A financial consultant and CA by profession, Goa-based Dinesh Heda started his running journey as a walker in 2010, and eventually went on to run 18 half marathons, 8 full marathons, and trail ultras ranging from 50K to 103K. Apart from running races, he’s also guided and motivated others as a pace-keeper at the Goa River Marathon, the Satara Hill Half Marathon and the SC Mumbai Marathon. In a short chat with mobiefit, Dinesh shares some of his favorite things about running.

When did you start running and what do you love most about it?
Running for me started at the finish line of the first edition of the Goa River Marathon on December 10, 2010. I walked the 5K distance that day and went into serious training soon after. What I love most about running is that it has brought in so much discipline into my life. When I run it’s akin to meditating, or even therapy – except that it’s free of cost.

As a pacer, you don’t run for yourself – you run for others to help them achieve something.
As a pacer, you don’t run for yourself – you run for others to help them achieve something.

What’s one of your favorite running memories?
One of my favorite moments in running was seeing the finish line of my first half marathon in December 2011. Another was spotting the finish line at my first full marathon in Jan 2013 at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. My wife and son were standing there, which made it all the more special.

You’ve been a pacer at the Satara Hill Marathon this year. What does pacing involve?
Pacing at an event is an entirely different experience. As a pacer, you don’t run for yourself – you run for others to help them achieve something. As a result, you have to be sure of your ability, because runners blindly follow you to their goal. Your failure or success results in the failure or success to all following runners. Since my first pacing experience at Goa in 2013, I’ve found it to be an enriching experience. Over the years, I have been a pacer at four half marathons (Goa River Marathon and Satara Hill Marathon) and one marathon (SCMM).

I run for 4 days in the week and prefer an early start at 4:30-4:45 am.
I run for 4 days in the week and prefer an early start at 4:30-4:45 am.

Do give us a glimpse into your daily running routine and preferred running gear.
I run for 4 days in the week and prefer an early start at 4:30-4:45 am. My runs last for approximately two hours. On the days that I work out and strength train, I start at about 6 am and train in a group for about an hour. My family consists of early eaters and we usually hit the sack by 9 pm, which enables me to stick to my early-rising schedule.

And as for gear, my usual companions include my trusted running shoes, Dri-Fit tee and shorts, bandana, cap, and hydration belt.

There’s no need to overdo your training; the trick is to train smart.
There’s no need to overdo your training; the trick is to train smart.

What are some of your favorite running spots in Goa?
My residence is in Dabolim, and some of my favorite spots include the routes from home to Bogmalo beach – Hollant Beach, the Three Kings Church, Cortalim Junction along the river, and MPT Harbor. Some of the other routes that I like in the state, are from Dona Paula to Siridao (via the University), Goa Bottling Jn. to Curtorim, and the Utorda-Mobor beach stretch.

A spot of advice for those who have just started running?
Listen to your body. There’s no need to overdo your training; the trick is to train smart.

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