As many of you have probably heard, one of the world’s biggest marathons for runners, the New York City Marathon, was held on November 1st. It is probably one of the most intense marathons, as there were 43,000+ runners. Now, Suman Silwal, my inspiration for running, runs not 5K like I do, but instead full marathons-including the NYC Marathon. I interviewed him, and here’s what he had to say:
Q: What did you do to prepare?
A: I trained throughout the summer to get ready for my fall marathons. I ran the Toronto Marathon* (That was the longest no. of miles I ran before running the NYC Marathon). I am trying to run one marathon a month. This will go up until March 2010. The longest number of training miles I ran for the NYC Marathon was 15 miles. I did not want to run more than that. It was very important that I lined up to the NYC marathon. So, I was very conservative with my training. I only had 5 weeks to train between the Toronto and NYC marathons.
* Full name: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Q: What was your pace?
A: I finished in 4 hrs. and 27 mins. This was 30 mins. slower than in the Toronto Marathon. I was running a good pace halfway through the marathon, then I realized that these types of moments do not come often in life. I had to enjoy it. I slowed down a lot after mile 16-17. There was no point for me to rush through the marathon. I enjoyed it a lot. Not worried about my time, I had so much fun that I did not want to get off the course.
Q: What was the race like?
A: This is one of those races you as a runner must run. The people, the crowd… everything was great. I had my name in front of my shirt, people were calling my name (“Suman”) everywhere. I felt very special. I had the support of people who I never met. They helped me to move on throughout the course. I high fived as many people as possible, especially the kids. They were out there…. The city itself was great… I also got to meet fellow runners from around the world. I will run this marathon again within 5 years.
Q: How did you feel when you finished?
A: The feeling of finishing 4th marathons in one year is just great. I am pushing my body to the limit. A year ago, I was worried about how I would do my first marathon. Now, after a year, I was able to finish 4. I was happy that the marathon was finished, but I was sad in the meantime. This is one of the moments in my life… when I was happy and sad at the same time. This was my first charity run as well, so I was so proud that was able to help children around the world with my running. It is not every day that I get to run for a great cause. A part of the fund goes to Polio Plus; children from my home country, Nepal, still suffer from polio.
Q: What do you recommend to runners doing 5Ks, half-marathons and marathons?
A: Keep on running. People think that we as runners run all the time, but that is not a true statement. I actually trained only 3 days a week. I have a simple routine: 5 miles on Tuesday, 5 miles on Thursday and 10+ miles on a weekend. I increased my miles as needed. We all have family obligations, work and other things we have to do. We cannot run all the time. It is also very important that we do cross training as a part of our running schedule. I have tried yoga, but I have not able to successfully implement it.
The more you run, the more you will get to find out about your body’s limit. The body is such a wonderful thing we have. We just have to learn to use it to the max without over doing it.
If you are only training for short distances like 5k, I recommend that you run 2 30 minute sessions during weekdays and one 45 min session during the weekend. That is not too much to ask. If you are training for a marathon, you have to dedicate a little bit longer time.
Food, water and rest are an important part of any runner.
“Everyone has an obstacle in life, only people who cross the finish line are those who keep on pushing themselves ’till the end” – Suman Silwal