Q&A WITH MILIND SOMAN

India Today - - INSIDE - —with Vidhi Malla

Q. What in­spired you to do the 515-km Ul­tra­man triathlon at 51 years old—and bare­foot?

I wanted to do a big­ger chal­lenge after Iron­man. As for bare­foot, I just do not wear shoes any­way.

Q. What was the first step in train­ing for the Iron­man? The race re­quired me to cy­cle 180 km, and I had never sat on a cy­cle. Sim­i­larly in swim­ming, I had to re­gain the level of pro­fi­ciency I had ear­lier. I had to pre­pare my body, but there was no spe­cial train­ing: for me fit­ness has been an ev­ere­volv­ing jour­ney.

Q. How have your food habits evolved after you de­cided to take up fit­ness se­ri­ously? There’s noth­ing I eat out of the or­di­nary. I eat a lot of dal and rice, with a lot of fruits and veg­eta­bles. That gives me ev­ery­thing I need for a low in­ten­sity, high en­durance kind of sport.

Q. Do you work out daily? I do not be­lieve in ex­er­cise, you have to be con­stantly ac­tive. The rea­son one has to ex­er­cise is be­cause most of us in ur­ban ar­eas have a seden­tary life­style. I do not ex­er­cise ev­ery day. But I love to run, so when­ever I get the time, I run.

Q. You also started Pinkathon in 2012 to en­cour­age women to run. Your big­gest chal­lenge?

The idea was to en­cour­age women to take out time for them­selves—whether they run, walk, read a book, or do yoga. The big­gest chal­lenge was spon­sor­ship: for the cor­po­rate world, women are not the de­ci­sion mak­ers in the fam­ily. Last year, though, we had al­most 70,000 women par­tic­i­pat­ing and that got the in­ter­est of busi­nesses.

Q. Any tips for those who want to get fit in 2018? Just start. Want­ing does not mean any­thing, un­less you do it!

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