Personal trainer, Sayeeda Abrar talks about her tryst with running, cycling and the various training programs she recommends and follows.
Meet Sayeeda Abrar, certified aerobics, Zumba and a Reebok certified personal trainer who runs her own aerobics studio and a personal training gym in Hyderabad. Fitness is her passion which had later turned into her profession as well.
A woman who had her share of struggles in life where she gained excessive weight, lost all confidence in herself and being always indoors, her life pretty much circled around her family and kids. Many years later, she mustered all the courage and decided to do something for herself and enrolled for the aerobics and gym classes. Though a little lost and found it difficult to cope with at the start, she never gave up hope and stayed focused.
She was drawn to aerobics as the music and dance intrigued her long after she finished her class and that quickly turned into her passion. She decided to learn aerobics professionally and did her first certification course that was offered by the fitness studio she was trained at and soon was offered to take up classes there as well.
Within 6 months she was a certified trainer working for one of the best fitness studios of Hyderabad. She put in the extra hours and her losing weight didn’t seem like a criterion any more but the immense pleasure she got from conducting classes for beginners and advanced level. It gave her a new identity and that mattered.
One thing led to the other and she did her Reebok certification in personal training, attended a lot of fitness workshops and all kinds of fitness classes from Zumba, yoga, functional training, kickboxing and swimming.
She had a new-found passion for running, cycling and trekking now and her love for the outdoors. “I used to take aerobics classes in a fitness studio. I used to do cardio workouts and when I missed a session, I used to go on a run. That’s when I realized running to be very meditative. I took up running as something to relieve me from stress,” says Sayeeda.
Love for Running
Recalling her start in long distance running, she shares, “One day as I was reading the newspaper, I saw an advertisement for a run that was going happen in Hyderabad. So, I called a few of my friends and asked them if they wanted to go. They agreed and we landed up at the venue without even registering. We just joined the crowd and ran 10kms. I was mesmerized by the energy of the event. That’s the day I decided I wanted to run a marathon someday and registered myself for a half marathon the following year.” She took to running 4 years ago and that has taken her endurance to the next level. To date, she has completed 2 full marathons, a dozen Half marathons, and quite a few 10k runs. With regards to cycling, her major achievement was the 700 Kms ride from Hyderabad to Rajahmundry over a span of 5 days.
Talking about her races thus far Sayeeda says, “All my races have been good so far. Every race is an experience in itself and I learn from every race. I run more for my soul than to complete. I run for the spirit of running. My personal best timing was during the Chennai half marathon 2019 of 2hrs 9mins. And my worst in terms of time was the 2018 Hyderabad half marathon where I took 3hrs 18mins.” This is a reminder that every race makes a difference and no training can ever be wasteful. As part of her training, Sayeeda runs thrice a week, that includes hill runs, fartleks, sprints, and drills. She also does HIIT thrice a week, strength training and cycles once a week. She follows a balanced diet, eats in moderation and ensures that she is on a high protein and no sugar diet before a big race.
Over the years Sayeeda has learnt that running needs a lot of discipline and balance of everything. One needs to have proper strength to run injury free, hence strength training needs to be part of the regime, nutrition plays an important role for every runner and so eating right is essential. And one needs to work on flexibility and hence yoga and meditation. I have evolved as a person through running in having a more holistic approach towards health and fitness.
The Fitness Coach
Sayeeda used to work for a fitness studio that closed a few years ago. So, all her clients requested her to start one to continue their lessons with her. That was her big break moment. Sayeeda follows a holistic approach to fitness. So, she designed a program that offers clients cardio workout in the form of step and dance aerobics, weight training, kickboxing and yoga. The studio has specialized personal training for women with health issues or if they are looking for faster weight loss results. Keeping clients motivated is a task for any trainer, speaking about this Sayeeda says, “Short term goals always gives better results than having a goal that one thinks they cannot achieve. People often give up is the process because they don’t see major results. But they have to be mentally prepared which is a slow process and needs lots of dedication and discipline. It’s more of a lifestyle change than a temporary fix.”
Her current focus is to prepare for a sub 2 half at the Hyderabad Marathon this August. She loves traveling and running gives her just the right excuse to pack her bags and get out. She wants to run in at least 12 different places this year of which she has already run in Chennai, Mumbai and Auroville marathon thus far. She is also hoping to complete a triathlon.