Mumbai doesn’t seem to surprise us with its assortment of superior runners. Mohammed Umar is one of such gems who also happens to be a Nike Run Club Marathon Pacer and one of the key players for the Futsal India team. He recently completed the Bangalore TCS 10K in a superb record time of 46:57 and is now a Mobiefit RUN fitness icon.
“Training is the only answer to why you did not perform in your last game, there is no shortcut, there is no hack.” Mohammed Umar talks about his passion for running and football.
Sports for him is something that he has deep regards for and has gone on to become an integral part of his life. As a member of the national Futsal team, he has not only played for India but has also coordinated with Premier Futsal.
Here’s a look at what Umar’s journey has been like so far.
- Were you always this passionate about fitness and sports?
Cristiano Ronaldo has been my inspiration and this is what drove me towards playing football. A game like football requires a lot of agility and presence of mind, and I found this to be very helpful in the game and life in general. Running too is based on a similar concept, and hence together they have helped me not only build my stamina, but also led me to take my health and personal fitness seriously.
- How did your friends and family react to this new found love?
Well, as parents go they always tend to think that I can do something other than “running”. But we seem to have reached an understanding after they saw how passionate I am about running and football. Playing for the nationals at the Futsal Tournament 2014 in Malaysia and being a Nike Club Pacer helps people take me seriously I guess.
- How do you manage between football and running?
I play football religiously, every single day! I schedule my runs and workouts for three days in a week. I aim to run for a minimum of 12 hours in the entire week. Since I am still in college, I also have to juggle regular classes with my training. Initially it was tough but now I think I’ve gotten a hang of it. It’s all a matter of practice and patience.
- How important is fitness to you?
Like I said previously, a proper routine can be a blessing in disguise. It might seem boring and monotonous, but it can actually help you sort out the other issues in your life. A routine followed with dedication is what has helped me get closer to my goals and I believe the same can help anyone who is looking for proper direction.
- Do you have a pre and post run diet?
Before my runs I usually eat fruits, milk and muesli. These are not heavy on the stomach and give me enough energy to keep going. After my runs I munch on denser food such as Energy bars, peanut butter and boiled eggs.
- What are the Top 5 things that you avoid at all costs?
Being a Nike Marathon Pacer is no joke. I’ve had to give up on a bunch of things, but I am more than happy to let go of these. If I had to name my Top 5 it would definitely have to be cigarettes, alcohol, Carbonated drinks, Fatty food, and tobacco in any form.
- Any tips for amateur runners on where to find inspiration?
The fitness community is huge! I learnt by making mistakes and I couldn’t have asked for a better first lesson. The friends you make in the community will be your best source to find any information. And you can also research on the web. I find most of the training videos on Youtube to be quite detailed and very helpful.