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  • Writer's pictureAnupam Gupta

What was destined to happen.. did happen


Yeah, I was pretty sure I'd do a sub 4 hour marathon yesterday and it was a belief to begin with. The belief that came in from months of focus (I'd admit not a 100% though), lot of cutting off from things and folks who played distraction, a lot of sacrifice in terms of the weekend get-togethers that sapped energy and the fun & junk timeouts and indeed a lot of direct or indirect ridicule or critic.


I remember watching Kipchoge's 5 episode documentary showing his before, during and after 1.59.40 journey and one thing that struck me hard in the head was his focus and his discipline specially with the mind. He knew before he did INOS that he'd do it under 2 hours, he had the conviction as he had been focused and diligent in his training and discipline. Most importantly he loves what he does, and that trumps over anything almost. Guess subconsciously I may have followed suit.. And well this was my 3rd marathon but the first official. Timings from 4:50 (Dec 2020) to 4:20 (March 2021) to yesterday 3:46 (Garmin timing, though official is 3:50).. Am I surprised? a little as was thinking I'd do maybe 3:58 or so, Am I happy? You bet! Am I gonna try be better - Of of course! :-)


The emotions aside, what technically I guess worked was -

Prior to the event - Lot of zone 2 (power) running and long distances (up to 19-20 KMs average) almost every alternate day, a long long 36 km run a week prior to instill confidence, speed interval run during taper week and a short hard run just 48 hours prior in the race day shoes to see if they still seem familiar :) Focus on weight management and ample sleep were bonus. Hydration focus again 48 hours prior was key as well. Carbs load a day before and maybe little of them again an hour prior the run were good to kick start.


During the event - A calm head (maybe since the event and route were in my neighborhood which I know so well), a slow start to slowly let aerobic systems kick in and pull me along, disciplined popping in of hydration pills every 45 mins, swig of water at every alternate hydration station, no stopping at all anywhere except 1-2 seconds when had to - to grab the water cup. A banana on the go every 90 mins, 3 swigs of coke for that sugar kick maybe at the last hydration station just 5 KMs before the finish line. As a team Yash and me were focused at doing half distance in 1 hour 55 minutes and then let the body and heat play their games as they deemed fit. Well guess the body was loving the flow and it kept getting faster with manageable HR. Had to slow down in last 10 KMs to allow HR climb down and reserve some juice for the last few KMs..


Well that's that I guess. Nothing fancy but in short - training, a calm mind, good sleep, enough water and discipline - and yes rewarding thyself after :) Food food and food with protein and carbs plus a good deep tissue massage - life's bliss.


A big big thanks to Rohan (my coach) and Yash (my long distance running partner) - just couldn't do what I did without your support and help! And the biggest thanks to my Rocky Balboa - my mom - who despite all odds manages things at home while I am scurrying around :)


The next dream destined to become reality as I'll make it happen - Marathon in 3 hours 15 mins or less..



Cheers,


Anupam

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