Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Alternative to Road Running

A posterior compartment injury has been keeping me from running for a long time now. Almost two years. Its as frustrating as it gets. But off lately things seem to be going better. Recently I went to this physiotherapist who recommended total no to any kind of impact exercise like running or skipping and start with lower body strength training in the gym. I have been following the program for like three weeks now. Around 40 min to an hour of cardio each day and 4 days of weight training which basically includes 4-5 exercises like squat, lunges, good morning, and back push lunges and calf exercises like neutral, inversion and eversion calf raises.

I tried running a couple of days back and could very easily do around 8k at a decent speed. I recently went through an article on where an athlete said she hardly does any running practice and improves cardio strength by cycling, cross trainer + weight training for lower body and goes straight for marathons. Interesting.

I have also decided to give it a try. May be after another 2-3 weeks of weight training I will go for a 12k or something like that. I guess it will be great if I can do something like 8 - 12 - 15 - 17 - 21 and wow you have a half marathon. That would involve increasing the cardio workout significantly along with increasing distances.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I dont know much about copyright but this is something I am copying and pasting from internet. Thanks Stani and Sorry as well.

Stani's 2004 Wisconsin Ironman Triathlon

An Ironman Triathlon is an extreme endurance event. It consists of a 2.4 mile open-water mass-start swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile (marathon) run.

Ironman events have become so popular that athletes must sign up one year in advance to obtain a slot in one of the 5 races held in North America. In 2004 there were 17 Ironman races throughout the world plus the world championships in Kona, Hawaii.

To prepare for the Madison Wisconsin Ironman, I trained for 9 months, gradually progressing from 4 to 20 hours of cardiovascular exercise per week. One month before the race, a typical training week would include 5 miles of swimming, 200 miles of biking and 25 miles of running. Then I tapered for two weeks before the race to build up the energy reserves required to finish the race.

When the cannon went off at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday September 12th, 2188 athletes simultaneously began the swim to the buoy marking the first corner of the swim course in Lake Monona. I made sure to take a very wide path around the first buoys to avoid the "washing machine" of arms, legs and bodies swimming over and under each other near the buoys. I managed to stay out of trouble and felt great finishing the 2.4 mile swim in 1:23. Not being a good swimmer, I was very happy with this time and my position of 1550/2188 at this point in the race.

After a scramble out of the water, a run up the parking garage helix of Monona Terrace and a quick change from swimming to biking gear, I began the 112 mile bike ride over beautiful rolling hills of the Wisconsin countryside and picturesque dairy farms. Being more of a biker than a swimmer, I was able to pass many people on the bike while eating and drinking the large amounts required to refuel from the swim, power the bike and save up for the run (when eating and drinking are usually difficult). Despite all of the eating, drinking and saving some strength for the run, I was able to complete the 112 miles in 6:10.

After dropping off the bike and putting on my running shoes at Monona Terrace, I began the marathon run through downtown Madison and the campus of the University of Wisconsin. The temperature had risen to 85 degrees without a cloud in the sky so it was essential that I continued to drink as much as my stomach would allow. After 14 miles my stomach had had just about enough and would only accept a sip of water and an orange slice at each aid station, positioned one mile apart. But the 4000 volunteers and nearly 50,000 spectators (including my family and several friends) were simply amazing. Thousands of people cheering your name and bombarding you with encouragement and positive energy does wonders at this point. While I was not running fast, I was able to run the entire distance and continued to pass people, finishing the marathon in 4:33 for a total time, including transitions, of 12:23 and an overall place of 616/2188. Not only had I finished, but I finished in a far better time than my most optimistic hopes.

After my body and stomach regained equilibrium the biggest treat for me was to cheer others to the finish. Athletes continued to finish until midnight, 17 hours after the race began, at which point the course is closed and the remaining athletes are brought to the finish line. I was truly inspired by so many of the finishers, both fast and slow. Some sprinted, some limped, some walked; the winner completed the race in 8:52:33; one finisher was 75 years old.

After some arithmetic, I determined that during the race I drank 23 pounds of fluids and used 32 pounds of water; I also consumed 4400 calories and burned 9000 calories. My times were:

2.4 mile (3.9 km) swim 1:23:09
transition 1 10:15
112 mile (180 km) bike 6:10:20
transition 2 6:16
26.2 mile (42 km) run 4:33:21
total 12:23:19

141/390 in category (male, 30-34)
616/2188 overall

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stages of Life

I was on training in Trivandrum a couple of years back when a soft skills trainer blurted out her theory on stages of life.

Life passes through these stages

Happily Single
Unhappily Single
Happily in a relationship
Unhappily in a relationship
Unhappily Single
Happily Single

She would say life comes a full circle

"Single" here is a frame of mind. Mind It.
And dont think too much. I am ok when I write this. Just happened to remember our soft skills trainer.