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"Running gives immense pleasure and satisfaction": Sayuri Dalvi, single parent to a challenged son

TimTim Sharma
Modified 04 Jun 2013, 19:44 IST


Sportskeeda is proud to present a brand new series – Runspiration. In this series, we converse with runners from across the country who have found inspiration by taking up running and related activities, and have been successful in dealing with their problems, health or otherwise. These are people who lead truly inspirational lives.

Today, we converse with a mother of a child who has a serious problem, Sayuri Dalvi, who’s a fitness faculty with a sports academy, ESPORTA, in Mumbai. She ran a fitness studio under a brand name SAYFIT at Dadar, Mumbai for individuals who came in for power yoga, strength and functional training. She has been on a sabbatical since 2012 to spend more time with her 9 year old son, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 22 months. Being a single mother and living by herself, she needed to be around her son looking into interventions and therapies.

How and when did you first start running?

I was an athlete as a child between the age 6-13. An injury and a surgery put the me on hold. I got married at a raw age of 20 and had my son at 23. My marriage was turbulent and abusive, which took a serious toll on me. While I was dealing with it came my son’s diagnosis and the shock of raising a child with special needs. I was into gym-workouts regularly, took up running to vent out despair, anger and frustration. I found an escape from everything through my runs.

Which was the first marathon you participated in?

I had enrolled for my first half marathon in 2007 and I did it in the spur of the moment. I had barely a month to train, but I had a smooth run and had timed within 2 hours. This was the time when the addiction-bug caught me. I never turned my back after that.

How do you go about preparing for a marathon?

I alternate between running (tempo and speed runs) and strength training at the gym during the week. Sunday is usually a long run, anywhere between 20-35 kilometres. I run round the year, enjoying every season.

Do you follow a diet in preparation for a marathon?


I don’t follow a strict diet plan. I turned vegetarian after my son’s diagnosis and recently turned vegan. My son was put on a GFCF (gluten free caesin free) diet for a while, so I decided to give up dairy products for him. I also avoid bakery products; we strictly eat home cooked food which is wholesome and simple. I consume a lot of carbs before races. I am not very fond of stuff like pastas, so I keep it frugal like a dal chawal, which I love to hog in the week prior the event.

What kind of kit do you use for running?

I am only fond of Nike as a brand, so most of my tees, shorts and shoes are Nike. I am currently using the Flyknit Lunar1+ and they have been extremely light. On runs, I simply drink lemon juice with sugar and a lot of salt or enerzal. I haven’t taken any supplements until now but wish to start taking at least calcium and iron, since my body goes through rigorous training and I experienced iron deficiency during pregnancy.

How often have you participated in the TCS 10k run?

I haven’t participated in the TCS 10k run.

What are the other runs you participate in?

I have been participating in the the SCMM since 2007 doing the HM, and 2013 was my first at the full marathon. Apart from these, I have done the Delhi Airtel, Hyderabad heritage, Auroville and Goa marathons. I have done numerous local events in Mumbai like the Thane, Vasai-Virar, Powai run and Pinkathon.

What other sport do you play or follow?

I wish to train for the ironman in the future, so swimming and cycling are additional sports I follow.

Your favourite sportsman?

I really don’t believe in idol worship, but I certainly admire Lolo Jones for the kind of life she lived.

Any message to our readers who wish to start running?

Nothing comes overnight. Success at anything is gradual and takes efforts but is fruitful. Starting slow is the key to remain injury free. Running is an addiction for me, it is my drug, my therapy and mediation. Once you start it, you can never stop. Running gives immense pleasure and satisfaction, not to mention the side effects of being fit and lean.

To read the rest of the Runspiration series, click here

Published 04 Jun 2013, 18:01 IST
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