Our February Coach of the Month is Rahul Sharma, founder of CYRUNS. If any of you have every thought about making a career change to what you’re truly passionate about, you’ll definitely want to read this post!
We’re totally impressed and inspired by Rahul and we’re sure you will be too!
How did you begin your journey to become a running coach?
Sometimes in life, we need a wakeup call to get us doing something different. We could be living a successful life with a job that brings in good money and we could believe everything is on track for a happy existence. That was the case with me when I got diagnosed with high cholesterol and hypertension and put on lifetime medicine. The quest to be healthy and off medicine led me to running.
I want to see everyone in the world to be fit and healthy. When it comes to running, it should set us free and it should be effortless and natural. This quest led me to becoming a certified running trainer and nutritionist, leaving behind my 21 years of corporate life and venture into space of health and fitness.
Fitness provides us with the ability to enjoy a healthy active lifestyle. The beauty is you get to choose your own fitness adventures – the options are endless. As a passionate certified trainer, my role is to motivate, enable and make training a fun and rewarding experience. I love to see people achieve their personal health and fitness goals through a structured, tailored and scientific approach to fitness programs. Life is an adventure, filled with continual improvement and we can achieve our BIG Audacious Goals!
My Mantra of life “Realize Your Potential”
Would you consider India an emerging market in respect to running?
India has the second largest population and is expected to be most populous nation by 2024. India is sitting at a huge burden and a time bomb of lifestyle diseases. India is number one in non-communicable diseases deaths and there is an urgent need to bring health & wellness in to public mind.
Running is a basic human activity which we are attuned to throughout evolution; our ancestors ran for food and survival. Switching to a modern lifestyle, we do not run and move as much as we should and this has brought on a lot of issues. With a rising awareness of health & fitness, India has just caught the running boom. Running is becoming one of the most popular sports in India – from marathons to trail runs to purely recreational running groups.
An obvious sign of India’s running growth is the increasing popularity of participating in events. For example, for the first Mumbai Marathon, registration was open until the day before the event, while this year the marathon was already fully booked six months before the race actually took place. Every major city has a full marathon or at least a few half marathons. In 2017, over 1074 events have been organized nationwide, which is 53% more than in 2016. Total finishers of half and full marathon in India are estimated at around 1.2 million.
The potential is huge in India & we have not even touched a tip of it.
You recently made a career move, founding CYRUNS, an endurance sports training company. Tell us about how that career move came about.
Sometimes in your life you stand at a crossroad to decide what you want to do and ultimately you decide to take a faith of leap. While I was quite successful in my career and everything looks promising, the running part of me and my desire to spread the wings of running across India was something that I dreamed of. The joy that I derived from being off medicine was something that I wanted to spread.
So finally, I decided to leave behind a successful career of two decades in pharmaceutical marketing to start up CYRUNS.
CYRUNS is an organization dedicated to fitness for everyone through mass participation sports like cycling, running and swimming. CYRUNS has created a unique RATE Scale (Runner’s Assessment & Training Evaluation Scale) and based on the scale, we provide iFITT programming (individual Frequency, Intensity, Type & Time).
The goal of CYRUNS is to change the way people are trained in India for endurance sports.
Becoming a coach and founding CYRUNS is a realization that there is more to life than work.
When working with beginners, what are your best tips?
Working with beginners is the most interesting part of being a coach. Beginners come to you with lots of enthusiasm and energy. As a coach it’s important to channel a beginner’s energy by making them understand how the program will progress. My process involves not only getting the workouts done but WHY part of it – what they are doing and why are they are doing it.
We work and provide tips on four pillars – Heart, Body, Mind & Soul
- Heart – Cardiovascular System and heart rate training – Look for signs how you are feeling after each workout
- Body – Biomechanical development – How your body is sending signs and signals after every run
- Mind – Mental strength – How was your mental condition during a workout?
- Soul – Free Running – Did you felt free and enjoy the running workout?
For beginners, below are a few tips:
Have Patience: We have to go long and strong in running. Don’t rush and look at time and distance. If you build your form, time and distance will be achieved over a period of time.
Avoid Injury: We believe in PREHAB rather than REHAB, so avoiding injuries is the first target. Our tip for beginner or deconditioned athletes to do key exercises to build strength for the necessary workload and to keep pushing limits.
Nutrition & Hydration: Nutrition and hydration has a major role in your running and recovery. Have the right nutrition and hydration strategy.
Listen to Your Body: Listen to the signs your body is telling you. If after a run you have a pain in a particular area, address the pain. Make pain a friend as it tells you what needs to be done to strengthen your body to avoid pain in future.
Sleep / Rest / Recovery: Don’t compromise sleep, rest or recovery. Sleep is an important part of overall training.
Find A Partner: While running can be a solo sport, it’s helpful to find a good partner for training. A partner is very helpful to know that there is someone there to motivate you when you don’t want to run and get in your workout. Getting a running partner is the key to success.
Cross Train: It’s important to cross train with sports such as cycling, swimming or any other sport you like. It breaks monotony and helps you engage other muscle groups.
Where do you find inspiration from as a coach?
Coaching is all about people. Great coaching encourages people to go beyond their comfort zone and realize their potential to become more active and do more things. It also brings wide-ranging benefits to participants and the communities in which they live, positively affecting physical and mental well-being, as well as individual, social and economic development. Making a difference in someone’s life inspires me the most.
I have a life that continues to be filled with incredible experiences, friendships and opportunities thanks to some of my coaches and teachers who continually believe in me and inspire me. This is a reason that I became a coach. I know that I can be part of creating a more fulfilling life for people at large.
My late father inspires me in every step and every breath for Being Good & Doing Good.
Rahul, many thanks for your time and inspiration and we look forward to hearing about CYRUNS’s growth and success!