Motivation Comments Off on Getting Fit with every Run |

Getting Fit with every Run

Pinaak Pande, an investment banker by profession with Northern Trust took to running 4
years ago with a mission to get fit and he speaks to Deepthi Velkur about his journey.

 

“I may not be there yet but I’m closer than I was yesterday”.

Pinaak Pande, an investment banker by profession with Northern Trust took to running 4 years ago with a mission to get fit. He has come a long way since then and as we listen to him talk through his journey, there’s one resonating message he would like for us to focus on – patience is key.

What was the key driver to pick running as your choice of sport?

Sports was always a part of my life – I represented Karnataka and Bangalore University in Baseball and Softball for 5 years. In 2010, I got an offer with an MNC bank and had to work night shifts and sports took a backseat. The long work hours, bad eating habits and inactive lifestyle had me weighing in at 90kgs. In 2014, I ran my first 5k (majja run) at the TCS 10K event and it was hard due to my unhealthy lifestyle. That’s when it hit me – I was unfit! It was a jolt and I decided to do something about it. That’s how I joined a running group and haven’t looked back since.

Given that you have a crazy work schedule. How do you find time to run?

Where there’s a desire, you persevere – that’s my thinking!

The last 4 years was maniac – I used to wrap up my day at the office around 4 AM and then head straight for the training. Despite the madness, I always felt better after my runs and this drove me to make time for my runs.

You did the 12-hour stadium run earlier this year? How did you train for it? Did all go as per plan during the race?

This was my first ultra-run and a very memorable one too. The amount of training I went through during this phase was immense and quite challenging. I trained 7 days a week with one goal in mind – finish the race no matter what. I followed the 2 weeks of high mileage and 1 week of low mileage training plan, focusing on my strength training and cross training. I have had weeks where my weekly mileage was higher than 90kms. My weekdays were pretty much sorted with a recovery swim post the weekly runs.

You can plan everything to a T but things don’t always go as per the plan – exactly what happened to me. It kept raining all day and during the race, it poured for 8 hours making it hard to run especially with the humidity being so high. Unfortunately, I fell short by 5.6 km from the planned target (80kms), clocking 74.4kms at the end of 12 hours.

Nutrition plays a big role in every athlete’s life. How do you plan your nutrition?

I keep it very simple. I have a big bowl of seasonal fruits for my breakfast with 2 glasses of water mixed with jaggery and sattu (natural protein for the body). For lunch, I have a millet-based diet, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds as an evening snack and millet-based food for dinner.

In the recent SPBM event, you were the pacer for the 2hr30mins bus? What has been your experience of being a pacer?

It’s always a great feeling to be a pacer as you are helping the running community achieve their goals.

In this event, I was pacing the 2hr30min bus. I started with a bunch of runners but towards the end, there were about 15 runners who completed with me. As far as I remember most of the runners were doing their debut HM and a couple of them with 3 HM’s under their belt. I completed the race in 2hr29mins7secs just within the target time. The bus I was pacing was filled with conversations around nutrition, hydration and running. It was a comfortable race and I did not face any challenges along the way.

The satisfaction you get when you help other runners achieve their respective goals is immense and hence, I would choose to pace over racing any day at any event. I believe in karma, do good and the good will come looking for you.

Do you wish to take part in a triathlon event in the near future? How are you going about your training? 

Oh yes, I would definitely take part in a triathlon event post a couple of ultra-marathons.  I do include cycling and swimming as part of my cross training workouts. It takes a lot of training to be a successful triathlete. I am strengthening my weaknesses to get better 😉

Being one of the ambassadors for Pinkathon, you obviously have a connection to the cause? Your thoughts on this? 

Pinkathon is about women empowerment and spreading awareness about how important it is to take care of one’s health. According to me, it’s very important for women to focus on their fitness apart from what they do on a given day. I want to ensure that all women take the right steps to stay healthy and fit if they haven’t already. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”— I believe in this mantra. I am glad that my mentor and Guruji, Milind Soman chose me to be an ambassador for Pinkathon.

You need the right physical and mental strength to run a marathon. How do you stay strong during a race?

I would say you got to be more mentally strong than physical. Running a Marathon is easy but convincing your mind is tough. The battle is between your mind and the body for those 42kms. Your mind will always want to give up after running for a certain distance but being mentally strong is the key to run marathons and ultra-marathons. I train solo most of the days and I train my mind by altering the distance just before I head out for a run. This way you are removing the mental block from your mind.

Do you train with a coach? If yes, how has that benefited you in making you a better runner today?

Yes, I do have a mentor who trains me to be a better person every day. According to me, coaches are there to guide you and without them, certain things are not achievable.

You constantly set new highs for yourself. Where does this motivation come from?

Yes, certainly. I love to push myself and set new highs all the time as I believe you got to constantly challenge yourself no matter how much you have achieved or what challenges you might face. The challenges and my past achievements keep me going and motivate me all the way until the finish line or the end of my goal.

What is the advice you have for anyone who wants to take up an endurance sport like “running”?

Get up at 5 in the morning for a month and head out for a short run/jog and see the difference it makes to your life and you will certainly see a lifestyle change.

What big races do you have insight in the coming year?

 I definitely want to do a 24-hour stadium run and a couple of ultra-marathons in the next calendar year.

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.

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Gear Comments Off on The little things that make a big difference |

The little things that make a big difference

All the fancy running gear, world class sneakers or latest gadgets are not the only things that will help you burn kilometres on the road. To make all of these come together and make you competitive, you need to accessorise! 

Running is considered as being one of the most accessible forms of aerobic activity. The best thing about running is that you could possibly do it anywhere without needing any expensive equipment or a gym membership. It is just you and the open road.

Running becomes so much more convenient when you are least distracted or working with uncomfortable running gear.

To make life that tad bit easier, here are a few small running accessories that are quite beneficial for runners:

Running Armbands:It is a useful piece of accessory for anyone spending time running, walking or jogging. An armband that comes with pockets and water resistant makes for a convenient accessory as it can hold your smartphone as well as other personal items such as your keys, money, and credit cards tucking them away safely while you enjoy a hands-free run, walk or jog. Many armbands come with the additional safety feature of being reflective or an LED light which is useful and helps improve visibility to motorists/drivers especially on your early morning or late evening runs. Most armbands take the one size fits all approach while others come with a wide variety of arm sizes. The armbands also have a protective touchscreen compatible case and usually lightweight. Most popular armbands are Tribe water resistant, Trianium, and Tune belt.

Running belts\Water bottle holders: Most runners have a hydration routine that is followed before, during and after a run. Having a handheld water bottle, hydro sleeve or fuel belts make water easily accessible during an exercise routine. Portability is now easy with collapsible bottles which can fold, few come with specialized valves that make sipping of water easy and avoid leakage. For those of you who prefer running hands-free, running belts with pockets to hold your bottles and loops for your jacket and gels are also available. CamelBak and Trek and Ride are a couple of good options out there that might suit your hydration needs.

Running Cap: This is one of the most useful accessories during a run as it helps to protect you from the scorching sun. Some of the best running caps provide you with UV protection, adjustable velcro straps to give you a proper fit, moisture-wicking in-built sweatband that absorbs sweat and proper ventilation. The options for running caps are endless as they are quite popular amongst runners. Nike, Puma, TrailHeads, 2XU run visor to name a few top brands.

Sunglasses: Runners who run for long durations understand the need for a good pair of sunglasses. Many protect themselves from the sun by wearing protective clothing or wearing sunscreen but neglect protecting their eyes. The sun tends to limit your visibility and also has a harmful effect on your eyes. Look for sunglasses that provide UV protection giving you a snug feel, resistant to slippage when you’re bouncing around. Under Armour, Oakley radar, Julbo Aerolite, Nike Vaporwing Elite.

As a parting note – buying good quality running-specific accessories will not only last but will also enhance your running enjoyment. With the right kit, you are now ready to rule the roads and have fun doing it.

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.

 

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Gear Comments Off on The Right Running Support |

The Right Running Support

Deepthi tries the Under Armour Eclipse Non-Wired Sports Bra to understand if it makes for comfortable running gear.

When it comes to running for women, there are two must-have pieces of gear that every woman must invest in – good running shoes and a sports bra. Now, I have covered running shoes in several of my previous articles, in this edition I would like to talk about sports bras.

So, is wearing a sports bra while running really important? The short answer, YES! Any form of physical activity makes your breasts bounce but a repetitive and continuous activity can result in pain, soreness and make your breasts sag. The breasts are supported by two weak structures – Cooper’s ligaments and the skin itself. They have no muscles and are not connected to any other part and move independently of the rest of the body.

It is important that every woman, no matter what size she is, should wear a sports bra while running. Sports Bras are designed to give you the added support, limit movement when exercising especially running and also to prevent breast pain.

Finding a right sports bra that provides plenty of support during a run isn’t only about comfort, but it can make or break your workout routine. A sports bra that has poor fitting leads to painful chafing and will not provide you with the high-level support you need while kicking it hard at the gym or on the road. Because sizing systems vary and everybody is different, finding a supportive and comfortable sports bra that fits requires some trial and error.

You need to choose a bra that works just as hard as you but at the same time looks good too. You also need to keep in mind the type of activity and your chest size before going ahead and buying a bra. This is where the Under Armour eclipse non-wired sports bra comes in to do the job beautifully.

This bra uses the compression technology that gives you a close, second-skin fit and medium-impact support that lets you focus on your running and not worry about hurting yourself.

Product Features

  • Fabric is made of Nylon and Elastane
  • The bra has pockets for removable padding that add modesty and shape
  • Super-breathable SpeedForm power mesh lining
  • Unique open back with criss-cross straps
  • Studio Lux fabric provides unyielding support with a super soft luxurious feel
  • Clean, bandeau-inspired front with soft, breathable cups for extra structure and coverage
  • The material used helps in wicking away sweat leaving you feeling dry and light
  • 100% Imported, 90 days product warranty against manufacturing defects
  • Available exclusively on Amazon

Price

This product is available in different sizes and colours and is priced anywhere between INR 2299 – INR 5386 depending on the size chosen.

It is definitely worth every penny and a must try for all women. It is of excellent quality, provides great support for high impact workouts, sweat resistant and breathable making you feel strong from the inside. The adjustable straps ensure that my shoulders don’t get dug in and ache on longer runs.

If you run without a bra, or just use a standard t-shirt bra you are more at risk of developing back and breast pain as a result of this. Sports bras are specially designed to support your breasts ALL the way around, making sure they are secure and allowing the skin to breathe.

No matter what type of exercise you do, buying a good quality sports bra is the same as buying good quality sneakers, it will support your body and enhance your workout routine!

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.

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Gear Comments Off on Run Comfortably with Compression Tights |

Run Comfortably with Compression Tights

Deepthi Velkur takes a look at Skins Women’s Dnamic Compression Long Tights to see how comfortable they will be for runners.

Running like all other aerobic activities is much more comfortable when you have clothing that keeps you properly ventilated or in damp and wet conditions like we have  – slightly insulated and dry.

Running clothing gear includes pants, tights, shorts, shirts, vests, and jackets. The weather outside determines what combination you need to wear to stay comfortable on your road and trail runs.

The key points we should keep in mind are:

  • For warm days, the gear should help absorb moisture, keep you cool and protect you from the sun’s rays.
  • For cooler and rainy days consider wearing pants or tights as this will keep you insulated and dry.

One such running clothing item that has made a huge splash are compression tights.

Runners across the world have embraced it whole-heartedly as these tights wrap around your body cozily. The snug fit ensures minimal muscle vibration due to the constant pounding while running thereby providing that extra support for a runner to perform better.

While selecting a pair of compression pants for yourself, look for one that uses gradient compression as it provides just the right amount of surface pressure to facilitate circulation and deliver proper oxygen supply to the muscles.

In this review, I would like to focus on the Skins Women Dnamic compression long tights.

From being the first of its kind in compression sportswear, these full-length tights from Skins bring together their gradient compression technology with special seams and panels to cover your most active lower body muscles such as the calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Product features:

  • Engineered with gradient compression
  • 75% Nylon and 25% Elastane
  • Good moisture and temperature management with UPF 50+
  • Elasticated waistband
  • Seamless feel
  • Amazing design

Compression clothes work wonders for me and I use them quite often during my workouts and on my long runs. They feel extremely light on you, making you feel comfortable, improves performance and making you feel less tired at the end of a hard training day or run. The new look of the Skins compression tights is impressive. The mesh on the sides help improves breathability. I can definitely feel a lot more compression in this model as opposed to their previous models.

These tights are available on www.amazon.in and come in all sizes from XS to XL. The price varies basis the chosen size with S, M, L and XL retailing at INR 5000 (average price). It is noteworthy that the XS size is fairly expensive at INR 11,200. All these prices include import and delivery charges.

There has been a tremendous improvement to how compression tights are built today and the Skins company are constantly upgrading their products to give a more supported compression and snug feel. If you haven’t tried them yet, the time is now.

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.

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Gear Comments Off on Picking between Nike and Adidas |

Picking between Nike and Adidas

Deepthi Velkur took to comparing two great running shoes to find out which one works best for you.

Finding the best-fitting running shoe among the innumerable choices at our local sports stores isn’t easy at all. To ensure you walk out a happy customer, you need to make sure the shoe fits properly from heel to toe and that it feels comfortable with your regular running stride.

All major sporting goods manufacturers from Nike to Adidas to Puma have spent millions in money and research time perfecting the running shoe and still continue to do so. It took Nike engineers, chemists and designers nearly 2 years before the company could release its Air VaporMax in February 2017. The shoe has an exaggerated bubble on the bottom paired with a sleek Flyknit upper, a combo that Nike claims results in the “most flexible Air Max ever.” How well does the VaporMax deliver on Nike’s promise of the “running on air” sensation from a functional standpoint – we will dive into that a little later in this article.

Adidas on the other hand had introduced its own big innovation in bouncy soles, the Boost cushioning platform and has become one of the company’s signature products – the Ultra Boost line of running shoes features a sock-like knit upper paired with a squishy, springy sole.

The rival shoes are so well-matched that they raise an inevitable conundrum for shoppers: Which one is better?

We set out to answer the question—and created a short checklist that makes a pretty good guide for rating any pair of running sneakers. The criteria include stats that affect performance, such as weight, but also things that matter to the average consumer, like price and the ease of adjusting the laces.

Fit

The Nike VaporMax is extremely lightweight and super flexible that gives you a custom fit feel and does not limit your natural movements. The shoe tends to be a little narrow but run true to size length wise.

The Ultra Boost boasts a Primeknit upper that provides for a customized fit for runners with narrow feet, however there have been concerns that the rigid frame can be a sloppy fit especially during fast paced runs.

Upper Comfort: The Flyknit material used on the VaporMax has more stretch to it which is welcome, given the somewhat constricting shape of the midfoot. This material gives the shoe that extra comfort, making it breathable and light weight. The Adidas primeknit material is flashy and non-abrasive but it is also hot and constricting. Also, the primeknit material gets waterlogged easily.

Stability: Adidas released the Ultra Boost with a staggering 27mm of Boost midsole which is unsupported by any material of a higher durometer. The effect is a slightly sloppy feel and you don’t feel like your feet are completely locked down but overall it does offer a comfortable and softer ride.

Nike on the other hand uses its Flywire system that holds your foot firmly in place and compresses your foot evenly. The traditional midsole is absent and the Flyknit upper sits directly on top of the Air bag.

Traction and Durability: The outsole of the VaporMax uses a durable rubber and also comes with extra rubber around the unit to help support it. The Ultra Boost, on the other hand, comes with a much more conventional sole and can be worn anywhere comfortably. The outsole of the Ultra Boost is made of continental rubber which helps in its durability and traction.

Underfoot Comfort: The VaporMax has a very bouncy ride and it does take some time getting used to. You also get the feeling on walking on stilts given its thick AirMax units. The Ultra Boost on the other hand is smooth and comfortable.

Price: The Ultra Boost is priced at INR 18,999 (https://www.adidas.co.in/) and the VaporMax at INR 18,995 (https://www.nike.com/in/en_gb/). Prices may vary basis the color and the model chosen.

Final thoughts – As much as the VaporMax might win from a style perspective, it probably won’t match up to the performance of the Adidas Ultra Boost. The numerous marathons won by the Boost clearly suggest a more effective performance platform than the Air.

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.

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Gear Comments Off on Do you have the right running gear? |

Do you have the right running gear?

Choosing the right running gear can improve your comfort, performance and keep you injury free, writes Nandini Reddy.

The right running gear can be the determining point between a comfortable run or a run fraught with discomfort. If you are a new runner then it is best to visit a specialist store to ensure that you get the right kind of gear. Even if you are not a serious runner investing into good gear will always make running a pleasurable experience. R

Technical Clothing

If you are running in humid weather then you need to dri-fit clothes. In cold weather ensure your wear thicker clothing or cold resistant clothing. These fabrics know how to handle sweat and adjust your body temperature. If you practice layering you can also adapt to the weather by adding or removing items of clothing.

Sunglasses

When you are running in summer or running a long trail run ensure you carry a pair of sunglasses that are light. You get frame-less options that are made for running. These prevent your eyes from getting tired and also prevent dust from irritating your eyes while you run.

Socks

Socks are very important for runners. The right socks can ensure that you have a comfortable run. Compression socks are worn by a few runners while running to enhance blood flow. You can check with your trainer before using them. Invest into a few pairs of athletic socks. Remember to buy your socks and shoes together so that you know how comfortable you are using them in combination.

Drink Belt

This belt should be multi-purpose. It should hold your bottle, keys and phone. Most of us need to carry all these items when we run so its impractical to invest into two different items for them. You will get good quality belts that can hold all these items. You can also ask experienced runners for recommendations.

Sports Bra

Choose a sports bra that has adjustable straps and can wick moisture. No female runner should run without a comfortable and supportive sports bra. You can get more recommendations based on your type of activity from www.lessbounce.com

Water Bottle

Invest into a light weight sipper style bottle. It should hold at least 500ml of water. You don’t need a bigger bottle during your training and during a race you are likely to come across water stations. Ensure that you bottle fits securely in the belt and doesn’t disturb your running flow.

Right Shoes

If you want to learn how to pick the right shoes then read our article Pick the Right Kicks

GPS Watch

Ensure you get a GPS watch with a Heart Rate Monitor so that you can check if you are working in the right heart rate zone. These watches will also help you monitor pace, distance and timing and track your progress.

Read Potential of the Running Watch to know how best you can use your running watch.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Gear Comments Off on Sleek Protection – Giro Vanquish |

Sleek Protection – Giro Vanquish

The right protection for your head, Giro Vanquish is the cycling helmet you need, writes Deepthi Velkur.

When I started cycling as a kid, head protection was top priority. Of course, it was the ‘80s, so it wasn’t really top-notch technology – it was basically a cap with some foam protection on the inside. All through my growing up years that was acceptable, nobody ever questioned it and my parents thought it was fine. Today, things are a lot different and with a deeper understanding of the dynamics of crashing, helmet manufacturers continue to push the limit in helmet advancements.

Tech to Protect

Nearly all new helmet models today incorporate MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system), a liner that allows the head to move slightly inside the helmet in the event of a crash. Protagonists say the MIPS liner can lessen a crash’s impact on the brain.

Helmets are designed keeping aerodynamics in mind which has an effect on shape, size and overall looks. Comfort needs to be considered in terms of sizing, padding and fit but crucially ventilation too.

With the advanced development tools available, Giro has created an even more aerodynamic and far better ventilated model called the Vanquish MIPS.

Vanquish Features

The new model like other aero road helmets sport a mostly smooth exterior, a close-fitting and highly tapered profile, and a short, squared-off tail. What sets the Vanquish MIPS apart is its “aerodynamic cliff” – a small step that runs across the width of the helmet, that helps bring in more cooling air to help prevent sweat from dripping down your face.

Some super cool features that make the Vanquish a thing of beauty are:

  • With four slits in the front and six exhaust ports at the back, it helps guide incoming air across the rider’s head.
  • Four generous sized indentations on the underside help bring in more cool air.
  • The Vivid Optics tint filters out bad wavelengths of blue light to enhance contrast and colour definition.
  • A low-friction MIPS liner is included as standard equipment that reduces rotational forces transmitted to the brain thereby minimizing chances of a traumatic brain injury during an impact.
  • A dual-layer EPS foam liner, with a softer-density foam next to the head and a harder, more durable foam near the four-piece polycarbonate shell – this double-layer design reacts better to absorbing impact energy.
  • Other features are lightweight webbing with low-profile tail-glides to keep the straps neatly tucked against the side of your head, eyewear grippers to help secure sunglasses and antimicrobial padding.

Price

The Vanquish MIPS is available in 2 colors – Matte Bright Red / Black in 3 sizes and retails between INR 18,000 – 21,000 on www.bikeinn.com.

The initial impressions of the Vanquish do suggest that this could be an ideal everyday helmet for all conditions and while there are several other options in the market, the Vanquish is certainly worth considering.

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.

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Training Comments Off on Before the Goal Marathon |

Before the Goal Marathon

You have trained for your goal marathon, now how about running a dress rehearsal of what you can expect during the big race, asks Nandini Reddy

You have followed the training plan. You have eaten right. All the gear you need for race day is set. You have broken in your shoes and completed training runs that have set your pace. After you have been through this disciplined process, how about running a mock run to ensure that you are really prepared for the big day?

Explore the Course

If the race is in the same city that you live in then try and take a walk or a slow jog along the course. You can familiarize yourself with all the areas that might need a little more effort to complete. You can also note how you need to distribute your energy and effort. Try and run hard on a few stretches to really understand the strain you might be under on the course. Once your body is familiar with the course it will be easier for you to run the course.

Stay with the familiar

If you have been fueling your runs with a particular brand of energy bars or sports drinks then you will need to stick to the same ones during your race. Your body has adapted to these fuel foods and changing them might cause discomfort rather than help you. Remember to carry these along in your running belt during your mock run so that you can get used to the weight of belt. The idea is to decide what will help you run better so instead of loading up things on the main day, you might as well see how much you really need during your mock race day.

Get the right gear

Gear check is the most important one for any runner. Your shoes need to be comfortable from start to finish of the race. All the wearable gear like your watch, water bottle, phone holder and runners belt should not chaff your skin during the run. Clothes have to be breathable and it is important that you do not feel any discomfort while running in them. If you are wearing a sports bra then include it during your mock run and even your earlier training sessions to check for comfort. Do not try new and fresh gear on the big race day.

The idea is to reach your full potential on the big race day so it is important that you understand all the factors that might affect your run. On race day you can now just lace up and present your best self at your goal marathon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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