Sportskeeda is proud to present a brand new series – ‘CXOs on the run’. In this series, we converse with industry leaders, entrepreneurs and other high-profile personalities for whom running is a way of life, and how they manage to find time to pursue doing what they love the most.
Parag Kulkarni is the Senior Vice President and Business Head for Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting Group. An avid tennis player who played the game at university level, the proud father of two discusses his love for sports and physical fitness, and running in particular.
How and when did you first start running?
I started running about five years ago. I was a walking enthusiast before that, and used to regularly walk for the last 15 years. I also played tennis, badminton and other sports before that at school and college level. Jogging came naturally to me and I started enjoying it; first at the gym on the treadmill and later on the lanes and roads of Koramangala, which, to me, is a far more pleasurable experience, considering the greenery, serenity and open space available. It’s terrific to connect with nature in the morning, hear the birds chirp and enjoy the amazing Bangalore weather. Now, I am a die-hard jogger and enjoy jogging in different cities in India and outside. It helps you understand and connect with that place better.
Which was the first run you participated in?
My first marathon was a few years back at TCS World 10k. I just fell in love with the atmosphere, the energy and the enthusiasm of even those who were cheering from the sidelines. The realisation that I could do a 10K run was fantastic. I had my young son participating too, and that made it even more memorable.
How do you go about preparing for a run?
I do my regular weight training in the gym, which is very important. But I devote a little more time to cardio to increase my stamina and also to get my body used to a longer run. I start this about 45 days before the marathon. I also spend more time running outdoors to get used to the conditions. I do a 40-minute run about 8-10 times in the 45 days before the run to get acclimatised, which is the maximum that time permits with regular work.
Do you follow a diet in preparation of a run?
Nothing specific, but I definitely stay off any unhealthy food. I eat light to ensure I feel fit and fine and also avoid eating outside.
What kit do you use for running?
For me, simple things like good shorts and a good tee are very important. However, running shoes are most important. They have to be light, should support your ankle and you must get used to them. You must get used to a particular pair of shoes before you embark on your marathon. Don’t buy new shoes a day before the event as they may cause problems in a race.
How often have you participated in the TCS 10k run? Any highlights?
I have participated in the TCS 10K run three times. Last year, due to motivation from other participants, I managed to improve my timing significantly to 54 minutes and a 500 finish at the end, despite very hot and humid weather.
What are the other runs you have participated in?
Other than the TCK 10k, I have participated in the Spirit of Wipro run, which is an annual event at Wipro. It’s equally good and well-managed.
What other sport do you play or follow?
Lawn tennis is my favourite sport. I have been playing it since my youth days, and I use the weekends to have a good game of tennis.
Who is your favourite sportsperson?
There are many sportsmen that I admire, but when it comes to athletics, it’s Usain Bolt without a doubt.
Do you have any message for our readers who wish to start running?
It’s never too late to start running. I started running after I was 40 and have only improved. I think it’s a fantastic way of keeping fit; and if you run outdoors, it also helps you keep in touch with nature.
Read the rest of our series here: CXOs on the runPublished 07 May 2013, 00:58 IST