Triathlete and marathon runner Mehak Kapoor shares her training ritual for the upcoming Half Marathon. Her biggest source of inspiration comes from ordinary people who undertake long distance runs. 

Every time I run, my mission is to outdo myself, and see my progress. It’s hard to believe that I started with not being able to run 800 metres. Four years ago, I started running seriously. Now, here I am, running my 4th ADHM and my 15th Half Marathon.

When people look up to you, you want to do better. So new runners boost me by saying we would like to run like you, one day.

Training for endurance and speed

Training for a marathon involves building speed and endurance. Speed running builds the former, and long runs build the latter. I begin preparations for the ADHM 6-8 weeks before the event. During this time, I put in 10-12 hours a week of training. My routine involves a mix of running drills, body strength conditioning and long runs.

First two weeks are the buildup weeks. During this time, I slowly build my pace and mileage depending upon my target. Towards the last week, I taper off and reduce the mileage, to peak on race day.

I build strength mainly with body weight exercises, done thrice a week. Endurance is built by increasing the mileage, and having one long run per week. And stamina is built by running drills like HIIT( Sprints), Fartleks, Tempo runs and Speed runs.

Running gear must breathe easy

Women runners must ensure that they wear a good sports bra and socks, so what immediately touches the skin should be of the best dry fit quality. Wear dry fit only.

Foreverfit- Runner Mehak Kapoor

Raceday concerns

One concern is that I haven’t trained enough. Nevertheless, eating right and having a good rest few days before the half marathon also works. And I believe that under training is always better than over training for a distance runner.

I don’t listen to music during my run, as my rhythm comes from my breath. In the end, a positive mind works wonders on Raceday, so be positive and enjoy your run. Life is much bigger than any race!

Mehak Kapoor has accomplished the International Olympic Triathlon in Delhi, and works as a fitness trainer and Business Head with NCR’s largest outdoor fitness community, Bootcamp Yellow. She is the founder of We Amritsar Runners, the first and largest running group in Amritsar, Punjab and the mother of two beautiful kids.