The racing and improvement shown my Team Motiv8 athlete Krishna Sirothia has been relentless! At the Berlin Marathon in September 2019, he had a 12 minute PB to clock a 3:11. At Tata Mumbai Marathon (TMM) in January 2020, he inched closer to his dream goal of a Boston Qualifier (BQ) time – which is 3:10 for his age group – by shaving off a few seconds from his Berlin time. The big day came in February 2020, just five weeks after TMM, at the IDBI Delhi Full Marathon, where he broke the 3:10 barrier by racing to a 3:09:09.
About to cross the finish!
Krishna chats with his coach Atul Godbole about the last few weeks training and racing Delhi.
AG: Congrats for your BQ! How does it feel?
KS: Feels amazing! BQ is a life-time running achievement for amateur athletes and I am glad that I am able to run a marathon with the timing required for my age category to achieve the Boston qualification. It was a long cherished dream for me.
AG: With this margin, do you fancy your chances of getting into Boston?
KS: I don’t think so. 03:10 is the qualification timing for my age group and my timing for Delhi marathon is 03:09:19. Need to have at least 2+ minutes faster timing than the cut-off time to fancy your chances to get the entry to the coveted race.
AG: So, what are your plans? Will you give a full marathon another shot before September when Boston entries open?
KS: Not thinking too much about that at the moment. Post recovery started with base building training runs and chances are high that I will attempt Hyderabad or AFMC full marathon in August to secure my place for 2021 Boston along with my training partner Vishwas.
AG: Coming back to the TMM-Delhi double-bill, was it tough to do 2 FMs 5 weeks apart?
KS: No doubt it was tough. To race another marathon after just 5 weeks is definitely tough. You need to prioritize your recovery, nutrition, hydration, soft tissue work and sleep as these all are important factors in recovery between marathons, as is training properly between your two back-to-back marathons.
First 2 weeks after TMM went into recovery and then I did couple of fast paced long runs on the next two Sundays before the event along with easy runs during the weekdays to get ready for the race day. I just followed whatever training plan you gave me to the T.
AG: Is that something you would recommend to everybody?
KS: Not at all. I only decided to do this race after discussing with you and my partner Vishwas who was also doing this back-to-back race. If you recently RACED a marathon at your full potential, it’s best to wait a period of four to six months before racing another. A good rule of thumb is the harder you run a marathon event, the longer you should wait before running your next as residual stress remains for long in your body and you should give sufficient time for your body to recover to avoid injuries and to prolong your running career.
AG: Its critical that you remain at peak fitness to do justice to another full just 5 weeks apart. How did you do it?
KS: Its absolutely critical and important to not lose your fitness levels and to maintain that I followed the essential recovery protocol, required nutrition and some easy strength training workouts during these 5 weeks.
AG: Mentally too it must have been just as tough? How did you keep yourself motivated and focused?
KS: Yes it was tough mentally as after TMM, we have to race another marathon in next 5 weeks with a difficult target to achieve in mind. I didn’t think much and kept my spirits high with the backing of my training and performance in both Berlin and TMM.
Giving it his all
AG: How did the Delhi race day unfold? Obviously you went in wanting to BQ and you achieved that. Did you at any point of time think the BQ may not be achievable?
KS: I was confident of breaking the 03:10 cut-off margin for BQ, my only worry was to achieve BQ with at least 2 minutes of margin for which I was on track till 39 km mark, however missed to carry on the same momentum for last 3 kms and finished with 03:09:19.
AG: Did you use any mental tricks during the race?
KS: I feel that mental toughness plays a very important role in a marathon especially the last 10kms. I broke the race down into parts – I ran the race by targeting the first half with a target in my mind, then the 32km mark, then 37km and then the final 5+ km to finish the race.
AG: Which race was tougher – TMM or Delhi?
KS: TMM was tough. The weather and route is comparatively better in Delhi than Mumbai.
AG: Did the many U-turns on the Delhi course bother you?
KS: I would say no. I was mentally prepared for that. You can’t have all the favorable factors with you. With flat route, good weather and good on-route support, the many U-turns didn’t bother me much. With so many U-turns we were able to see each other multiple times which was very helpful to give the required boost to push hard.
AG: This has been a hectic year training and racing wise, with Berlin, TMM and Delhi in quick succession. Are you going to take a bit of easy down-time?
KS: This was a tough year with 3 marathons in quick succession. Training for a marathon takes its toll on body. With 5 days of training schedule, necessary strength training sessions along with all the other personal and professional commitments it gets tough and difficult at times but we have to keep it going to see the results. Happy that I was able to maintain the required fitness levels to cope up with the training schedule and was able to convert my hard work into the results.
AG: What’s the single most important thing that you feel helped during a) training b) race day?
KS: It was the training runs especially on Thursday and Sundays along with Vishwas and Kavitha. With strong, positive and dedicated training partners training is always fun and we tend to catch up positivity and confidence during each training run. For the race – the good weather and flat route helped a lot.
Post finish, with team mates Kavitha and Vishwas, and coach Atul
AG: Thanks Krishna for your time and best of luck to you for future races!