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Aging Gracefully with Running

Runners can keep going by adapting their techniques at each age milestone, says Radhika Meganathan

Age is just a number, as they all say. However, when it comes to running, the biology of aging cannot be denied, or ignored. As one ages, muscle mass decreases. Bone wear and tear over a period of years slow you down and makes you less flexible. Healing takes longer and stamina takes a hit. These are perfectly valid reasons to be vigilant and adjust one’s training and expectations from the sport.
The good news is, you can run the if you are prepared enough. At the Twin Cities Marathon in 2014, 59-year-old Christine Kennedy of triumphed with the astounding stat of 2:59:39.

Should you run when you are older?
Of course! As long as you don’t have any serious conditions that may hamper your running and you take proper care to run, running is good for all ages. Consider these pluses of running, especially if you are a senior:
1. Running can help you with a longer and healthier life.
2. Runners have less chance of suffering from clinical depression
3. Running improves blood circulation, and the brain benefits from improved circulation.
4. Running, and in general being physically active, can prevent you from cognitive decline.
5. Running reduces the chances of you getting colon or breast cancer.
6. Runners sleep better!
With all the above benefits, you are better off running!

But what about the ‘fall’ scare?

It’s a myth that you will fall and injure yourself if you run after a certain age. Injury happens to anyone who is careless or doesn’t take the necessary precautions. Age has nothing to do with it! In fact, most senior citizens experience falls in all walks of their life due to poor balance. Regular running makes muscles and bones stronger, and improves balance, which means – less chances of having a fall during running.

What if you are a senior and new to running?

Start with walking. Your neighbourhood park is the best bet, but you can walk in a quiet road too. Walk 10 minutes, and slowly jog for a couple of minutes. Alternate this until you feel slightly out of breath, and then stop. Repeat this consistently every day or every other day, progressively increasing the time to 15 and 20 minutes. Slowly venture into brisk walking, and eventually, sprinting. Set reasonable goals, look how your body’s responding and adjust your schedule accordingly. Take a companion if you are unsure attempting this alone. If you cannot run every day, aim for at least three times a week. Remember, the more you do it, the easier it will get.

What if I have a pre-existing condition?

Any sport requires a certain degree of caution when you attempt it with a pre-existing condition, and running is no different. As a starter, get your physician’s opinion. Get the right running attire, shoes and safety gear. Always have a mobile or a medical device alert with you, in case of emergencies. You can also hire a personal trainer who can help you get started with running. The advantage of professional help is that you will be under a monitored environment where you will be taught to gradually increase the level of activity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A published author and an avid rambler, Radhika Meganathan is a recent keto convert who may or may not be having a complicated relationship with bacon and butter.

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Take the Stairs

You can elevate your running performance if you start using stairs, says Nandini Reddy

If you are movie buff then you need to borrow one piece of training advice from Rocky – make climbing stairs as part of training. If you have a shorter training window before  marathon then training on stairs is a good way addition to your training plan. As you power your way up the stairs, you legs become stronger and your heart and lungs are taxed more from the movement thus improving your overall stamina and strength.

So how do stairs help so much?

  • When you are climbing stairs you are moving against gravity and this helps build power and strength in a runner.
  • If you are trying to reach a goal time in a marathon you will need both.
  • Stair climbing also helps you stabilize your form as you work to stay on balance.
  • Stair climbing training also reduces the risk of injury
  • Climbing stairs makes your hearth pump faster and improves your blood oxygen

How they help your legs?

Strength training is a key part of runners training schedule. Body weight training routines recommend lunges and squats to train the legs and glutes. If you do stair training then you will get the benefit of both these exercises in a single move. With your heart pumping your muscles are also more oxygenated. Both your legs get equal amount of workout during stair training.

The oxygenation advantage

During an intense exercise your heart is continuously pumping oxygen to your muscles at a grueling pace. As the intensity of the exercise increase the VO2 levels rise. Stair climbing helps improve your Vo2 max levels and the greater the VO2 level the harder you can run. A British journal published that stair climbing was known to improve the VO2 max level by nearly 17% in women.

What if I choose a natural uphill terrain?

You can choose a natural uphill terrain also to train with but stairs come with a built in difficulty that most natural terrains do not have. Stairs are built at an angle of 65 degrees, while most hills will only have about 5-10% of this gradation.

How do you start?

If you are looking to get started on the stair training routine then like any other exercise ease into it. You can tired very quickly on stairs so do not equate your running capacities to your stair climbing abilities. Start by walking up 10 floors first. If your body is taking the strain then start jogging up 10 floors. If you are able to breath comfortably then move to running. If you need a bit of a challenge, try taking two stairs at a time. You can also use the handrail to pull your body up and get a complete workout.

A Sample Training Plan

Here is a sample training plan if you are ever considering using the stair climbing work out as away to train faster for a marathon

Warm-up – Jog for 10 minutes on a flat terrain

Main Workout – 10 floors x 20 times with a recover time of 30 secs between each set. Use the elevator to come back to a start point if you are able or run down briskly while using the handrail for support.

Cool-Down – Walk down  the stairs at a slow pace and then stretch out all the muscles that you worked.

There are a few stair climbing races around the world if you ever want to consider participating in one but until then use it as the perfect routine to get your strength up for running your best race.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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The relationship between sleep and running

Sleeping well and for the right amount of time can increase your running stamina, writes Nandini Reddy

We live in a hyper active culture that has us on our toes constantly. We have over committed our time an energy to a a ton of obligations. But the most important factor that needs to remain unchanged irrespective of our lifestyle is the number of hours we sleep. You have probably read that you need 8 hours of sleep but it is highly likely that you are clocking in less than 5 hours a night. As a runner, sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise.

Maybe if we understood why we need to sleep then we can be more convinced to actually give it the attention it needs.

Weight Loss

A regular sleep schedule can do wonders for your weight loss efforts. When you get less sleep your hunger hormones run haywire making you carve food at the wrong times or feeling less sated after a meal. All marathoners tend to carb load before a race but if you don’t get enough sleep then the glycogen energy reserves that you need for the race will not build up properly and you will hit the fatigue wall sooner than you expect.

Body Repairs

Distance runners need sleep to ensure that their muscles recover from their training. It was observed in a research that athletes who got enough sleep showed a marked improvement in their running performance. While you sleep, the growth hormone is released when you are in deep sleep which helps recover your body. This hormone is essential to help the body rebuild from the affects of workouts. The growth hormone also helps in converting fat to fuel and keeping your bones strong. Too little sleep means you will feel more stressed and your recovery time will also increase.

Water Re-absorption

While you sleep, the kidneys help in establishing the water balance in your body. When you run in summer and sweat a lot, there is a high risk of dehydration. Just drinking more water is not the solution to ensure your body stays hydrated. It is also important to let the kidneys do their work to balance the sodium, electrolytes and water in your body. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and muscle pain. So a good night’s sleep can do wonders to ensure that you are not dehydrated and your body electrolytes are in balance every morning.

Mental toughness

Sleep helps clear your mind and improves your concentration and helps you run with a clear mind. Sleeping better also improves your ability to analyze training plans and race day performance. A mentally tough runner can overcome every hurdle that he might encounter during tough races.

Maintaining a Schedule 

You need to set a sleep schedule. It will take you up to four weeks to get habituated to it but if you can set up a schedule then you will see that all other things will also fall into place. You will start to eat and train at a scheduled time. Sleep also helps you combat pre-race anxiety, improve your memory and decision making ability.

You might be able to get by with a few nights of bad sleep in a month but on the whole you need to have a sleep schedule that you stick to if you want to improve your running performance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Improving your running form

Running can be easier and with less effort, if you strengthen you body and improve your flexibility, says Nandini Reddy

You become a great runner by taking to the trails and roads regularly but a few simple exercises before and after your run can do wonders for your running form. Smooth and efficient running is dependent on the strength and flexibility of your body. Here are a few basic pointers to remember to get the right form.

  • Take quick and short strides to avoid injury
  • Keep your knees in line with your foot when it strikes the ground
  • Keep you elbow bent at 90 degrees
  • Don’t keep your hands stiff. Relax those muscles
  • Run by pushing off from the ground and not flat thumps

There are three muscle areas that are the most important to have great form – the glutes, hips and arms. All these muscles need to be worked on before and after a run. Dynamic stretches before a run to heat up these muscles and cool down stretches after a run to ensure that these muscles are relaxed.

If you follow particular training principles you can be a better runner. During training runs try and introduce something different.

  • Gradually increase your mileage or time spent running. If you are working on interval training then reduce the walk timing and increase the run timing.
  • Give yourself enough of a break before you increase your speed or distance. Your body needs to adapt and its important not to push it beyond its limits.
  • If you are trying new strength training exercises then remember that you will have sore muscles for a few days and might not be able to run at your regular pace. Its okay to do that and it doesn’t mean that the exercise is the enemy to your running.
  • Try and get a plan that increases gradually. If you are running 5km is a good timing this week then try completing 6km in the same timing next week. Training should make you feel happy to achieve your goals and not stressed.
  • There are no single methods for running that will work for you always. Every trail and every run might offer different challenges, so remember to prepare for it.

Easy and effortless running comes with practice and dedication. Use the strengthening moves to make running more of a pleasure than a chore everyday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Run to make a Difference at the Ridley Run (Chennai)

If you are a conservationist then this is the marathon you should be signing up for recommends Nandini Reddy.

Coastal degradation and changing fishing habits have contributed to the reduction of the Olive Ridley Turtles over the years. Every year between December and April the turtles head to the Chennai shores in large numbers to nest. Conservation efforts have been underway to help save these brilliant animals. The efforts extend to cleaning up beaches, ensuring safe havens for the turtles for nesting and involving the local fishing folk in conservation matters.

Run for the Ridley 

The run categories include distances of 1km, 3km and 5km along the Palavakkam beach. The run is on the morning of February 4th and there are several other events planned leading up to the event. Being along the beach you can enjoy a refreshing sunrise There are turtle walks every evening for sending the babies back to the sea. The conservation group Save the Turtle, is organizing environmental talks in schools and offices to get more people involved in the conservation efforts. There is also an exciting sand-sculpting event on the theme of conservation. The entire run aims to create awareness about the importance of saving the turtle and its importance in the eco-system.

All finishers will receive a certificate, medal and refreshments. You an also book a special t-shirt for an additional charge if you register at the earliest. On registration participants are also entitled to receive vouchers valued at Rs 3000.

Saving the Olive Ridley

The Olive Ridley’s swim nearly 34,000 kms to reach the shores of the Bay of Bengal to nest. The population of the Olive Ridley’s has reduced by nearly 50% over the past few years. The turtles nest between the periods of December to April, laying thousands of eggs. The eggs incubate for a 45 day period before the hatch-lings move out of the shells and into the sea to start their new life. But with growing human interference in their nesting grounds, the turtle population is dwindling at an alarming rate. Fishing communities have come together to support the initiative and now conservation groups and volunteers are ensuring that more hatch-lings make their journey back to the sea.

The proceeds from the run will be utilized for conservation efforts that will help protect thousands of hatch-lings and also prepare nesting areas for turtles with the assistance of local communities.

Click here to register for Ridley Run (Feb 4, Chennai)==>>https://buff.ly/2Eiz9rs

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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Your first marathon

If you started this year with a resolution to run your first marathon then here is a plan on how you can get off the couch and reach the finish line, writes Nandini Reddy

With so many friends around you running marathons, it is quite natural that you would also be bitten by the bug to run your first marathon. To begin with let us start with a half marathon and work towards finishing the 21 km mark before heading off to the 42 km chequered flag.

So how from the point you get off your couch to the crossing the finish line you wonder? Well if you train and eat in a committed fashion then you should be able to run your first half marathon in 14 weeks. It doesn’t really matter if you are new to running or you are coming back after a long break, if you have the will to stick to a training programme then you will be race-ready within a few weeks.

Getting started

Firstly, try and work out a realistic plan. You can schedule yourself to running for 4 days a week. You can start by walking first and then slowly graduate to jogging, interval training and then full-fledged running. The idea is to ease your body and mind into a training schedule that will keep you happy and not too fatigued. The idea is to build your endurance in the first 4 weeks and over-stress your body. The run/walk strategy is totally acceptable in the first few weeks. Don’t beat yourself up. Get into the mindset that you are here to finish the race and not compete for a goal time. It is your first marathon so finishing a race is vital.

Training Plans

The key to any good training is to mix-up your workouts and ensure that you stay interested and the schedule doesn’t become monotonous. You can add some strength training and cross-training also to help develop your muscles. Here are a few suggestions :

Run/Walk: This is a form of interval training where you run for 1 minute and walk for another minute. This will help you run longer. As you progress you can decrease the walking interval timing and increase the running interval timing.

Brisk Walks: In the beginning of your training programme keep a day for just brisk walking. This helps improve your fitness levels. It also boosts confidence because you won’t feel out of breath during these training days.

Cross-Training: It is vital to impact two days of cross-training. You can choose between cycling, swimming , yoga or martial arts. The idea is to build your muscles and prevent injuries from excessive stress on your body due to running. You can add body weight training to your routine as well with squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and dead-lifts.

Tempo Runs: These runs are important to build your speed. You should run these at a harder pace than normal. The idea is to push your pace a bit higher than last week. When you do your tempo runs, start off at a comfortable pace, then build up to a higher pace and then cool down with a kilometre of a running at a slow pace.

Sample Plan

Here is a suggested sample plan on how you can build up your distances for running every week.

Week 1: Try the run/walk – 3 kms

Week 2: Run/Walk – 3 kms with the addition of Cross Training

Week 3: Run/Walk or Brisk Walk – 5 kms with the addition of Body weight training

Week 4: Tempo Run – 3 – 5 kms

Week 5: Tempo Run 5- 8 kms with a 40 min Cross Training session once a week

Week 6: Tempo Run 5- 8 kms with 30 min body weight training session once a week

Week 7: Run/Walk or Brisk walk – 8 kms and Tempo Run – 5 Kms with 40 mins of Cross training/ week

Week 8: Run/Walk – 12 kms and Tempo Run – 8 kms with 40 mins of body weight training/week

Week 9: Tempo Run – 15 kms with 45 minutes of Cross Training/ week

Week 10: Tempo Run – 15 kms with 45 minutes of body weight training/ week

Week 11: Tempo Run – 16 kms and Run/ Walk – 18 kms

Week 12: Cross Training – 45 minutes and Run/Walk – 18 kms

Week 13: Tempo Run – 20 kms with 45 minutes of body weight training

Week 14: Tempo Run – 20 kms with 45 minutes of Cross Training

The training plans every week will have to include 2 days of rest.

This is just a suggestion on what you can follow. But remember that you need to listen to your body. If something hurts and doesn’t feel right you need to learn to stop, see a doctor or a coach. The idea is to train to make your body feel better and not worse.

Enjoy your training runs and look forward to the exhilaration of crossing the finish line.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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How to Train with a Running Buddy

Radhika Meganathan explores the benefits and ways of training with another runner.

Running is often thought to be a solitary activity that many miss the possibility of running as a couple. The benefits of running with a buddy are many:

  • You are accountable. Or in plain words, you are less inclined to slack off! Because you know someone else is now counting on you showing up and doing your best.
  • It is more fun! In the absence of a trainer, running with a buddy alleviates boredom and may pass the time better with some conversation.
  • In case your training schedule requires you to run outside day light hours or in less-populated areas, it is safer to run with a buddy.
  • It can be more economical if you train together, as you can split the expenses of a personal trainer, if you decide to have the same one.
  • If you are training with a relative, like a sibling or spouse, training together as running partners will bring you closer and give you regular opportunity to bond well.

Like all successful relationships, training in tandem requires proper communication, care and compromise. If you have found the right running buddy, here are ways you can go about doing it:

  1. Make sure you both have ‘The Talk’. If you show up with the latest hits of Enya plugged into your earlobes and your running partner that day was in desperate need for some motivating conversation, both of you may be in for some disappointment and frustration. When you are going to spend a couple of hours together every day, or at least every other day, it is best to discuss about your likes, dislikes and running quirks well ahead of time.
  2. Be ready to make compromises. For example, if you do like to listen to music when running, then you might want to rethink your plan of running with a buddy! But if you really like running with a partner and prefer its pros over it cons, then something’s got to give. It is necessary to make adjustments in your expectations and schedule without resentment, in order to fit your new training schedule in your life; chances are the other person also is doing the same, for the pleasure of having you as their training partner.
  3. Do not compete! It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking your running buddy for a competitor, but our advice is to not make your partnership a “Who’s the best” competition. Healthy rivalry is okay, but not outright disrespect. You both are running buddies, so don’t sprint ahead and leave your partner behind, unless you are doing a tempo run, where it’s okay to run faster in the tempo portion.
  4. Be more understanding. Just as in any relationship, you need to sometimes give more than the other person. Do not be scared of training with someone who is less fit or less accomplished than you. Sometimes your training buddy might have some personal or professional issue that has made them slip one more sessions. Talk to them, instead of getting angry or losing hope in them. This is exactly when they may need your faith and belief in them. And when it’s their turn, they will repay the same help, in spades.
  5. Be there for them outside training. Keep track of your buddy’s important milestones and cheer for them on important running-related events like a trial run, separate fitness goal or even the actual race day. As their running partner, you are uniquely qualified in knowing what their pluses and minuses are, so it may be a great boost for your running partner if you show up on their special day.

Running buddies do so much more than improving running performance. They keep your spirits high even when you want to give up. Acknowledge it, respect it and keep running.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

A published author and an avid rambler, Radhika Meganathan is a recent keto convert who may or may not be having a complicated relationship with bacon and butter.

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How to Run Again after an Injury

Five things to keep mind when you start running after a break, by Radhika Meganathan

Nothing distresses a runner more than a forced break, especially if it involves long periods of pain and boredom. And returning back to running after a break is tough to say the least, because you are aware of all the lost progress and mileage. While it may well be a tough and exasperating journey, it is entirely possible to return back to your former glory, provided you are aware of the following:

1.Before you return to the track: Make sure you strength train and improve your flexibility during the time between your recuperation and your actual return. Cross training during recuperation works in two ways – it helps in burning calories and maintaining minimum cardiovascular fitness. Work on your core, hamstrings, calf muscles and glutes as you wait for the day where you can experience runner’s high again.

2.Return only after clearance: There are four variables that affect your return to running after an Injury:

  • The type of your injury
  • The severity of your injury
  • The time you took off, to recuperate
  • The quality of the treatment of your injury (and how well you adhered to it!)

As you can see, it takes more than mere desire to return back to running; you actually need to be at the right point  to be able to make it. There’s nothing worse than returning too early to practice, after an injury, because doing so will only set the path for more pain and loss. You MUST start your running routine only after explicit clearance from your medical professional

3.Get an expert’s opinion: As soon as you get your doctor’s clearance, should you head straight to the gym? No! If you are a serious runner (or if you had anything above a mild injury) you should ask for a physiotherapist’s opinion on what exercises to do during your time off. Use this break to focus on your weaknesses.

4.Don’t look at stats now: Runners are proud – rightfully so! – of their stats like mileage, speed and pacing. But when you are back from an injury, you have to temporarily forget these words. Do not aim for too much, too soon. A run/walk schedule at the beginning of your return week will gradually ease you into re-training after the injury.

5.Obey the rules: All your preparation will come to naught if you do not adhere to caution and rules as you start running again after an injury. The first few days of your return plan should simply aim to create consistency, assess any existing pain, and get your legs re-introduced to running. Here is a recommended ‘Return to Running’ plan:

  • 1st week of return: 30 to 50% of your normal mileage
  • 2nd week of return: 40 to 60% of your normal mileage
  • 3rd week of return: 80% of your normal mileage
  • 4th week of return: Your normal mileage. You can add in more challenging runs under supervision.

If you feel discomfort or pain at any point during the return week or first month, immediately stop and seek a consultation with either your trainer or the medical professional associated with your injury.

To be able to run even a mile after an injury is something to feel joy about, so look at the glass as half full, rather than feeling down about all the hard work ahead. More than anything, it’s the right attitude that will empower you to re-start the journey back to your old mileage.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

A published author and an avid rambler, Radhika Meganathan is a recent keto convert who may or may not be having a complicated relationship with bacon and butter.

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The Elites at TSK 25k

The TATA Steel Kolkatta 25k will see some formidable elite runners on the track. Capt Seshadri Sreenivasan, profiles two of the top runners who will be running with you this year. 

The top runners in the male and female categories are Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia and Helah Kiprop from Kenya respecitively.

The master of track, road and cross country- Bekele

And now the marathon too!

Kenenisa Bekele was born on June 13, 1982 in Ethiopia, famed for its long distance runners. Starting as a junior in cross country, in 2001, he outran the pack at the IAAF World Junior Cross Country championships, beating the existing time by 33 seconds. He never had to look back. Later the same year, he broke the 3,000 m world junior record in Brussels and won gold at the 15 k road race in the Netherlands, establishing himself as the master on all three surfaces. He dominated the cross country running scene for a full five years, from 2002 to 2006, winning the short and long course events, unmatched by any other runner before or since. His tally of 19 medals in the junior and senior events established him as the true master of cross country.

At the age of 32, when most runners would be contemplating retirement, Kenenisa made his marathon debut in Paris in April 2014, bettering the course record as well as the time for a debut marathon, beating the performances of legends like countryman Gebrselassie and current greats Wanjiru and Tergat.  A persistent Achilles tendon injury forced him out of competition during 2015, but he returned to competition at the 2016 London Marathon. Running at way below 100% fitness, he finished third in a time of 2:06:36 behind Eluid Kipchoge and Stanley Biwott. During this gruelling race, already hampered by injury, his designated pacemakers further added to his woes by using up his drinks at five refreshment stations. In the Berlin Marathon of 2016, he timed in at 2:03:03, the second fastest marathon ever run and a personal best for himself.

The secrets to Kenenisa’s running ability are his long strides, high cadence and superb running style. His acceleration over the last lap is legendary, at times covering the final 400 m in a little over 50 seconds and the last 200 m in as low as 24 seconds. His low weight reinforces the theory of focussing on calorific quality than on quantity. Having been born in a village in the mountains, he also had a natural advantage of practising in a rarefied atmosphere. Bekele had an explosive ‘kick’, the result of fast paced training, consisting of a series of intense runs, broken by short periods of rest. Running hard uphill and recovering on the down slope equipped him with tremendous stamina and endurance.

When not beating the world in marathons, he is busy in Addis Ababa, constructing a hotel and a stadium to help the younger generation of Ethiopians train in world class facilities. Kenenisa now comes to the TS25K Kolkata, as the current world and Olympic record holder over the 5,000m and 10,000 m.

No half measures

21.1 km. 67:39 minutes. 42.2 km. 2:27:29 hours.

Helah Kiprop Jelagat, Kenya’s leading woman distance runner found her calling in road racing after a few attempts on the track. Born on April 7, 1985, she began her training with Italian athletics club GS Valsugana Trentino, winning her first 10 km road race in 2005 in 32:55. Her half marathon debut at Lille in September the same year, saw her finish on the podium, in third place in 74:02. The year 2007 saw her earn successes in the 15 km road race and she won the Tuskys Wareng Cross Country in her home country, Kenya, in 2008.

Kiprop’s performances started improving after 2009, when she clinched a series of road victories, competing in the half marathon and 10k races. 2010 was a year of second place finishes, mainly in Europe, with a personal best of 32:20 in the Odele 10k, while 2011 was a year of almost nil participation.

The Berlin Half Marathon 2012 saw her return to competitive athletics, the year she travelled to South America for the first time for the Bogota Half Marathon. November found her in India for the first time, for the Delhi Half Marathon, in which she finished a close third. The following year, her creditable performances in the Egmond and RAK Half marathons and her win in the Berlin Half Marathon, earned her an invite to her first full marathon in Berlin. She debuted with a time of 2:28:02 which earned her fourth place and kickstarted her foray into the 42.2. The year ended with another visit to India, with a gold in the Kochi Half Marathon.

Her first full marathon came in Seoul, where she ran her best time of 2:27:29, fighting for top spot over the last few kilometres against her rival Ashu Kasim. She is back in India for her third race, the TSK25 Kolkata, this December.

Helah Kiprop is coached by her husband David Marus, who is an acknowledged expert on nutrition and running. Helah’s trains at Iten in Kenya, often spending her off season outside. Her farm provides with her with all her training requirements; she even has her own cow that provides her with milk.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Capt Seshadri Sreenivasan is a former armed forces officer with over 30 years experience in marketing. He also a consulting editor with a leading publishing house. He is a co-author of the best selling biography of astronaut Sunita Williams

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