He’s 52 but still going strong. Satish Gujaran may not make the headlines, but he’s one of the more prominent India ultra-runners, having completed the prestigious Comrades run on multiple occasions. As he prepares to tackle the biggest running challenge of his life in the form of The Great India Run, he sat with mobiefit to give us an idea of how he prepares for such a mammoth task and where his running journey began.
Since when have you been running and what are some of the highlights of your running history?
I have been running since 2004. Total number of Ultra Marathons so far is 12, including six 89km Comrades Marathon finishes in South Africa; 18 marathons and 20 Half Marathons. In addition I also did a Multi-Stage Super Ultra from Mumbai to Shirdi i.e 248kms in four days, and Mumbai to Surat, 284km in three days.
Are you a full time runner? If not, how do you make time for running in your everyday schedule?
I am not a full time runner. My office starts at 9.30 AM . So I have to finish my training before 7.30am.
What are your views about India’s running community, as compared to abroad?
There is no value for runners in India compared to overseas. Cricket is most important sport in India. But looks like slowly and surely things are changing with runs like The Great India Run. There’s never been anything like this for lovers of long-distance running in the country. I hope it’s a regular fixture in the calendar each year!
Describe how running changed your life.
Running helped me overall in my life. Right from my eating & sleeping habits and my friends circle. Like I prepare my schedule for running , my training chart etc its become habit and I started following that in my work place also. And the confidence, logic behind my running helped me tremendously in my real life also.
Three advice to amateurs who want to to run marathons and ultra runs:
One should get mentally and physically mature before one take up ultra-marathon, then only you will enjoy ultra-marathon.
Five things to avoid if you want to run long distances (habits, food, etc.)
- Don’t wait to get hungry or thirsty , keep nibbling and sipping while running long distance , eat before you hungry and drink before you thirsty.
- Long distance running is like a meditation. One should have calm and cool mind set.
- Long distance run especially multi days running , One can’t run like marathon, your pacing is very important. Can’t run too fast , too soon.
- Wearing new shoes on race day & try to eat which you are not used to near to race day.
- Training too much before any long run without proper tapering.
How long should a beginner prepare before running their first marathon?
I personally feel , one should at least do a sub 2 in 21k before try to run full marathon.