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.
Despite having a high-pressure and hectic job as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in a leading telecom firm, Ashok Rajashekar still finds time to run and even participate in marathons. An avid runner for almost 30 years, Ashok talks about his love for the sport. Some excerpts from the conversation below:
How and when did you first start running?
I started running long distance seriously for the first time when I was 16 years old and in junior college. Running as a sport happened by accident. I used to see a lot of runners during my morning walks in the neighbourhood. This inspired me to take up running and I am a self-taught runner.
Which was the first marathon you participated in?
I ran my first Indian Open marathon (half marathon category) in 1988 in New Delhi.
How do you go about preparing for a marathon?
Since I am a regular runner, preparing for a marathon is easier. I start by building distance first and later move on to speed training. I usually start seriously training 2 months before the marathon and slow down the training a week before the actual run.
Do you follow a diet in preparation of a marathon?
Yes. I try to stick to a carbohydrate-rich diet consisting of fruits,vegetables, rice etc. I try to have meat twice a week.
What kind of kit do you use for running?
My running kit consists of my Nike Vomero shoes (with timing chip), a Nike watch, a dri-fit sleeveless vest, shorts and a cap. I usually carry a Nike dri-fit pullover for use before and after the race.
How often have you participated in the TCS 10k run? Any highlights?
Last year, that is 2012, was the first time I participated in TCS 10K run. I found the race extremely well-organised and the quality of runners in the open 10k category was good.
What are the other runs you participate in?
I usually participate in the Delhi half marathon and the Auroville marathon. I also plan to run the Mumbai marathon this year.
What other sport do you play or follow?
I am an avid cricket fan! I also follow a host of other sports, especially track & field, tennis, soccer and badminton, among others.
Who is your favourite sportsman?
Sachin Tendulkar is my favourite sportsman.
Do you have any message for our readers who wish to start running?
One needs to have patience to take up running as a sport. It takes time for the body to adjust to the stress and strain and one needs to persist through it. Once you attain a certain level of running fitness, try to increase the distance. Initially focus on distance and not on increasing speed. Long distance running is all about passion, hard work and the resultant high!Published 11 May 2013, 18:29 IST