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Small steps: How Vaishali Kasture, Jairam Sridharan & other top bosses train for a marathon

Leading business names dish out their dietary habits before the big day.

Updated: Jan 23, 2018, 12.24 PM IST
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Vaishali Kasture (left) and Jairam Sridharan (right).
When running a race, you need to get your nutrition up to speed. Leading business names who participated in the Mumbai marathon dish out their dietary habits before the big day.

Amit Ganeriwala
Partner and director, The Boston Consulting Group


“In the week leading to the marathon, I focus on keeping myself hydrated and manage mineral balance and carb intake through foods such as bananas and sweet potatoes. I stick to my regular diet and avoid experimenting too much.

A regular training week involves about seven hours of running. So, a couple of weeks preceding the marathon, I tend to taper, bringing the mileage down.

Amit-Ganeriwala


During the marathon week, I stick to my regular work schedule, focus on light runs and stretches and avoid too much activity on the day before the race. Although I travel extensively, I try not to be on the road two-three days before the race. I maintain my regular sleep cycle. Most importantly, I avoid thinking too much about the race.”

Bhargav Dasgupta
MD, ICICI Lombard General Insurance


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“A couple of days before the run, I do a lot of carb loading by having whole grain bread, pasta and Indian dishes rich in carbohydrates. I also keep myself hydrated by drinking at least three litres of water per day during the week.

I maintain a disciplined work regimen through the year. In the week leading to the marathon, I take efforts to keep my body and mind fresh by doing light training. This involves a light jog, stretching and short sprints. I also make a point to train in the running gear I plan to wear on marathon day to ensure that I am comfortable.”

KVS Manian
President, Corporate, Institutional & Investment Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank


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“I have become more diet conscious from the time I have started running. More green vegetables, fruits and juices, salads, eggs and some protein supplement are an important part of my diet. Just before the marathon, I focus on what in runner’s parlance is called ‘carb loading’, with pasta, rice, etc, for additional energy. It’s important to hydrate well before race day. Hence, lots of water, and avoiding alcohol. Over the years, I have learnt to manage my work schedule with running quite well. I became a morning person as most of my running is in the mornings. As far as travel is concerned, I either manage that on my non-running days or I, occasionally, run early morning before catching the flight. I also attempt to run in a different city if I need to stay over. Worst case, I make use of the treadmill. I have managed to run without compromising on work. My belief is that if you think it is important, you will make time for it.”

Raghvendra Nath
MD, Ladderup Wealth Management


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“The good thing about a marathon is that you can eat whatever you like. A marathoner needs a carb- and protein-rich diet.

Carbs to make sure glycogen stores are full and proteins to ensure that muscle mass is maintained. I avoid outside food, spicy and fried things as I do not want any last-minute stomach issues. The focus is more on eating complex carbs like potatoes, pasta and rice. All of us should have 1-2 hours every day completely to ourselves. For me, this time is early mornings. I hit the bed by 10 pm and am up by 4.45 am. So, my training schedule does not clash with my work. In fact, while travelling, I prefer to reach my destination in the night, so that I can catch up on my training the next day. My running shoes travel everywhere with me.”

Ravi Kandpal
Head of Operations, Deutsche Bank, India


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“I follow a diet which is protein-based and try to stay away from sweets and foods high in carbs. Three days before the run, I start focusing on hydration and increase my liquid intake. Two days before the run, I increase my carbohydrate intake slightly, and on the day of the run, I have a full breakfast, which contains carbs and proteins.

The week leading to the marathon is very light on training, and sometimes none at all. All the hard work is generally done two to three weeks earlier and the last few weeks are used for recuperating. During this last week, I generally avoid travelling for work or having late nights. As most runs are on a Sunday, the Saturday before is a day of complete rest for me.”

Jairam Sridharan
CFO, Axis Bank


“Pasta has always been the go-to food for runners. The problem is — I don’t like pasta. My carb intake relies on good old fashioned rice and potatoes. I tend to go easy on oil and spices in the week leading up to the run. I drink a lot of water all week.

Training for a marathon does require discipline and some sacrifices. You are always the guy who leaves at 9 pm. However, if I train in the morning, my energy levels during the day are really high, productivity goes up, and I am more cheerful.”

Vaishali Kasture
Country Head, Experian India


“Given my work and travel, I need to be flexible in my approach to diet. I practice what I call ‘mindful eating’ before a full marathon. I focus on increasing carbs, but not overall calories. Two days before the race, I will increase my carb intake. The day before the race. I will have a heavy breakfast and lunch and go easy on dinner. Pre-race, I will have a banana and some energy drink. During the race I will have one energy gel every 45-50 minutes.

I would be lying if I said it’s easy to manage work and the training. It is important to maintain a balance. I am passionate about fitness, and running is food for my soul. So, it doesn’t feel like sacrifice when I have to wake up at 5 am for training or 4 am on Sundays for my long run…I try not to fuss when I miss a session every now and then. I have learnt to go with the flow.”

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