Google Fit App

This would be my first post on a fitness app! After speculating for quite some days, I finally tried out Google Fit App.
This app calculates the number of steps made.

The best part is:

1. This app automatically detects whether you are walking or running or cycling.
2. This app does not drain the battery! 🙂 How pleasant.
3. There is also a graph.

Though this app could be developed with a different purpose, I would love to see few additional features.

1. The distance covered in each activity accordingly.
For example if am walking 100 steps and running 100 steps, I would like to see the distance covered separately during walking and during running.
2. The route map. If I have ran/walked/cycled outside the map of the route would be great for future use.

Personally I would recommend this App! I would do some more testing and usage in the meantime.


Chennai Marathon 2014

This run was very important for two reasons:
1. 10yrs ago around this time was when my brother Shyam asked whether we should start running marathons graduating from 5km runs.
2. I had gave a word to my wife I will run this marathon in less than 4hrs. There has to be an improvement from previous runs.

I was doing exercises regularly and doing regular runs and slightly confident of doing a good finish. Last two weeks most of the time I was having cold and was not able to run regularly like I would have loved to.
I was shocked when I learnt that start time for The Wipro Chennai Marathon was 4:00am and unlike last year no run inside IIT Campus. This would also mean running into 21kms and 10kms runners mid-way.





Morning of the d-day I was up by 1:30am and finished some stretches taught by Gladson and applied little Himalaya Stress Relief Oil. I reached quite early to the start point which was Kasturibhai MRTS station. I met Tanvir Kazmi who did motivate me that I could finish in less than 4hrs. Tanvir was also a pacer with 5hrs bus. I had a target time of somewhere between 3hrs45mins – 4hrs:00. Later I met others from my office part of SAPRoadies.

The amazing thing about TWCM is on dot start. Sharp 4:00am all full marathon runners were flagged off. I moved over ahead of 4hrs bus with pacer Peter Van Geit from Chennai Trekking Club. First 5kms is always bad sometimes for my mind. I even ended up thinking that I should do more of Ultra Marathons and leave Full Marathons. The route was great so far moving towards Besant Nagar Beach and then towards Marina Beach. Was going steadily I believed. At times I was feeling dehydrated and thankfully there was a water station with even chocolates and bananas.
The learning from Mumbai Marathon 2014 helped a lot. Not to allow to get dehydrated and to keep hydrating regularly. I took few sips of gatorade at every possible aid station and water at some others. Apart from helping myself with some chocolates and bananas!
After Chennai Trail Marathon I deliberately stay away from lime and oranges in the initial kms of the run. U-turns and straight stretches and long runs I was doing pretty comfortably. At every u-turn I would want to ensure that 4hrs bus do not cross me and to be almost a km ahead of them.
After 30kms was a little nightmare because I was running into the crowd of half marathon runners. They were many running in same direction as mine and many many in the opposite direction and not to mention half marathoners walking in the middle of the road. It was difficult to move through this sea of people. I drained a bit of energy asking people to move to the left and banging my hand on elbows of other runners. This was tough stretch.

Now I was getting mentally drained also. I pushed myself towards 40kms mark and was feeling the tiredness and pain on my shoulders. Took a quick break and also applied volini spray. A definite no-no next time. The burning sensation was not an easy one to bear with. In the end towards the last few kms I could have maintained pace for a finish in less about 2mins or so.

Eitherways am happy with my performance.
Bib Number : F132
Name : Sathish Krishnaswamy
Category : OPEN
Gender : Male
Start Time : 04:00:13
Split@9 Km : Reached at 04:48:01 with Net Time :00:47:49, at an Avg Speed of 11.3 kmph
Split@14 Km : Reached at 05:17:02 with Net Time :01:16:50, at an Avg Speed of 10.93 kmph
Split@14.5 Km : Reached at 05:21:24 with Net Time :01:21:12, at an Avg Speed of 10.71 kmph
Split@22.5 Km : Reached at 05:55:03 with Net Time :01:54:51, at an Avg Speed of 11.75 kmph
Split@26 Km : Reached at 06:11:34 with Net Time :02:11:22, at an Avg Speed of 11.88 kmph
Split@28 Km : Reached at 06:28:31 with Net Time :02:28:18, at an Avg Speed of 11.33 kmph
Split@35 Km : Reached at 07:05:01 with Net Time :03:04:49, at an Avg Speed of 11.36 kmph
Finish@42.197 Km : Reached at 07:54:42 with Net Time :03:54:30, at an Avg Speed of 10.8 kmph
Gross Time : 03:54:36

Positives of the run:
1. Water stations at almost every 2kms mark.
2. Chocolates and bananas and dates at the aid stations along with gatorade, electral and water.
3. Sponges dipped in water though I did not use it.
4. Traffic management. Excellent job by the traffic cops and the police to maintain discipline by road users. And the public did not honk at any point of time or point and abuse for running and blocking traffic.
5. Cheering squads at many different point and volunteers.
6. Separating different sections to distribute medals to runners.
7. Volunteers who would take cups from you and put it into dustbin and there were volunteers who would collect cups from ground and put them into dustbin.

Improvements for future:
1. To ensure that runners of different categories do not clash. Maybe a slight changes at peak hours where most runners are expected to be at a particular stretch.

Thank you organizers. Looking forward to TWCM2015.

Squat Exercises

Today morning a guy in the gym called me when I was doing dumbbell squats. He told me that squat exercise is to be done with barbell and I could do lunges using dumbbell. He was concerned that I was not doing the right thing. I would not comment on his physique and he is a typical guy who is used to lifting heavy weights. And he thought I was a novice in the gym since I do not spend more than 30-45mins in the gym without any fight for the weights or the wait time, nor do I spend my time chatting with many people. Normally its just a few exchange of words that too without disturbing my workout.
Then I explained to him few types of squats, full squats, half squats, wide leg squats, single leg squats. It also got me thinking whether is that all and a simple Google search told me there are 40 squat variations!! I would not do all variations and stick to what is required for my running schedule and fitness.
To know all the 40 types, click here.

Auroville Marathon 2013 (Half)

In 2005, I ran my first marathon in Chennai, TamilNadu. I was excited, nervous, anxious and determined to prove. I had a goal in mind and I did manage to reach it though with some struggle. I did finish the marathon and was really happy.

8yrs later, on 10th February 2013 the feeling was exactly the same. This time it was at Auroville, TamilNadu. I ran only half the distance than what I did in 2005 but the difference was I was running after quite some break due to injuries and other incidents and events.
Last year I ran same distance at Hydrebad but the feeling of completion wasn’t the same. I was coming back from injury and wanted to test myself.
This time, I had a goal in mind. I was eager, excited, anxious and nervous and determined to do it. And to do it with ease.

Morning by 6:15, the half marathon was flagged off. Quite a lot of runners and by the time I crossed the start line, the clock had moved a good 5mins. It didn’t matter much. The runners in this run were far more disciplined that they never ended up pushing other runners to move ahead. With many in number the first km is always going to be slow unless you are in front of the pack. When I finished 1km it was almost 7-8mins by my watch. Then I slowly reached my rhythm and kept running. I ran and ran and ran. I managed to reduce time at few kms that I was able to finish 10kms in 55mins – 57mins. Was satisfied a little with a better performance so far. Simultaneously I was also losing my body salt/sugar and water. I need something with sugar and also water.
Thats where this run stood out. There were time stations at approximately 2.5-3km mark. And the stations were stocked with water, electrolyte, banana and chikki. Chikki was all I wanted, after a half glass of water. I took a piece of the chikki and kept biting as and when I was feeling the need for it.
And along the route they had some people playing drums and elsewhere people standing, clapping, cheering. The crowd was really supportive and encouraging.
I managed to overtake few of my friends from office and felt I might fall off if I didn’t slow down. I cut down the speed and finally finished with a time between 1hr57mins – 2hrs2mins.

That was one happy moment.


Why run?

Fitness, recreation, free mind, endurance and more. All these activities with minimal cost and less involvement with others is possible only in running.

Cost factor: Running involves one time investment which would sustain for some years. There is no need to buy high end shoes for running. A perfect fit which would not bring injuries is enough. There is no recurring cost.

Company: It is not mandatory that you need people around for running. The dependency factor is less. You feel like running just get up put on your shoes and start running. It takes two to tango, atleast 3-4 to play football, cricket, and any other sport but running its just you and the whole world in front of you.

Track & Trail: Where to run? There is no need for playground or open spaces to start running. The road is free. Nobody stops you from running on the road. You can run in nearby parks. If everything is boring then find a track which is off the main roads & has nice scenery. If you stay in coastal region then beach is always there for running watching the sunrise or the sunset.

Mind factor: When you run one can think over lot of things thats going on in the mind. It gives time and independence to think freely. No negative thoughts, just clear mind and clarity.

Endurance: In this world there is lot of negative energy around you. Anything you want to do there will always be a force which will undermine your efforts or push you to give it up. Working against all these, the moment you push yourself and reach the last step there is a smile, satisfaction of completion. The extra mile effort always pays.

Fitness: Everyday run of even a km burns some amount of calories. Brings about a balance in the body.

One can think of anything else as per ones own body and interest. Running is simple, no dependence and its an open world.

Gym workout

Its a very common misconception that if one goes to gym, body will become huge and massive. For these kind of people they dont like such a built and hate it. They ultimately dont visit the gym. For many others this kind of body structure is preferred. They visit the gym almost everyday and spend 2hrs and eat lot of protein supplements.
A visit to a gym can be for three different purposes and each has a different workout.

1. Body building is the aim. Life heavy weights, and do less repetitions. This kind of workout pumps up the muscles and builds them up. Dont forget, not to stop lifting weights at any point of time. Some day you stop the entire body will drop down. Built up muscles would become loose and would give a look of an aged person.

2. Emphasis on body shape and toning. Use light weights and do more repetitions. No support from trainer. You should lift weights only which is possible by your body. But the emphasis here is on more repetitions.

3. This workout for body is what most gymmers do not attempt nor are aware of. This is body strengthening workout. You do light weight and the emphasis is not on more repetition. But the count which is important. Ideally, you take count to 4 pull the weights, count to 2 hold, count to 4 leave down slowly. Repeat the same 4 – 2 – 4. Do not do more repetitions but a decent number of 15 repetitions.
In this case, ideally it is enough if you go to gym thrice a week. Rest of the week do something else like cardio.

Cardio is even otherwise very important to build stamina. Doing cardio before weights workout, heats up the body. This simple chemistry why lifting weights when the body is cold does not add any value.
The most important thing is before going to gym understand what you want. And very importantly understand your body. Putting heavy weights and lifting them looks very attractive but can your body take that much load. Your body will not rebel immediately but would definitely do.

Go steady. Workout. Be fit.