Why Milind Soman Is The Ironman Of India?
Milind Soman is in the news for having completed his Ironman triathlon. It had a 3.8 km swim, 180 km cycling and 42 km run! He managed to complete the same in 15 hrs 19 min and never felt fitter in his whole life. All this when he is about to touch 50! Man!! Isn’t he super fit?
Training for something like an Ironman race brings all your energies such as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual together, says Milind. It was a way of celebrating his 50th bday!
Right form an early age Milind Soman has been swimming. He kept swimming till the age of 23. He was into intensive swimming, spending 3 to 5 hours in the pool for 5 days a week.
Life as an actor
When his modelling and acting career took off, he started to travel a lot leaving very little time for swimming or exercise. He was never into the habit of drinking tea or coffee but once he entered the world of acting he started drinking up to 30 cups of tea a day on the sets. And every cup he drank had 2 spoons of sugar!! Along with tea he also got into the habit of smoking while waiting at the sets. He ended having 30 cigarettes a day and it was a habit that was too tough to quit.
Running to the rescue
It was the 2004 Mumbai Marathon that saved him. He decided to take part in that run and prepared for about 3 months. He ran half a marathon but got hooked to running. After a struggle of 3 years he was able to quit smoking for good.
He ran in the Mumbai Marathon year after year and in 2009 after 5 years of completing half marathons, he ran the complete distance of 42 kms. He completed that in 4 hrs and 50 min. NDTV roped him in for a Greenathon for environmental awareness. He ran 60 kms in 24 hours. In the year 2010, he ran 100 kms in 24 hours and in 2011 he covered the 550 km distance from Ahmedabad to Mumbai in two weeks. In 2012, he ran from Delhi to Mumbai in a month covering 1,500 kms! That was a huge challenge for him and by the eighteenth day he as mentally exhausted. He says that such an effort requires one to conquer the mind. The body is the slave of the mind. It does need strength and nutrition but your body can’t achieve anything till you master your mind.
Making the women run!
He was a part of Pinkathon started for women. He believed that if a culture of fitness and regular exercise should surface up in India, the women should know about the benefits of fitness. It is due to several cultural reasons that they don’t take part in runs.
Pinkathon is now organized in 8 cities. More than 10,000 women participate in 3 km, 5 km, 10 km, and 21 km distances. They run even in sarees, salwar suits, burkhas, and whatever makes them feel comfortable.
How he stumbled upon Ironman?
Kimberly Shah, an American athlete (married to a Gujrati) pushed him to try the Ironman. He was okay with the swimming and running but cycling was something he didn’t do! The rules of Ironman are that you should complete swimming and cycling together in 10 hours. While training he was not able to do 180 kms of cycling in less than eight hours. However, in the actual event, he was able to finish his cycling in 7 hrs 45 mins!
Successfully doing the Ironman has made a huge impact on him. His fitness goal is now to be able to do ironman at any point of time.
He says that he has never followed any kind of diet. He just says no to refined sugar. He watches his non-veg consumption but loves his fish and meat. Being a Maharashtrian, he loves eating ghee and has it with almost every meal.
Advice for wannabe runners
Go steady and slow. Listen to what your body says and explore the responses.
Wasn’t this post about the Ironman Milind Soman inspirational?
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