"I was a lazy teenager whose life revolved around gaming, and within 2 months I was medaling at marathons" - Getting fit with marathon pacer Manoj Rane
Manoj Rane was a stereotypically lazy teenager who spent most of his time gaming; exercise was an alien concept.
“In my teens, I used to be quite lazy and my life revolved around college and video games. I was hardly into sports or any kind of physical activity for that matter. In 2009, Jai Hind College had their annual 5km race in Marine Drive and my friend registered for both of us. We started going to the Nike Run Club to train, and that’s where my running journey began. With just 3 months of training I was able to achieve 2nd place at that race.”
“This was a big boost to my confidence, and helped me overcome my obstacles. I was champion in the same 5km run for two consecutive years, 2010 & 2011, with a record which is still standing.”
Now, however, he has found renewed motivation. “To get a podium finish every time I race is my biggest goal. That goal keeps me motivated to work hard every day. My goal is to keep doing better than the last time and this is what keeps me motivated throughout. Being a pacer is tough because we set a bench mark for the pace group and try to make this activity as fun as possible so that the runners are excited to be part of the run.”
“To keep others motivated, I share my daily mileage and workout pictures after every race on social media, thus reaching out to runners from every corner and motivating them to join me for a run at NRC,” he says, adding that helping others keep their morale up helps him in turn.
There is a thrill to helping pace others. “The most exciting part of running in a group is that you get to have a small talk on the go thus making the runners feel comfortable. It is the pacer’s responsibility to make sure that everyone in the group is running fine and completing the run.” And it involves big responsibility.
“Being a Nike pacer is a big responsibility. It gives me the opportunity to speak with runners across the town. Apart from that our runs let us explore the city and its architectural history which is indeed an exhilarating experience.”
He has an intense fitness regime himself. “My own fitness routine begins with 60 minutes of core training. On Sundays I usually go for a long run, around 22km to 28km. In a week I normally run 70 to 75km. Apart from that my exercise routine includes 3-days interval training with strength training on synthetic track and 2-long runs with core training and a day of tempo run.”
And running is never restrictive! Age is just a number. In the running community I have seen people running after 60's also. For a holistic growth, a small run every day can help in keeping oneself excited and energetic the whole day.