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Method to Madness - The evolution of my training philosophy

The original plan was to treat Ahmedabad Marathon as my first C category full marathon. But then NYC marathon turned out to be far from perfect, primarily due to couple of minor niggles during race week that might have held me back on race day. (more about that in my next blog) So I decided to put in my best efforts at Ahmedabad, but the course was far from ideal as we went through broken patches of road in pitch dark, leading to a stumble and a micro sprain in my ankle. The hydration support was good but then I reluctantly sipped the electrolyte till I could, due to my poor experiences with the particular product that was served. Somewhere after the 28 km mark I decided not to purse a personal best effort; wasn't an easy decision but it was the right thing to do considering how the rest of my race season was planned out. That decision has allowed me to recover faster than ever and resume my training for the next set of races. More than happy to have finished on the the podium in the race without jeopardizing my future plans.

There was a big reason for not mentioning this race in the past. I feared that it would in some way encourage indiscriminate racing. It was important to express my thoughts clearly and provide some insight into the underlying process before anyone drew the wrong conclusions. Three years into the profession of coaching, the greatest lesson that holds true: 'There are as many ways of training as many athletes'. Structured training isn't simply a bout applying a template. Over these years that I have self coached my self, I have experimented with different training principles, resulting in significant progress each time along with successful results in every big race. It has ranged from following a template in my initial years with limited racing to a very mixed approach based on tenets from different schools of thought

with frequent racing. But its been an incremental change over many years that has allowed me to progress into the current method of training while keeping injuries at bay. My ability to listen to my body and exercise caution has played a major role in allowing me to transition into my current format of training. Consistency in the past couple of years has been key factor for improved train-ability and subsequent recovery that allows me transition into a more demanding structure of training. The most important aspect however is an honest relationship between the body and mind. Developing endurance isn't about physical prowess. Taming the mind, setting objective goals, listening to the body, responding to its cues, the ability to hold back when needed - these are the finer aspects of marathon training that make it such a strategic game, the reasons that I love and enjoy this sport so much. So if you thought 2019 was crazy, you've gotta see 2020.

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