Marathon turns city's couch potatoes into fitness freaks | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Marathon turns city's couch potatoes into fitness freaks

A special dry fruit falooda and a plate full of hot jalebis have been part of Amit Sheth's meal for years. While the delicacies on his plate haven't changed, Sheth has managed to lose several inches on his waist.

mumbai Updated: Jan 12, 2012 02:20 IST
Reetika Subramanian

A special dry fruit falooda and a plate full of hot jalebis have been part of Amit Sheth's meal for years. While the delicacies on his plate haven't changed, Sheth has managed to lose several inches on his waist.

For the past eight years, the Juhu-based businessman has been participating in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, and this year, he will also train novice runners to complete the full marathon (42 km).

"From a couch potato to a fitness freak, the journey began while preparing for the second Mumbai Marathon in 2005," said Sheth, 45, who has participated in more than 20 marathons around the world since then. "It is very important to strike a balance between workouts and diet without exerting the body. With two days to go for the marathon, participants should reduce their workouts, have wholesome (carbohydrate-rich) meals and stay continuously hydrated," added Sheth.

On Sunday, 2,800 participants will run the full marathon and 11,500 others will run the 21-kilometre half marathon.

Since December last year, Dr Darshana Sharma, 39, has moved her cardio training from the treadmill in her gym to the road outside her house to train for the half marathon. "Running 21 km on the treadmill is a completely different experience from the running the actual marathon. With a dip in temperature, participants will have to run the marathon amidst the chilly winds," said Sharma, who has participated in the half-marathon for the past five years. "It is very important for the runners to be dressed in comfortable wear, which will neither disrupt their speed nor make them feel too cold."

With long distances to cover in record time, experienced runners said that several participants get carried away at the start of the race. "Amidst all the excitement and nervousness, participants run the first few kilometers in full speed and get too tired subsequently. Towards the end of the race, they are huffing and puffing, and can barely complete it," said Sheth. "It is very important to time their performance during the race at the end of every kilometre. Participants should keep sipping water and glucose at regular intervals," he added.

According to Bandra-based businessman Mehul Arora, 27, maintaining his speed is the biggest challenge. "Participants should focus on the race without paying much heed on the hoots and screams," said Arora, who will run the half marathon for the third consecutive year on Sunday.