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Ironman Triathlon: how Dr. Swaroop Puranik walked a tightrope between his work and training

Riding to victory: Dr. Swaroop Puranik

Riding to victory: Dr. Swaroop Puranik  

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Dr. Swaroop Puranik walked a tightrope, maintaining a balance between his work and triathlon training

From battling the hot and dry Dubai weather to managing work, Dr. Swaroop Puranik, director of Dr. D.Y. Patil University, had to battle several odds to emerge the Ironman of India.

Organised by the World Triathlon Corporation, the Ironman Triathlon, which was held in Dubai on February 1, 2019, is a series of long-distance triathlon races that comprises a 3.86-kilometre swim, followed by a 180-kilometre bicycle ride and 42.2-kilometre marathon run. All of them without a break.

Winning the title for India, when 2,300 top athletes from 170 countries across the world participated, Dr. Puranik says was a surreal feeling. “All those hard hours, tough days just flash in front of your eyes. It gets a little emotional,” he told The Hindu, shortly after his victory at the triathlon.

For Dr. Puranik, the training started in December 2018 and went on for about seven to eight weeks, during which he preferred to listen to his body more than the generally followed rituals and rule books. “I started with a simple 5-kilometre run and 400-metre swim and gradually increased them every 3 days or so. I also followed a simple Indian diet that comprised roti and sabzi and rice dal. I don’t go overboard with too much junk food,” he said.

Managing work while preparing for the race and the Dubai weather were the toughest challenges for him. “It was tough initially, but things had to change a little. It required a balancing act. My day started at 5 a.m. While preparing for the competition, I had my swimming session till 7 a.m., after which I had to attend my office till 5 p.m. I used to proceed with running and cycling from 6 p.m,” he said.

Dr. Puranik added, “The weather feels dry and hot, regardless of the temperature. Even the sea was warm and running in the midday heat gave the feel of running in a climate beyond 40 degrees.”

While completing the race was more important to him than winning or losing, he said that emerging the Ironman Championship finisher is his ultimate goal.

“I want to start a culture where youth can pursue more than one sport and an academy that teaches how to enjoy the process of setting and achieving goals. “Why be good at just one sport, if you can easily be at three? There are more important things than the stringent patterns of training by the book,” he signed off.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 5:54:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/miles-to-go-before-he-sleeps/article27154390.ece

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