This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Long run, hyderabad half marathon and art of living

Any distance above 5km, whether it be half marathon or marathon needs one essential ingredient in the preparation to it: Long run. This aspect of the training program is the one which will see you finish the distance. Saturday is the day I have designated for the long run, mostly because of convenience and also as a mode of stress release after a week's hard work(sometimes atleast!).
One of my friends had asked me a funny question as to whether I wouldn't get bored during a one and a half hours run!!!! I thought about the question yesterday during the run and found that I was concentrating on form and speed and that the scenery was changing every moment inside the campus - No time to get bored!! Yeah if I were to do 16kms in the stadium itself, that would be tantamount to doing 40 laps(400m each).. that
could be stressful...

33 days to go to the hyderabad half marathon and I feel I can comfortably finish it in 1hr 45 mins - 1hr 50 mins, with my current training program of around 40 kms a week, which also includes some speed work(interval training) and progression runs(start slowly at 11kmph and finish fast at 15kmph) which are mostly around 8kms. Progression runs are the best part of my training as every moment I am faster than I previously was and it is nice to finish
fast as if it were a race.

There is this concept called runner's high, where you get a real high (just like drinkers and drug abusers experience), which comes usually as a feeling of light footedness, just like you were floating or flying, and yeah, you feel invincible when that occurs. I have experienced this high ocassionally, especially when I feel my body can't take anymore, and then after some period of intense pain, all of a sudden my mind takes over the body and the body simply
obeys...ultrarunners experience this often..they go into transcendental states during hours of running or sometimes days, as the case may be..that's quite another story....
One of Patanjali's 8 yoga instructions, hatha yoga or simply yoga, as is commonly known, has a component called pranayama. Pranayama literally translated, means "the control or exercise of prana". Prana is believed to be the life-giving force or vital force that sustains all the living beings, the elements, etc and is present in the whole of universe. Every person has the ability to tap into this reservoir of life-force and pranyama uses this to full effect: The medium through which prana can be tapped by a person is simply 'breathing'..and hence the focus on various breathing patterns used in pranayama.
The asanas in yoga, also involve breathing out, breathing in and holding the breath(rechaka, puraka and kumbhaka respectively) which is done in sync. with the asana itself - that makes these yoga asanas more powerful than normal aerobic exercises.

Even during running it feels really good after sometime into the run, when the breathing has become even and everything feels calm and serene. Most of the runs which are run at a steady pace throughout, leave me refreshed at the end..attribute it to the workings of prana!!!

There were some guys who had come to give a talk on the 'youth empowerment service/programme ' (YES) in our hostel today. YES is an initiative by the founder of the 'Art of living' programme, "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar", which aims at bringing out leaders and inspired individuals to build a better India, a few years down the line - A noble cause I say. The course is 7 days, 4hrs a day, duration and revolves around effecting a change in an individual,
through a technique known as 'Sudarshan Kriya', which I suspect is more or less related to pranayama, but nonetheless a practical and doable path to acheiving the 7 qualities of a leader, that one of the guys had discoursed in length about. I haven't done the course, but I have watched a programme aired on one of the channels, which was a satsang by 'Sri Sri Ravi Shankar'. There was a question-answer session at the end of the programme and most of the
questions were what is usually asked such as,' How to acheive more happiness?'! and ' How to get peace of mind?' , very relevant to today's fast paced world - what appealed to me was the way the guru fielded these questions - His answers were always accompanied with a radiant smile, which gave an impression of him possesing the quality of a 'child's innocence' and the intellect of a 'wise man' - a deadly magnet for those who attend his sessions - Infact, a recent satsang given by him at the Anna University was a huge crowd puller, only matched or rivalled by a rock show!!!

Today's talk given in the common room of our hostel, has rekindled my enthusiasm for doing pranayama, which I learnt during yoga classes way back in 5th class and had conviently given up practising hence..More about it later.


Cecilia said...

Hi, karthik, I am Cecilia from Hyderabad, I was so excited to stumbel on your blog. I just started running and love it. Can you give me more info on the Hyderabd half marathon.

Nikhil said...

Hey...karthik......i never knew u had this level enthu for running man! Well looking at ur enthu......i wonder rekindling of enthu is one thing....while sustaining this enthu for running is something else.....and i guess that was lacking in me ra!......well....hope i catch up with u this final year at iitm! And i guess its time for me to aim higher than just look at our insti level... i mean i never considered long runs(>8km) before! Well i guess i will also come up with such a blog for myself...but only after rejuvenating myself!

Nikhil a.k.a Vulgar

arbit said...

Hi vul..machan you are all set for the half marathon da..just get in the long ones and run regularly -> 3 days a week is more than enough..That's it. The improvements would be seen in due course of time.

Kennenisa Bekele with the WR

Robbie Mcewen and steve o'grady - The 'Nudge'