The United Kingdom's ace ultra runner Paul Giblin, who will be participating in the second edition of Coffee Day Malnad Ultra, starting on October 7, says India has passion and incredible ultra athletes, but they need to have patience to succeed.
Ultra-running is any footrace longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres.
Giblin, who has an impressive array of accolades, also advised that one has to eat right and interact with the right experts to excel in this field.
"I sense a real passion for running in India and there are already some incredible ultra athletes here. For young people and anyone new to ultra running, it can be difficult to know how to train and prepare for racing, so I would suggest that they consume as many good resources as possible," Giblin told IANS.
"Read, meet other runners, ask questions and be prepared to learn. And finally -- patience! You should build your training volume slowly and carefully. It's a sport you can do for a long time if you look after yourself, so don't rush things," he added.
The Coffee Day Malnad Ultra, the country's premier endurance run, will see 441 amateur runners from various parts of the nation and seven other countries. The event will be held in the picturesque coffee estates in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.
"Yes! Hot conditions are difficult and you need to be careful about how you manage your race. Hydration will be very important but there are a number of aid stations along the course to make that easier. I've run in hot races many times; so I am not fearful. The snakes and leeches worry me more," he said.
Commenting on his training and his run-day strategy, Giblin said: "Your training is always the most important part of your mental preparation. I do many of the same training sessions that I give the athletes I coach."
"Sometimes these workouts are very taxing or they are scheduled close to long runs, to ensure you build mental resilience to pain and tiredness.
"You learn to break the distance down into smaller chunks so that you can just focus on the next section rather than the full distance you still have left to run," he said.
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)