Anirudh Inani took to running, cycling and trekking to stay fit, a journey that eventually became a passion. In this conversation with Deepthi Velkur, he tells his story.
Passion. Determination. Dream big. You live only once. These are not just some fancy adjectives or phrases thrown around in Anirudh Inani’s world. These are the mottos he has chosen to live by every day.
An entrepreneur by profession, Anirudh Inani’s passion lies in running, trekking and cycling.
Anirudh’s pursuit is to be able to finish at least 40 events across running, cycling and triathlons before he turns 40. He has it all in his sights – taking part in the Olympic triathlon, competing in Ultra events, scaling the highest mountains and conquering every trek.
Ambitious and daunting it certainly is, but he is taking it one step at a time and is currently working on improving his timing for a full marathon and move on from that.
I caught up with Anirudh on what drives this passion and this is what he had to say.
When did you discover your love for fitness and how did your weight-loss program with Truweight impact your outlook to life?
I discovered my love for fitness after I started running and cycling simultaneously many years ago. The Truweight program has phenomenally changed me and my outlook towards life – I have never been fitter, more confident and more energetic after I lost my weight.
Did running happen by chance or was it a conscious decision and a means to stay fit?
At one point in time, I was so heavy that it was very difficult for me to even jog for 100 metres. I had no stamina and was running out of breath while running. I started running to lose weight but eventually discovered that I really enjoyed the high I used to get post my runs. Over time, I worked on increasing the distance of my runs and the rest followed.
Being a businessman, managing your time well is of utmost importance. How do you bring in fitness into your busy schedule?
It’s definitely not an easy task managing a business, running a family and trying to stay fit at the same time. However, I feel that if you’re passionate about something, you will find a way to manage it all and prioritize. Fitness rejuvenates my soul. It’s food for my soul.
What keeps you motivated to stay fit and push forward?
I’m fortunate to have a great set of friends who are into fitness and health conscious too. When you are surrounded by such people, you automatically feel motivated. We always discuss events happening around the country/ world and what needs to be our next goal to achieve and this drive keeps me going to keep myself fit.
Mountains have always fascinated me and I’m a mountain lover. When I was doing my management studies in Mumbai, I went for a 2- day trek to the Western Ghats with a friend of mine who was already a passionate trekker. Trekking was not so popular and most of the people were scared thinking it’s not safe. I was mesmerized by that trek so much that after completion of my management studies, the first thing I did was to enroll for my first Himalayan trekking expedition in 2003. My parents were very apprehensive as well but eventually convinced them. There was no looking back since then. I made sure I do at least one Himalayan trek every year. Also, in the same way, I have encouraged a lot of my friends into trekking so they get to experience the thrill and joy of going on treks and this, in turn, has made them passionate trekkers too.
How many events across running and cycling have you been a part of till date?
Well, I used to run small distances every day as a part of my fitness routine and commute on a cycle to the park and back where I used to run.
I wasn’t confident of completing marathons. The maximum I could think of running was 10k but a friend of mine encouraged me to take the plunge and I registered for my first half marathon in Hyderabad, just a day before the event. The terrain was tough and quite challenging too. I did take the plunge not knowing if I would complete my run but after I started the race and seeing the energy of the people around, that pushed me to complete the race successfully in a decent time which gave me a real high and boosted my confidence. Since then I’ve done about 5 half marathons, a dozen 10K’s and one triathlon.
On the cycling front, I have done a couple of 100 km rides, Ladakh cycling expedition of around 350 Km in the mountains of Ladakh. A cycling expedition from Hyderabad to Rajahmundry which is a distance of about 700 Km, passing through a very scenic route of forests and mountains. After my Ladakh cycling expedition, I decided to upgrade my cycle to an advanced geared bike which I still have as my prized possession.
Though I love cycling more, it’s difficult to compare between both. I feel elated post my runs and when I achieve the goal I had set for myself. Whereas with respect to cycling, I simply enjoy the entire journey of cycling and I just grasp every moment. It is a different experience altogether to discover a new place on a cycle.
What is the kind of training regimen you follow with respect to cycling and running?
Running thrice a week in the morning with alternate day strength training and circuit training for 3-4 days a week in the evening.
I still have to work on my flexibility as it’s a crucial part of any fitness regime.
Sundays are for long rides if there’s no running event planned.
What measures do you take to better yourself as a runner/cyclist?
I read a lot about techniques of running, attending workshops and keeping in touch with different running groups which help me in gaining further knowledge.
Any particular race(s) in mind that you wish to complete, be it running or cycling in 2019?
I intend to do quite a few trails runs and countryside cycling events. I also intend to do Tour of Nilgiris cycling event in 2019.