Praveen Sapkal is a dedicated mobiefit RUN user, who signed up for his first run with the mobiefit RUN Starter 5K program and has successfully progressed to complete an Elite 21K program. He is currently training to run a full marathon with the Mission Marathon 42K program. His fitness journey is commendable because despite being diagnosed with a chronic condition such as cervical spondylitis, he still took it upon himself not to accept his fate and transform his life. And not just that, he went on to complete one of the world’s toughest marathons- The Ironman Triathlon- making him the first Ironman of Bhopal. So, what’s the secret behind Praveen’s immense transformation and the reason to keep him going? Let’s find out!

Since when have you been running and what inspired you first to run?

My fitness journey started in July 2013 when I found myself threatened with multiple health issues. So much so that one day I found myself struggling even to get up from the bed. Out of the numerous health issues that I faced, the major one had to be that I suffered from cervical spondylitis which severely restricted my mobility.

I also had high BP and asthma and I was put on medication and steroid inhalers due to this. The fact that at the age of 40 years I was unable to do my daily activities independently was very distressing. My physical health issues started to have an effect on my mental health as well. As a result, I was diagnosed with depression and was put on anti-depressants for over 3 years. This ate me up from the inside and I began a series of self-inspection to come to terms with all these issues. I did a self-analysis and came to a conclusion that the main culprit behind all this was me: my sedentary lifestyle and bad choices.

Around this time, I came across the news that Milind Soman had completed the Ironman triathlon at the age of 50! And I was just 40 at that time and thought to myself, why can’t I? That’s when I decided to transform myself. I joined the gym and experimented with a range of exercises for an entire year to build my physical strength.

What keeps you going on a regular basis? Any particular motivation or person who inspires you?

When I find myself struggling to wake up and exercise or go my run, I always think about the time when I was under bed rest for 5 months and how I got out of it. This is what always keeps me motivated. And yes, who can not get up and run when you have Gul Panag’s sweet voice to keep you motivated in the mobiefit RUN app?

Praveen after completing the Ironman triathlon in Phuket

Who is your running icon or inspiration?

Mr. Milind Soman of course! The fact that when I was 40 and unable to perform daily tasks, the news that Milind Soman completed the Ironman triathlon at 50 was something that really spurred things inside me and made me take control of my life.

What are some of the marathons that you have participated in? 

  • Completed the Run Bhopal Run – Half Marathon 2017 in 2:36
  • Completed the Ironman Triathlon 2017 in Phuket
  • Completed the Jaipur half marathon 2017 in 2:17
  • Completed the Shirdi marathon 2018 in 2:04

What’s your ultimate marathon goal?

Currently, I have my eyes set on the Ladakh marathon. I am training with the mobiefit Elite 21K program and am seeing visible improvement enough to set my new PR in Ladakh.

How do you prepare and train for marathon days?

With the mobiefit RUN app, I don’t have to worry about building my own training schedule. With the current program that I am training with, the Elite 21K, I run three days in a week. The program is designed to help me improve my performance with the training plan, accompanied by the diet plan. The training plan includes a series of fartleks, continuous, interval and tempo runs to help me improve my pace without overexerting. So, in the week that I am training, I can run a minimum of 10 km at one stretch. And let’s not forget the diet plan designed especially for runners. It is wholesome and affordable.

“I prefer to train alone as everyone has their own pace and time to practice.”

What does your pre- and post-workout/run diet comprise of?

Pre-workout I consume brown bread with peanut butter or apple and a protein shake.

Post-workout includes 1 boiled egg or a protein shake.

What are some of the challenges you faced as a runner and particularly in the beginning?

Well, given my condition when I started running the doctor clearly advised me to not it up as it would cause overexertion, further deteriorating my health. Though this was sound advice, it wasn’t something that I wanted to hear at that point in time and feel it really demotivated me.

Do you run with any clubs or groups?

Not really. I prefer to train alone as everyone has their own pace and time to practice.

So there you have it, Praveen’s amazing story of completely transforming his life from a chronic patient to becoming a triathlete. If you have a similar story, do write to us at [email protected] or simply hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And don’t forget to take your first step towards getting fit with mobiefit!

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