Monday, January 19, 2015

Run With Me in Gurgaon

It's Guest Post time, here on (please note the all new domain name!) 

You couldn't have missed the fact that, at least in Gurgaon, running seems to be the new golf. Hell, it's maybe even the new cricket. Granted, Gurgaon is not the most scenic place to run in, but when you're addicted to this wonderful sport, you don't care about stuff like that. Or so I hear from my husband, an avid runner and writer of my first guest post in a long time. 

So here goes:

The running bug bit me way back in 2010. ADHM or Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was the only race I knew in Delhi and I ran my first ADHM in 2011. I prepped for this race mainly through extensive reading on the internet, downloading running plans, and watching videos on YouTube. The run up to this race was filled with frequent injuries, thankfully none of them enough to keep me from the race.

I ran my second half marathon in Gurgaon – the Running & Living Gurgaon Marathon, 2012. A couple of months after this race, I injured my back very badly while playing tennis. This injury took almost 8 months to heal. During this down time I spoke to doctors and physios, and read up a lot and came to the conclusion that one of the main reasons for my back injury was improper conditioning and strengthening that my body required in preparation for the half marathons.

With my back almost healed, I was itching to get back to active running. But this time, I wanted to run under the supervision of a coach. This is when I came across the Run With Me Foundation and Coach Ravinder Singh. The tag line of the foundation – Run With Me Injury Free, seemed almost tailor made for me.

Coach Ravinder Singh, or ‘Coach’ as we all fondly call him, has programs to prepare runners of all levels for long distance races. Besides these programs, the Run With Me Foundation regularly organizes races, where you can participate and get a sense of how well you are progressing or, if you are first time runner, just get to experience the thrill of running a race. 

I enrolled for a 7-month program for ADHM 2014. The program was divided into different phases, with the first phase for preparing our foundation i.e. strengthening our core, improving flexibility, and functional strength. 

This was followed by different phases of running, where, through personalized plans, we gradually increased distance and speed till we reached the 21 km mark. 

There were work outs 3-4 days a week, with 2-3 days of running and 1-2 days of strength training. Most of the workouts were conducted outside Roots Café at Leisure Valley, and some at Bio Diversity Park, especially for hill running workouts - all outdoors, which was the thing I liked best. Also, each session was very well-thought out and designed. Coach kept us guessing all the time because no two workouts were the same.

The ADHM 2014 is over and almost all of us met our personal running goals. :-) The group is still going strong - each towards our next goals. I think training with a group has been very valuable. What better than a driven bunch of people that you can work out with, run with, and draw inspiration from? The group makes everything fun and takes away the monotony of training. It is also a great source of motivation – when it is 5.30 am and pouring, you still get up and go because you know that your group will be there.

Thanks, Vijay, for this post. 

As always, do let me know if you have any feedback or comments. Here's a link to the Run With Me Facebook page

No comments: