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What training for Ultraman India 2019 is like

Manisha Srivastava, 47, training near her home in Gurugram on Saturday

Manisha Srivastava, 47, training near her home in Gurugram on Saturday   | Photo Credit: Manoj Kumar

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India’s first Ultraman format event will soon take place in Delhi

Amateur athletes usually train for just a few events every year. The whole year has been a training season for Manisha Srivastava, a 47-year-old former HR professional, and mother of two daughters. When she ran the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon a few weeks ago, it was a cakewalk.

This year has been physically demanding for Manisha. “In February, I completed a full Ironman distance at the Delhi International Triathlon. Then, in April I finished the Boston Marathon,” she says. In June, she stood third in the women’s category at South Africa’s Comrades Marathon, an ultra-race where runners take on 86.83 km. Last month, she finished the Khardungla Challenge — running 72 km in Ladakh’s high altitude.

The corollary was to sign up for Ultraman India 2019 (open only to athletes who have completed a full Iron or half Iron distance). “It is one of the toughest events one can do. It is the first of its kind in India. Since it is an unassisted event, athletes must bring their own crew for support,” says event organizer, Dr. Chiro Mitra, a veterinarian in the city. The event follows the guidelines of the international format Ultraman, based in Hawaii.

Spread over three days, the event is a gruelling test of an athlete’s mental and physical endurance. Manisha will be swimming, cycling and running against athletes and even some naval officers. “My main concern for the ultra in November is Delhi-NCR’s traffic and my cycle (Giant SCR). I hope my cycle keeps me steady,” she says.

To stay in the competition, on day one, participants must swim 10K within six hours and then cycle 145 k.m. within seven hours. On day two, with no time built in for fatigue, athletes cycle 276 k.m. within 13 hours. The third day will have an 84 k.m. run to be completed within 13 hours.

In the days leading up to the Ultraman, Manisha divides her time between strength training (for 1-2 hours), running and swimming (for an hour or more). She has been cycling indoors for about 2-3 hours but plans to head out into the traffic soon. “I have the endurance factor covered. I am now looking at instructional videos to perfect (swim, run, cycle) my technique,” she says.

Manisha is supported by her husband and two daughters, 23 and 19, all three of whom are also runners.

From November 23-25; register at Ultraman India 2019 by DIT on in.explara.com or Facebook; ₹25,000

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 3:10:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/what-training-for-ultraman-india-2019-is-like/article29814892.ece

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