Rachana Patel Interview | Pocket Rocket Speed Runner Of Chennai
6th January 2019 marked the 7th edition of Chennai Marathon.
Running has become an important part of fitness lifestyles all over the world. Chennai is no exception. Runners and fitness enthusiasts have been on the rise in this southern Indian city for over a decade. In this period many regular Chennaites have discovered their inner selves and achieved fitness goals that may have looked impossible some time back.
Team Paandu caught up with Rachana Patel, a rising star in the Indian running fraternity. She is popularly known as Pocket Rocket Speed Runner Rachana, read on to find out why….
Rachana Patel Interview
Paandu: Why running is important and should be a part of one’s fitness regime?
Rachana Patel: In my opinion, running is perhaps the best amongst many holistic forms of exercise. It personifies mind and body syncing in a rhythmic motion resulting in forward motion. It is “Me time”, competing with oneself, trying to better the self with every step. It instils immense amount of discipline, and at the same time it is infinitely enjoyable and gratifying. It helps realise your inner strength and helps you stay energetic… qualities that are essential for a fit body and mind.
Paandu: How should one prepare for marathons, especially those who are going to run for the first time?
Rachana Patel: Start walking 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week and slowly migrate into run /walk after 2 to 3 months. Be consistent, stay patient and put in the work. Join a running group next to you for support. Increase your distances gradually so that your work out is injury free.
Paandu: What should the diet be like for marathon runners?
Rachana Patel: Stick to home cooked food. Avoid processed food, sugar and any kind of food that can be stored more than 2 days. Add a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet.
Paandu: What type of shoes should one use while running marathons and, also, for running as a practice?
Rachana Patel: I would suggest that you visit a running store to understand your gait before selecting the right footwear. It is advisable to have couple of pairs, one for indoor training and one for outdoor sessions. Choose a shoe that suits your foot type. Do not get carried away by latest brands and the “so called” hi-tech models as they may not suit you. You have to be comfortable in them and that should be the prime deciding factor.
Paandu: 5 things that should be there in one’s checklist before going for a marathon.
Rachana Patel: Sleep & rest well.
Load up with good quality carbohydrates couple of days ahead of the marathon.
Do not run on an empty stomach.
A peanut jam butter sandwich /couple of figs/coffee /banana – an hour to an hour and a half before the run is recommended as good and lasting fuel.
Hydrate regularly before and all through the run.
Do not try anything new just before the marathon.
Keep your clothes /running gear/gels, etc., ready the previous night.
Paandu: How long have you been running? How many running events have you taken part in during this period?
Rachana Patel: I started running in the beginning of 2014. It’s been almost 4 and half years since I ran in my first public event. Participating in every event is not really my thing. I believe in quality and not quantity. I have run several 10 kms events, approx. 20 half marathons out of which 2 were trail runs and 2 full marathons. I have been a pacer for 3 events & have won podium position 7 times in the veteran category. And today (6th Jan) I clocked the best time and bagged the top place in the ladies’ veteran category at the Skechers Performance Chennai Marathon 2019. Apart from this I have been a TWCM volunteer for couple of years, been holding ‘the position of chapter coordinator of Nungambakkam Nitros and have been selected as a Running Ambassador at the UNIS ISHM (Inner Strength Half Marathon, Chennai) in February 2019.
Paandu: Anything else you would like to convey to our readers and runners from all over?
Rachana Patel: I invite you all to join me at the UNIS Inner Strength Half Marathon in Chennai on 17 February 2019. I would like you to spare a minute and watch the video below:
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