Nitika Singh’s Runspiration
From a childhood activity to a forgotten memory to being a lifestyle, Nitika Singh’s story of how she started running does more than inspire. Here’s her take on running, and what makes it special for her:
What was your inspiration that got you into running?
It wasn’t so much about an inspiration, as it was a love for running. I have just always loved running, going outside to explore, to feel the breeze on my face. In the early years, it was more like a passion for me. There were no smarty phones or apps in those days, so we never even realized how much we were running or if we were doing anything special. Then, after my marriage and after my son’s delivery, I stopped running for a few years. But as the baby fat started to bother me, I started walking on the roads of Atlanta to lose weight, and ended up running. It began as a passion, gave birth to a fitness mantra, and is now my lifestyle.
Tell us about your running story.
It started as a bid to reduce some weight and to be fit. As I started running on the roads, my old love for running returned and I started looking for more challenges; first with the treadmill, and then on the roads. I started participating in country runs, 10 K runs, 21 K runs, and so on, and I realized that I could run and I could run well. For me, there is no better way to explore a new city, than getting out on the roads and just walking or running.
How did you get into ultra-runs?
I always felt this need to challenge myself to excel in what I do. A challenge to walk every day turned into a challenge to run and that took me slowly towards ultra-runs. Each level I reached gave me happiness and added to my enthusiasm to aim for the next challenge. The thing is that you have to be in love with running to complete an ultra. The road is long, it might even get strenuous and boring at a point, and that is when your passion for running carries you to the end.
What is more important - physical or mental preparedness?
It is my belief that even though physical training and preparedness plays an important role and is necessary, mental preparedness is much more important. Even if your body can take the strain, it’s not enough, if you are not ready mentally to face the challenges that come with an ultra-run.
What about gear?
Running gear of course is very important. You cannot do a long run if your shoes are hurting your feet or if your jacket is too hot. I recently tried a C.VOX jacket in my long run from Goa to Gokarna, 150 km in 36 hours; the run was pretty hard, with a lot of inclines and very hot weather, especially during the day. The jacket kept me cool; provided me with inbuilt earphones, and a handy pouch in the back to stuff the whole jacket in; so yeah, gear I would say makes a lot of difference in running.
Do you have any goal in mind about running?
What I really want to do is go to a very scenic destination, pick a beautiful route and be able to run for 12 or 24 hours, non-stop.
How often do you run? Where?
I run every day. Though I have given up on treadmill running, but I am out on the roads, every day, running. No matter where I am, running on the roads just feels more natural to me.
Any tips for people who are new to running?
Your body can take up any challenge you put it up to, it is your mind you need to convince. Prepare your mind for running, and you will see that the human body can cover any amount of kilometers.