Simple Living and High thinking. He is the true follower of this mantra. Marathon this mere eight letter word Marathon. But this eight letter word has a lot of meanings. Marathon for starters is a foot race normally organized outside the stadium ,covering a distance of 42.2 Kms (26 miles 385 yards). This sport has brought people from all walks of life together to participate in this foot race for various reasons. Today we speak about Mr. Piyush Shah a young and handsome always smiling Marathon runner from Ahmedabad.
Be it a multi-day Ultra Marathon run, cycling, or a plank ranging for a few hours this man has done it all. Let’s hear it from this ever-smiling, evergreen person himself.
Hello, Friends, I am Piyush Shah from Ahmedabad. I am 62 years old having a small business. I have a very loving and happy family who support me in all my activities am truly thankful to them for that. I am a simple human being with great enthusiasm. I like to try out new things which at my age would be considered as madness. But I would say what is a life with no madness in it.
When the government declared a total lockdown in the entire country, I thought to myself now I can utilize this time to do something Different! Something Unique! Something Unthinkable! what could that be. My daily routine includes getting up early in the morning and before sunrise, I head for a run. Then I sit on the garden bench Meditate for some time, practice a little Yoga and then head home where my lovely wife eagerly awaits my arrival for Breakfast. But during the lockdown my daily routine was disturbed, I couldn’t go out let alone run. I was a bit disappointed but not disturbed. Instead, I decided to utilise my time to my advantage. As I said I am a man of simple taste but I have an enthusiasm of a 10-year-old child.
Using My time wisely.
All of us have only 24 hours in a day. You don’t bring value in your life by just passing time watching Netflix, or chatting away on whatsapp my total respect to people who have the liberty of time. I feel that the value of your life is determined by the value you bring into your life in those 24 hours. I used to practice Yoga and few excercises since running was not allowed. After one week of practice I was confident I could do something good. I did the Plank excercise for 4 hours straight. Since I had the liberty of time I could achieve this feat effortlessly.
When you sow Bamboo seeds, for years you just keep watering it and it appears as if nothing is happening. After about five years the first green shoots are seen. The bamboo tree starts growing rapidly thereafter. We can see the Bamboo tree growing after 5years, but nobody knows that for these five years the bamboo tree was growing its roots deep into the soil forming a firm hold and base for the tree to grow and stand tall to withstand any uncertainties. Life is like that too.
Basic Priciples of Wellness
Power Of discipline and Training ( Train, Replenish, Recover and Restore)
Nature has given us a lot of live examples to follow, let’s quote the example of the bamboo tree as I have mentioned before. You need to first train your body with proper training. You need to exercise regularly and train well to prepare your body for war. Your body is a very intelligent machine. It understands, resists, and later adapts to all kinds of shock treatments you offer to it. Let me quote my own example. Initially all of us began walking a few kilometres. Then gradually we improved our timing during the walk. Then we increased the distance of our walk soon we realise that 1 hr walk initially would be close to 3 kilometres long now you can easily cover that same distance in less than 10 minutes. Unknowingly your body has adapted to your routine of walking. Hence I always say that the details lie in the discipline. When you do a particular activity daily you tend to get better at it everytime. I followed that too. when did that little stroll turn into a sprint I didn’t realise. But I am really happy with my transition. I used to feel breathless initially after walking 3 km now I could run almost 10 times the distance without giving a second glance. That is the power of training. After running I realised that importance of strengthening my core and other muscle groups. So I joined the gym, began practising yoga. I took up cycling . All this happened because I have an enthusiasm of a 10-year-old and now I knew how to attain the strength, power and will of one.
Importance of Replenshing your body.
Synonym of replenishing is to nourish. Your body derives its strength from training. But the power required to fuel the strength is derived from energy. And Energy is provided by the nourishment your body gets. Hence it’s important to treat your body like a temple and replenish is with good food. You need to consume a very balanced diet. Reserve and burn is the mantra your body follows. when you are exercising, if your body is well nourished it gives backs your activity with equal power. Thus helping you achieve the unthinkable. If you stuff your body with junk foods it will give you health issues in the long run. But if you give it nutrients it will keep your body healthy and happy all your life. My secret to good health is my lovely wife. She sees to it that I am eating right and not cheating on my health.
Our body as mentioned earlier is an intelligent machine. It has the power to adapt and react as well. If you give it nourishment it will glow , if you give it junk food it will blow you off your feet. similarly, another important aspect of wellness is to rejuvenate. How do you do that? By giving it ample rest. Your body has the power to repair its worn-out tissues I am sure you are all aware of that. So you need to give it time to recover to rejuvenate itself.
Restoring your body is another important aspect of wellness. Training, Replenishing, Rejuvenating and then finally restoring. During workouts, you tend to get injured. Even non-runners get injured but it’s important to treat and restore the strength of your injured body. Your body is your best friend who will go with you till your last breath. Treat it fairly and watch the fun. You will be surprised at the things you will achieve in life if you follow these basic principals of life. I believe in keeping it simple. Rest as they say is history.
My humble beginning…
At the age of 38, I took over my father’s business as an Electrical Contractor and settled in life. But my ethusiasm of a 10 year old tuned my focus towards maintainning my health.
My foray into fitness began by focussing on long walks as mentioned earlier. I am also very spiritual and religious by nature having strong belief in God almighty. Since I was highly discipline and began trainning to keep myself fit. In 1998, I decided to visit my Kuldevi Temple in Rupal village in Gandhinagar on foot. With my strong faith in God and a will to achieve this feat I set out on my journey to my kuldevi temple in Rupal village in Gandhinagar. It was distance of 38 kms. I eagerly walked all night and successfully covered the distance in five and half hours and happily offered my prayers to the Goddess.
For next several years I walked various other temples and offered prayers to to the Lord almighty by covering a distance of 80 kms almost every week.
My first Marathon.
In the year 2005, I witnessed Delhi Half Marathon winner who completed 21kms in 1hr 1 min winning aprize money of around USD 310,00,00. It was a Kenyan runner named.Philip Rugut. This inspired me to run a Marathon. Almost like if he can do it why not me. I began training hard. Improved my mileages and time. My first Marathon was Mumbai Marathon later it was called Standard chartered Marathon now its called Tata Mumbai Marathon. I learned that completion time for a full marathon for Elite runner is 5hr 30 min and for an amateur runner its 6 hrs. I had taken 5hrs 30 mins approx to cover 38 kms. I knew I could achieve it with a little more tranning and discipline. Little did I know that one day this 8 letter word would become my Life.
It was like attempting a war initially. But soon I got breathlessness. I decided to listen to my body and began walking. since I had done the previous walk of 38 kms I was confident I could walk well. I realised that even if I was walking my timing was improving. This was my motivation to keep going. That was the beginning of my journey.
I continued to practice and finally the day dawned when I found myself at Chatrpathi Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus as its called today, to embrace my new love the eigth letter word “Marathon” . I was 51 years then and I was about to attempt the unthinkable. My family thought I have gone crazy. I had tasted the sweet nector of succes, success over my mental barrier. I was ready to embrace my new love at Standard chartered Mumbai Marathon SCMM in 2010.
Initial Hitches with running a Marathon
As they say everyday is a learning experience. I learned a lot and I continue to do so. Sometimes life disappoints you only to educate you about the realities of life. Passion alone is not enough you need to be practical too. You still have to live among others and follow the rules of the land. I too was not aware about the timing chip. I was not aware that you need to pay Rs. 200/- to take the timing chip , this ignorance caused me a huge disappointment in my first Marathon. My timing was not considered. I was demotivated in my first Marathon.
Later I realized how immature I have been about all this. How could I throw away my years of training and discipline for a mere Rs. 200/- worth timing chip. I believe that you don’t have to run every organized race. I believe if you are willing to test yourself just go out there and Run.
Bagging the Podium finish.
I continued to run Marathons I did 7 full Marathons(42.2kms) I have bagged the Podium finish in two events. It was the Heritage Marathon in Hyderabad on 9th October 2011 I bagged the second place. On 28th December 2011 I bagged the podium finish in third place at Sabarmati Ahmedabad Marathon.
Raising the Bar: “Ultra Marathon”
As they say once a child always a child I somehow could not resist the idea of going higher. I began to enjoy running and I had a penchant of trying my endurance. This time I decided to attempt the Ultra Marathon that too in Singapore. One thing about Marathon is, its a fight against you yourself. You compete against yourself, trying to be better than your last performance. I successfully completed 100 kms in 15 hrs 48 min 05 seconds my maiden Ultra in Singapore. By now I had made friends with my love. I now wanted to be known as an Ultra Marathon Runner. Today when I look back I cannot believe that I have come so far. It gives me immense pleasure to hear from other runners that they are inspired by me. To tell you the fact I never really bothered about medals and positions all I bothered about was ,what next? in layman’s terms its called Breaking barriers. I call it going with the flow.
Breaking the barrier again:
By now I had done all single or maximum two days events. I decided to go higher. It was a very historic day in my life when I attempted to run 21 km daily for 100 days. It was on the 22nd of September 2011 I ran a half Marathon Distance 21kms for 100 days. It began on 22nd September and completed on 14th January 2012 in Mumbai again my first love Standard Chattered Marathon. On the last day of my 100th Half Marathon, I ran a Full Marathon i.e. 42.2 km in 3hr:49mins. see the difference in timing I began with 5hr:30 min I had knocked off almost 1:45 min from my first performance. By now I had run almost 2700 km within 115 days. I upgraded my run from 21 km to 100 km. so I upgraded from a Half Marathon to an UltraMarathon that too non stop.
My practice runs ranges from 25 km to 50 km run per day. Sometimes I even run 75 Km or even 100 km in a day, depending upon my regime. I like to add that Running is a mind game. You just need to focus on following the basic principles of wellness rest its all upto you.
Few event I ran in 2012 are as follows.
- 26th August 2012 I have run 42 km within 4hr:27min in Hyderabad.
- 26th September 2012 I have run 135 miles i.e. 217 km within 41 hours from Rishikesh to Uttarkashi and bagged the first prize for this event. This was the first time an Indian completed 135 miles i.e. 217 km
- 26th September 2013 to 02nd October Gandhi Jayanti I have run total 350 km from Dandi to Ahmedabad I achieved this along with my other friends Bhupendra Singh Rajput, Vishwanathan Jayaraman, Aparna Choudhary and Vivek Prasad, I fondly call then my Gandhi group.
- On 6th October 2012 I have run at Delhi Race of 100 miles (160 km) within 25 hours.
- Last i ran at Delhi 24 hours race, where I have ran 161 Kms within 24 hours. It was then i believed that I can be amongst the top runner in India. Age doesn’t matter its only a number.
Some of mine 2013 Racing events
- Ahmedabad Marathon in January 2013 within 4:15 hours.
- Ran 50 km at the U.K. in August 2013 within 07: 30 hours.
- Ran 135 miles (220 km) in October 2013 within 44:41 hours, where I finished as second runner-up.
- Ran 100 km within 13:30 hours at Bangalore in Nov’13, where I finished as second runner-up. Ran on Tread Mill 181 kms in May’13 within 29 hours creating a Limca Book Records
Some of mine 2014 Racing events
- I have ran Ahmedabad Marathon in Jan’14 within 4:16 hours.
From 20 Jan’14 to 26th Jan’14 i have ran from Ahmedabad to Mumbai covering a distance of 500 Kms along with team of three members – Bijal Shah, Karan Shah & Preet Pandya. The whole distance covered in 6 days.
Mine Inspiration and biggest motivation :-
I believed in the spiritual power and my inner power, I believed in myself .
Yoga is what I practise regularly and I believe it’s the inner engineering.
My Hundred Marathon Pact
– From April 2015, I started running full Marathons regularly and had set up a goad of running 100 full marathons in a year.
Mostly i run in Ahmedabad (Hometown) and has run at several other cities during my journey for century of marathons, spreading the culture of running for good health.
– On 18th Oct’15 at Daman in the presence of family and friend I have completed the 100 marathon pact.
You will ask why. Even I am asking myself why . Answer is simple ………… running is integral to me.
From 2nd Jan’17 to 11th Jan’17 I Cycling 1020 Kms (Ahmedabad to Delhi) with the Massage of Zero Waste & Clean India .
My Cycling Events
In the year of 2019 i have ride 10,000 Kms cycling in 100 days. Each day I have ride 100 Kms Cycle & was dedicated to Phulwama Attack to Pilot Mr. Abhinandan.
Two time did SR(BRM200km,300km,400km & 600km Ride two time) & also did 1000km Ride within 72hrs.
I have also attempt Paris Brest (1,200 Kms Cycling) but unfortunately have to quite at 446 Kms due to health problems, after back to home was started new achievement calling “Planks” & also started running too. In 2019 was did two marathon of Ahmedabad & Mumbai. One event of 12 hrs Run & another of 60 Kms Run under 10 hrs.
This Year was done One More Achievement.
I have run “Ahmedabad to Dandi” (Calling Dandi Path) cover the distance of 390 km within 8th Days, this is achieved in the age of 61 yrs same as Gandhi Ji he also walked the Dandi Path when he is also 61 yrs. So, It was really remarkable for me & also my another achievement of 2019 year. After Completed Dandi Run & back to home whole world is Suffering from COVID-19.
In this hard situation of lock down from 20th Mar’20 to 3rd May’20 i have decided to do some more achievements so i started “Plank” & practising to improve of plank timing. In past i did 46 min. continues Plank. I have started Indoor Exercise too Like Push-Up, Squats, Sir-Up, GYM workout & Cross Training for Cardio Exercise & Plank for 10 Min. after two days i slowly improve my plank time by 15 min. After Advice of MS Dana Glowacka. She is Record Holder of GBR in Female category. I changed my training pattern of Plank. I started my workout & did 3 set daily of 20 min. each set for five days & was successful did it. On Sunday (21 June 2020) i have improved my timing & did “continues Plank for Four hour” & still i am practising for more improvement in my Plank timing.
Also I was did 10000th Push-ups within 100th Days.
And last year end was did 3rd time SR(Super Randonneurs(BRM 200km/9.23hrs,300km/16.24hrs,400km/22:14hrs,600km/34hrs all are cycling events).
As a Abdominal Plank Rules today as a best timing in India was 02:23:32hrs.Done by me.