BENGALURU: Over the last couple of months Anubhav Karmakar has been carefully planning his course of action, quite literally. The 32-year-old who recently ran the New York City Marathon and ranked 237 among 53,000 participants, and stood first amongst the 379 Indian runners is well-versed with acing the game. Karmakar clocked 2:41:07 hours at the event, standing 57th among 4,075 runners in his age group.
Having qualified for this marathon after having completed the Boston Marathon earlier this year with a timing of 2:45:45 hours, Karmakar went through a general training phase with a bit of running and cycling between April and August. “I trained for 15 weeks specifically for this, running about 1,500 km during this period,” says the engineer and management graduate who runs a company which provides online consulting to runners, cyclists and triathletes.
The runner who signed up through Active Holiday Company, admits that the New York City marathon presents a challenging course with multiple climbs and inclines, and although it was his fastest performance and strongest finish, he did have his moments of weakness in the second half of race, when he decided to drop the intensity to avoid a catastrophic finish. “In the end, it turned out to be a good decision as it allowed me to power through the final kilometers without any trouble,” he says, adding that a loo break around the 15-km mark not only stole away a little more than a minute but also broke his momentum.
Despite the run being his personal best, he had mixed feelings at the finish line. “I was wondering about the weak moments I had experienced in the middle and how I could have avoided that situation. Every finish line is the beginning of the preparation of the next race, and I look forward to training for the next big race,” says Karmakar who typically wakes up at 5 am and heads out for a morning run. In the last few months, he had also incorporated easy recovery runs in the evenings.
Karmakar first began running as a means to stay fit while socialising with other like-minded individuals. “In the process, I learned about timed events and marathons and was motivated to challenge myself to journey of continuous improvement. Long-distance running is not just a test of physical endurance; it requires patience, discipline and prudence. It strengthens the connect between the mind and body, a process that I have thoroughly benefited from,” he says.
Karmakar finds that running has highlighted many lessons about chasing goals that hold true in the professional world. “There is no substitute for discipline, planning, process-oriented hard work. Running also forced me to incorporate a host of healthy habits that reduced my stress levels while avoiding illness and ailments,” he says.