Prema Rajaram is a television journalist and when she is not chasing stories, she’s running. Running for fitness, that is. And you know she is serious about it when she says her fitness mantra is, “You are your own competition, so fuel the adrenalin rush and go beat your old lazy self.”
Prema started running 5km in April 2015 and stopped to restart running 10km almost every week in August. She graduated to 12 and 17km and then participated in the Airtel 21km marathon in November 2015.
Her first marathon was a learning experience. She explains how. “I didn’t know anyone too well during Airtel 21. But i had a buddy runner anyway and post 14km I stopped for 30secs and he zoomed off. I was left thinking I might as well run which is far easier than walking 7km. And so I completed the next 7km alone minus music or a buddy runner. I finished in 2:17:42. It was only when we got trophies that I realized running a half marathon too was a big deal.”
We asked her what she had to say about the current situation of running as a serious athletic pursuit in India and this is what she had to say. “I love running and I am glad I alternate running with yoga stretches and gymming. Rest is also an important part of training. There should be more awareness on running. The positive impact it has while breaking the myth that running on roads harms the back and knees. There are things that need to be kept in mind while running and that awareness needs to be created. Else marathons would not have been organized in such a big manner. Also running is more about mental strength.”
Prema Rajaram makes a strong point when she discusses the role of celebrities in promoting running. She is of the opinion that their story will motivate people. She also advocates awareness on running at the school level. In her words, “This will help instill some knowledge on running. There should be blogs for people who are overweight and have joint problems, as to what can be done in their case. Also there should be workshops and events for overweight people.”
Rajaram’s best record so far has been 56 minutes for 10km and 2 hours 10 minutes for 21km. She also shared her fitness routine with us. Gymming 3-4 times a week. Focus on strength and core training, arms and abs. Yoga 1-2 times a week, meditation once-two times a week and running 3 times a week is what makes the magic happen.
She had a rather important message to share with people who are interested in running in the future. “Don’t listen to negativity. Just get up and start running and see how you feel after a month. Mentally you feel much stronger and geared up to take challenges. If you are overweight, consult a doctor and start running with caution. A lot of people say they must lose weight first to start running else it will impact the knees. But many start running to lose weight in fact. There is technique to run and it is about knowing the technique that works for your body. Don’t go just by what others tell you about the positive or negative impact of running.”
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