First steps to running…


On the off chance that you’ve chosen to take up running as a way to start practicing or as an expansion to your present activity regimen, you’ve finished the initial step to turning into a runner. Then again perhaps you agreed to a race or another person concluded that you will begin running. In any case, running can enhance your life both physically and rationally.

When you add running portions to a walk, you can encounter a feeling of bliss not offered by other life exercises. With legitimate pacing and the right run-walk-run ? proportion, you can develop your preparation—there is no compelling reason to experience torment or weariness—and no compelling reason to vomit!

I have helped more than 700,000 individuals enhance their lives through my books, shoreline withdraws, running schools and individual meetings. Here are ten highlights from my book Getting Started.

1. To begin with, steadily increment a tender stroll to 30 minutes. This should be possible consistently or each other day.

2. At that point, embed sections of 5-10 seconds of running, each 1-2 minutes, each other day. On the off chance that you need to practice each day, walk just on the day between run-strolls, generally, utilize it as a rest day. In the event that all is well after three or four sessions, increment the running sections by five extra seconds every week. When you can easily keep running for 30 seconds and stroll for 60 seconds, slowly diminish the strolling sum by five seconds every week.

3. It is imperative to be standard with your run-stroll—about each other day.

4. On the off chance that you encounter torment, irritation or loss of capacity in the feet or legs, stop the run instantly. With the right (traditionalist) measure of strolling, you can diminish harm hazard down to zero.

5. To get ready for a 5K (3.1 miles), increment the separation of one of your run-strolls every week by 5-10 minutes for each week. Keep the proportion of rushing to strolling (run 10 seconds/walk 50 seconds). When you have secured four miles on your long one, you are prepared for a 5K.

6. To get ready for a 10K, increment the separation of the long run each other week by 10 minutes. On the shorter long run weekend, you can cover half of the separation of your current long run. When you have secured seven miles on the long run, you are prepared for a 10K.

7. Try not to drink or eat especially before a run. Eating 100-200 calories of straightforward sugar after a strenuous run will accelerate the reloading of muscle fuel for your next run.

8. Run and walk gradually enough that you can bear on a discussion—even toward the end. In case you’re huffing and puffing, you went too quick.

9. Moderate down and walk progressively when it’s hot. In the event that you have expanded the short races to 30 sec run/30 sec stroll, on a hot day you ought to run 15 sec/walk 30 seconds. The best time to run/stroll on hot days is before the sun gets over the skyline.

10. Discover approaches to appreciate each run. I get notification from many previous readers  every week who let me know that running has enhanced the way they feel and live to improve things: body, psyche and soul.



Running Terms made easier….


Running terms demystified …


PB? Fartlek. VO2 Max. IT bend/band?

These and many are the terms bandied about when you get to meet a set of long time runners (or long time readers on the subject of running).

Do you get flustered when you hear these terms?  Felt that you should have brushed up with Mr. Google before coming in to meet these know all … Don’t worry. Many of them don’t know the full meaning of these terms….. Here is a primer on some of the main terms used in running:

Pace: How fast you’re running, usually expressed in terms of minutes per km. Your running pace at a given effort level will vary greatly from day to day, depending on the weather, your fatigue level, and numerous other factors. Personal Best

Personal Best (PB): Term used to describe a runner’s farthest or fastest time in a race. Also called a Personal Record (PR).


Iliotibial band
: A thick, fibrous band that connects your hips and knees. It helps to flex and rotate your hips and stabilize and extend your knees. It can become easily strained, leading to iliotibial band syndrome, if you increase your mileage too quickly.  Remember to do your IT band stretch before and after your runs. 

Long Steady Distance runs (LSD): Any run that’s longer than a weekly run, which is the foundation of marathon and half-marathon training. These workouts help build endurance and psychological toughness that can help you get through race day.

Build the long run into your routine every other week (weekend mornings are perfect). Make the distance anywhere up to 150 percent of your regular midweek runs, and trot along at your normal training pace. If a 10 km run is de rigeur during the week, for example, then 15 km should be the upper limit of your long run. You have to build km’s gradually and give your body a chance to adjust to the pounding of those extra km’s. As long as you are not picking up your speedwork very suddenly at the same time, you should be able to add 2 – 3 km to your long run every two weeks. This may seem like a painfully slow rate of increase, but it’s a lot less painful than the injury you might otherwise risk. Take it slow, it’s better than being sidelined for several weeks.

As always, keep in mind the oft-repeated 10-percent rule. Your mileage should not increase more than 10 percent from week to week.

Heart rate: How many times your heart beats in a minute. Training by heart rate accounts for many variables that affect how you feel from day to day. This makes it a better way to monitor how hard you’re working than an arbitrary measure such as your pace.

Fartlek: Speed play, or fartlek in Swedish (the concept originated in Sweden), is a speedwork format in which you run faster for however long (or short) you want.

After warming up, run at an easy training pace, throwing in bursts of speed for various distances throughout the run. Vary the speed and times of the speed sections, from as short as 15 seconds to as long as two or three minutes. Between these bursts, allow yourself enough recovery time to match roughly 2/3 of the effort time. The recovery pace, though, should be faster than the recovery jog you might do during intervals on the track; keep it moving at an easy training pace.

It’s a good idea to pick out a landmark — a tree or a fire hydrant or a bend in the path — where a speed section will end before you start picking up the pace. In other words, you have to know how far you are running for each section. Because the idea is to keep up a constant face until you reach that landmark, it is important to pace yourself at the beginning. Don’t tear off so fast that you cannot keep up the pace through the end of each speed section.

A fartlek session can be as easy or as difficult as you wish to make it. Use fartlek for anything from a light recovery run to a grueling workout. As always, however, start out easy. Your first fartlek sessions should contain distances and paces that you feel comfortable with and that you feel you can gradually increase in future sessions. A twenty to thirty-minute fartlek session should be adequate for most runners. There is very little reason for them to go as long as an hour. Take it easy, be patient.

Intervals are all about the Oval track that you see in stadiums….in simple words interval running is doing a particular distance over and over again with a break / recovery between the distances.

Interval sessions are the most formal of speed workouts in that the distances and target paces are precisely fixed before you run. The idea is to run a series of relatively short repetitions over distances from 200m to 1600m, with rest periods of slower running in between. Because of their very nature, intervals involve a shorter period of effort than your usual run of, say, 45 minutes at a steady pace. This allows you to run much faster than you usually do, adapting your body to higher demands and your leg muscles to faster turnover.

Over time, you become more physiologically efficient.

Because of the clearly measured distances, the track is an ideal place to do intervals, but some may find the never-changing scenery to be, well, maybe just a little dull. In that case, you should feel free to do your intervals on the road, using permanent landmarks to measure distance.

The various distances, as you might guess, are each best suited to runners with specific goals. The 200m run (1/2 lap) is best for short-distance training (5K and under) to improve speed. The 400m (one lap) helps improve overall conditioning at slower paces, and at faster paces is good final race preparation. The 800m (two laps) is used to develop speed when training for races 10K and under and to condition form and pace when training for longer races. Finally, the 1600 – 2000m is used most often to train for longer races, from 10K to marathon, to help improve pace judgement and overall conditioning.

Negative splits: Running the second half of a race faster than the first half.  This is highly suggested for longer distances above 5 km.

Side stitch: Also called a “side sticker,” this is a sharp pain usually felt just below the rib cage (though sometimes farther up the torso). It’s thought to be caused by a cramp in the diaphragm, gas in the intestines, or food in the stomach. Stitches normally come on during hard workouts or races

Tempo: When runners talk about doing a “tempo run” they usually mean a sustained, faster-than-usual run of 3 to 6 kms at the pace they could sustain for an hour in a race. Tempo runs are said to feel “comfortably hard”—you have to concentrate to keep the effort going, but aren’t running with as much effort as a sprint or 5-K race.

All you have to do is run faster than your usual training pace, somewhere right around your 10K race pace. Unlike most speedwork which consists of relatively short bursts of high effort, tempo runs call for a single sustained effort. The result is that your body learns race economy: running at a fast pace for relatively long periods of time. Tempo runs will give your articles speed a boost, too. By running nearly at race pace, your body becomes accustomed to running close to its upper limit (though not exceeding it). In doing so, you actually increase that upper limit, and you become gradually faster.

After your usual warm-up routine, run at your easy training pace for at least ten minutes. Then pick up the pace. As mentioned above, this speed should be right around your 10K race pace (around 80%-85% of maximum heart rate, if you use an HRM). The time, distance and pace of your tempo run, as with all phases of your running, depends on you and your ability (not to mention your goals). For the distance you choose (5 and 8 km are popular tempo distances), find a pace that is not so fast that you cannot sustain it for the distance, but not so slow that you do not feel challenged toward the end. Tempo runs should be tough, but not impossible. Depending on how you feel on any given day, how much spring is in your legs, and how far you are running, your tempo pace may vary from session to session. That’s fine. The consistency that counts is the pace within each session. Try to keep your speed level for the full length of each tempo run.

Don’t worry too much about figuring out the exact distance of your tempo run. It’s really not terribly important. 5 to 10 km is probably a good range. The one value of knowing how far you are running, though, is that you are able to gauge your improvement over time. Still, this is easily done by doing most of your tempo runs on the same route. You may not know the specific distance, but you can still compare your times for that same fixed route. Usually a tempo run is taken for 20 – 30 mins for beginners.

VO2 max: A measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that a person can consume per minute while exercising. VO2 max is determined by genetics, gender, body composition, age, and training. Runners with a naturally high VO2 max often find it easier to run faster because their hearts can deliver more oxygen to their muscles. There are many ways to boost VO2 max, including speedwork, which forces the heart to pump blood at a higher rate.

Bandit: Someone who is participating in the race unofficially, without having registered or paid for an entry.


Check the full list of terms on popular running websites or google for running terms.



It’s good to grow Old….. OR Old is Gold well … Bronze

Oh Yeah!  My age put me into the veteran’s category for running.  (And I should clarify that veteran is not for people above 50, much lower, ahem, before you should raise my age a few years up).  And it capped a lovely weekend for me at DRHM15, the season opener for this year’s Marathon season. I was down with fever &  body pain, and on posting this on fb a couple of days back received quite a few  suggestions, but the consensus was to play it by the ear and go ahead…. and so did I on what seemed like a cool morning, though in disguise. Also Volunteering during the first half of Saturday at the Expo was a test for my physical condition and I found it a comfortable experience apart realising how not standing into a queue can irritate people at the other end of the counter.  Early Sunday, as the marina Runnerz team started warming up at the venue,  Olcott School, got a last minute  option to pace 21k , which I politely  declined as I had promised Professor Madam that I am definitely not running 21k in summer.


After some zumba moves with Mustafa , Nishreen and Annanagar DRHM Trainees did the equivalent of padding up and sauntered to the start line. There we had the Marina Runnerz  Hero ‘Marine Murtaza’ ready to pace the 1.15 bus and he literally pushed me to the first row saying go ,go,go up there if you want to finish faster. Good that I did that sneaking up to the start when everyone was shouting the countdown.…… Took off at a leisurely pace with not much crowd at the top and closely following the 1 Hour  bus. Ran with preset  timings on my Garmin (custom workout ) which kept changing from slow down slow down to speed up speed up ( it gets irritating after a while).   On the way met up with Tom Brouns running barefoot and  as he mentioned, his last race in Chennai before returning  home to the US. After the turnaround at MRC Nagar (a stone’s throw from my office ), saw many of the DRHM trainees speeding up and Bavani running at 7 months pregnant !  I said WOW… that’s amazing spirit  and cheering her up overtook the 1 hr bus. (Pity they didn’t have a 55 min bus… Both the pacers were trying hard to go slow ! ). Back into the return further down saw hordes of runners coming in (which is like traffic coming the wrong way on  a one way street ) and with a silent thanks to Murtaza who pushed me ahead, moved on to Besant Nagar Curve Road. There is a particular stretch here which is the equivalent of Bermuda triangle for me and I have seen myself slow down there in the past running with Ali when he was onto to his 15×15. A bit of a walk and slow down to counter the humidity as it  started hitting in resulted- not much damage this time.  Pushed myself past the beach road and down to the home stretch into Olcott school . …. my style is usually sprinting at the end and  though I suppose it isn’t a great idea , went ahead with it (my Garmin beeping out HR warnings), with Basil goading me forward, finished under the hour at 58:47 and a warm reception to the DR girls.

A few stretches later went back to  the race route to cheer up the 21k runners esp. from Marina Runnerz. ( I was among the lone few opting for a 10K- summer break).  Positioned myself safely away from my ‘Besant Nagar Bermuda triangle’ location.   Had company with an ‘Awesome’ volunteer ( lone ranger)  – he was crying out ‘awesome guys , just 2 k’  to go to all runners, some of them too tired to acknowledge and some perked up by the wishes.   Joined him and cheered them up,  also saw a few friends  crossing the point. Earlier I had promised to accompany Prasanna on the last 2 kms and when he checked in saw him  battling a bad case of cramps , gave him leg massages a couple of  times , ran with him on the last 2 k and poor guy, I literally pushed him to the finish line inspite of his pain.  Quickly collected my medal and then went back to the last 1  km stretch to guide the last crowd coming in, by which time traffic was opened up and runners were having a hard time managing both the pain and the traffic. After reading a note from  my former colleague Pandiyan mentioning how slow runners get shoddy treatment, I make it a point to spend at least half an hour after every run, at the last few kms cheering up and guiding the later comers.    Kanchan our Champion from Marina Runnerz who has a never give up attitude was turning into the last stretch with friends ,  ran with her the last KM along with other runners.  Was nice to see many runners lining up both sides leading to the finish line and cheering her up. Kanchan has become a familiar face in Chennai with a large fan following and slowly her name is becoming synonymous with Marina Runnerz. Go Kanchan Go.


Suddenly saw Abbas , Captain Mentor , signalling that there were looking out for me and calling out my name, realised that I had actually ended up winning the second runner up position in my age group and a podium finish, but by the time I could get there the prize distribution was over. No issues.    Dream Runners arranged an impromptu second presentation, thanks to  Rekha, and was overjoyed to turn a ‘ after fever’ run into a Podium finish….

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Dedicating this win to my running family Marina Runnerz, esp. old boys group : Soni &  Sreeni, the  Smart Mentors from Dream Runners, my Coaches,  Vishwanathan Jayaraman who amazes me with his dedication to running( I think of him starting off 3  kms from my house whenever my hand reaches out to the snooze button),   facebook advisors & friends for their continuous motivation and my family who put up with my nakras and early morning alarms and the DRHM15 organisers. Also for my colleagues Venu, Suraj for introducing me to running and Ananth & Durai for peppering me up with useful advice from time to time……….   Truly a nice win and great experience to treasure….

50 times: Milestones are a marketing gimmick

While many may feel that marking milestones is pure marketing of self, being a Marketing guy I don’t see anything wrong with it. I just happened to realise that I had completed 50 of 10 k+ runs and decided to celebrate… more than that just needed a reason to cut a cake.

The early weekend started on Friday with an interval 5k done and dusted with a timing of 26.44, need to shave off that extra 2 mins by next week if I should get a good shot at DRHM coming up on 26th July. First half of the 5 k was focussing on 3-2 breathing and the return on 180 cadence.  Running with my Garmin fabric Heart Rate monitor, still to get used to it: sometimes it feels like wearing extra inner wear with hook and band.  HR showed higher range of 180 plus but my coach cum doc assures me that it is normal.    Followed up the 5k with yoga & core workout which helped relieve the strain of the run. Many people ask me , Professor Madam included (my much much better half ) why I ride out 25 kms to the beach for a 5 k run when more than 30 guys use the park opposite my apartment block for their morning work outs. The easier way out would be say… oh.. The sand. The waves, sun etc etc with an accent (for additional impact) but it is actually for Marina Runnerz whose bonhomie and love attract me time and again to the beach at Marina. I will be missing you guys when  I move to my new location at Porur soon.

Started off Saturday morning with ironing kids’ uniforms, the fallout of a sudden decision by CBSE to have schools open on all Saturdays. Just managed to finish off the daily errands in time to catch a coffee (in this case Badam milk) with the team training at DRHM. Great Team Spirit by the Annanagar Dreamerz who have improved vastly with many of them running a spirited 10k in quick time on Saturday. Also managed to catch up with old (really good looking, old) classmates from Engg College at a Gup Gup party at Koyambedu. It is a nice guessing game when you try to figure out old balding men as to who they are, when you are meeting them after almost 25 years!   To be on the safer side, didn’t hazard a guess on the names, just went ahead and asked them.  Many tell me that I have changed a bit – I will take that as a compliment and dedicate to my running! Left the party early explaining that I had leave out of Chennai early the next day (a partial truth).  Also picked up the Hokka Hokka One One shoes which was brought by friend Arul from the US.


Sunday morning, had two alarm clocks going off at the same time (a rare happening on analogue clocks) for a 3.30 A.M wake up; hopped off in the dark in my new Decathalon running tees to join Marina Runnerz at Sholavaram for a trail run in the dark. A 30 km car ride and 45 minutes later realised that most roads to the trail (you need to cross a World War 2 airstrip to reach the place). Went back and took the tried and trusted road to Gojan School and hiked out way to the trail by which time Uncle Sun was slowly rising out of his slumber. The first part of the trail was around the Dam and it was awesome breathing in the pure air and soaking in the beauty of the red sand on the trail.  Thankfully the trail was quite even with the odd stone jutting out, not much of an issue for barefoot runners. To make up for lost time, returned after 30 mins of running and decided to cut the cake in the middle of the trail instead of going all the way back to the concrete jungle. So out came the cake, but not before along with two more runners trespassed into Gojan College and irritating the security to no small extent.  Very nice experience for me, cutting a cake for the first time, along with my good friend Soni, down on my knees (you can hardly wish for a table in the middle of a desert).   Was happy to celebrate , with many of the MRz, the special occasion of  my having crossed 50 runs of 10k+  ( recorded on runkeeper) in about close to 75 weeks of running.


All good things must come to an end, but before we packed up, had a wonderful snack of Bhel with Betroot, Carrot et al., a wonderful preparation and presentation by Nirmal & Gayathri; it was so yummy that it metamorphosed into breakfast with many helpings going around. Laddoos from Bada Bheem Jayendra Soni topped up the Sunday Breakfast ending with some great coffee with Prasanna, but not before we were treated to some fast car chases courtesy Rajesh and Prasanna.

I must also mention here about our fellow runner Satish who has made rapid strides literally and physically in his running, besting me and Shakthiman on the return trial, without breaking a sweat. His dedication to running and cycling with many groups across Chennai has had me stumped many a time. Great Stamina. Keep it going Satish…


All in all a great weekend of running. Now its upto the team from Marina Runners to enjoy the Javadu Hill run and have fun!

My World last week

The World this Week or rather My World this week !
While Adam may have been tempted by the apple,for me it was the shoe that tempted me a lot during the last 9 days. A lot of mileage during the last week that I even using a foot massage ball at my office a la Velmurugan. Starting off on Saturday,a 5k with the Annanagar Runnerz. Nice to run with the Trainees for DRHM,though I am not fit to be called a real mentor (due to my infrequent training runs with them) was glad to see many of them graduate from 300 mts 2 months back to strong 5k this month. Sincerely hope they take it step by step and don’t go into overdrive / burnout mode. In the evening had a great drive to ‘Golden Temple’ @ Sripuram near Vellore with a family friend. Very well maintained spiritual park,it took us Rs. 250 and about 30 mins walk to get to the special Darshan. Our friend was truly happy to make the trip and the experience was quite enjoyable for her. On the way back got the famous Amma Biriyani (not to be confused with the canteen food) and this has an unique taste of its own. After a 120 kmph speed drive back home crashed out quickly in preparation for the next days run.

Sunday being a LSD day reached our regular point at Lighthouse Marina earlier than usual at 4.30 am. Did my best to run with most team members of Marina Runnerz pacing some of them for a km or so. Finished the 21k in under 2.30, wasn’t too bothered as it was a fun run and LSD taken after a long long time. It was a decent weather thanks to the monsoon in Kerala. Skipped the yoga session conducted by two lovely ladies due to urgent calls from Home Ministry. Better luck G ,next year !

Back on the turf with hill running at St. Thomas mount meant a lot of huffing and puffing. Our coach Muni changed the routine to uphill sprints which needs more mental than physical strength. A quick getaway at 6 am meant that I skipped the last 5% of the runs. Goody goody.
Wednesday was travel down to kovai,jumped out of the train ( thank God for cloak rooms) right on to the track at Race Course Road for my base run which helped ease out the soreness from the Hill Run. If this looked excessive followed it up with a 7k the next day on the same route. Two days of market visits took me through villages in and around Tiruppur and Erode. After a long time had a real ‘mess ‘ food (euphemism for the inside village dhabba) on a green plate (plantain leaf). Travelling through windmill country looking out for Don Quixote and friends and finding none. Also learnt that many of the windmills need to be activated with a motor for a few turns before they start running on their.own harnessing wind power.

Back to base on Friday and took the day off to recover. Still Sneaked in a cycling round and a quick jog on Saturday before flying  out to Kovai. Interesting action out there at the airport where our family friend misplaced one of the bags while loading from the taxi to the trolley. Realised it only when weighing. .. airport rules are strict on not allowing checked in passengers to come out. Pleaded and coerced our way out and fortunately the little bag was waiting patiently at the kerb. Wisked it back it before the bomb squads descended on it. Whew ! Lesson of the day : count your bags before you leave…. At the departure terminal pleasant surprise to meet the famous villian of yesteryears Mr.Satyaraj (thagadu thagadu ) , who was kind to pose for a selfie. As usual spice jet was an hour late and ended up reaching just in time for the end of ceremony group photo at the church. On both rides used Ola my fave cab service who hasn’t let me down till now. (Got a free upgrade on one of the rides too).
Had planned to join my good friend JP at Kovai for the promo run for a 10k. Given that I usually take 1 hr from wake up to run at chennai kept my alarm for 3 phones for 3.30 am on three phones. Woke up on time and in spite of moving around like a cat woke up my sis in law ( guess sometimes cats can also trip over milk pans) , who must have been grumbling under her breath. Given that the dogs in kovai are quite ferocious and a cobra was sighted last week Professor Madam was adamant that I should take the 15 yr old maruti to the rendezvous point at Race course road. After reaching the location 20 mins in advance realised that distances in Kovai are much much closer than in chennai. Spent time fiddling around with fb before coimbatore runners led by Tiger and JP met up and I left quickly to the start point 7 kms away at Kovai Pudur. The run was very nicely organised and with the lure of the running trail (and opportunity to sight wild elephants) decided to opt for a 21k (second time in 7 days). Started off with a new friend Valli who gave excellent company throughout the run. In between lost our way and had to carted back to the regular route after a detour of 2 kms. Back on track took us through the mountain base and the lovely golf course with a solitary golfer put-ting away to glory..

Runing on trail close to mountains covered in mist was a sight to behold. Amazing indeed and I was lucky to have opted for the 21k else would have missed most of the fun. Part of the run was uphill and had a couple of pacers who supported me well. Great hydration Completed the run in less than 2.18 inspite of losing my way and breaking the rythm. Enjoyed the post run hospitality. .. what better to make a runner happy than to offer Idly Vada Sambhar. Great going Coimbatore runners…this run will be etched in memory.  Initially I felt upset being left out of the Relay Run at Chennai but this more than made up for it !

Lets get booted …. basics for running , what attire and accessories you need to get started.

Now that we have discussed the basics of setting up running and preparation for running, let’s move forward to the next step in running: running attire.

T shirts – the dress common to both women and men.  Ideally select a t shirt that is breathable and easy to wear.  Men have the option of tank tops ( sleeve less) and with sleeves.  The easier choice is to have T shirts like climacool or climalite which breathe well and will be comfortable in the long run ( literally).  Just ensure that the t shirt is not too loose, so that it does not chaff your skin when you go for Long Slow Distance running. 

As far as shorts go, try to avoid longer shorts that curtail free movement as well as shorts without pockets.  Ideally use shorts / tracks that are correct fitting without much trail on the back. ( recollect Nadal’s shorts) . In essence the dress should not be ill fitting.

Next come your shoes. And that’s a long story.  Lets me start with foot types :

There are three basic foot types – Normal , Under Pronation and Over Pronation.

The simplest way to check your foot type is to take the ‘Wet Test’.  Click on 

It is a step by step process to find the right shoe type. 

You can also use this link to find the shoe appropriate to you.    

Once you have done this, it is time to shop around and check for the right model based on your gender, usage and pronation.  Some of the links:

or a super discount store like 6 pm :!/men-sneakers-athletic-shoes/CK_XARC81wE6Ap4LWgWXGowBC8ABAuICBQEYAgcL.zso?s=goliveRecentSalesStyle/desc/   

Closer home :  


Though frankly I am not too kicked about the options on offer here in India,  simply because there are limitations and the demand is low.  The shopkeeper will be more keen on pushing the stock that is available with him.

The ideal way is to do a gait analysis and get shoes fitted exactly to your foot and running styles, but with the limitations here in the country it would be better to take a calculated guess and keep your fingers crossed.  In case you are buying offline, check for three vital points :

  1. Does the shoe have a three part division, ie top flat, left and right partition at the bottom with the areas clearly demarcated ? Good.
  2. When you bend the shoe, does it flex ( bend) at two places or one. Ideally it should flex only at one place.
  3. Check if the shoe has an extra sole covering ( most shoes do).


Another point that I generally look at – after my second shoe is that of the heel toe offset ( simply called offset).  This is the difference between the heel and toe part – in mm.  So if  you are a predominantly heel stricker and plan to remain that way, go with a higher heel toe , like 12 or 8 mm.  If you plan to run midfoot strike and more of long distance , now that you have increased your weekly mileage, go for a 4 mm or zero offset.  Point to note :  Don’t go by the brand, look for more details. Many of the highly advertised shoes are good only for walking !


Now that you have got your new shoes, you may have some questions.

There seems to be a set of extra eyelets compared to other shoes . What do I do with that ?  Apart from using it hang the shoe well on the wall ( joking) you can also use it to ensure that your shoe holds tight when you run. There is a different style of using this eyelet – check the new way to fix this eyelet in the link below.

Toe socks                                                            Hydration Best                                                  7th Eyelet !

                                        Going further deeper, you can check for socks that are more comfortable – toe socks that are easier on your feet and Toe socks are known to prevent toe chaffing and reduce friction between the toes.

To round up the accessories, you may need to invest in a pair of water bottles that go around your waist.  I prefer the ‘difficult to drink’ Kalenji bottles because they ensure that I do not over hydrate, the best way to use this is to take a few sips every two kms. (more on this in the article on nutrition).  They also have side zippers that help one secure their car keys and keep loose change, ID card – which is very important when you are running alone.

Last but not the least is to remember to carry your hand towel; sweaty palms and moist hairy arms  can drive away even your best friend.  Try to get the softer cotton hand towel, not too big, not too small. Ideally you can tuck it in your waistband or on the back of your shorts ( make you feel really nice like one of the cricket players).

Keep watching this space for the next write up on nutrition.


So U want to run !

The basics of Running – the desire and the precautions


An Author famously said “Houses and wealth are created first in the mind, only then is it formed with brick and sand”.   That’s very true for running.  The intention to run is much more important that the actual stamina and power needed to run those crazy distances, waking up at crazy hours!   Self-discipline is what will help you get past the snoozing clock and desire for – just a few more minutes !

The first step and the plan for your journey is important, so is running.   Most of the wannabe runners just plunge into running without proper preparation. Here is some advice for newbie runners who are absolute beginners.


The steps:

  1. Before starting any workout and after ending, you must, must do stretches. It could be a simple swinging and loosening of arms or could be a mix of dynamic and static stretches (more about the distintion later). Whatever it is ensure that you complete your stretches before and after the workout.
  2. If you are an absolute beginner, ensure that you start your workouts with walking. Ideally you should start with a 15 min brisk walk. Before you start your walk, ensure that you loosen your muscles with swinging of arms and legs.
  3. Take the next step to 30 minutes of walking. The walking should be brisk and you should have your arms swinging freely during the walk.
  4. Graduate now to a mix of walking and running. You should be able to converse freely during the run – that is the extent to which you should pace up. Ideally you should have 3 min of walk /run  alternatively, ending with a walk.
  5. Now you can move to a 5 min mix of run + walk. Ensure that you do your stretches before you start your workout as you are going to a longer period of run. Try to google and check for details of stretches.
  6. Slowly increase the time for which you do your exercise. Ideally, after a period of 6 weeks, you should be able to do only running avoid the walk phases.


Take a look at this video – what I mentioned above is shown in a movie – how a middle aged woman takes up walking and then goes on to run and win awards !



Shows how it is never too old or never late to start running.  Just that you need to take the right precautions.


In the next blog, we will discuss about running attire.

The Joys of Running

Its been a year since I seriously started running…not that I haven’t been into exercise –  I had been into all sorts of games in my school days, from basketball to table tennis to hockey to cricket, and why even to the odd game of football and volleyball ( the one I hated most ).  Since I used to hang around the grounds a lot, I used to get called in as a substitute for any event where there were dropouts – for the school matches ( they used to call them house matches).   After  I moved to Junior college I opted for the pregnant women’s game – ball badminton and basketball in college. And thence …a big full stop.

Back to the present. I  started running after being egged on / motivated / envying my colleagues running all around town ( suraj , arthy , venu) and wanted to push myself to go for it !   Started off by investing in the costliest buy of my life – ascis shoe ( does it really matter ) and working out a plan which I pasted on my cupboard , where I would see it every day.

Then it slowly started flowing in.  Meters turned into km , park walks moved into short runs on the road, local runs graduated to exercise runs with running groups.  And the joy started building.

When you go onto the road, it is like a flower blooming , slowly steadily opening up…. And after a while , say around the 5th kilometer, there comes the wall and the fade out.  In runners parlance , the wall is a point of time in a run where the runner faces a block and sheer exertion  sets in. Post this, the runner takes time to recoup and get back to normal running condition. In the event of the runner moving forward, he/she wills himself against fatigue and pushes on – though  beyond an extent it may result in injury. But then enough of frightening you.  The whole idea is that the joy and ecstacy that one finds at the end of the run – even with the fatigue,  is untold and cant be measured.

During the period  of writing this, I have crossed many a mental block and moved from a 11 km run to a 13 and then onto a 15 k run, discovering on the way that the block is more in the mind than on the road. 

Truly the cliché holds good .  Where there is a will there is a way and a road ! 


 I have always loved travelling – probably since the time I was born.  Though I was not truly too happy  travelling ( as I used to barf when taking the long distance bus – a hereditary problem), I ended up travelling all along my childhood and beyond.  Obviously the mode I used to love was to take the train – I still remember making quite a few friends on the trains – who ended up as family friends.

After I settled into brand management I  thought I would miss all the fun in travelling – but it was not to be. First off – i still managed to make those odd trips , finalized at the last minute in travelling from Chennai to Mumbai and back on the same day ( with the paucity of brand guys in Chennai those days – had to manage the desk as well as proofing approvals).   Given that emails and blackberry were not widely prevalent / available those days , one sure had to manage the odd journey now and then.


While the proof of pudding is in the eating, the proof of travelling is in your air miles ( which was one good offshoot of travelling in those days)……  So here comes up that first overseas trip – to Singapore where travelling took a new dimension ……  and then and there , in between came up those last minute sales journeys by bus and car ( self driven) that added up to the road miles in my life.

Cut to today – as I take up a new resolve to travel by public transport – for a whole week – the second week  of Jan 14.  Come Monday – I start up with a bus journey , change three buses enroute office and just manage to squeak in time.  Lesson learnt – G – from tommorow start earlier if you don’t want to miss the bus ( or the attendance). Given that we are all on the new gen – biometric scanning –  your presence or your finger is definitely needed.  ( wonder when the kids will find a loophole !).  And so the week goes by……  share auto, city bus, Volvo AC bus, express bus, train …….  Its all in the game.   Yours truly had to withstand the peer pressure and the frequent taunts to hold on to the resolve, and stood my ground to compete the weekly plan, with some help from colleagues who dropped me at bus stops & railway stations. 

A Habit a year !

I envy all those people who take time to write down resolutions .  It must really take a lot of effort and planning and thinking to even make a list . Oh My !

Being a confirmed minimalist – i like to keep it simple and straight.  In other words – i have decided to take a habit a year and build on it.  ( by the way – this started by default and not by design – just because i couldnt take the time to pen down a list).

Anyways – to keep the story short – i managed to take a habit a year for the last three years and it continues…

1. 2012 = take off on minimalism . I now live with 30 pieces of clothing ( not including my briefs)

2. 2013 =  start the running habit – have registered for the mini marathon coming up next month

3. 2014 = decided to start learning  music …..


The idea has been to take  a small bit and digest it well at leisure.  I dont know if this will work well for you . Remember ‘ horses for courses’ …..     But it is definitely worth a try .