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Avik Pal

Runner

1. Career Highlights - Medals of Glory
Avik has had an incredibly fitness journey which includes fitness milestones such as Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM 2016) with a time of 1:26, Airtel Hyderabad Marathon (AHM 2016) - 1:32, Hyderabad 10K 2015 - 39 minutes. He also hold the title of Champion of Spirit of Wipro Run Hyderabad for three consecutive years.

2. His sport & what he loves about it - His Passion
Avik is currently focused only on long distance running. In addition to this, he likes to play badminton and cricket in his free time. Avik says that he loves to run because it helps him to become stress free and 'enjoy the me within myself'.

3. What got him started - How the journey began
In Avik's words, 'I was always a sports person from my childhood days. My mom says she has discovered my running skills long back in class nursery on the annual sports day. From there on there was no stopping me! 100 meters sprinting became my favourite event till my college days. I won multiple 100 meters and 200 meters race during school and college days. I probably have adopted it from my mom who has represented district level competition in athletics. But it was all over after joining work in Hyderabad.My second innings of running started surprisingly with Spirit of Wipro run. There were few email flyers getting circulated to register for the annual Wipro run and my friend registered me for a 5k run without my knowledge. Later when she told me, I was not at all convinced to run 5k and at that time I used to consider 5k as a marathon. With no fitness activities for over two years I was very scared to take part in it. Then came the final day and I had no running shorts which I can wear for the race. I had a couple of half pants that I normally wear at home but did not feel like to wear it at the event in front of hundreds of people. So I decided to wear a jeans with a mind set to enjoy the post run function and DJ music. But when I reached the start point I could not control my emotions and was thrilled by the electrifying atmosphere. I became very nervous before the start and had to rush to the toilet a couple of times. Then the race started and I got carried away with the spirit of the crowd. I ran very hard for the first half kilometer and realized that all had slowed down and was running ahead of everyone. This kept me going in spite of the severe pain due to side stitches. I had to take walk breaks occasionally but still kept the pace high and finally finished the race at second position. My joy knew no bounds when I was called on the podium and awarded the medal. I was so happy that I slept that night with the medal under my pillow. I then realized that I can still do it again and this has kept me going since then. My first 10k run was also a podium finish and it has given me the confidence to graduate to half marathons. My finished my debut half marathon in 1:42 in AHM 2015. So far I have completed six half marathons with a PB of 1:26.'

4. His fitness mantra
Avik's fitness mantra is very simple. He avoids using lifts because he likes to climb stairs and he loves most of the outdoor games. He believes that fitness is in the small things you can do to stay healthy!

5. Biggest sport challenge
Avik's biggest challenge comes in the way of another sport! Avik says that he once tried playing tennis and felt it was really difficult to keep the tennis ball within the court. He says that so far that is his biggest sport challenge.

6. Favorite sport memory
Avik says that has a lot of memories to cherish all throughout his life! He adds that whenever he achieves a PB in any race or get a podium, he cherishes that moment. In recent times his favourite memory is after crossing the finish line in AHM 2016. Apart from this Avik says that he cherishes the moment of India winning the ODI cricket world cup in 2011!

7. What he'd like to share with fellow fitness enthusiasts
Avik believes that that we all should spend at least 45 minutes every day in some physical activity. He adds that there is no shortcut to a healthy life and there is no secret to do well in races. It all boils down to the amount of hard work that you put in.

8. Favorite Fast&Up fuel
In Avik's words, 'I am big fan of Fast&Up Reload. I blindly depend on it for hydration during my workout. I also do use Charge twice / thrice a week. On the long runs and events I use Malto gels as it helps me to maintain the even pace. The latest addition to my nutrition is Prototal. I take it twice a day, one religiously after workout and the other one mostly during the evening hours.'

9. What his normal training day looks like
Avik mostly trains for six days a week. His training runs include interval run, easy run, tempo run/hill repetitions/fartlek workout and long runs. Along with these he also includes two days of bodyweight strength training in his workouts.

10. Favorite place to train - Training Haven
Avik's loves to train at the Gachibowli Stadium (Hyderabad)

11. Everyday fitness diet
Avik's day begins with abowl of oats with curd and jaggery. During his workout he ensures to hydrate with Fast&Up Reload. Post workout, he takes Prototal within thirty minutes of the workout followed by a bowl of fruits, milk and banana shake and dosa/idli. Avik adds that his breakfast is a heavy affair and during lunch he normally eats daal-chawal with green vegetables. Evening he will have some fruit and a bowl of sprouts followed by dinner which is usually roti with daal-sabji.

12. His fitness inspiration
In Thomas' words, 'I really get inspired by some of the amateur runners across India who in spite of their age are able to keep themselves super fit.'

13. His biggest motivation
Avik says that he sets a short time goal and that acts as his biggest motivator till the time he achieves it.

14. What pushes him to the finish line
His goal and his passion to achieve it are what push Avik to the finish line!

15. One goal he'd like to achieve
Currently the one goal Avik would like to achieve is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

16. Importance of sports nutrition in his life
In Thomas' words, 'Nutrition plays a very important role in life. Its makes a lot of difference in performance. Recovery plays a key role with proper nutrition. The normal diet is not enough to replenish the loss of essential nutrients from the body after a hard workout and the absorption rate of the normal nutrient is very slow which hinders the recovery. So in order to stay on our feet for the whole day there is no alternate of sports nutrition.'