Simta Sharma - The Runner
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Getting Race Ready With Simta Sharma: Super Simta on How She Balances All Her Roles and Aces Every Race

Mohit Raj

In Conversation with Simta Sharma

Gone are the days when a girl from a village was confined to the field. Though we are still miles away from our fantasy of seeing every girl do well, things have definitely changed. Gone are the days when girls had to cover their face in front of their fathers-in-law.

An ‘average’ girl from Haryana, Simta Sharma is breaching all the scales but is still not happy because she is still 3 minutes short of her target. Internet pages show her career in running began when she randomly registered for some race and finished on the podium. At the drop of a hat she thought of being a professional racer. However, the internet pages don’t tell you that she had been doing morning walk for around an hour every day to stay fit and healthy.

However, her achievements don’t mean her life is a bed full of roses. She is an Epilepsy patient and suffered from hypothyroidism. She had one such attack as recently as Jan 2019. In fact, it was her battle with Epilepsy and Thyroid that forced her to take running.

Drastic times call for drastic measures

To reduce weight, she started walking and jogging. It doesn’t cost an arm or a leg to start running. She is not taking any medication, but it’s improving with running. She feels the idea of running proved as the best thing since sliced bread for her. Simta loves running for the simple reason that it helps her to lead a happy & healthy life. She says, “A long run not just helps her stay fit, it also helps her resolve some tricky issues in mind.” She says, “In some cases, I find some answers and in some cases I find the lead to the answers.” The IDBI Mumbai Half Marathon winner and podium finisher on several other events, Simta even met her life partner during a running event. They run together. However, he is not the only one in the family she runs with. Brigham Young, one of the founders of the Mormon community in the US, once said, “You educate a man, you educate a man. You educate a woman, you educate a generation.” That’s exactly what happened with Simta. Simta also pushed her father-in-law, Anil Sharma, to join them.

Running with Father-in-law

It’s not something very common. Girls still don’t go in front of their father-in-law in many villages. But Simta is not a common girl. Her father-in-law is a banker, who had been diagnosed with diabetes and they started running together to enhance the exercise component in his life. He used to go for a morning walk. She pushed him to start jogging. While it helped Anil with anger management, Simta won a 10k event in Borivali and over the years kept improving her speed as well.

Cry over spilled milk

A few days after running a full marathon in Bengaluru, Simta did the grueling course of Vadodara Ultra (55 km). She was disqualified as she mixed the routes of 2 different courses. The next year she had to pull out of another 55-km event due to cramps. She had to pull out despite being at the 3rd place after 20 kms. She ran 13 kms even after the cramp but it was not going away so she was forced to leave with 22kms still to run as she doesn’t enjoy finishing weaker.

However, she went back to the drawing board instead of crying over spilled milk. She says, “Pushing to complete the event could have ruined the preparation for the next marathon as well.”

90-min barrier

Her immediate target is finishing the half marathon. She is ‘just’ 3 minutes away from her target but it’s not as small as it sounds. 3 minutes pass like nothing when you are just enjoying having a friend’s reunion or any such thing. But 3 minutes is too much when you are closely monitoring the clock.

Training plus household work

Many people claim they have to do various other works that’s why they can’t do something. But if you are looking for excuses you will always get one. However, when you are determined to do something, you will find a way to do it. Simta wakes up at 5 am. She cooks food and then has 2 hours of training in the morning.

Once she returns, she gets ready and leaves for office by 10. The infamous ‘Bangalore traffic’ delays her 20-minute journey to 40-45 minutes.

Routine

She runs on 4 days a week. One day she takes it easy, while the other day is for tempo, and 1 day is for interval training. She goes for a long run on Saturdays. She has 1 day off in the week which is not Sunday. On Sundays, she has 5-6 km of a recovery run. She enjoys hill training. She says, “My husband prepares all the routine and strategies, I just have to execute.”

Diet

She is a vegetarian and loves home-cooked food. She also loves raw food and salads. At a time when half of the world complain they are too tired to do all the work, Simta says she enjoys cooking and eating. She uses jaggery instead of sugar. She says, “You don’t eat heavy for few days after marathons but after a few days you can eat anything you want.”

Fast&Up

She says though rest is the best recovery but as a working professional and being a racer, and not some celebrity or cricketer, you don’t have the luxury to just rest. She takes Fast&Up products to get ready for normal day to day life and return to training. She has been using the products for 3.5 years. She says it has really helped her. She uses a combination of Fast&Up Recover and Fast&Up reload.

You would realise many people felt they can cross the bridge when they have to and that’s exactly what they did. People like Simta’s father in law were forced to start running in order to kill the diseases or stay fit. But you don’t have to wait for a calamity to strike. However, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Just target 1 or 2 km when you start and slowly you can increase the distance. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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