Kajal Aggarwal and Tara Sharma on their Mumbai Marathon prep

Updated: Jan 23, 2019, 20:02 IST | Sonia Lulla

Having participated in the marathon, Kajal Aggarwal and Tara Sharma on how to keep going when the going gets tough

Kajal Aggarwal and Tara Sharma on their Mumbai Marathon prep
Kajal Aggarwal at the Mumbai Marathon

A functional training-junkie, Kajal Aggarwal confesses she isn't a fan of running. "I find it quite challenging, especially when I must do so on cemented roads," says the actor, who knocked off her second 10 kilometre run at the recently concluded Mumbai Marathon. "I don't have the endurance that a runner must have, even though I'm working on building it.

Last year, I had four months of prep for the final run, but this year I have been less consistent." Lack of consistency however, couldn't deter the actor from shaving off eight minutes from her previous record to finish the run in 1 hour 10 minutes on Sunday. The feat is a far cry from the previous attempts of the actor, who remembers settling for a record of 1.30 hours during practice. "It was a gradual improvement. Getting past the first seven kilometres is comfortable, but the last three are a stretch."

Kajal Aggarwal with her friends after the race
Kajal Aggarwal with her friends after the race

On her practice
Prep for the marathon, Aggarwal says, kicks off three months before the big day. For the first two months, she alternates her running routine with weight training to accommodate three sessions of each in a week. "Of the three sessions, two may be of five to six kilometres each, while one may be a longer run of about nine kilometres. One month away from the final day, I begin to focus only on my running routine, and replace the weight training sessions with stretching components."

Getting past the tough kilometres
Music plugged into her ears, Aggarwal says she's able to find a running rhythm. "I avoid looking around since that distracts me. Music helps me space out. I listen to hip hop and commercial songs." When the going gets tough, she makes certain to focus on her breath. "It is like meditation. When I feel I can't take it anymore, I concentrate on the way I inhale and exhale, which is meant to be done in a ration of 3:2 counts. However, I find that tough since I'm asthmatic, so I keep it as natural as is possible."


The dream chaser
A Mumbai marathon veteran, Tara Sharma admits that she must do more than the 5.9 kilometre dream run that she has been participating in for 14 years. "I believe in consistency over quantity, and enjoy the atmosphere at the dream run," says the actor-host, who set a new benchmark for herself on Sunday by covering the distance in 33 minutes.

One to often break into a run when sending her kids off to school or during their time of play, Sharma had taken to the activity at the age of 14. "I like to run alone, because I treat it as time spent with myself. However, in a marathon, you inevitably find yourself pacing with joggers around you. I am a cautious runner since my father had told me that one must jog to enjoy it, not to be unable to walk the next day.

Tara Sharma and Rahul Bose ahead of the race on Sunday. Pics/Shadab Khan, PTI
Tara Sharma and Rahul Bose ahead of the race on Sunday. Pics/Shadab Khan, PTI

On her practice
With running now becoming routine for Sharma, her practice, ahead of the big day, isn't varied from the one she adheres to round the year. "I run each morning for 20 minutes since it sets the tone for my day, and also practice yoga."

Tara Sharma

Getting past the tough kilometres
Breezing through her six kilometre runs, Sharma says work often occupies her attention when on the go. "I realise that I think best while jogging, whether it's about the [television] show I host, or anything else." Like Aggarwal, Sharma too finds her comfort when focusing on her breath. "It was the first thing that I was taught [when taking to the sport]. It's one count in and two counts out."

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