I have seen many CVs since I started working at Covalience, and invariably there is a reference to hobbies or sports activities. During the interview, I ask about it and have come to the conclusion that most company employees in Chandigarh, India(where I live), have given up on trying to be fit. They are too busy now to exercise, they say. Does this lack of fitness influence their work and in which way?

Recently, while we were doing a hard workout, one of our developers came to run with our group for the first time in months. Later at the…

I do not claim to be the authority on all things “running,” but I have been around the block a few times. Because of this experience, people frequently ask me about it, specifically about how much I run.

It is a complicated question to answer since it differs depending on what I am training for and how long it is before that event will happen. It also depends on my health and any injuries or pains I may be nursing. Let me try to give a broader answer to the quantity question.

Let’s assume you are preparing for a race…

There are many confusing body metrics used in running and other sports activities. Let’s try to shed some light on the meaning of one of them, VO2 max, and why it matters (or doesn’t)


VO2 max: The maximum volume of oxygen (in millilitres) your body can use per kilogram of body weight per minute. The name is derived from:

V — volume

O2 — oxygen

Max — maximum

In essence, it says how fast your body can produce energy to power your muscles for running. Thus, it is a measure of fitness.

Can it be improved?

Your absolute maximum VO2 max is genetic and…

I made it past 100 miles. That was my goal as I prepared for the Delhi 24 hour stadium-run. In fact, I got to 177 kilometres or, in other words, 433 laps around the track. I was fourth.

You cannot imagine how long 24 hours are when you have to run it. Time crawls. This was my first stadium run (yes, I did another one after that), and I think I have learned a few things that may also benefit you if you are ever insane enough to do it.

  • Be ready for the weather. It was cold at 3…

I watched the remake of Jumanji some time ago. The characters find themselves inside this game where each has three lives and spectacular strengths and weaknesses. I thought how neat it would be to have a “remaining power indicator” when you are on a long run.

Today I hit The Wall. Yes, that can happen to anybody, especially if you are overconfident. I did not have time for sufficient breakfast before my 30k run, so I just had a small quantity of cereal. I did not take anything along to eat on the way. I thought my water bladder would…

This way, are you sure?

There are some people who can show you where North (or South/South-West for that matter) is no matter where they are. Even in an unknown city or a foreign country. They have this built-in compass. You can spin them around and then ask them or wake them up at 3 in the morning, and they will be able to tell you which direction the sun will rise or which road to take to get to the highway.

I am not one of them.

I can get lost in a house. I regularly do. It is a standing joke in our…

As a child, I knew that early sailors got Scurvy due to a lack of vitamin C. I also knew that eating “ An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Trying to get rid of my cold, I took another look at the benefits of vitamin C, and I found some fascinating articles. Although I have researched it, these claims are not my own but supported by studies.

There have been claims that many people come down with a cold after an ultra-marathon due to oxidative stress. …

I still feel that the Comrades Up run in 2006 was one of the best races I ever ran, completing the 89 kilometres in 8 hours and 54 minutes with a steady pace of 6 minutes per kilometre.

Here are some of the things that went right:

  • My exercise program peaked at over 80 kilometres per week at just the right time — about four weeks before the event.
  • My long runs were long enough. I’d say 30 to 35k is probably the longest run a marathon aspirant needs to run in preparation for the race.
  • Tapering left me full…

These are some of the lessons I learned while trying to run a race in Chicago in winter:

  • Planes won’t fly if they have to land where the wind is blowing at 40 miles an hour.
  • Don’t give your rental car back if you aren’t sure that you will need it again.
  • If possible, avoid driving for more than 4 hours after eight at night on the day before the race.
  • A treadmill presents a serious temptation to see how fast you can run.
  • One’s muscles remember the speed games you played on the treadmill two days later.
  • Trying to…

Between too fast and too slow, there is that magic speed that gives you the best possible result. That is running on the edge of your ability.

Running is competing with yourself. My most common practice run is from my house to the end of the lake path and back (about 7.29 km according to my GPS). Recently, I took a minute off my personal best. That got me thinking about the factors involved in being the best one can be.

I always aim to be absolutely exhausted at the end of each race while keeping a steady pace throughout. If I reach the end and still feel I can go on, I know I could have gone faster. …

Running with a friend

Stephan is an enthusiastic South-African runner living in India who competes in (and wins) races. He follows his friend, Jesus, is a father of 3, and a CTO

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