My Focus Shift Towards Structured Training: A Look-back

24 May

This is the third consecutive year in which I am seriously participating in a 100 days of running challenge. As of 25th day of this edition of 100 days, I am retrospecting on the focus shift so far.

During my first year, the focus was to get as much distance as possible into my runs – every day and every week during the 100 day span. The second year brought in a few variations to my runs. The focus was not just the run distances, but run quality (e.g. intervals, pace runs, slow runs and long runs.) This year, I am taking on the program in a different way.

This year, my focus is to leave enough room for training rather than for running. I am not acing my training schedules and sessions, but this year is a good beginning. Based on the schedules laid out by my coach, I am keeping 3-4 days a week aside for my training and rest days. During these training and rest days, I am rather leisure walking to keep the spirit of 100 days continuing, but giving enough time for my leg muscles to train and rest.

As of now, I completed one fourth of current 100 days challenge. My current mileage is about 10% less than 2022 and 35% less than 2021. However, the ease with which I am running now a days is far better than that of the last two years. Credit goes to systematic training plans laid out by coach.

I am not yet acing my training sessions. Not sure I will ever be (that is the advantage of getting a coach that pushes you.) But I am really happy for the focus shift the last few weeks brought in to my overall fitness schedules. Due to the focus shift, I am able to focus on my runs on exclusive run days. You can follow my activities at and see how well distributed my activities are.

Another 75 days of the current 100 days challenge to go. About 12 weeks of Marathon training to go. Hope to continue the current distribution of runs and training routine.

Why My Focus Is Shifting To Strength Training

21 Apr

For about two years, I have been running decently long distances – a.k.a half marathons and more. After taking a one year gap between my first half marathon in 2020 and second one in 2021, running a full marathon was on top of my list.

In October 2021, I ran my first full marathon. It is a local long run, not a timed running event. The preparation for that run was decently good and I think I ran it well. However, the next two marathon runs after that are not satisfactorily efficient. I didn’t focus much on my strength training during the training weeks of these two marathons and the impact is very evident.

This year, my focus should shift to strength training. The reasons are very trivial

  • Strength training helps to prevent injuries
  • Strength training can improve running form and efficiency
  • Strength training can help increase endurance

The next 16+ weeks are an opportunity for me to focus on Strength Training than running pace and/or running distances. Hopefully the time is ample enough for my strength training and I could see good results.


17 Sep

Change is ineviatable.

Change is good.

Sustainable positive change reinforces confidence, helps set larger (read long term) goals and helps in incremental improvements in life.

Here are my running pics that are 11 years apart.

Two run pics that are 11 years apart – 2011 and 2022

These 11 years have seen some interesting changes in my running habit. The following list gives a summary of highlights

  • 2011 – 10k run is for fun; no time target
  • 2018 – first timed 10k run; failed to qualify for Half Marathon
  • 2019 – Qualification 10k run for Half Marathon
  • 2020 – First Half Marathon
  • 2021 – Second Half Marathon; Also First Marathon after a handful of Half Marathons
  • 2022 – Sustain Marathon running energy (and enthusiasm)

The highlights might look simple, but they had an undercurrent of several personal, financial, career, health and circumstantial changes that resulted in these outcomes. More details later.

Happy to experience this positive change. I am sure the change continues.

Looking forward to!


29 Mar

Hyderabad Bicycling Club (HBC) and World Wildlife Fund organized Bicyclone-3, the eco-friendly cycle ride today. The response was awesome. Good to see so many school kids turning up for this event.

I opted to rent a bike for this 20km ride, so that I could avoid the 30km commute to/from the venue. That turned out to be a bad decision, both for the time it took and the height of the bike I got. However, I am very lucky to get hold of a basic bike for the ride. I switched to the 10km path of the ride, given the low height of the bike.

Met my niece Manu and my co-worker Kalyan at the ride. Managed to click a few pics before and after the ride.


It is a great experience to see people of all ages turn up in good numbers for such a good cause. Congratulations to all the participants and thanks to HBC.


Copenhagen Wheel

06 Dec

What happens when a premier academic institution teams up with the City of cyclists? You see one of the best inventions getting now into mass production.

MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and City of Copenhagen bring us a pedal assist electric system called the Copenhagen Wheel. The wheel can be retrofitted almost on any bicycle. Superpedestrian, the startup that has exclusive production rights for the technology, is now accepting back orders for the wheel. The wheel comes both in single speed and multi-speed variants. The wheel itself may cost lot more than an average bike, but I think the wheel is really worth it.

How does it work? The prime factor of the wheel is its regenerating braking capability. The rider can use the exercise mode, pedaling against the motor and charging the battery in this process. Or the rider can use the motor assist mode, in which case the battery power is used to help the rider pedal easily thru, say, slopes. Each of these modes will have 3 levels and the modes/levels can be selected using a smart phone that communicates to the wheel wirelessly. Not sure if the modes switch automatically using the torque sensors in the system (my guess is it would be so, but we need to wait for more details and see.)

The wheel may be a costly affair in the initial days (the wheel is much costlier than average bike on streets) but offers a great potential for bicycling adoption. Excitedly waiting for mass production and global availability of this wheel.

Bicycle, Joy Rides and Mudguard

18 Aug

Its rainy season, the season of potholes, puddles and muck on the road. Unless you are very lucky, you don’t get to see fresh water on the road when you are pedaling. Excluding the mud factor, this is the best season for joyful bicycle rides (especially if you have a mountain bike).

My bicycle doesn’t come with a mudguard by default. In my recent trip to US, I got this entry level mudguard (the one I can find in a sports store in the last minute of my shopping) made by Blackburn. The model is called Splashboard rear fender. I installed it last week (in a matter of a couple of minutes) and my early morning bicycle rides are much pleasant now.

The fender is effective only around the speeds of 15kmph and for heavy dirt. I still see that the light (ash-like) dirt manages to fly to my shoulder level when I pedal at about 25kmph. Given the low number of stretches that allow me to pedal close to 25kmph, the fender is doing an okay job for me. The amount of post-ride helmet, dress and hair cleaning is drastically reduced now. With the fender, I am enjoying my biking along dirt roads a lot better.

Here are a few pics of the fender and more importantly, the dirt on my bicycle. Good indication of the great mornings.



BTW, if you are looking for monsoon maintenance tips for your bike, you should read this blog post by The Bike Affair. Simple and very useful, as always.