Running is a therapy for mind, body, and soul. There is an utmost satisfaction in running that knows no leaps and bounds. In fact, the best thing about running is that it sees no age and embraces you the minute you start. All you need to motivate yourself to get on tracks and once you are there you are never going to look back! Sanjay Fuloria, a running enthusiast has completed 4 marathons and is still energetic to conquer more! And you wouldn’t believe when we say that he started running at the age of 40! Yes, you can definitely begin running in your 40's and why just 40's, go ahead and start running even in your 50's.
Sanjay is just like us! A hardworking IT professional who balances work life perfectly and devotes ample time for his passion - Running! What started as a fitness regime turned into a religion for Sanjay and now he passionately runs for various marathons and other race events. Sanjay’s inspiring story for #iamlivingit series shows that age is just a number and it’s never late to follow your dreams. So join us and find out his easy tips and motivation factor to stay on the tracks.
Livingit: Tell us something about yourself?
Sanjay Fuloria: I am an avid sports buff. I work in an IT company. I have continued playing tennis, badminton, and cricket even after joining the corporate world. I started running at the age of 40. I have a wife and a son. My wife is also a runner.
Livingit: What inspired you to start running?
Sanjay Fuloria: I took up running for fitness. I saw one of our senior runners on a long run in 2014. That visual inspired me. Then we formed a running group in the community we live in. Ever since I have been running 2 to 3 days a week.
Livingit: What was the first marathon (and/or a running event) you ever participated in?
Sanjay Fuloria: I did participate in a 10K event in 2003 at Hyderabad. This was organized by the Hyderabad 10K foundation around the Hussain Sagar Lake. My first full marathon was the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon in 2015.
Livingit: How do you train yourself for marathons? What is your general training regime?
Sanjay Fuloria: I am part of a running group called Peerancheruvu Runners Group (PCR). 3 months prior to any major event, a training schedule is published in our WhatsApp group. It includes 3 days of running in a week. The distances vary with the target race category. Hill training, interval training and tempo runs are also included in the plan. We have cross training like swimming or cycling. Strength training is also a part of our regimen. Basically being in a group helps.
Livingit: What is your best running experiences/memories?
Sanjay Fuloria: My best running experiences have been in Airtel Hyderabad Marathon. The wonderfully cheerful volunteers make it special. Talking to fellow runners is always invigorating. Encouraging a fellow runner and being encouraged is also special.
Livingit: Which are some of the challenges you’ve faced while running in your city/country?
Sanjay Fuloria: One challenge I faced was poor traffic management in the full marathon event organized at Bangalore. Apart from that too much crowding by runners near the water stations, weather (I know nobody can control that), SAG support (we need to carry our own water during training).
Livingit: What do you wish you knew before taking part in your first official marathon?
Sanjay Fuloria: I think I had proper guidance before my first official marathon. I was lucky in that sense.
Livingit: Regarding proper guidance before your official marathon could you elaborate about what guidance and training tips you were given that made your first marathon race successful?
Sanjay Fuloria: The training plan was very clear. Proper rest was advised. Running for only 3 days a week with enough cross training and strength training thrown in. Motivation by our mentor as he leads by example.
Livingit: Who is your inspiration, do you consider anyone your mentor?
Sanjay Fuloria: Mr. Satish Raju is my inspiration and he is my mentor too.
Livingit: Staying fit helps a runner perform better on the tracks. So what role does diet play in your running regimen?
Sanjay Fuloria: Diet is also very important as I have seen many runners not losing weight. No junk food. Eat millets and brown rice. Yes. Now, I don't crave junk food. I have stopped drinking aerated drinks. The routine of my workout is now fixed.
Livingit: What is the most rewarding thing about long distance running, why do you continue it?
Sanjay Fuloria: I think it is the friendships you make with the members of your running group.
Livingit: How many races have you taken part in so far and which of them have been challenging?
Sanjay Fuloria: Till date, I have completed 4 full marathons and wish to increase my number. Coming to the challenging part it was the Bangalore marathon! The biggest challenge I felt was the bad traffic management and awful weather.
Livingit: How do you balance your passion, running, along with your professional life? Has running helped in your professional/personal life?
Sanjay Fuloria: Running has definitely helped me in my professional life. I remain more alert during the day and my outlook has turned more positive. Since my wife is also a runner, it becomes easier at home, on days when I feel lazy, she motivates me to step out and run.
Livingit: That's wonderful. What are the three most important things to keep in mind while running?
Sanjay Fuloria: Hydration, form and the right pace. Right pace is the most important as one should always bear in mind, the competition is with oneself. Don't try to outdo others as each individual is different.
Livingit: What keeps you focused during the marathon? Share with us few mental techniques that push you through the challenging moments?
Sanjay Fuloria: I focus on the next 500 meters at a time. Then I have some mantras like, "Yes, you can do it, Sanjay", which I keep chanting to myself.
Livingit: What is your advice to any aspiring runner?
Sanjay Fuloria: For every aspiring runner out there I would suggest these- Sleep well, gradually increase distances, listen to your body and set your own pace.
Livingit: Which marathons would you like to take part in next? Any Ultra events in the plans?
Sanjay Fuloria: I have registered for the Hyderabad Ultra Marathon scheduled on November 5th, 2017.
Livingit: In terms of running, what’s on your bucket list?
Sanjay Fuloria: Khardungla Challenge, a 72K race. It is also called La Ultra.
Livingit: What are your preparations for the Khardungla Challenge.
Sanjay Fuloria: Haven't started preparing for that. If I keep running the way I have been doing, Khardungla will also happen. I have no doubts about that.
Running is freedom and to experience that magical feeling you need to start with small steps. So don’t procrastinate, don’t snooze the alarm in the morning, just roll of the bed and lace up your shoes to hit the tracks! It is time to train your body and mind to encounter the surreal feel of running!
You must expect great things from yourself before you can do it - Michael Jordan
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