Running 100 Days – Tips From Rashmi Mohanty (Part 2)

rashmiSecond blog post from Rashmi Mohanty, a very experienced runner from Delhi NCR, and a Comrades Marathon finisher, on how to handle 100 days of daily running. You can find her first blog post on this here.

This morning I did a 11.5km in awfully hot and humid conditions. This was after a 10.5km last night at Gurugram Starry Night Marathon – another run in high humidity. And so this morning I was wondering why am I beating myself up in this heat and humidity. I have done a 30 day streak but in winters and never in this weather. Every year I usually go easy in this weather picking up the running only in August / September. But then we gotta do what we gotta do!! So the only thing is to be sensible and how :

1. Do short distances – a 10k in this weather is as good as a 15k in “Normal conditions”. Adjust your running goals for the weather. The extra 5k may do more harm to your body than not doing it.

2. Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate – Hydrate during the day well and not just on the run. And more importantly water is Not Enough!! If you are doing a 10k or more, you have to have coconut water, energy drinks, honeyed water with lime, Limca – whatever suits you- while on the run. You lose body salts when you sweat and don’t wait to finish the run to replenish them.

3. Shorter loops – Disclaimer : I hate loops !!! But in summers I curb this dislike and go for loops. Keep lots of water at the starting point / in-between and use it for drinking, pouring over yourself / washing your face. Don’t get adventurous and push off for long runs without adequate water support.

4. Adjust your pace – Studies and learned Coaches say that for every 1deg F increase in temperature, you should slow down your pace by 5-10sec/ km. Our bodies don’t know the difference between a 5:30/km and 5:40/km but physiologically we are getting the same benefit even at slow pace. So slow down or rather – if you see yourself slower than “usual” don’t lose heart. It’s the Heat Adjustment Factor. As the weather gets better, you will suddenly find yourself way faster.

5. Start Slow – Our heart rates go up much faster in the heat and so even if you have a tendency to start fast, hold yourself back. An elevated heart rate right at the beginning is not good and so adjust your pace once you get your rhythm.

6. Needless to say, accessorize yourself well – light colour dry wick/ moisture absorbing clothing, sun glasses, sunscreen. What’s worked for me on many runs – is a wet cloth or a wet Balaclava / Headwrap around the neck. The back of the neck is a very sensitive place and hence keep that place cool and protected from direct sun rays.

So ‪#‎NoExcuses‬ ‪#‎Gottadoit‬ ‪#‎SummerRunning‬

Keep at it!!!!

#100DaysOfRunning Energizes Chandigarh Running Group – Paveela Bali

This post is written by Paveela Prashar Bali, the founder of The Run Club, a newly established running group in the city of Chandigarh. She talks about how the 100 Days of Running challenge has energized the group members.

The Run Club, had its first run in January 2016 with the sole purpose of getting my friends to run just to have them experience what I feel after a run during a run and before a run… with just a few handful of us running and sometime just me when no one turned up at 5:30 am… It has been a wonderful journey.

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Just two days before close of registrations, I got a message from one of my run club members telling me about the #100DaysOfRunning challenge and I simply fell in love with this idea. I floated this in our group and instantly I got 23 runners who were ready and the most astonishing part is some of them never ever ran before in their lives and some stared running with me in January so basically all were new to running or had given up running, the excitement is so infectious when this “runner” who never ever ran  is doing 5k ,10 k … Today I can proudly say these people who believed in me amaze me to such heights that they are my inspiration.

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Each one is encouraging pushing and helping the other ….. The camaraderie is so ethereal… we just connect .. we look forward to the runs…its food for our souls … The laughter and after run chatting …
Each one has achieved a new high and a addiction which I’m sure they won’t ever give up and the #100DaysOfRunning are to blame for this happiness called running which has invaded the lives of my fellow runners at “The Run Club” Chandigarh.

image3I do not believe in how many kilometres one can clock in one session of running I believe if you can walk you can surely run…so just do that …every kilometre counts.

When Running Becomes An Addiction – Sunaina Ravindra

This post is contributed by Sunaina Ravindra, an engineering graduate with a masters in marketing. Sunaina worked as an advertising professional for over 4 years, but chose the path less traveled as she discovered her passion in fitness. Sunaina is proud to call herself a runner, is a trained Hatha yoga professional and an enthusiast for any physical challenge.

Running & Me

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What started off as a means to lose weight, turned out to be an addiction. Something as simple as running has transformed my life to such an extent, that it is now a profession for me.

Throughout my school and college days I was an active person involved in a lot of sports activities. But like the rest of you, it became a hindrance once I started working. From being a person who used to hit the gym everyday to no physical activity at all, started creating problems for me mentally as well as physically. That is when I started waking up really early to accommodate my exercise regime in my routine, which again hampered my health as I was compromising on my sleep.

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With absolutely no training, I woke up one Sunday morning and decided to participate in a 5km run. Since I had no background of timings and other details, at the end of the run I was happy to go back home with a pretty looking medal and a smiling face and a sense of accomplishment. And that was the start to this crazy addiction of mine! It has reached such an extent now that sometimes I am left at home, with the assumption that I will reach the destination anyway, as I can RUN. LOL!

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I started participating in almost all the runs possible in and around Bangalore as that was where I was working. It moved from 5 km to 10 km to half marathons and then to ultra runs which exceeded 50 km. Recently, did a promotional run as a part of an awareness for health from Maddur to Mysore, which was around 80 kms. These runs not only helped me lose weight and tone up, but added much more to my personality. I realized my true potential, my confidence level increased, I started understanding my body’s capability and made me a stronger person mentally.

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To be involved in all these runs, I also became a part of a lot of running groups and interaction with loads of people also helped me understand different styles of running and my performance also improved. It went on to winning a few medals as well and that is when I decided to call it quits to my advertising profession and made up my mind to start something on my own on the lines of fitness. Also, being a yoga professional, helped me immensely in my running and my breathing. Met a lot of barefoot runners along the way and now I even do some barefoot running, which connects me to the earth and the world more. I have started to understand the value of life now and am glad I am I started running.

In fact, I am proud to share that a couple of people have also been inspired to start exercising and running because of me, which makes me an even more responsible citizen. This 100 days running challenge excited me nevertheless and am doing a minimum of 8km everyday to achieve this target. God willing and with all wishes from the universe, I hope to achieve this and be a part of each one of you in this challenge.

My motto in life is “Stay Fit, Stay Healthy and Stay Happy!” 🙂 You have just one life!!! So, guys..all I am saying is…okay, let me stop with this gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan…….just RUN! 😛

If at all running affects you, it will be on a positive note! 😀

100 Steps To 100 Days: A Transformation Story – Dr. Pallavi Aga

Dr Pallavi Aga, a runner from Lucknow, and now part of the Lucknow Gazelles running group, shares her story of her transformation from having a sedentary lifestyle, into an active and fit one.

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Dr. Pallavi Aga (center)

Circa 2013 : an overweight middle aged woman just diagnosed with hypertension , having lots of professional problems and on the brink of depression decides to start walking . She is not a morning person, yet makes an attempt to wake up to take the first step towards health. And when determination is strong, the universe conspires too. She meets a group of women younger than her who motivate her to start running. Initially the first 100 steps are hell for her. But slowly and steadily she improves, goes on a strict diet looses her weight inches by inches, pound by pound.

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Cut to Circa 2016 … 10 km seems to be easy … this time she plans to run the half marathon. She’s a completely changed woman, having broken the shackles of disease and weight which used to hold her down . She’s seen running in the morning with a smile on her face and a song in her heart, motivating others to run or at least walk. Foam rolling and strength training are her new hobbies. This journey has made her a new person and in the process she met wonderful people who loved and encouraged her.

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Today she stands healthy and confident to take on whatever challenge comes her way; this is the magic of running. So she’s in whole heartedly with the 100 days of running because she knows running is living. She will do that 2 k everyday, even more because that’s how it’s meant to be.

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With the running group, Lucknow Gazelles

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100 Days And My Journey To Barefoot Running – Pankaj Prasad

There have been various studies towards long distance running and barefoot running is no exception to this. Every runner is different as the reality is they follow different training and diet plans and are living in different geographical / climatic conditions. So the debate is always on whether barefoot running is good, bad or is it ok as per the individual’s body strength. Before I started practicing barefoot running, I have never ever thought of including this even for my training.

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For me it happened by chance. I have been struggling with common running injuries for some time after replacing my old shoes during April and May 2015. Knees, shin splints, ankle and STI, almost all these common ones forced me to undertake the physiotherapy and rehabilitation for more than a month, suddenly fellow runners from NCR took up a 100 days running challenge introduced by one of the running stalwarts – Tanvir Kazmi and I did not thought even twice before taking it up.

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It started on May 1 and first month was going easy with my regular sessions on physio & rehabs, then it came the rains during 3rd week of Jun sometime, and that one day changed everything. It was raining cats and dogs and I was supposed to do my minimum quota of at least 2kms and started walking barefoot with an idea of going one km and get back. After 1 km, I returned back jogging instead of walking and it felt good. Tried another 2km after 2 days, it was another good feeling. Then after 3 days did a 5km and by end of next week, did 8km with our running group DRG around Nehru Park. No looking back after that. July 20, the Day Breaker Half Marathon Race day in Gurgaon was my first non-chip timed race for this distance with humid conditions. It was neither easy nor tough, I say, but yes managed to complete the distance in 2:29 hrs.

This was the time, when I started getting questioned from people around:

  1. Why barefoot?
  2. Doesn’t it hurt?
  3. Knees may get weeker, don’t you think it is harmful?
  4. How you manage the blisters and punctures?
  5. Is it good?
  6. How you feel, better?
  7. I also want to follow and practice, suggestions please.

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Came September, Double Whammy HM back to back challenge on consecutive days that too on challenging GFR, where runners usually challenge themselves. On 12 & 13 Sep, I did it again barefoot (both days within 3 hrs) and had to answer all questions listed above once more during or post run.

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After 2 weeks, another running event in Dwarka, general advisory was flashed by organizers couple of days ahead of the D-day, barefoot running on the decided route is a strict NO. I was silent, and mind Vs body challenge started. I did not run in shoes for a while, even during regular training runs? Left all thoughts behind and did it barefoot again against all odds, it was quite good at the end. Clocked 2:25 and was happy.

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October passed by conditioning my feet through tarmac tracks, gravels within parks or Vans wherever I could run, I tried and tested and was almost ready for another HM on 01-Nov, the MCM Gurgaon HM. Started with ease without any finishing time target and managed a 2:23:58.

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By now, I have learnt that I am fine with barefoot running. May be my running form is not able to do the justice with the shoes which I bought, so for now it is good to settle down practicing barefoot running. This may or may not be the correct judgement but it started working for me. By practicing barefoot, got to know that the architecture of our feet has so many bones and muscles, which may not get used with shoes, resulting in weakness and eventually to injuries.

ADHM – The running carnival which people across India and from globe awaits to execute their best performance facilitated by awesome weather of November in Delhi. Though I could not get a PB here, but quite satisfied with the learning of last few months which helped me to complete another HM.

Time to introspect – whether I should continue barefoot or should I switch back to shoes. After almost 6 months of training barefoot, I think I should give some more time to this art to learn the unearthed benefits, potential. During these 6 months I have been able to manage a pace of 6:45 to 7:05 under different conditions, so next phase of training to work upon the pace as a distance of 21.1 is manageable with the current pace.

Happy Running!

Running 100 Days – Tips From Rashmi Mohanty

rashmiSome wonderful advice from a very experienced runner from Delhi NCR, and a Comrades Marathon finisher, Rashmi Mohanty, on how to handle 100 days of daily running. Worth reading for all participants.

After a 20 hour day yesterday which included work and travel time and a morning 5k thrown in, stepped out again today for my daily dose of running !!!

Few tips for the intermediate and beginners-
1. Keep it simple initially – don’t mix up speed and distance. Focus on making sure that you are disciplined about the daily run and forget about going long or fast.
2. Take adequate rest – switch off the idiot box early and get an extra hour of sleep.
3. Stretch, Stretch, Stretch – if needed ice and get a massage. Your body is not used to such pounding and initially you need to do all that you can to support it
4. If you are training for a race – my suggestion would be to focus on that but if you still want to participate here then adjust your training. On the rest days do the minimum 2k and that too slow.
5. For the others since there are no rest days- make sure you don’t get greedy and give yourself 2-3 days per week of just the minimum 2k distance. Remember initially it’s all about becoming consistent and staying injury free.
6. Any niggles – STOP!!!! These 100 days are not the end of your running life. Get an expert advice if you feel any pain.
7. Hydrate – especially in this weather make sure you hydrate during the day as well.
8. Diet – I am not going to tell you to start having a protein shake 🙂 but have a well balanced diet and if you want to increase the protein intake increase your intake of paneer, lentils etc.

This is not a race but there is a winner – anyone who can successfully keep up the discipline of a daily run !! Basically move his / her a$$ everyday with no excuses !!!! Good luck !!!