“Long distance running is like business. Training in the last quarter is what is important; history is history, which the mind and body soon forget.”
“Smiling helps de-stress — it is a simple tool we have been blessed with but one we don’t use adequately. We mistakenly think that the world will collapse if we don’t remain absolutely serious about life!”
“… if you are a regular marathoner and run two to three marathons a year evenly spaced out and take a three-month break from running, you need to resume your training on the ground floor of the training schedule. Do not try to start from where you left off, even if you have been an active cyclist or swimmer during the gap period. Each sport uses different muscles and needs a different focus.”
”A third, and more basic, level of unlearning in order to learn is when having learnt on your own, and reached a certain stage, you then plan to take a quantum leap . Often we realize that what is required is not harder work, but a smarter way of doing the same thing.”
”… you may find these basic principles can be applied to your work and to managing your workload:
■ Never try and do the same thing repeatedly if you are trying to improve.
■ Look at a holistic build- up and focus on different weak links.
■ Do not work to exhaustion but work towards a build-up scientifically and sensibly, so that come the big day, you are ready to be firing on all cylinders.
■ Rest adequately.
■ And . . . you can write in your very own set of learnings.”
The first part of the interview can be read here.
As in one of the TEDx videos’s, this is a journey of passion and that has fewer business plans but is more about like minded people connecting – whether as customers, or as partners. We constantly seek out people with passion, and that’s what drives us.
If you think of it as ‘uprooting‘ anything is tough, if you think of it as a transition of fusing 25 years of marketing experience with 7 years of running experience, it is not. Any transition has its challenges and entrepreneurship provides its thrills, tests and rewards. And I thrive on challenge and adventure.
You studied at IIM Ahmedabad from 1980 to 1982. The IIMs are facing competition from several management schools both private and foreign. What are your thoughts on this phenomenon?
I think the IIM’s are poor marketing and business organisations, and the huge governmental control does not help their case. They need to shake out and do case studies on themselves and get their students – freshers, mid managers and senior managers to ideate on different strategies and get their management teams to go out and build an exciting vision and move forward.
How would you define yourself now?
Final word for the readers-
The most critical thing about running for you is to enjoy it rather than it being a chore, or being stressed out about some aspect of it, or being too caught up with distance or speed or form etc. There is a time and place for each one of them, but the backbone has to be enjoyment. Have fun.
Rahul Verghese is the founder of Running and Living.
Disclosure: The interview was facilitated via email. Answers are published after running spell-check.
Rahul Verghese is the founder of Running and Living, “a marketing company with a passion for running.” Their goal is to get 200 million Indians running: man , woman and child. Their marketing goal? Let’s talk about that later, shall we?
When did you start running? What was your first race? How many races have you completed so far? Can you break it down by distances?
I started running in December 2000 and ran my 1st Marathon in Oct 2001 in Chicago. Have done 54 Marathons and Ultra marathons across 6 Continents so far.
You’ve written and published a book, Unleash Your Potential. (I haven’t read it.) What’s it about?
My book – “Running And Living – unleash your potential” is about Running And Life and the several parallels and learnings between them. It’s about the multiplicity of impact points that running can have on you as a person and fire you up with passion, get you to start dreaming, and then going on to living your dream, whatever it may be.
Lots of lessons from Running that I incorporate into my daily life – read the book – Running And Living 🙂
Have you ever not completed a race? When and why?
I have had one DNF at a 50km trail run in Faridabad. I had not trained as required and paid the price with getting cramps and opting out at around the 40km mark. Big learning that like on Wall Street you are only as good as your last quarter.
Have you run races injured or sick? What’s your advice to runners concerning it?
I have never run a race sick, I have run a Chicago marathon post hernia surgery in 2003 and a San Francisco Marathon post a fall on my back. I took it really easy in both and kept a strict watch on listening to my body. I never take pain killers as that would mask any signals I need to listen to. I would suggest that if you are sick or injured – run a shorter distance if possible, else run much slower than planned – or change your objective to having fun – carry a camera, cheer people on – or else just opt out of the run and perhaps volunteer or spectate. There is always another run to participate in when you are back to normal.
Where do you usually train? How often?
There is no usual place that I train – the usual place that I train is – Outdoors – wherever I am. I am in the Himalaya this week and I will be running at around 12000 feet. But its not training for some event. I am just running to enjoy myself and be out in nature.
I came across a picture of you holding a guitar in one of your Facebook posts? Are you also a musician? What instruments can you play?
I like playing the Guitar and Harmonica and singing 🙂
You’re married. What’s your spouse’s name? What does she do? Any children? What are they doing?
My wife Jamuna runs on and off. She’s a banker and now consulting with PWC. My daughter Diya is working with VISA and my daughter Naina is studying economics and psychology, with a year more of college to go.
If you were to do it all over again, what would you change? Why?
I wouldn’t change anything if I was to live life over again. I have enjoyed every moment so far and will continue to do so.
Part II of this interview will follow when Rahul Verghese returns from the Himalayas on May 10.
Disclosure: The interview was conducted via email. Answers are published as-is except for spell-check.