Marathon runners in India have built their resilience not only in pacing but also through adapting to various running environments in the midst of the lockdown.
When confined to compact apartments, professional long-distance runners like Praveen Sharma turned towards his roof terrace, a mere 30-35 meters per loop. Such an improvisation, however, has increased the risk for injuries, as the rugged shape of the terrace forces Praveen to make sharp turns at every corner. Over time, he finds that utilizing the “8-shape running routine has prevented an imbalance with his hips, decreasing chances of injuries”.
Sudhir Agawal, a 50-year-old telecom professional sought out a different method: he transformed his living room and home office into a makeshift track with a loop of 27 meters. In order to simulate the most optimized training environment, he sets up water stations to grab water on the go without stopping. This method has allowed him to run double the number of marathons in previous years.
Jyotsana Rawat faces a novel challenge. For her, land and space is not a problem. Facing the monotonous running routine and endless circles have impacted her running morale. As someone who enjoys running because of the scenery, this has proven to be an especially difficult challenge for her. However, she understands that there are “no other options” and has adapted to this new way of running.
For these three professionals, running has long been an integral part of their identities. The virus has done little to stifle their passions and motivation for running.