This year, AdvantageGo will have a team of runners participating in the 2020 London Marathon in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the national charity of the British Army, providing a lifetime of support to soldiers, veterans and their immediate families when they are in need.
In the first post on our 2020 London Marathon blog series, one of our participants, Ajay Kumar Jain, Senior Vice President, Global Delivery, AdvantageGo, answers questions on why he decided to enter the marathon and how he keeps motivated. You can support Ajay and the charity by donating here:
Click here for Ajay’s fundraising page,
Click here to donate directly to the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity
Is this the first time you will run a marathon?
No, so luckily, I have some idea of what to expect. I run on a regular basis. However, this is the first time I’m being organised with my running regime so I can do my best during the London marathon.
Why did you decide to run in the 2020 London Marathon?
I’ve always wanted to participate in one of the most well-known marathons outside of India, where I live, and the London Marathon is iconic.
Why did you choose to support ABF The Soldiers’ Charity?
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity does amazing work for soldiers and veterans of the British Army, so I’m proud to be supporting the work they do. Many of us owe our freedom to soldiers who put their lives on the line to protect us and our liberty.
How often do you train in a week?
Around 2-3 days a week.
How have you been able to balance your training with your work and personal life?
I’ve always had an active lifestyle so training comes naturally to me. It’s just a matter of prioritising running above other exercises and making it fit alongside work and family. I run with my wife, and my daughter sometimes joins us, so this is a great way for us to spend time together as a family.
What do you enjoy most about training and what do you enjoy the least?
Spending time outdoors, and the post run feeling are what I enjoy the most. The part I enjoy the least is the inertia to start, but when I visualise myself running and finishing the run, that inertia normally goes away.
Where do you train?
In a nice sea-side area surrounded by nature in Mumbai, India.
Are you training solo or with other people and how do you stay motivated?
I mostly train with family and my 65 year old neighbour, Gandhi Sir, who is my mentor and coach. He’s completed more than 55 marathons and still much better than me in all aspects – a true inspiration. When I run with Gandhi Sir, he gives me a lot of wisdom about life in general, so I really look forward to training with him. Sometimes when my daughter joins me, I try and do the same with her. Also, running provides a great way to maintain my relationship and friendship with my wife, we just talk about everything.
How are you mentally preparing for the marathon?
I focus on enjoying the running and training, and I believe that out of that, I will complete the marathon.
What are you top marathon training tips?
First of all, just run and make sure you enjoy it. There are many running training plans available online, however I believe in the value of keeping it simple. I suggest training for around ten weeks before any event, and to incorporate three variables such as intensity, frequency and volume. I prefer intensity over frequency, and quality is more important than quantity. Also aim for eight hours of sleep and commit to a healthy diet. Finally, injuries may happen, so respect and tend to any injuries, but don’t be scared of them.
Do you have a set time in which you want to run the marathon, or is just getting across the finish line your goal?
As this will be my first iconic marathon, I want to enjoy the course and to take pictures along the way, so I’m aiming to complete it in under five hours. However, my philosophy is to focus on the training process and the rest will take care of itself. My objectives are to remain focused, enjoy the experience and on finishing strong.
More importantly, will you be taking the day off work after the marathon?
No, as endurance is not my issue, and work energises me, so there are no plans to take the next day off work.
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