Have you been inspired by Milind Soman’s recent Ironman feat, and are aiming to run the Mumbai Marathon in January, 2016? Here’s a primer on where you’re at (in terms of fitness) and how to reach your goal.
Dream Run 7km
Who’s it for: Suitable for beginners, the Dream Run can easily be achieved by most fit individuals.
Fitness level: Going from couch potato to running even a 5km stretch is tricky. However, with more than five months in hand, anyone can attempt a dream run. “Even if you’ve led a sedentary life till now, you can still start training,” says Reebok Master Trainer Vinata Shetty.
How to train: “Start with a jog-walk-jog schedule and run at least thrice a week,” says Shetty. Building up mileage over time is the key to injury-free running. Also, don’t ignore core fitness level: “You should look at incorporating muscle-strengthening training,” says Neeraj Mehta, celebrity trainer and a marathon runner himself.
Half Marathon 21km
Who’s it for: This distance can be highly rewarding for fitness enthusiasts. Half marathons are a popular choice among those aiming to go the whole distance. “The key to run longer distance is mind-body conditioning. You should be able to drive your body with the help of your mind,” says Mehta.
Fitness level: Runners who have attempted a marathon before, even if it’s the Dream Run, can aim for the half marathon. First time marathon runners may find it tough, but it’s not impossible, opines Shetty.
How to train: Most people need three to four months of practice for a 21km run. “This will help build your lung capacity and endurance,” adds Mehta. Regular training will also keep your cardiovascular health (your heart, that is) in good condition.
Full Marathon 42km
Who’s it for: This is the ultimate challenge. Though professional runners often attempt this distance, it is not just for them. As Shetty puts it, “I have seen people who have never done any physical activity go for the full distance. It depends on how committed you are.”
Fitness level: Individuals who exercise regularly can achieve this target with three-four months of training.
How to train: “Planning is important. You should be able to steadily increase your mileage,” says Mehta. However, he warns of potential fatigue and injury. “If you’re running more than 30km a week, your mileage increase should be 10% or less for the next week,” he adds. Regular practice will help keep your endurance high and facilitate mind and body coordination.
To register for Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2016, visit scmm.procamrunning.in