Are you running ?

Last Sunday we participated in a local half marathon here at San Jose. Seven of us ran & all completed it with a glittering Rock n Roll souvenir. This evening I just thought to pen down few thoughts around running and hence this post.

Why Running?

I would rather ask why not? It is a good physical exercise & can be done almost anywhere. You don’t need any special equipments beside a pair of good shoes. Jogging in the morning can give you fresh oxygen & can be considered equivalent of a short yoga session. Beside improving stamina & endurance it boosts one’s confidence too. Moreover any physical activity has a direct effect on your psych. So if you feeling low or suffocating with boredum,get on to the trail & just run boy run. I have found this very effective. However if you are already playing some sport like football, basketball, hockey, tennis, running can still compliment to your overall fitness.


Rock n Roll 2010 San Jose

How to get started?

  1. Good friends: if you have people around you, who are disciplined & actively run & appear fit, make friends with them. Sometimes they can be inspiring & they may even pull you up in case you lag behind.
  2. Self conciousness: Many people start an activity with an impulse but fail to keep that over longer duration. Impulse is good for creating an enviornment or getting a quick start but to continue that you need a insight & motives behind your actions. You should do it for yourself and not because someone else wants you to do it.
  3. Rhythmic music: I would say this is more of a personal choice. I have found significant distance patterns while running with music than without. During the initial period you would feel like stopping if you are out of breath. But music can help you ignore that thought & you keep stepping with every beat.
  4. Participate in group activities: Running in a group can boost each others morale & can develop a feeling of comradeship. If possible participate in local marathon’s & keep collecting your Souvenirs. Also they would look good in your drawing room & a good conversation starter.
  5. Inspire others: Inspiring others can have a feedback effect on you. You become more disciplined & focussed. One of our friend, who inspired us has run 15 marathon’s so far & everytime there is some local event, he is the one who first registers for it. This creates a healthy community around.

Beside these things, keep yourself hydrated always. Glucose or some energy drinks after run can help body recover. Do not run everyday (if you run long distance). Give your body some time to recover before you hit the trail. A good warmup is the most important part of your run. Spend at least 10 minutes on warmup for a 30 minutes run, let the body be aware of your endeavours. Durning practice applications like “Run Keeper” can help you track your progress or share with friends.

During marathon there will be stalls for water & glucose. You don’t need to drink at each stop. Know your body & do not drink or eat much during the run. Keep a check on weather, in case of rains keep your mp3/ipod/phones protected in some plastic sheet.

I think this is all I had to say. Happy running!!

Life lessons from cycling

Cycling is a wonderful exercise & experience in itself. There are many life lessons one can draw from cycling. Here are few I figured out.

a man on bike

1. Stop worrying about the goal: In life we often project ourselves in future depending on our ambitions or desires. So instead of living in present & enjoying it end up worrying about future. In cycling same rule applies. Once you decide a place to go you do not think much about it & focus on your path. You forget all statistics as the present becomes more eventful.

2. Be efficient: There is a lady in my office. Her work is impeccable. she is super efficient. I once asked her the secret behind doing every job with such an agility. She said “I believe in deadlines. I always choose them & then chase them”. That is it. While riding if you lull around for whole day, it will sap your energy. So pacing at around 15 – 25 KMph without a major break can help covering a good distance & reach home early. Then one can couch on a bean bag and feel the state of thoughtlessness.

3. Accept life as it comes – If things are pleasant we merry but if anything goes wrong we say “God! why did you do this to me?” We have different attitudes towards comforts & hardships. cycling teaches a great lesson here. Crossing a Ghat section makes one go through similar emotions. On downhill you feel like a king but on the reverse journey its like paying the price back. But cycling changes your attitude. You accept both the situations with equal zest. On downhill you feel the joy & thrill of speed. On the acclivity you challenge yourself with more enthusiasm.

4. No limits – I remember when i first started cycling. It was 15 KM ride in one stretch. I felt like reaching a new physical limit. Later travelling the same distance made me feel like there is more I can endure. It was 40 KM which gave me new heights. Now even 80 KM feels less. There is a lot more that I am capable off. It was just that i had incapacitated myself. So cycling teaches you to give up inhibitions & explore new horizons

5. Humility – After a long ride all your false ego drops down. A feeling comes where you feel yourself connected to the whole ecosystem. A feeling of brotherhood comes in. It is after that one starts respecting things & starts seeing value in everything.