Fitness Marathon RAAM Trans Siberian Extreme

How I got into Endurance Sports?

Many people ask me this question. What made you to take up endurance sports? It is a long story almost more than 10 years long and even more than that. I was never a sporty guy in my school days. Actually I was very chubby and plum school student. During my 10th and 12th standard years, I had a put on lot of extra weight due to all time studies and no physical activity. At that time it was about getting maximum marks in exams and scoring 90 to 95 % marks in your subjects to get into medical college. My friends used to call me Chota Hati. I was no where considered good for sports and I also remember that I was rejected to be a NCC candidate due to my physical fitness at that time. But I was never sedentary also. Going to school and college by cycle was a normal thing and I used to play lot of cricket but yes cricket does not make you very fit and healthy. It is more of a technical sport. I remember got extremely charged by watching the movie Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar in school days. At that I had no idea that I am going to do race like Race Across America and Trans Siberian Extreme in my life.

After my 12th Standard exams, for the first time in my life, I went to join a gym thinking that this will help me out. After one month of training and going through lot of soreness of weight training, I kind of started liking this new fitness regime. Then I got into MBBS, I started reading lot on physiology and biochemistry, so I started to implementing all the knowledge on to myself. I changed my diet and food habits and became obsessive about following them. At that time, gym, studies and watching Arnold movies was my life. Due to change in my food habits and gym training and cycling I lost quiet lot of weight and gained lot of muscle. I started to like the world of bodybuilding and started to train systematically. Sanju Sir of Barbarian gym was my coach. I remember I used to have a huge collage of Arnold pictures in my room. On provocation from my friends I started to compete in bodybuilding competitions in Nagpur and Vidharbha region. I was extremely shy and introvert so getting into a sport like bodybuilding was extremely un-natural for me. I started to get first three positions and became Vidhabha Shree in 2001 in above 75 kg weight group. One very distinct habit in gym I had was to train alone. I never used to like training partners. For some reason being the only child to my parents, I used to like to be alone and training.

After that came a very lean period of training. I got busy with final year MBBS and my career. There was no career into bodybuilding in India at that time. I had to shift from Nagpur to Mumbai. Gyms were very expensive in Mumbai so I used to do some body weight training at home and used to go for some running in a ground near by in Vashi, Mumbai. Then I had to shift to Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai again. So from 2002 to 2006 was the time of when there was no training. It was about trying to fit into the world but I was missing lifting some weights.

In 2007, I was in Hyderabad and was going through some serious personal problems. Life was very lonely and depressing. I wanted to get out of it. That is when I met Malik Sir. He used to teach Taekwondo – Korean Martial arts. I had done bodybuilding and I used to think that is the best sport. But all my thinking was shattered when I entered the world of Bodybuilding. I started to train in Taekwondo. It was hell of a difficult job. I had no flexibility and I had huge muscle mass from bodybuilding. So I had to become lean and mean machine. Again I started my transformation from a bodybuilder to martial arts player. Life was lonely and I filled it up with training myself in Taekwondo. I used to get up 4.30 AM and go to KBR park for training. I used to train again in evening. Malik Sir became my guru and my best friend in Hyderabad. I learnt a lot from him. To train better I rented a home very near to KBR park so that I don’t waste time in commuting in Hyderabad. Taekwondo – Office – Taekwondo – Sleep that used to me my daily routine. I went on to earn a Black Belt in Taekwondo. Life was fun again and I think those were the best days of my life in Hyderabad.

For Taekwondo, we used to do lot of running training. So one fine day I thought of running a 10 km run in Hyderabad. I ran 10 km in 39 mins. It was a great feeling of achievement for me. Then I ran a half marathon. At that time running half marathons and Taekwondo was a perfect balance. I went to US for further studies at Johns Hopkins University. I ran couple of half marathons in US during my study time. After coming back to India in 2010, I got married and in 2011 I started running full marathons at Hyderabad. 1st edition on ADHM was my first full marathon. Then came to know about Ironman, so I started to learn to swim and purchased my first road bike. Then got more into Ironman and marathon running.

At that time I had never dreamed of doing races like Race Across America and Trans Siberian Extreme. As you climb one peak you see the next peak and I just went on climbing peak after peak. Don’t stop, just keep going, that’s the golden rule of endurance sports. After getting into martial arts and endurance sports, bodybuilding seemed of no interest to me. Endurance sports is a mental battle and the very purpose is to beat your own self. You realize you are your best competition.

Miles N Milers

ProHEALTH Foundation

Be your own Hero…!

Summary of my achievements in sports

Red Bull Trans Siberian Extreme Finisher 9100 km in 25 days in 2018

Race Across America Finisher 5000 km in 11 days 21 hrs in 2017

Ironman Busselton in Australia in 2016

12 times Ironman 70.3 Finisher

8 Full Marathons

1st Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo

Vidharbha Shree in Bodybuilding

Cycling Fitness Marathon

Cycling – gateway to running for beginners

There is a explosion of marathon races in India. Almost every city has marathon events and races these days. Thousands of people participate in these marathons. Some of them do training properly and some of them never train but just run for the sake of it. Lot of people want to adopt to running as a lifestyle or a hobby. If you want to become a good runner start slow and steady. Even though you are just a recreational runner, you still need to train properly. In the beginning invest your time on these.

Run Less in initial days of running. Invest more on learning the sport. Later you can jack up the miles. If you are fit and strong, you can run as much as you want.

Learn Proper Warm -Up – most of the recreational runners never to do good warm up. When I look at the warm up of a competitive runner or a professional runner, they always spend good time to warm themselves up. Investing in learning proper warm up helps you loosen your joints and muscles to do more rigorous work. It also helps in elevating your heart rate.

Learn running drills and stride – Invest time on learning important running drills. Running drills help you to learn to run the right way. When you run with proper stride and foot landing, running becomes effortless. When running is effortless then there is less chance of injury. There are some 10 most important running drills, learn them and always do them before the run.

Strength training – the more the strength, the faster you can run. Most of the beginners ignore strength training. They think that running is an escape from strength training. Training the entire body for strength is important. Exercises like squats, lunges, calf raises, push ups, mountain climbers and core exercises will help you to become strong and hold proper form while running.

Cycling as cross training – Cycling is one of the best way to train for running. I would suggest for a beginner to do cycling every alternate day for one hour or 2 hour. Cycling helps build lots of endurance without risking yourself for injury. You can keep working your heart at low intensity with cycling. This will help you loose lot of extra weight by burning calories for a longer time. Alternate day cycling for three to four months will be a great platform to step into running more kilometers injury free.

Barefoot walking – everyone who wants to start running forgets that they have been just walking or sitting for all those years. Apart from that they forget that they have been using shoes or chappals to roam around everywhere. All these lead to weak foot muscles. So when start suddenly running on tar roads, these weak foot muscles and tendons are bound to get injured. Running in shoes will not strengthen your foot muscles. You need to walk barefoot on mud or grass surface to train your foot muscles. These muscles will get strengthen over a period of 6 months and the arches in your foot will become strong. Your foot is what is going to get hammered on to those tar roads thousands of time. So investing time in strengthening your foot will be useful in long term life in running.

Stretching and flexibility exercises – another most ignored part of training is stretching. Investing 15 to 20 mins after your training in these exercises will help you relax your muscles and help them recover faster. The more flexible you are the more effortless your running will be. The more relaxed your stride will be and more distance will get covered in the same effort.

The entire objective of the above mentioned training is to prepare your body and foot for the high impact sport of running or jogging. In the initial days don’t run on hard tar roads. Run mostly on ground and mud surface. This will help you to prepare yourself for road running. If you invest your 6 months into training systematically as mentioned above, there is whole lot you will be able to do in the world of running and save yourself from injuries.

Your weekly program can be something like this,

Day 1 – warm up, strength and barefoot walking for 15 mins

Day 2 – cycling for 45 mins

Day 3 – warm up, jogging/waling for 20 mins, barefoot walking for 15 mins and stretching exercises

Day 4 – cycling for 60 mins

Day 5 – warm up, jogging/waling for 20 mins, barefoot walking for 15 mins and stretching exercises

Day 6 – cycling for 70 mins

And this can continue to build up….

Dr Amit Samarth


Be your own Hero…!

Cycling Fitness

How to lose weight? – The Endurance Sports Way…!

There are three important factors towards weight loss.
1. Nutrition and Food habits
2. Exercise and sports training
3. Time
1. Nutrition and food habits –
If you are heavily over weight then you need to make dramatic changes to your food habits. Moderation in food habits is the key towards weight loss. Eat small balanced meals.
Reduce heavy carbohydrate foods like – Rice, wheat. Reduce the portions of these foods.
Avoid Junk food like Domino’s, Pizza hut, Haldiram’s
Avoid Sugary drinks like Coca Cola, Sprite, Maaza, Frooti etc.
Maaza and Frooti has more sugar than soft drinks.
Avoid Saoji kind of food.
There are lot of different diets available these days. All of them have one primary goal that is to create calorie deficit.
You can starve yourself and eat only 100 to 200 calories a day and look thin in few weeks but you will dramatically loose health and fitness. That will not work on a long term basis.
What to Eat then?
Eat home cooked food. Small meals. Have 4 hrs gap in between every meal. Your food should provide you protein, good fats like ghee and moderate carbohydrates.
If you want to snack – eat dry fruits
2. Exercise or sports training –
Exercises like jogging, running, cycling, swimming burn maximum number of calories. At low intensity you can keep doing these exercises for a very long time, in fact for hours together. That is the reason all the Miles’n’Milers training is heavily inclined towards jogging, running, cycling and body weight exercises. These are all aerobic exercises, where body is continuously supplying oxygen to the muscles and muscles will keep working for a very long time.
Fat burning Zone – When we do any activity like jogging, cycling, running and swimming, for the first 45 minutes your body is using the glucose present in your muscles and your liver. if you keep on doing the activity then only the stored fat in your body gets utilized. So to loose extra weight and burn more fat you need to do any activity beyond 45 mins.
For example – jogging and walking – 60 mins – 75 mins – 90 mins
Running – for 60 mins and beyond
Cycling – for 60 mins and beyond. This will burn more fat. Advantage of cycling is that you can keep doing it for hours together as it is a non impact activity. Your muscles will recover quickly.
Running and jogging is high impact – more chances of injury. Do more of running and jogging after you have lost some weight.
Activities like gym and weight training – do not burn lot of calories. Heavy weight training should be avoided if you want to loose weight. Only do body weight exercises and light weight training, if you want to tone up the muscles. Don’t join a gym and train like a bodybuilder. You are actually moving away from your goal.
So if you want to loose weight then 80 percent of your training must be activities like cycling, running, swimming, jogging etc. 20 percent you should be focusing on strength training, core training etc.
I have done bodybuilding, martial arts and now into Endurance sports. Believe me Endurance sports is one of the best way to stay healthy, fit and eat all the healthy things available. I eat everything at home. I eat all the things like ghee, high fat curd, high fat milk. My training helps me to stay lean. Because my training is huge.
3. Time – most important factor. Everyone talks about exercise and food habits and expects things to change in few days or weeks. Believe me nothing happens in first few days or first few weeks. You need to invest few months and then few years to become the best version of your own self. The best thing about endurance sports is that the Sport will shape you slowly but surely. So keep training for the sport. It may be running, cycling or Triathlon and it will shape you in few months and years. Best things take time to happen…but when they do happen you will be your own Hero…!
So the Formula is Nutrition habits x Endurance sports training x Time = Weight Loss
Dr Amit Samarth
Be your own hero…!