When did you start running? What inspired you to run?
I started long distance running six years back. Earlier, I used to run only 2-3 kilometres at a stretch. The inspiration to run came from a chance video of Fauja Singh, the legendary ageless wonder who is a regular at marathons. It prompted me to get out of my comfort zone and start long distance running.
How does running help you in your professional life?
A fit mind needs a fit body. Marathon, half or full, is the most complete exercise which leaves a positive impact on every part of your body. It not only makes you physically tough but mentally too. Any marathoner will tell you how the body refuses to cooperate and how it is the mind that pushes you on. Also, running is becoming the new meditation. It is a big stress buster and brings positivity in professional life.
How do you balance your fitness regime and work?
I think people take their jobs, just too seriously. There is more to life than just earning for a living. Most of us realize the importance of health only when we have contracted a lifestyle ailment like diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure etc. No amount of wealth or stress can justify an unfit body. Thankfully, fitness has become quite fashionable now and most people work hard to look good and stay fit.
You just need to find time. For example, my shoes nowadays are an integral part of my travel bag. Even if I am going out for one night, I make sure that I utilize my mornings for running. There is a lot of fun, running in new surroundings and it is also a great way to experience the cities. While in Mumbai, I make sure that I am running 3-4 days a week.
The only change that I brought about is to leave office on time so that I can sleep early. I rarely sit in office beyond 7 p.m. This has also helped me in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Your most memorable running moment
Last year during the Standard Chartered Marathon, as I came down the sea link and started running towards Mahim, there were a bunch of 12-year olds, probably from a nearby slum, who were distributing biscuits and cheering us. It was a heart-warming sight and the image of those smiling faces egged me on.
Narrate your last running experience
Last year, I decided to run my first full marathon. After running half marathons for four years and a personal best timing of 1 hr 51 min, I was confident. Like most newbies, I set a target for a sub-4-hour finish. My coaches would just nod whenever I would mention my target. I also trained quite hard. However, only later did I realize that full-marathon is a different beast altogether. Fellow runners would tell me that the last 10 kilometres are very difficult, where you feel you are running a second marathon, but I did not pay heed to them. On the marathon day, I was cruising well. I finished the first half in 1 hr 57 min and was not tired at all. I continued to run at the same pace. However, the moment I crossed 35K mark, I started developing cramps in my calves. Initially I ignored but after a couple of kilometres the cramps became severe. I almost walked the last 5 kilometres. Still, l finished in 4 hr 18 min which is a respectable time for a first timer.
I have come to believe that people like us who are running for fitness, should not look at the watch. We should enjoy the run rather than get stressed about timing. Another marathon is around the corner. This time I am not running with a timing in mind. I just want to finish it without injuries and hiccups.
Do you run alone or with a group?
I used to run alone earlier. Two years back, I joined Striders (a fitness-training group) and it has helped me a lot. I have made a lot of friends. They give proper advice and training. I am overall a much better runner now.
What are the similarities between running and investing?
Great question. Both running and investing are long term games. You cannot be successful with a short term mind set. Both need loads of patience, meticulous planning and proper execution.
To be a successful long distance runner, one must display lots of patience and endurance. You also need a proper plan that includes training regimen, discipline, diet, exercises etc. You cannot just get up one morning and say let's run a marathon. And finally, you need to execute this plan to the best of your ability. If you have planned badly, you can get seriously injured.
It is the same with investing. If you do not have patience, you will always exit your investments much before they can deliver healthy returns. For ensuring superior performance, you also need to create a proper plan that includes right asset allocation, right product selection and right time horizon. And finally you should execute the plan well, not once but consistently, to be a successful investor.
What would be your advice to someone who wants to start running for fitness?
The only advice is - get up from your sofa set, buy a good pair of shoes and run.
I have seen lives getting transformed by running. If you have a zest for life and want to enjoy your food and drinks without worrying about your health, you should start running.