In conversation with Kiran Jeet, a runner who took to the fitness route and gained a new outlook on life.
Kiran Jeet a homemaker in her early 40’s and the proud mother of 2 fantastic boys tells us how running has transformed her as an individual and improved her outlook to life.
FM: Everyone has a story when it comes to how running happened to them. What’s yours?
Kiran: I guess you could say my reason for running followed a typical storyline – wanting to be fit and stay healthy. The year was 2012 and I was tipping the scales at 120kg, I used to struggle to get even mundane, everyday stuff is done and that’s when I decided enough is enough – I need to do something!
Hence, running happened and 6 years on, I am 50kg lighter, fitter than ever before and as healthy as I can be. To me, running is my meditation.
FM: A lot of runners swear by a running coach. Do you share that opinion and what are the benefits of having a coach?
Kiran: I definitely swear by a coach too (smiles away!). During the first 5 years of my running life, I did a lot of it myself through some research and trials, but for the past year now I have been working with a coach. It has been an amazing experience so far – a coach has helped me handle my runs better, stay injury-free, follow a structured training plan, eat right, time for recovery and also helped identify areas of improvement.
Kiran: Easy, the main difference between my earlier plan and now is STRUCTURE!
Earlier, it was very haphazard and I just used to run any day of the week with no specific target distance in mind. Today, I follow a plan that includes interval training, tempo runs, speed training, and long runs into my training plan. All of these changes have helped me improve my timings and I feel good about it.
FM: Having a structured plan always seems to work for most runners and I’m glad it’s working for you too. Do you mind sharing a glimpse into your training week, please??
Kiran: As I said before my training plan involves a combination of several running techniques and methods. My training week at a high level is:
Monday – Rest day
Tuesday – Speed work out on the track
Wednesday – Easy recovery run for 50 mins
Thursday – Medium long run or tempo run depending on the event I’m training for a half marathon or full marathon.
Friday – interval training
Saturday – work on increasing the mileage or hill run
Sunday – Long runs
FM: Over the years, you have participated in several events. Do you keep count?
Kiran: In the past 6 years, I have run several half and full marathons across the country. By my estimate, I have completed 15 half-marathons and 4 full marathons so far (the TMM in January 2019 will be my 5th). In addition, I completed my first world major marathon this year in April (The London Marathon).
FM: That’s impressive. In general, do you set a target for yourself on the number of races you do each year or do you play it by ear?
Kiran: No, I do not have a pre-set target in mind every year. I prefer not to compete in every available race but instead focus on a few. For example – I always plan on completing 1 full marathon and 2 – 3 half marathons a year. Anything above that is a bonus.
FM: Fair point – which was your latest run and how did it go from your perspective?
Kiran: The last run I did was the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in October this year. It was quite an eventful start to the race with a lot of runners falling down owing to the poor visibility and early start.
For me personally, it was a fairly decent race – even though I could not better my personal best from last year (1hour 53mins) but with the training and effort I put in my preparation I had a smooth run and completed the race in 1hour 56 mins.
FM: How do you keep yourself motivated Kiran?
Kiran: When I run, I feel calm, collected and at peace. It’s as though I have been transported into this meditative state where all my worries, troubles and tension have been taken away and replaced with the single focus of having fun when I run.
This state of mind is my motivation and what brings me back to the outdoors every single day.
FM: As with every sporting activity, it benefits you not just physically but also helps shape you as an individual. Do you see the changes running has brought about in your personality?
Kiran: I couldn’t agree with you more. The impact running has had on me is immense – I feel like a whole new person. I have undergone not just physical changes but running has helped me become more confident, focused and steadfast.
I have made friends for life with some of the runners I have met along the way and I hope I can keep running for a long time to come and be part of the growing running community.
FM: That’s a beautiful thought Kiran. For the future, do you have any specific goals you want to achieve in your running?
Kiran: Of course I do – my main goal is to compete in the all world major marathons. I really hope with the right level of training, focus, determination from my side and the right kind of support and motivation will help me achieve this goal.
Thank you, Kiran for sharing your thoughts and we wish you the very best for the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.