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Sporting culture needed to produce quality athletes, says marathoner Sunita (IANS Interview)

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Experienced marathon runner and Born2Run half-marathon’s Race Director Sunita Godra believes a lack of sporting culture, scientific guidance and grassroot level training has hindered the growth of quality marathoners in the country.

The half-marathon is being hosted for the first time on January 27 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in three race categories — 5 km, 10 km, and 21.1 km.

“We lack sporting culture, scientific guidance and grassroot level training and nurturing. However, in the recent past, marathon running has been one of the most preferred fitness activities by people,” Sunita told IANS.

“This can be augmented if there is encouragement towards marathon by the government to the runners to enhance their performance and their excellence in competitive runs. For this, both recognition and sponsorship are needed and media can play a great role in this,” she added.

Sunita, who had participated in several international marathons also shared the tips for Born2run participants.

Sunita has completed 76 full marathons (42.2 km) till date and won 25 Golds, 12 Silvers, 13 Bronze medals across the globe in 26 countries.

“A very important thing to keep in mind is that running makes you lose energy and body mass very easily and hence a balanced diet with a proper body weight training or cross-fit training is extremely crucial to keep your muscles strong,” the marathoner said.

“Whether you are training for marathons or not, its essential you maintain a healthy lifestyle with balanced diet and some amount of physical activity. I keep having lots of vegetables, fruits, fluids, milk and nuts. Its important to also monitor your calorie intake, opt for good carbs, eat right amount of protein, stay hydrated and get ample rest. Stretching is another key thing to do.

“Red blood cells also tend to go down when you are undergoing rigorous exercise routine, so keep your diet a mix of all essential nutrients like iron, Vitamin D, calcium and Vitamin E,” she added.

Commenting on the association with the marathon, Sunita said: “The factor that I liked about Born2Run is its association with NGOs which cater to causes I care about. For instance, welfare of villagers especially farmers, youth and women; promoting health and fitness; and inspiring and educating people to keep our communities clean and beautiful.”

When asked about how the Born2Run marathon will inspire the people to focus on fitness and a healthy lifestyle, Sunita said: ” More than anything, it is important to lead a healthy, fit and a balanced life owing to the cluttered, busy schedules and a sedentary lifestyle that most individuals have today.”

“While there are several ways to achieve this, running is the most energetic way similar to dancing or aerobics. Moreover, in marathon a person can run at his own pace and still feel happy and contended.

“Hence, I would definitely urge everyone to at least give it a start and I am sure you would want to continue it. This is solely the message I want to drive through Born2Run,” she added.

(Kaushik Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])



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CanIndia New Wire Service

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