About the book:
From Sofa to 5K is the first ever Indian book that celebrates and decodes the science and art of long distance running for the layman. Replete with simple but detailed information, the spectrum of this invaluable book is fascinating… from getting motivated to providing a structured training plan and advice on weight loss, nutrition and daily health log, it spans all facets of running the right way. This specialty book is designed to propel you into discovering the exhilaration of running as a recreational sport and an enduring health regimen!
“Running is the easiest thing you can do for your physical well being. The endorphins released are a bonus and go a long way towards mental well being.”
– Gul Panag, Actor, Activist and Passionate Runner
“All parts of my body are overhauled and operated, it is only running which keeps them active and agile. Life carries on otherwise too, but running helps to live it in the best way. Try it for all doubts, refer to this book written specially for beginners.”
– Major D P Singh, Kargil War Hero and India’s first prosthetic leg runner
“As the promoter of the Pinkathon, India’s biggest women’s run, I encourage women to take up running a 5K distance regularly for their good health. Venkat has been a keen evangelist for running and this book is very handy for a beginner to take her first steps into the exciting world of running!”
– Milind Soman, Actor, Model and Running Enthusiast
About the author:
P. Venkatraman, a seasoned, veteran runner who has run more than 80 Half Marathons so far and hailed as an inspirational and renowned icon in the field of running is the author of this book.
The Technical Editor, Daniel Vaz, is one of India’s most qualified and brilliant coaches and a trainer, tutor and veteran marathoner of high repute.
It’s a great pleasure and honour to write the foreword for what is probably India’s first ‘how to’ book on running. As a Preventive Cardiology Specialist, I am acutely aware that cardiac diseases and other related lifestyle diseases are assuming epidemic proportions in our country. As a Sports Physiologist, I am also aware of the immense benefits of increased physical activities or exercise on health. Running is probably the most egalitarian form of exercise
since it can be undertaken by anyone on the varied surfaces that nature has to offer. It requires very minimal expenditure and minimal facilities. Running in our country as a form of recreation is growing by leaps and bounds. What was earlier a form of activity restricted to the athletic-minded, has now been adopted by the upper middle-class and middle aged as a form of adventure
sport with recreational benefits. The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, of which I have had the privilege to be the Medical Director since its inception, is now over 11 years old and is ever growing in size and popularity. Every year, the country is seeing newer cities introducing running events in all formats, be it the full Marathon or the neighbourhood
5 kms run.
Running as a form of exercise has numerous health benefits. Lowering your cholesterol and other fats in the bloodstream, lowering your blood sugar levels, lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your bones, improving your heart and lung functions, developing aerobic stamina, helping you lose weight and even giving you a clear radiant skin are some of them. In fact, the above benefits are only the few key ones besides numerous others. Just to start running, is quite easy. It is the most natural human movement, after we start learning to walk as a small child. However, as we mature in age and get into work life, we slowly start losing our natural ability to run with glee. We also become sedentary and start putting on weight. This book is intended to help you relearn that primal joy. From the first baby steps back into walking too slowly increasing the exercise load by running in small measures, the target reader is the non-runner who desires to take up running. The book is aptly titled, From Sofa to 5K and presents an easy plan to get you going from the sofa to run your initial 5 kms distance. For many of you, this might seem like a huge challenge and possibly unimaginable. But let me assure you that it is quite easy, if you put your heart to it!
While encouraging you to take up running, it is also necessary to exercise caution.
Do not take up running if your Body Mass Index is more than 30. This book has a modified training plan for those who are overweight. First work on reducing your weight by walking or undertaking other non-impact aerobics as well as diet meal plans and then consider running once you target weight is achieved.
Do not do too much, too soon. Exercise loads have to be gradually increased allowing the body to adapt and strengthen. A new runner has often injured himself by disregarding this advice.
Before you take up running, it is advisable to have a routine medical check-up done and then commence, provided the parameters are clear. If you have some medical conditions, then do consult with your doctor before you take up any form of strenuous activity. The self-screening checklist given in Chapter 6, Getting Started, is a good starting point.
The book is written in an easy to understand format and is not heavy on technical details. The idea is to not burden the new runner with more information than he needs to know, but to enable him to revel in the joy of running and reap its numerous health benefits.
May fortitude hasten you and let temperance chasten you.
Dr Aashish Contractor
Head of Dept., Rehab Medicine and Sports Medicine
Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital
Former Head of Cardiac Rehab at Asian Heart Institute
Only Indian examiner for American College of Sports Medicine in India
Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon
Author of numerous research papers
Popular speaker at various forums on Health,
Exercise and Cardiology
Long distance Cyclist and Runner