Sunday, September 10, 2006

My first 22 miler

My biggest physical achievemnet. :) I ran my first 22 miler with Pam and Arun.
This saturday we ran the Sawyer Camp Trail. Well it is an awesome trail, till about 4 and a half miles. After that it is one treacherous hill.

We have done Sawyer camp a few times before and it was always painful. Surprisingly this time, the first 6 were a piece of cake. After we came back to the start line, we were a little sore and the tough of going back was daunting. Well, but we wanted to do the second tener. So tanked the fuel belt with gatorade and started on a trot. Miles 13, 14 and 15 went in a flash as we we were hailing all the returning Asha runners and it was not so bad. After that it started getting a little tougher. As alwasy my left hamstring started to twitch and I was getting a little worried. Pam is one strong woman and she kept going up while I was panting and trying to catch up. Arun of course, was just realaxing and having fun with us slow pokes.

Well once we completed 17 miles, it was another 5 miles before we head home and 18 and 19 were downhill. But downhill is not simple as your quads take quite a beating and we were in no shape for it. So I used the meandering technique similar to skiing when you want to go real slow down a steep slope.

Well some we passed Kalywan at the water stop with 2.5 more miles to go. After fueling, Pam decided that we should not stop and keep going till the finish. Well, it was a nice slow run. We relaxed and enjoyed the lake and were encouraging each other to keep pushing. The last mile was phenomenal as we decided to sprint and sprint we did. We did tracks in the last 800 and finished the 22 miles in 4 hours. Wheww, thinking about it as I write gives me a major kick.
Have I discovered runner's high yet? May be in Chicago... I wonder.

One other small note. I have not blogged for some time, but if you want to look at my running logs, see

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday Track Workouts

Ran last nite really well. We did 4 milers at pace of 9:30, 8:50, 8:40 and then finally 8:30. Hurraah!!!

Also did a 10 mile the saturday previously. Was great. Did a run walk with Aamir. Had fun!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

weekend run

Ran in the beautiful sawyer trail. Was awesome, but hilly, especially mile 5 to mile 6. But we did pretty good and completed 14 miles. It was an easy run and we were on the trail for almost 2-1/2 hours.

thursday run - baylands park

Ran about 5.5 miles. I lost track, needed to finish fast, but I did quick.

Monday, July 31, 2006

SF half marathon

Missed blogging a few other runs, mostly weekly runs and a small 8 miler on my birthday.

But ran the SF half. It was 13.1 miles and running on the bridge was fabulous. But after than the hills kept on comming. My knees I need to do something about them and I also pulled my hamstring at mile 11 and then I think it was all uphill.

I just felt bad that it was not my best, but it was a good lesson.
I need to remember.
1) Stretch well.
2) Take it slow in the beginning and maintain pace till the end.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Tuesday Track Workouts

It was tough as I was still a little sore, but felt strong and ran most 3 mile laps in about 9:15-9:25. So it was not so bad. :) But racing fast is what makes my mind go happy.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

carneros napa-sonoma half marathon

Boy was it fast. I was running the initial miles in less than 10 min/mile. After 8th mile, reduced speed to more than 10 min/mile. Wheww. But picked up pace in the last 1.1 mile and finished really strong. Finished in 2:12:19 net time, 2:13:20 official time.

Wheww simply amazing, even in my standards. :)

thursday run - baylands park

Easy 3 miler as I had registered for the Carneros Half.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday run

Ran the ususal 4 miler to tasman in Bayland's. Ran it in a little under 10 and it was awesome.

4 miles = 39:35.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Saturday run - Sawyer Camp

Ran 12 miles whoa for the first time in my life. Ran with Pam and did about 2:23.
The view was awesome and the run was evcen greater.

thursday run - baylands park

5 miles tempo run. Felt great.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

sunday run

ran in portlan 6 miler less than 60 minutes. From Pune's house to 26 down shute road.
It was fun, but lonely, as the rest of the gang was deeply asleep.

thursday run -coyote creek

We ran the thursday as I was away at Portland for the weekend. It was awesome. Did a 10 miler with Arun Sharma, Pam and Gurmeet. Man was it tough, especially without the water. But the running part was cool and I felt great.
10 miler - 1:47.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tuesday Track Workouts

We did a 3 rounder of 1 miles. Did 9:17, 9:13 and then finally 8:53. Whoa. I love tracks and running fast.

monday run

was a little sore after the long run. so ran slow, but felt great after the run.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday long run in Fremont Trail

Isherwood way and Paseo Padre Pkwy.
1) As usual I lost the way and reached very very late. More than half hour. So when I started most folks had started and were coming back from their two miler by the time I decided to stretch.
2) Well then started and was going strong. Was ahppy to see Pam come in today.
3) As I reached the 8 miler mark, I forgot I was only doing 8 and kept going. Went all the way to the 10 miler mark, which meant 4 miles more to go back.
4) Whew the last mile was a pain, but managed the whole 10 miles in 10:44.
That was awesome even in my most critical standard. :)

Thrursday's run in Rancho

Ran with Dakshesh, going up was a pain in the ****, but coming down was a breeze. We raced down and boy did he push me. We did the round trip of 5 miles in 1:03. Not bad, fist time on the hills.

Monday, June 19, 2006

monday run

We did 4 miles upto Tasman and back. Ran with Arun Desigan.
It was an excellent run and we did it in about 41:03.

Also today's stretching was lead by Dakshesh and he did an awesome job of it. Wheww!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Long run saturday

Ran 8 miles in 1:28 - 11 minute pace. It feels great, but I am terribly short on sleep, so I am going to nod off now.

thursday run - alviso

3 miles - 10 minute pace. We went steadily and kept going. Ran with Dksheesh.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tuesday tracks

Disappointment galore - basic learning - don't go all out on the first track and then suffer.
Did first 1200 in 5:53, second in 6:18 and felt a pull in my left hamstring on second lap of third track.
My pace is probably around 2:03, so run the first one slowly while the legs are still warming up at about 2:10 pace.
Run the second set of 400s at 2:05 pace and the last one at 2:00.

That would be awesome and something desirable.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Injury Free Running

From Runner's World - click ont he link

Monday run

We ran in Alviso park. 3 miles. Did about 10 minute pace, but was uneven as I kept speeding towards the end. Need to slow down, especially on a day before tracks.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

long run

Sat long run. We only did 6 miles. And I ran it in 1 hour and 3 minutes. About 10 minutes a mile. Well could have done better, but happy that I did not feel any discomfort at all.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

MY hike to Half Dome

I am blogging this because I have an infinte sense of achievement (runner's high in other words) and it hopefully will be a part of my training.

We started around 7 on friday (June 2) to Yosemite. Due to the usual delays, managed to reach there by 12:30 am (June 3). We had hotel Clerk set the alarm for 5:00 am.

As usual with the normal delays, by the time we started the hike, it was about 10ish. We took the John Muir Trail, went up vernal falls and along the way to Nevada falls.

We had a very refreshing break in Nevada Falls and as usual plenty of pictures. We reached the bottom of the elephant back pretty soon. But looking up was so scary that I went about in my usual self asking people what they thought about climbing all the way to the top.

Well with that courage, Chethan, Vishwa and me set out on that crazy task. I was shit scared, but the point is DONT EVER LOOK DOWN. Once you know that it is fairly easy.

Vishwa for some more reason I hope I will fathom some day, stopped, as we hit the tall tree on the elphant's back. Magi and me kept plowing.

At the top of the elephant's back was really a great view awaiting us. Magi decided to stay there as he started developing cramps in the left leg.

Though the cables all the way to the top were freaking me out. Though I am terrified of heights, something inside me told me to keep going. One step at a time I kept forging ahead, never once thinking about how I am going to come down.

I picked a pair of gloves and grapped the cabe and kept moving up. Soon I realized my mistake. The gloves had a few holes and the cables were tearing into my hand. If you look at the pictures you will know that there are a series of 2x4s which act as ledges, on with you can rest your feet (my toes).

It took every ounce of energy from me to get to the top. Half my energy was lost trying to fight the fear of heights in me. Anyways after a lot of huffin and puffin made it to the top.

I sat on the boulder and looking at the view, emotions poured out. The view was fantabulous and the hike to the top was worth every step in gold.

I wanted to look down and well I kind of slept on the ledge and peeeeeeeeered down. Boy was it sheer. It was a straight drop. Though it was an awesome sight, I had the courage only to look at it for a few seconds. But those images will remain in my memory for a long long time to come.

It was on our way and at the top that I met Harjinder Dhillon. He is one amazing guy and has been to the top about 6-7 times. :) All the pictures I have were taken by him. We walked around for a while talking in general about life, hike up here and mostly about going down.

He helped me all the way to the bottom, guiding me and constantly reminding me, DON'T LOOK DOWN. Hats of to him for helping a stranger get down. But it wasn't just me. There was another couple too, whom he helped come down. And all he had to say at the end of it was pay it forward.

The down hike was alright, but painful, as I had a few tiny gravel in my shoes and we were going way too fast, to beat the daylight ( I mean get back before it was dark). Also our water supply had run out and kudos to Vishwa for finding some one with a filter to help us get water.

I would not have made it to the top if it were not the encouragement, determination of Chethan, Vishwa and Vivek. Thanks guys. And I would not have it back down, if it were not for Harjinder Dhillon. :)

Last but not the least, I am supremely confident that it is my marathon training that gave me the strength and mental toughness to presevere all the way to the top and back. Go Asha!

It was a phenomenal experience, that I would recommend to everyone.
Pics are in my yahoo photos. Ping me if you want to have a look.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Was very wonderful. Ran 8 x 400 meters. My timing is around 1:53/lap on the average.
Ran the first under 1:40 and then felt uncomfortable. But at 1:50 I was going the swiftest.
which is exactly what I need a little more than a minute under my MTT.

Monday, May 29, 2006

weekend run,

4 miles - last part was tough due to really strong winds. Was a little disappointed.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Usual weekday run

Did the usual 3.8 miler loops. But it was great today. Was more charged. Also I did the knee lift thing,w hich was very helpful.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tuesday tracks

We did a 400, 800, 400 and another 800. I think the two 400s and the first 800 went fast and less than 4 mins. The last 800 I did a 4:03, though the fist lap was a 2:10.

I love running fast. It gets you pumped up and you feel so nice as you race hard.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Did the usual 3 miler. Did a good job on the stretches today. Ran with Pavan and Ashish and it was fun as we were talking all the time and time just flew.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

weekend 5 miler

Did not wake up on time today, so did the 5 miler myself. It was great. Started with warm up, stretches. Skipped the core, my stomach was not willing to go with the abs and crunches. But did the rest, including the lunges and squats.

Ran from Redback to Plumeria and back. Exactly 5 miles. Checked with the car last night.

Started the run a little slow and was felling ok, for a while. Then I guess something kicked in and I took off. Probably when I realized 5 miles isn't all that much. Especially after I crossed Tasman. :) Another interesting part in todays run was, it started pouring on the way back and it was the most awesome experience to run in the rain. Simply amazing. :)

Did the entire run in just over an hour. 1:02. 12 minutes a mile, not very proud of it, but was about 3 minutes slower than MTT (as it should be). :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Baylands run

Ran the usual 3 miles. Did not check the time. Probably was the slowest, but it felt great when I finished.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lactic Acid

Lactic Acid is what I need!

Tuesday Track Workouts

We did a a 2 lap warm up, stretches and 4 400 m runs with a 2 min break in between.

Felt great. Mostly did 1:51, 1:48, 1:47, 1:50.

In the last one was a little out of breath, but spoke to Rajeev and he says my back is ok in terms of form. But need to keep my chin high and control breathing.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Anthony's Bachelor Cooking

I found a very cool cooking blog, with vry simple recipies.
Anthony's Bachelor Cooking

Baylands run

Ran 3 miles in loops today at Baylands park.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

What is runner's high?

First 4 miler - saturday long run

Ran 4 miles today. It was initially tough, because i) I reached late. and ii) just as I was starting, I saw Coach Tony Fong running back to the finish. Wheww!!

Felt super charged and it wasn't so difficult. Was it runner's high? I think I am going to spend a long time chasing it.

Frankly I think it is all those people running there and who you meet and talk to and say hi that keeps you going. It was an awesome run.

Now to the injuries. I think I got shin splints on my left leg and the knee on my right seems out of whack. Coach Fong says, it it ITB and my knee does not ride so smoothly on the groove and I need to stretch my ITB a lot more. Ok ITB it is!

And in case u did not already know, endorphins are the reason why you feel the pain later than during a run or a game.:)

Anyways will spend most of tomm icing and nursing it.

One big mistake, forgot to time myself, due to the late start, the time keeper was already running. Need to get my watch or reach there in time.

Friday, May 12, 2006


1. Bananas (Smoothies)
Everyone knows bananas are full of carbohydrates. Less known is the fact that they contain vitamin B6, which is essential for managing protein metabolism. (Runners need more protein during and after training.)

When: Before, during, or after exercise. Great for snacks between meals. They're great blended into a fruit smoothie. My favorite: Banana, frozen strawberries, orange juice and soya protein powder (The B6 will help metablize the protein).

2. Carrots
Carrots contain carotene and vitamin A, which promote eye health and a strong immune system. You need a healthy immune system as you step into your long-runs

When: Eat them whenever you want something to munch something. I like juicing carrots with apple and ginger - prevents shin splints.

3. Cereal bars

A cereal bar will satisfy your sweet cravings, and also provide B vitamins and iron.

When: Snack between meals.
4. Cereal with skimmed milk
Most cereals are vitamin and mineral fortified, and they're great with fresh fruit sliced on top.

When: Great for a pre-run or post-run snack

5. Chocolate milk (Or Chocolate Soya milk)

Chocolate milk helps keep you hydrated. It also provides plenty of protein, carbohydrates and B vitamins. The calcium in milk will help keep your bones strong.
I drink Chocolate Soya milk instead - keep cartons from Whole Food in my refrigerator at work and home.

When: Perfect on a hot day or a hard run in summer.
6. Cottage cheese (paneer)
Packed with protein for muscle rebuilding and repair

When: Any time except just before running. Great after-run snack or afternoon/evening snack.
7. Dried fruits: Apricots or Prunes
High in carbohydrate, they provide a decent amount of fibre and potassium.

When: Any time. (Don't eat prunes just before a run, as they can act as a laxative and make you head for the port-a-potty)
8. Energy bars
Pick your favorites - from high-carb bars, protein recovery bars, or ones that contain a mixture of carbs, protein and even vitamins. They're tasty and come in all kinds of flavours.

When: Post-exercise. Any mid-day snack - just not before exercise.
9. Fruit yogurt
Active cultures in yogurt help boost the immune system. Great source of calcium, protein and potassium - and fairly high in carbohydrates.

When: Any time you feel like snacking.
10. Peanut butter (on rice cake or bagel or...)
Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein. It also contains vitamin E, which helps with muscle recovery.

When: A perfect filling snack for mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Allergies - links and fundae

As the article mentions, it is the reduction in alkalinity that causes allergies. Thee are mineral salts that make blood alkaline. Alfalfa and celery are good sources of such mineral salts. You can get alfalfa leaves at any health food store. Instead of giving up your runs, incorporate the following in your diet. And continue enjoying those runs. (Courtesy Coach Raman).

Food- Vitamins - Trace Elements -Benefits

Alfalfa - A, C, K, P - Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, Iron, Copper, Managanese, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, Chromium
Allergies: The mineral salts make blood alkaline, reducing allergic reactions. Heart Disease: Removes plaques from arteries
Combine with Carrot juice to prevent intestinal gas. Recipe: 2 Tablespoons alfalfa, 5-6 carrots, ½ inch ginger

Celery - B-Complex, A, C - Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium -
Eczema/Rash, Allergies (Strong mineral salts make blood alkaline), Blood poisoning (Due to rusty nail, dirt in wound), Hyperactivity
Juice 2 celery stalks with 5 carrots, 1 apple and 3/4 inch ginger

Go Bananas!

Bananas Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fibre, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anaemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work - Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine,” eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the
risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.

So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

PS Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all
the time!

Running and Nutrition

It's a relatively ignored fact that nutrition is one of the most important parts of a running regimen, be it a regimen for a 10K or one for a marathon. Eating the right kind of food at the right times is very essential. Another key element of a successful exercise program is hydration i.e. drinking the appropriate fluid at the right time. In general, runners should try and get about 55-60% of their calories from CARBOHYDRATES, about 25-30% from FATS and the remainder (about 10-15%) from PROTEINS. These terms will be discussed in detail below. When you eat is almost as important as what you eat. Running on an empty stomach, especially during the longer runs, will not make for a good run. It is advisable to eat something like a bagel etc. a few hours before a run. You will need to experiment with food that works best for you. It is also advisable not to eat too close to the start of your run. Wait at least an hour or so before setting off for a run.

As a runner, your daily caloric intake should not be less than 2000 caloris. If you are running more than 25 miles per week, raise that number to 2500 calories.

Let's now talk about food groups, vitamins and supplements and hydration.

Carbohydrates, the fastest way for the body to get sugar for energy, are the body's primary source for energy for running or any other form of aerobic exercise. Carbs, as they are often referred to, are converted by our bodies to glucose. This glucose is either immediately used for energy by the body or stored away into muscles as glycogen. It is these very glycogens that our bodies use when running. The longer one runs, the more the glycogen reserves get depleted. Once they are gone, we hit what is traditionally known as the "wall". Another term is "bonking" i.e. I bonked at mile 20. For your information, every gram of carbohydrate needs

Carbohydrates are either Simple or Complex. Simple carbs are basic sugars and examples are candy, fruits and sodas. Avoid these (except for the fruits) as far as possible. Complex carbs, unlike the simple kind, provide energy for a longer period. Common foods that are classified as Complex carbs are cereals, pasta, breads, rice, potatoes, and vegetables. It's important that you maintain a diet high in complex carbohydrates to support your running program and meet your sports nutrition needs.

Everything that you eat that is not used by the body gets converted to fat and is stored away. Excess carbs get converted to fat as do excess proteins.

Fat comes in three types:

Saturated Fat
These are fats that remain solid at room temperature. Common examples are red meat and dairy products. These fats, required by our bodies, should make up at most 10% of the overall caloric intake.

Poly-unsaturated Fat
These fats stay semi-solid at room temperature e.g. margarine, butter, vegetable oils. These fats are definitely better than saturated fats.

Mono-unsaturated Fat
Mono-unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature e.g. olive oil and most other natural oils. Recent studies have shown that diets with a higher proportion of mono-unsaturates seem to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is recommended that one obtain 25 to 30% of one's daily calories from fats with the majority of those coming from mono-unsaturated fats.

Proteins are needed to repair and build muscles that suffer micro-tears when running. These tears are repaired using proteins. In addition, proteins expedite the absorption of carbs into the muscles.Meats, eggs, beans and nuts are common examples of foods that contain significant amounts of protein. Runners need to get 10 to 15% of their daily calories from protein.

Generally, if one eats right, one does not need additional vitamins or supplements. Eating right means getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to non-processed foods every day.

Studies have shown that runners tend to benefit from consuming anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Is water the best fluid to drink when running?

Water makes up 60-70% of our bodies. It does not provide any energy but is extremely vital in the functioning of our bodies. Our muscles work very hard when we run, producing large amounts of heat. Water helps to regulate the core temperature of the body.

As a runner, you will need to replace large amounts of fluids and salts lost through sweat. If you are thirsty during a run, it is generally too late. It is imperative that you drink 6-8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes when running. The danger of relying solely on water during really long runs is that the large amounts of water imbibed can lead to a condition called hyponatremia (low sodium). This happens because the concentration of sodium becomes dangerously low with the additional water. It is recommended that you drink a sports fluid like Gatorade, Powerade or Cytomax when running to replenish the electrolytes lost during exercise. The hotter the weather the more you will need to drink in order to replenish the lost fluids and electrolytes. You will need to keep hydrated even if the weather is cool. You will not sweat as much but do not let that fool you. Hydration during a run AND after is very important.

Glycemic index is a measure of the rapidity with which a carbohydrate food will affect levels of blood sugar. Foods that get digested fast and release sugar into the bloodstream are said to possess high GI while those that take a lot longer, i.e. a slower rate of sugar release into the bloodstream, are said to have low GI. The ranges for GI levels appear below.

Range of values
Less than 55
56 – 69
More than 70

GI is significant because of the following reasons:
Low GI foods lead to a lower blood sugar rise
High GI foods lead to post-meal sugar spikes which can be bad for blood vessels
Low GI food keep a person fuller for longer
Low GI food make for longer endurance activities
High GI foods help replenish muscle sugars also known as glycogens

In general, one is advised to eat carbohydrates that have low GI values than those with a high GI rating. GI values appear in the table below. One can move to low GI foods by following simple guidelines like
eating oats, barley or bran for breakfast
substituting white bread with “grainy” bread
increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables and cutting back on potatoes

White bread has been assigned a GI value of 100.

GI value
Chana dal
Milk, full fat
Kidney beans (rajma)
Chick peas (garbonzo beans)
Pear, fresh
Peach, fresh
Rice, parboiled
Ice cream, low fat
Orange juice
Rice, white
Porridge (oatmeal)
Ice cream
Table sugar

A Heart Healthy Diet for Indian Runners
Do you know that South Asians are more likely to suffer from heart attack or stroke than any other ethnic group? About 2 in 5 of South Asian male deaths are linked to heart attacks.

It has been observed that Indians tend to get about 40% of their energy from fat. Reducing it to 30% will make a huge change in their health and longevity. A heart-healthy diet coupled with exercise is the best way to effect a positive change in the quality of one’s life. Avoid the “bad” fats i.e. saturated and hydrogenated fats and eat more of the “good” fats i.e. monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Ways to reduce your fat intake:
Avoid/minimize spreading ghee/butter/margarine on your rotis
Replace full fat or homogenized milk with 2%, 1% or skim milk
Reduce your consumption of fried items like puris/bhaturas and snacks
Limit the intake of high cholesterol foods like eggs, cheese shrimp etc.
Avoid pickles preserved in oil or drain the oil before taking a helping of the pickle
Choose good oils like canola oil or olive oil over other cooking oils

Our traditional diet is generally healthy since it is rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates. We can supplement it by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain products. Soluble fiber like those found in dals and oat bran appear to lower blood cholesterol. In order to increase fiber and complex carbohydrate intake one can
Use whole wheat flour to make rotis
Mix a tablespoon of oat bran for every cup of flour while making the roti dough
Steamed or boiled rice is better than pulau or biryani. Eat brown rice occasionally
Substitute fruit juices with raw fruits, preferably unpeeled

Heart Healthy Recipes
Here are a few recipes that are healthy and have a reasonable balance of the three food groups.

Penne Pasta with Vegetables
8 oz. Penne pasta
3-4 ripe tomatoes, chopped up into cubes
1 head of broccoli, cut up into individual florets
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
4-5 mushrooms
5-7 leaves of basil, finely chopped
5-7 leaves of spinach, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
15-20 pine nuts
5-6 tablespoons Olive oil
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt to taste

Serves 2-3

Cook pasta as directed on the packet. Ensure that it is cooked al dente. Drain the pasta. While the pasta is cooking lightly sautee the garlic and the pine nuts in a saucepan on medium heat. Once the garlic has turned golden brown, toss in the red pepper flakes if desired and then add the tomatoes. Sautee until the tomatoes have turned pulpy. Now add the carrots and the broccoli and sautee for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and sautee for another minute or so. Add the spinach and basil to the saucepan and sautee for a minute. Finally add the pasta to the saucepan and toss it gently with the cooked vegetables. Serve hot with grated parmesan cheese on top.

Alcohol is a diuretic and inhibits the absorption of oxygen into the blood. In excess it will affect the heart negatively. Limit yourself to no more than two drinks a day if you must. Dilute the drink with low-sodium mineral water.

There is so much talk of cholesterol and its effect on the heart and lifestyle these days but what is cholesterol?

It is a waxy, fat-like substance produced by the liver. It also enters our bodies from animal foods we eat like meat, whole milk, cheese, butter and eggs.

Cholesterol is essential for developing cell walls and in aiding other bodily functions. Too much of it can be harmful and lead to heart problems.

In order for cholesterol to travel through the blood, it is coated with a layer of protein to make a lipoprotein. Two types are High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is called a “good cholesterol” because it is believed to aid in removing cholesterol from the body. High levels of HDL may help reduce the risk of heart disease while low levels may increase that risk. LDL or “bad cholesterol”, in excess, builds up inside the arteries and may lead to heart disease. Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in our blood. Most of the body’s fat tissue, coming from fat in our food, is in the form of triglycerides which are stored for energy. High triglyceride levels can increase the risk of heart disease.

Blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and are reported as
Total cholesterol levels
“Good” cholesterol
“Bad” cholesterol

How High?
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has determined that a total cholesterol number above 240 is considered high. To put this number in perspective, a person with a total cholesterol level of 240 has twice the risk of heart disease than someone whose cholesterol is 200 mg/dL. A value between 200-239 is termed borderline.
It is desirable to have a total cholesterol level below 200.

The reasons for having high cholesterol are
Unhealthy diet
Lack of physical exercise
Being overweight

Lowering Cholesterol
One of the easiest ways to lower cholesterol levels is to change to a healthier diet (outlined above) and to introduce an exercise program into your lifestyle. By eating more fruits and vegetables, decreasing the intake of saturated fats and exercising at least 30 minutes on most days can significantly reduce cholesterol levels.
Substitute the oil you are using currently with extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil does not alter the taste of Indian food
Eat a few nuts every day – peanuts, almonds, walnuts etc.
Cut down on alcohol intake
Avocados are known to contain HDL and can be beneficial
Avoid stress as far as possible
Control your body weight. One way is to avoid large meals (portion control). Avoid going hungry for long periods of time. That causes one to gorge during big meals. Instead, consider snacking on healthy foods between meals. For example, after eating a hearty breakfast, eat a few raw vegetables (carrots, broccoli, green peppers, celery) or a whole wheat sandwich with jam around 10:30-11:00 am. Eat lunch and then another small snack around 3-4 pm – a lowfat muffin for example. Eat dinner early.

These diets should not be adopted without consultation with your physician. If you intend to go on one of these diets, please inform your physician that you are currently training for a marathon. These next 5-6 months are carbohydrate friendly months. Your body will need carbs and to deprive it of the fastest source of energy during a run will make the training sessions very hard and could have unwanted repercussions.

How to buy shoes!

Roggie - No Running Journal is ever complete without a mention of him

Roger Bannister - Four minute Mile - - in his own words.

More from othe Asha Reader's that I added to this journal.

Every runner has grown up on the legend of Roger Bannister and his great feat of breaking the "four minute barrier".

In the 1940s, running a four minute mile was thought to be the physical limit of the human body. By 1954, several men had taken up the challenge of the 4-minute mile. Bannister, a medical student and self-coached runner, was one of them. On 6 May 1954, he took part in a meet between British Amateur Athletic Association and Oxford University at Iffley Road track in Oxford.

The race was scheduled for 6pm. At 5:15pm, it rained. The wind came in gusts. But as the runners lined up for the start, the wind began to drop. Bannister decided to go for broke. He had arranged for his friends Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher to set the pace for the first laps so he completed the first three quarter-mile laps in under three minutes. Finishing the last lap in less than a minute, Bannister burst the tape and collapsed, near unconsciousness. The announcer read the time: "3 minutes . . ." The rest was lost in the roar of the crowd. Banister had broken the 4-minute barrier. 3mins 59.4secs.

Looking back, Bannister described his achievement as, ".. rather like Everest. A challenge to the human spirit .. that seemed to defy all attempts to break it." Bannister's record-setting mile run was called the Miracle Mile because some doubted a four-minute-mile was physically possible for a man to achieve. In 2005, Forbes magazine declared that Bannister's feat was the Greatest Athletic Achievement.

There is another interesting side note to this event. The announcer at the 1954 race was Norris McWhirter, who along with his brother Ross, went on to publish and edit the Guinness Book of Records.

The mile record is currently held by Hichal El Guerrouj who took 3mins 43.13secs to cover the distance at a meet in Rome in 1999.


1 (includes a video clip from BBC's coverage of the complete 1954 race)



Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mile Time Trial

Ran the MTT in 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Not bad I guess, but could have made it faster. Wasn't sure how to time it or how fast to run without exertion.