The advantage of falling back on your friendly neighborhood joggers’ park is obvious: a designated running track in a reasonably peaceful setting. On the flip-side, you are sharing it with several determined souls with vastly different running mojos. Keep a look out for some of these stereotypes that you might run into at most local parks. Could you be one of them?
Too wired to run
Several tiny gadgets taped all over record this runner’s speed, heart rate, blood pressure, running average, calories burnt, altitude, trajectory and all other inscrutable data, which are then dutifully shared on social media for some vague benefit of the world. You’ll see them pausing mid-run to scroll through their 11,396 “running” songs, check their target speed for the day, or simply disentangling themselves from all those wires.
These folks are sticklers for schedules and take their sprint seriously. They’re the lone souls emptying bottles on their heads in blazing summer, and marching grimly in windcheaters in the middle of a three-day downpour. You’ll see them during public holidays, festivals and freak blizzards; and soon, their face will crop up in your mind during cheat days.
The running pack
It’s usually a great idea to run with a buddy to keep up your energy and spirits, but these groups usually manage to take up the whole path trying to keep together, forcing runners behind them to dodge through a human wall with every lap. They’re the folks stopping abruptly on the tracks for others to catch up, or take a headcount or (god forbid) a selfie.
The secret challenger
This lone runner is in competition with anyone who passes them on the tracks and will furiously outpace even a grandma and her poodle till they’ve gained a formidable lead. These short bursts of adrenalines act like motivation for them. Next time you get overtaken by a blur out of nowhere, be happy for you’ve just inspired a person to keep running.
With marathons becoming more frequent in India, ‘prepping’ for them is now a thing. We’re talking about the newly enthusiastic bunch that start preparing for the event with 4-6 weeks left to spare, armed with the latest running shoes, matching jerseys, stopwatches, running magazines in their waistbands, energy drinks to last a couple of days, and inspirational quotes on loop on their iPods.