also help increase reach for someone wanting to join the running revolution.
Can you tell us a little about the book?
When a first-timer considers running as an option towards fitness, they have several questions around it. Many myths that exist but once they have answers to all their questions, they overcome self-doubt and then begins their never-ending journey. Running is a lifestyle change and runners will vouch for how their life has transformed due to running.
This book tries to describe the typical stages of a runner’s journey. Each stage in a runner’s life is unique as they have their own set of challenges, getting access to the right information, the goods and services used, mental preparation, etc. So each stage has unique success criteria, and a runner must understand that to be content about his achievements at a particular stage.
The book, in essence, is a broad overview and not a detailed instruction manual. Typically, when a runner is a neophyte, the aspects which need to be addressed are very different when compared to that of an experienced runner. This book provides information about these various aspects and this helps the runner avoid getting overwhelmed with all the information in one go.
Also, a runner‘s journey doesn’t happen in isolation, the family is an essential part too as they are affected by it and many times they are worried about the crazy decisions/ challenges a runner sets for himself/herself. This book tries to provide them with relevant information as well.
What is the target audience you’re looking at?
The target audience is a runner and the stakeholders of the running journey. It covers the entire spectrum, from a potential runner who wants to explore the running madness to an adherent run buff. It also has information for stakeholders like the loved ones, and various service providers. For example, a nutritionist or masseur wanting to provide services to runners can get an overview, so that they tailor their services accordingly.
For potential runners, it lays down the entire roadmap, whereas for the experienced runners might find commentary on some advanced topic of their interest. They can also reflect upon their journey so far and find pointers for the next destination in their journey.
What was your experience like in writing your first book?
Though I have been writing blogs, articles (some for Finishermag as well) and also been conducting workshops about running and fitness, writing a book was quite a different experience.
All the above need lots of research and working on the presentation of ideas etc. and the process teaches many new dimensions of running. The same applies to book writing as well. However, this is quite an exhausting task compared to the articles and workshops.
Writing a book demands concentration for an extended period, and as the book develops the rewriting is a tiring process. It needs a lot of collaboration with the publisher, illustrators, translators, etc. Interestingly, the questions the group (illustrator, publisher, translator) had about running served as the base material for my book.
I find running a marathon and writing a book quite similar, as both are exhausting but unquestionably a great learning experience. The satisfaction you get after completion is beyond words and worth all the effort. At around the 33rd – 34th KM, a marathoner typically curses himself for participating in the race but after finishing, the first thing he does is planning for his next race. It’s the same feeling I’m left with now and new ideas are already taking shape.
As a Coach can you give us an insight into how this book would help runners?
When a runner prepares for an event they need a frame of reference to plan the entire training. They need answers to many questions and any slip can land them in trouble and all efforts can go to waste. I think the book should serve as that frame of reference for the runner. It might not provide all the answers but it will serve as a checklist to cover all aspects which in turn could direct them towards the answers.
Is this just a single standalone book or can we expect more books?
As mentioned earlier, like a marathoner who has experienced the satisfaction of completing the race, I am currently planning and looking forward to writing my next book.
*The book will be available at Sapna Book House and other leading book stores. The cost of the book is INR -200/-. As of now, only the hardcopy is available. The e-version will be made available to you in the next 4 months.