Wednesday 15 December 2010

If you missed the fun in Gurgaon over Dec 4th and 5th - experience it with photographs, timing of the finishers and even download and print out desktop or wall calendars of the runs, all at and reach the seven links for what ever you choose to view or print.

But this is not to get you envious, it is just to tell you that another different experience with a cross country run in Panchkula (which is a twin city of Chandigarh) , awaits you on 9th January. The route is along the Ghaggar river, out of town, and winds through a flat trail - scenic and cold and fun - basically - a pretty cool run :-)

Check out details and register before 20th December, for the 1st Panchkula Running And Living Cross Country Marathon and More

The North Park Hotel is scenic and comfortable and for the out of towners there is a 25% discount on reservations - book early and triple share a room to get a further deal.

The finishers get a medal and a certificate and the half marathoners get a running T shirt too. The 5k and 10k runners get a water bottle belt - essential running gear for running or many other outdoor sports like trekking, cycling and even walking. We then have a breakfast with a slide show of the days photographs - all that is included in the registration fee - whats not mentioned is that you will end up with many new friends, and also interact with other runners and get some answers to your many questions on running, at the expo, link in with runners groups no matter where in the country you have come from, and get some great deals on running gear.

A fantastic warm up by Elemention Gym will kick off the runs, and Accelerade - the only protein based sports drink will see you through your run, while the medical support of Alchemist will see that you are safe and taken care of should you need any medical assistance. You then have North Park Hotel to come back to, to enjoy your breakfast.

Registrations close on Dec 20th, else they may get more expensive, if there is still some space left.

We hope to see you soon
Spread the word among your friends, email this onwards, tell your friends in gyms and RWA's and other places too.
A great start to a great year awaits all those who come for this cool run!!

If you would like to have your brand associate with this run or with other runs - email us by return with your marketing objectives and we will outline a plan and the cost benefits of this association, for you.

ps: To get your brand engaged with using running as a powerful way to connect with your consumers - email us at and we would love to understand your challenges and work on using running, and marketing metrics, to help measure progress to achieve your end.

We also do workshops on leadership development, team building and productivity enhancement, using running as the intervention medium and metrics to monitor progress

We have some great running gear available off our website at

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Don't cramp your style this humid season

Hi Folks

"No one ever drowned in sweat."
*But they did cramp!!*

These are tough times - with temperatures high and fluctuating, and with
humidity levels high and steady - in most parts of India. When you see
yourself sweat - you think that you could single handedly solve the water
crisis of the world - ' If only there was a personal desalination plant'

One of the many surmised causes of cramping is dehydration - and as many of
us attempt to brave the humid heat and run - we thought what better info
that advice from a guy who has had acute cramping and has seemed to have
done a thesis in the area and also got in touch with Danny Carrol - a guy
who overcame cramps to run the 89km Comrades Ultra Marathon this year.

I am enclosing a note from Arvind Singh on a simple and well researched
piece on cramping - he seems to have overcome it - so anyone running now -
take heed and read on.

Arvind has run through the cold Winters in Gurgaon and has run through humidity where
you could sit on the humid air around you - a definite must read - if you
don't want to cramp your style!!

A DEFINITE must read

We want to see you smile
Rahul Verghese

My Experience With Cramps – Arvind Singh

On 11th July 2010 – I tried a 32 K run led by the running stalwarts of Running and Living, Gurgaon. At around the 25 K mark I seized up with severe cramps in the legs which first brought me down to a crawl and then rolling on the ground in agony, until two fellow runners (Vinod and Shashank) loaded me onto a tractor driven by a good samaritan and brought me back.

Having suffered from cramps for long, although never the sort of attack that I suffered on the 11th of July, I tried to read up on cramping to see what I could do to avoid or at least minimize cramping. Rahul put me in touch with a friend of his – Danny Carroll – who also suffered similarly but researched and worked through it till the point that he ran and finished Comrades! Danny was good enough to download a whole host of extremely useful information to me. In addition, I went through a ton of other information available on the web and tried to figure out what my problem was.

I don’t think I have figured it all out as yet, but have made a start. I joined the Gurgaon gang in a 21 K yesterday (25th July) – part undulating road, part trail – and finished it without cramping and felt good at the end. Ran slightly tentatively, but if this goes on, the confidence will be back. Personally, this is the most frustrating part of my distance running endeavours, as in all other respects I feel good enough to run much longer than I ever have.

Rahul suggested I put together a short note of what I have learnt for the benefit of others, so here goes.


Anyone who has suffered cramps even once does not need any definition to understand what a cramp is. However for the fortunate few who have never cramped – a cramp is a sudden involuntary contraction of a muscle which does not relax. It can come along in spasms that last a few seconds to a few minutes, and might repeat until they go away. In its worst form, the spasms are so severe and uncontrolled that muscle tissue damages and could take days or even weeks to recover. For runners, the most common muscle to cramp is the calf (back of lower leg), followed by the hamstring (back of thigh) and then the quadriceps (front of thigh).


Unfortunately, the exact cause of muscle cramps is still unknown – something which I discovered to my chagrin. However there is a common strain of the most probable causes that sports physicians talk of, and therefore a bunch of suggestions on what to do. The good thing is that almost all the suggested remedies are good for runners in any case, and therefore should be followed anyway – whether you cramp or not.

The most common causes are:

1. Muscle Fatigue - if you violate the cardinal rule of running and do too much too soon. Unless you are gifted with a unique physiology, you cannot increase the intensity of your workout suddenly without suffering the consequences.

2. Inadequate blood supply – which could be caused by restrictive clothing, or poor circulation caused by inactivity. In the worst case this could be caused by a narrowing of the arteries (as in arteriosclerosis), which of course only a doctor can diagnose.

3. Dehydration – contributing to electrolyte loss, poor circulation and fatigue.

4. Nutritional Deficiency – which may lead to a lack of or imbalance of electrolytes. In order of importance – calcium, magnesium and potassium.

5. Weather – running in excessive heat and humidity.

6. Biomechanical – which basically means poor running form. Overpronation (too much inward roll of the feet caused by flat feet or poor support in the running shoes), poor running technique, uneven strides, even poor breathing – all these are possible causes for cramping.

If I look back at what happened to me, it was probably a combination of many of these. I went from running 6 km a day (even though I ran all seven days a week) in cooler climes to trying a 32 km run in the heat and humidity (especially the humidity!) of a Gurgaon summer day. I wish I could call this bravado. In fact this was plain and simple stupid.

Cramp Prevention

1. Stretching – something that everybody talks of but in reality practices poorly. From what I read, studies suggest 15 minutes of stretching both before and after the run/event – with emphasis on the problem area. Some pointers on stretching:

  • Long term stretching is more beneficial
  • Stretch opposing muscles (eg. hamstring and quadriceps)
  • Stretch after a light 10 minute warm up

Tips on calf stretches – the most vulnerable to cramping:

  • The calf has two muscle groups – for simplicity’s sake the upper calf and lower calf.
  • Keeping the knee straight (of the leg where the calf is being stretched) stretches the upper calf. This is a common stretch that we tend to do – placing our hands on a wall and extending the leg straight back with the heels on the ground.
  • The same stretch – but with the knees bent (both legs) with heels on the ground stretches the upper calf.

Caution on Stretching

While stretching is a great way to treat a cramp, never stretch a cramp as soon as you get one – this can seriously damage the muscle. When a muscle goes into a cramp, it’s is an all or nothing thing. Once the muscle has started its contraction, it will continue until it’s finished. If you stretch while it’s trying to contract, muscle fibre damage is possible. You have to first help the muscle finish it’s contraction, by helping the blood flow. Best way – squeeze, pump and knead the muscle. Once the muscle has relaxed out of the contraction, do the stretches. For those who believe in homeopathy – carry a tube of arnica gel around and apply it while squeezing and stretching. This is easily available in India. I have started using it when I feel some strain in the muscles and find it helps muscle recovery – and this from a person who has never tried a homeopathic treatment in his life. The underlying hypothesis is that arnica gel (or the famous Tiger Balm) is quickly absorbed by the skin and helps in increasing blood flow to the muscles.

2. Electrolytes and Nutrition – it’s a no brainer that an unhealthy diet leaves you prone to muscle cramps. You need a proper balance of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus within the muscle fibres. Sodium is also important, but our normal diet provides us enough of it in the form of common salt. Rock salt is even better. The most common deficiency and the least recognized is normally that of calcium. The famous banana before the run provides a reasonable amount of potassium but not calcium. As we grow older, the normal food intake we have provides nowhere close to the amount of calcium that we require. As you would imagine, dairy products provide the best form of calcium, followed by fruits and vegetables. The average person needs 1000 mg of calcium, and if you’re a regular runner – it’s more like 1200 mg to 1400 mg.

Again in my own case, I actually did a calculation of my calcium intake and found it to be not more than 500 mg. While I will try and bring about dietary changes, I have started taking a calcium supplement. For those of you who want to try a supplement – try to make sure it is in the form of a calcium citrate compound. Unfortunately the most common forms of supplements available are in the form of calcium carbonate or shell calcium – all of which finally deliver less calcium to the body than in the form of a citrate.

3. Carbohydrate Intake – if you look at fatigue as a factor in cramping, the answer is to increase the amount of energy that is available to the muscles, which means carbohydrates. Which brings us back to the basics of “carbo-loading” prior to an event and imbibing sports drinks that deliver carbs during the run.

4. Dehydration – there are skeptics who disregard the correlation between dehydration and cramping, but for the majority of us, cramps are associated with high heat, high humidity environments where we sweat for extended periods. The role of hydration, from a common sense point of view, is critical. The role of sweat is to cool the body down. An average run of an hour will burn energy at the rate of 1000 kcal/hour, which equates to about 1.5 litres of sweat to remove this extra heat. Studies show it only requires 2-3% dehydration for body function to be impaired. So if you want to avoid dehydration fatigue and the possibility of cramping from dehydration you need to plan your hydration through the run.

In addition, because you’re burning energy, you need carbohydrates. But the processing of carbohydrates also requires water. So in order to replenish your muscle glycogen reserve, you need more water. And if you don’t replace it, it will be taken from the blood stream, accelerate dehydration and thereby cramping.

Hydration Tips

  • It is important to have enough water and sports drinks to reach a “full” feeling before an extended training session or event. Make sure that your pee is colourless.
  • Similarly it is important to intake fluids to reach that “full” feeling after the run, to aid muscle recovery. A good protein shake is also well worth it.
  • Thirst is not a good indicator of the need for water! If you’re thirsty, it’s already too late – so stay continuously hydrated.
  • Alcohol after an event significantly slows down rate of replenishment and rehydration, so that celebratory drink should be avoided. This is of course something that I personally don’t necessarily practice, and might not go down well with my running buddies – but that’s what they say!

5. Training – conditioning and strength play a very important role in the onset of cramps. Muscles not properly conditioned will have an earlier onset of fatigue which leads to increased nervous stimulation and cramping. In training, work on your flexibility – especially the hams, quads and calves. Work on the “core” strength. This is the bodies stabilizing mechanism and impacts all other running muscle groups if not strong.

6. Running Style – the standard suggestions of a good running style apply to preventing cramps as well.

  • You should be upright and not slouching when running – run tall!
  • Concentrate on keeping your muscles relaxed. Ease up the minute you feel your muscles tightening – much before cramping - and figure out what you’re doing wrong in your running stride.
  • Hit the ground mid foot and not with the heels. Land softly. If you can hear yourself land, something’s wrong.
  • Don’t extend your stride beyond your hips. Kick back and up towards your butt with your legs, but don’t extend or reach forward.

7. Other Remedies

  • Tight clothes that restrict blood flow in any way are a no-no. On the other hand compression shorts and socks which aid blood flow help.
  • Physiotherapy and massage (by a practitioner experienced in the field of sports therapy) helps.

That summarises what I’ve learnt so far. I wish all this research could guarantee no more cramps – but god knows. I will keep trying though, searching for that joyful carefree run.

Monday 31 May 2010

Comrades - The Big Deal - The Food Story

We did it - Click on the title and it will take you to the Comrades Results page where you can input any runners name and get their results or get details on the winners - they of course are from another planet.
Tanvir and I ate an unlimited pasta dinner which finished by 7pm and went on to watch the French open matches in the room after that to let the food settle. Crashed by 9pm and were up at 2am. Had a hearty breakfast of various cold cuts, 2 glasses of fruit juice, 2 half boiled eggs, toast and bread - to get ready for the 89km party.
The bus ride of an hour and a half was tough as we once again saw most of the route we were going to run up and down - The Down run is deceptive as there was a heck of a lot of uphill climbing, involved in this run - perhaps 200m of what I wd call flats and the rest was up or down.
Like for any other major run, as soon as one gets to the start line I stand in the loo queue. A must do for any of you doing the same, else you may repent in leisure.
The excitement at the start was palpable with the greatest number of international participants starting - around 1000 in the field of around 20000 odd final starters.
More details and snaps and videos soon, but this is the list of what I ate/drank during the day:
Water - around 4 litres - 100 ml at a time
Energade sports drink - around 2 litres - 100 ml at a time
Coke - yes Coke - 1 litre - 100mk at a time - it was great - I would drink before a walk section so I cd burp it off but it felt good
Oranges - around 2
Bananas -2
Loads of salt
Boiled potatoes 4
Granola Bars - 3 - one every 20km till around 60km
A couple of almonds and raisins every km or so - around 100-150gms each
I think I put on weight during this run.
Now after a cold tub preceded by a brisk walk back to the hotel - am looking to hit a pub but need to find company.
More later, on the race itself - eating and drinking well before and during and after a race is critical.

And now check out the video I pieced together with snaps and videos I took during this amazing 89km experience -

Saturday 29 May 2010

Comrades S Africa - The afternoon before

Tanvir and I have been carboloading with care so today all hell broke loose as we entered a KFC for lunch and let our guard down. In any case we have an unlimited pasta load at 630pm at our hotel later today so we justified the binge! Will be waking up at 2am - there is a breakfast spread for the Comrades folks at this hotel where we are - Tropicana - and will be leaving in the bus at 3am - to Pietermaritzburg - 90km away - thats the capital of the province -Kwazulu Natal. This is the place where Gandhiji was taken off the train and that changed the course of history in India and later S Africa.
Comrades starts at 530am and closes with a gun at 530pm. Anyone coming in a second after, unfortunately cannot finish!!
The hotel is filling up with both Comrades runners and supporters as well as World Cup Soccer enthusiasts over at the weekend to watch some friendly matches.

Friday 28 May 2010

Comrades - S Africa

Durban it is now. Landed in good shape last evening as 3 glasses of red wine killed whatever had been troubling my stomach for the previous 2 days. I was feeling better by touch down and bade a tearful farewel to the Emirates loos which I had visited so often - just wished they had seat belts so that I wouldn't have had to keep going back to my assigned seat!!
A run on the beach strip, starting from the Hilton was a great refresher, then went to the expo which was as expected - well organised and reasonably big and informative.
Looking forward to the trip to Pietermaritzburg tomorrow morning when we get a guided tour of the 89km route. The computer at this biz centre cannot take in any snaps so I guess will have to upload those later.
But the Comrades fever is picking up now
More soon

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Butterflies and more - Comrades in S Africa

There comes a time in everyone's life when you are faced with a seemingly impossible task. Really Huge. And then just before you set out for the final push, something happens and it feels even more impossible. And butterflies set in - loads of them.
That's how I'm feeling at 1am, in Gurgaon, sitting in my kitchen at home, waiting for the cab to take me to the airport. I don't know whether it's the heat or something I ate a day or two ago which has been giving me those 'egg burps' today. Even thought I felt a touch feverish.
And then I know I have to be even more careful and sensible - will probably take in some bananas at the airport today.

I have trained reasonably for this 89km run on Sunday the 30th but I know that if I don't feel well enough at any stage I should not push myself. Makes me feel a little queasy at this stage. but.....

And there is a really cool way to track people at 7 points along the course by just inputting the chest numbers on the website
Here are the details in case you are interested.

My Bib Number is 29408 and apparently you can track the race online:

Comrades now running on a PC near you Running fans in South Africa and across the world will again be able to follow the Comrades Marathon race coverage online at this year, the 85th running of the historic race.

Apart from watching the coverage, courtesy of Mr Price, users will be able to see live Twitter feeds at #comradesm2010 and track runners with the “Track Your Runner” application, developed using Silverlight.

Silverlight is a free, cross-browser, cross-platform rich media plug-in and has become the platform of choice for delivering live and on demand streaming video of sporting events, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics on, where 52.1 million people logged on to watch 9.9 million hours of video.

People wishing to watch the Comrades coverage online or use the “Track Your Runner” application will need to install the free Silverlight plug-in, which is a 5.6MB download available on

Fast facts:
· Watch the race on SABC 2 or watch online at on Sunday, 30th May 2010
· Online race feed is from 5:10am-6pm (GMT+2)
· Follow us on Twitter with #comradesm2010 at
· Install the plugin at
// Provide alternate content for browsers that do not support scripting // or for those that have scripting disabled. Alternate HTML content should be placed here. This content requires the Adobe Flash Player. Get Flash

Have fun
Got to go- the cab should be here any moment now - actually it's a bit late

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Running And Living in Mumbai

Meet 65 year old Giles, No 55 year old, no no 45 year old
Confused? That's fine - so was I. Went on a blind date yesterday to Borivali National Park to meet Giles - a highly enthu runner - with his shock of white hair - he could pass off as 65. Started chatting with him on the train en route for the run and doscovered he was almost 55. Started running and then he looked 45. He used to be 80kgs at around 5'7' and would be wedded to his drink every Sunday evening 7pm - 4 years ago he kicked
that part of his habit, started running, ran the half marathon and shed 15kgs. Thats what running can do - change lives while making you younger. Was wonderful running in Borivali National Park going up to Kanheri Caves - met Snehal - from Reliance Private Equity at the gate too, and the three of us started off slow - I started v slow as I had slept just 4 hours after meeting with friends the previous evening and then getting up at 4am. We runners go for anyone in shorts and running shoes!!

Oh the Mumbai humidity had me drenched and my shoes felt I had run into the sea and were squishing around. Luckily we were doing just a short 12km run as I was tapering off for the Comrades on the 30th - but I was drained - hopefully putting it down to lack of sleep and the heat and humidity. Would strongly recommend this place to ALL those in Mumbai and anyone passing through. Infact several Mumbai wallahs I know, have never been there- in fact the evening before one friend jokingly asked me - why are you running in far North East Maharashtra - just run on Marine Drive Yaar. My response now would be - You don't know what you're missing.

Went to Aarey Colony on another blind date and ran with Ram who is a Company Secretary and has his own practice and with Sumil who is with HDFC in the Corp Investment Bank. This too was great on the scenic quotient with it's wide open spaces, pasture land and buffalo sheds, as we cross cross several roads and trails as we drenched ourselves in sweat again. This is another must run to, place in Mumbai.

The train rides always give one the quintessential experience of what Mumbai is all about - from the Clapping Hijra who was collecting money to the guy selling calculators and making it sound very compelling - 12 digit, solar calculator - eco friendly - big easy to read screen and square root at the touch of a button and he went on eloquently as he sounded as if he was selling the latest and coolest iPhone - the best sales guys I think are on the Mumbai locals - where you have 15 - 30 secs for a compelling story, else it's the next compartment - companies looking out for good sales skills should look here.

Friday 9 April 2010

Comrades Ultra Marathon Training II

What do you get when you mix a 140km schedule of running in the week gone by, a meeting with the HP Secretary Youth Services and Sports and the Director of Sports to lock down the 2nd Shimla Running And Living Half Marathon on 26th Sept 2010, with a 25 km run in the elevation of Shimla on Monday? Rest Right?
Yes I did rest post yakking with Madhu and Vijay and Rajni - my poor hosts in Shimla with no choice, but to grin and bear it :-) Had a great dinner and some cognac and went to sleep at 1030pm. Awoke at 230am - and no it was not because of a nightmare or because of dehydration with the cognac or a headache because of the sudden change in altitude. It was because of my alarm - I had to continue the training for my Comrades 89k Ultra. It doesn't get easy just because of what I had done last week.
I set off for my run at 3am in the cover of darkness and the moon, armed with a water bottle, some almonds, raisins, a kit kat and Adidas MiCoach to guide me in the dark on my pace, heart rate and other good stuff. My driver was going to start at 830am and collect me from wherever he located me, and put me into the nearest ICU and call the burial services to do the needful.
The first hour was peaceful, even the dogs were asleep.Exited past Tutikandi at around 4am, I was doing well, going mostly downhill and training for the tough downhill 89km Comrades run, the quads were not yet complaining with the running they had been subjected to. I think they are now applying for a transfer to a body that possesses a saner mind.
I finished my half marathon in 2 hours 15mins which was great considering I was planning to see if I cd target 56km in 7 hours during this training run, and with a bit of luck, 6:30 hrs.
The sky started turning grey from black at around 520am and soon I had crossed Kaithleeghat -upto where I had run a week earlier on my previous visit to Shimla. Then on to Kiarighat, Vakanaghat and Kandaghat. Cd I stop here? What am I trying to prove> No one is watching - said the little man in my head. But I wasn't tired and popped a couple of raisins and an almond every km, and continued. It was beautiful as the stars slowly faded and a few golden streks lit the sky, and gradually the half moon faded away as the sun came out brighter.
The cars, trucks and buses were passing me more frequently so the exhaust fumes started getting to me, Stopped at a Dhaba for another bottle of water and for a packet of lays to get me my salt fix - I sweat like a pig so I cd do with it.
The uphills were more comfortable than I thought and I managed to run up many, as I walked up a few, teh straights were few, and the downhills many and steep. Good training for me as I passed the marathon distance in around 4: 45 hrs and was on the phone with my driver to meet me at a pre determined spot at Solan. 56km in 6 hrs 25mins. I was delighted- then walked and stretched on the highway as my sweaty face was getting darkened further with the exhaust fumes.
Relaxed in the car on the drive back and rested on Wed, drove to Jaipur and back on Thu to lock down our 5k and 10k prep for the 18th of April and also checked out a tough half marathon route - from Amer to Jaigarh to Nahargarh and back - a fantastic and historical run, if it comes through.
Almost dropped off with sleep driving back but a coke revived me and I was back at the wheel, just in time for an IPL match. You can tell that divorce is looming when I am living so dangerously. And then I got up at 415 today to start a 5am run of around 28km with Randeep, Sushant, Ravi and Arvind. Thank goodness there seem to be other mad people, or as we were joking to ourselves early this morning - we are actually homeless and therefore keen to show up to do strange things like run, at these strange hours.
Unfortunately the power cord for my MiCoach has been misplaced, perhaps in Shimla, so I have not been able to download my data or use the device today, but I have emailed the Adidas agency to see if they cd help. One of the suggestions I had made earlier to them was to have a small pouch to house the 3 cables and 3 components for us poor itinerant souls or soles, rather. Lets see what happens.
Planning another 3-4hr run tomorrow morning also starting at 5am.
Please say yes
At least I'll know that there are many more mad folks

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Comrades Ultra Marathon Training

Every now and then you seek a challenge. And then having met the challenge, you perhaps seek to do something which will test you a bit more. What started off by trying to run 1km on a treadmill 10 years ago without stopping, has now gotten me signed up for what is the biggest challenge that I am embarking on. I have signed up for the 89km Comrades Ultra Marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, on May 30th this year.
Its a minimum of a 6 month training program and I for god knows what reason, could only start training in right earnest in March. I started with a 14 km run which was the longest I had run since Dec 6th when I ran our very own Running And Living Gurgaon Marathon.
Then I looked at the training program and I should have logged 51 miles that week and I had barely done 30km!!! But it was a start.
The next week I decided to go into the groove and did a 33km long run the next week with overall mileage at 60km which was still short of the required 85km that week but I guess I was climbing in mileage so I still felt fine. But I encountered a problem synching MiCoach with my computer and found the only help available was a phone line to Singapore - thats a bit tough.

The next week I got an Adidas MiCoach to test out and tried it on my runs and found the initial set up different and somewhat less intuitive than my polar system since that has a watch display and this has an audio feedback system.
But the great thing about this is that when I started my 42.2km long run on Sunday at 4am, it was easy to get the feedback of pace, heart rate and distance etc. Ran with Randeep the previous weekend and this week too, he came along, as did Arvind who joined us during our 2nd loop. Was great to run in company and also have an audio feedback in the dark.
This 3rd week of training I equaled the scheduled 54 miles.
The next week began in right earnest with the long run only a 20 miler - look at me saying 'only' - now. I was also going to Chandigarh and Shimla to work on planning and administration fr our upcoming runs there, so it was going to be great to get some downhill running training done, since this years Comrades is a down run which includes 22km of steep descent towards the latter part of the more than 2 marathon distance.
Wednesday was a reshuffled rest day and on Thursday I did a recce in the car with Vijay Parmar for adding on toughness into our Shimla Half, armed with his GPS, and then I got dropped off and armed myself with his GPS monster gadget and MiCoach and set about running the new route. It is breathtakingly beautiful - It will definitely take your breath away and make the best runners walk about a km or 2, and get people like myself to walk a bit more, over the course. I missed not having GPS, a display and an altimeter on MiCoach, which would make it more handy at a USD2K price point. Over the course of the 21.1k I found a difference in the distances on the GPS tracker and MiCoach where the latter was short by around 300m. Need to get to the bottom of that because maybe as I carried the GPS tracker in my hand for a while the to and fro arm motion could have added to the distance, so some more investigating to do.
Friday I left Vijay's house in Shimla at 430am armed with MiCoach and went down a half marathon distance, with trucks and a few buses and cars coming slowly uphill, wondering what this crazy guy was up to.
Ended the week with a Saturday 20 miler run back in Gurgaon where I started the run with Umesh and I was delighted to find Namburi, Ravi, Randeep and Arvind join us after a 11km loop and then we discovered a lovely cross country trail in the Aravallis. Need to go down further on that one this week and discover if it has potential for an entire half marathon.
More soon on that one. But I felt great at the end of that run since with 2 rest days in the 7 days, I had completed 140km of running - the most I have ever run in a week. That was like doing the Comrades and then 51km more, all in a week and coming out pain free. Now got to work on building some pace into the runs as there is a 12 hour lmit on this hill and tough ultra
More soon

Saturday 20 March 2010

Adidas MiCoach

Was in Jaipur for 2 days so I wasn't able to run on Thursday as I drove out at 6am, so I swapped my rest day with the usual one of Friday. On Friday morning my wife and I went out for a run in a lovely wooded part of town just near the University on Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg - Smriti Van - set up by Rajasthan Patrika Newspaper and now managed by the Jaipur Development Authority and the Forest Department.
It's one of the nicest in city running tracks that I have been on, lots of walkers, but unfortunately I had left My Adidas Mi coach in the hotel so my 7 mile run was one that was with the only statistics provided by my stopwatch, which was also fine. It was lovely, but no data.
Today, back home in Gurgaon, I read the instructions again, synched micoach with my Macbook Air, and checked that all systems were fine, and then I went for a 7mile pace run training for my 89km Comrades Ultra Marathon, on my treadmill, and also with micoach.
I think what I am missing sorely, is a display I can refer to and get info real time whenever I want to. I obviously did not press the appropriate button on the pacer as I got no feedback during the run. The absence of a display and also of an audio feedback post pressing the running icon button leaves me wondering if the device has started or not. I would have loved a GPS visual real time tracker yesterday when I was running in Jaipur.
Now at 8000 rupees this is what I would expect on a running device, especially since it is now available in several phones too.
While n the topic of running devices I must add that I am also quite unhappy with my top of the line Polar system RS 800SD. They seem to specialise in making sophisticated stuff which is very user unfriendly. The battery of the foot pod has been changed quite a few times over and still functions erratically - I will try taking that out tomorrow when I do my 42km training run, and will also take out MiCoach. The heart rate monitor of the polar has been better but there again the buttons of the heart sensor have had to be cleaned with some vinegar to get rid of the green coatings!! What I love about the polar is the wireless connectivity of the devices, with the watch.
Wish MiCoach could do something similar. The latter has an audio interface but I am not a great fan of having something stuck in my ear while running.
Lets see how it pans out tomorrow

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Adidas My Coach

I am about to start trying out an Adidas product - MiCoach, which will be my real time coach. Quite intrigued to see how it will work. Got it from the company yesterday.
Comes in a neat box - got out the contents, read the manual and charged it.

Would have been good if it had a small pouch to store all the contents once removed from the box.
Well the start guide is slim and non intimidating, so thats a great start, hmm but the font size could have been a bit bigger in a few places, especially the colour coded bands outlining the heart rate zones.

I charged the unit, registered and set up my account,

The Contents miss out the battery which is snugly fitted into the box, something I discovered only this morning as I was putting on my stride sensor.

Then for some reason I couldn't get the pacer to start - perhaps it was not fully charged from yesterday - so I went for a 1okm run without MiCoach today.
Am setting it up fully today to be all set for my run tomorrow and gearing up for my marathon distance run on Sunday as prep towards the 89km Comrades run on 30th May
More soon