How does an inexperienced runner go from running daily to running in a marathon? It’s a question many running enthusiasts would be asking. Who better to give them the lowdown than someone who is a beginner who just ran their first marathon?

So we spoke to first time marathoner, Sharana Jhangiani, who set a goal of running the half marathon and saw it through. This should help beginners get a better idea of the running process and how people train for a marathon and finish it.

What do you do?
I run a content and communications agency called Tattle Tale Marketing & Consulting with a friend, Rhea Bhattacharya. We work on campaign and communication strategies and solutions for fashion and lifestyle brands.

Are you a regular runner?
I am.

When did you run your first Marathon?
January 2015.

What made you do it?
Running the half marathon has always been on my bucket list. In school, I took part in relays and 100 metre runs every year. I’ve always been able to run fast, but could only manager shorter distances because I’m asthmatic. So running a whole marathon was something I just had to do, to prove to myself that I can do it.

Sharana with her marathon bib and medal
Sharana with her marathon bib and medal

How did you train for the marathon?
I started in September. My first run was a disaster because I couldn’t do more than 2 km before losing breath. I tried to go as many times as possible, but I always had an excuse. Work, a social engagement, laziness, and wedding season of course, were my alibis. Pretty soon, it was January and I couldn’t believe I had wasted all those months not training as much as I should have.

What was the most difficult part of running the marathon?
I’m a very competitive person so it was hard to see everyone zooming past me while I ran at a pace that would keep my breathing consistent. I knew I could run as fast as them but if I did, I wouldn’t be able to finish the whole thing.

Did you feel like giving up?
Yes, I felt like giving up many times. At about 14 km, I pulled a thigh muscle and that’s when it got really hard, but it felt silly to give up when I had only 1/3rd of the stretch left.

How did you hydrate through the run?
I did. There were tables set up throughout with water and biscuits. What was most amazing was the support from the crowds. Families had come down from their buildings with water, peeled oranges, sweets… they kept us hydrated and cheered us on throughout.

What made you keep going?
I kept myself going with the fact that I couldn’t admit to myself and my friends and family that I failed. A lot of people told me I wouldn’t be able to, up until the night before even, because of the asthma and because I’d hardly trained, so admitting to them that I’ve given up was just not an option.

In one word, can you tell us how you felt at the end of it?
AMAZING. I couldn’t feel my legs at all, but it felt so good.

Would you do it again?
Absolutely; and this time, I will train properly. (Hopefully)


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