Vikas Sarangal Story - First Marathon

How I Discovered a Passion That I Never Thought I Had – Running

Year 2016 was a year when I started thinking about the fitness. It all started when I came back from a moderately tough trek in Uttrakhand – The Kauari pass. Though, the purpose of the trek was to spend few days in peace without drinking, I ended up celebrating the new year’s night deep into the forest, on mountains covered with snow sipping old monk. In fact, that’s how most of my trek days went. Disgusted with myself, I found another way to kick start my fitness journey – the New Year resolution. I decided that I will lose weight (I weighed 92 kg at that time) in next 3 months. Well, starting next day, I had at least 2 beers every day for almost 25-30 days and no, I didn’t work out at all.

How it all started?

Around this time last year, I had an argument with one of the senior at my office. The topic was how easy it is to get a 6-pack. I ended-up betting 10k that I will get 6-packs in next 2 months. I joined gym immediately, consulted my bodybuilder cousins and decided to give it a shot. 2 months passed by and yes, you are right – I lost the bet and 10k! But guess what, the bet wasn’t the only thing I lost; I lost 10 kg with it! Not a bad deal, right? I achieved it all by working out in gym, running and the most important of all – dieting.

The fascination

If there is one thing that has always fascinated me, it is the endurance sports. It’s amazing how people can run, bike or swim for hours and hours. Super humans, aren’t they? I never believed I could be one of those people and I had solid reason for it – I had worked hard for 2 months, lost weight too but I could barely run 3 km non-stop. I am lucky to know one of those super humans – Saurabh Aggarwal or Mr. Ironman. He has never failed to inspire me and make me believe that I could achieve anything with hard work. Around that time, Saurabh’s start-up Fitso had started coaching services. He suggested that I try a running coach to make most of the effort that I am putting in running. How can I refuse the advice of man with such credibility?

The real start

I really think the real start to running journey for me was the day when I subscribed for a running coach. But does it really help? Well, I was as skeptical as you are right now until I ran my first 10k race. If I have to summarize how coaching helps in 2 lines – a) being systematic ensures that your efforts are being utilized the most effective way b) It tells you your day target – exactly how much you need to run and the way you should run (interval, long run etc.). There are days when you are feeling not so motivated to run and then there are days when you are over-excited to do as many km as possible. Having a set target for the day in terms of distance and run type gives you motivation on dull days and contains your excitement on other days. It keeps your training on track to achieve your goal.

The races

Apart from structural training second most important thing is to sign-up for races. Almost every time I have enrolled into a race it was way beyond what my potential was at the time of signing up for it. I registered for my first half marathon when I ran 10km in 1 hour, registered for full marathon when I had just completed for full marathon. The basis of that is two-fold 1) as my running coach put it – your best should come in a race not practice 2) Isn’t it fun to achieve unrealistic goals?

The journey so far

As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Here is my fitness journey so far:

Vikas Sarangal Story - First Marathon

Next goal

My long term goal is to be an Ironman but there is a tiny problem – I don’t know how to swim J . But, one thing that I have learned in last 6 months of training is that we far more capable that we think we are. I hope Fitso seal program will help me achieve my goal. I look forward to it.