Haruki Murakami’s book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, is an inspiration for those who like to add a little speed on the track. Murakami has ample lessons for those interested in long-distance runs. There is one thing common to all—they enjoy a good run.
But it’s not just books, one learns one’s own lessons. For instance, I still remember my first run in the Delhi University stadium in 1985. Running leisurely with a friend, we were overtaken by a diminutive lady runner. We decided to increase the tempo to keep pace with her. Soon enough, 800 m left us panting. But we watched the lady continue her run at the same pace. We soon found out she was Asha Aggrawal, the then national marathon champion. I learnt an important lesson: set your own pace, your own goals.
Another important lesson was: adapt to the circumstances. Those were the days of barefoot running, in the absence of good-quality shoes. So everyone did one’s best with what was available.
After getting a job, my running schedule became lean. I learnt another lesson: there is one reason for not doing something—it has slipped down your list of priorities. But the advent of lifestyle diseases before reaching 40 years of age forced me to take to running again.
The author is a civil servant who runs marathons regularly. Views are personal