Jagruti Kumari Rathore
Let me start her introduction in a different way, talk about a distance of 200 or 400 or 600 kms and we would think the mode of transportation as Car, Bus or Train, but not for this person, she would say let us finish that distance on the Cycle. Yes she is Jagruti Kumari Rathore, Ace cyclist of Vadodara, for whom a distance of 600 Kms seems like a walk in the Park. The great thing is she is also an avid runner and you would find her in most of the running circuits of Vadodara. Today she will be answering to our questions and it is going to one great of information for those runners who are into cycling also.
Solefest: More than a runner, you are cyclist; tell us your journey as cyclist?
Jagruti Kumari Rathore: In the beginning I never took up cycling as a sport, also did not have any goals for myself as it was purely for keeping myself fit. It was then in 2012, TCCB had organized a small ride of 10 km in which I participated borrowing my son’s cycle and after the ride, I felt really good and enjoyed as I felt the same happiness that I got during my school days, that’s how I got re-introduced myself to cycling at the age of 40 years, after a brief period of 6 months I bought myself a simple hybrid cycle for my daily workouts and got introduced to the founders of TCCB and senior cyclist. With them I did my first 50 km ride then a century ride and was asked to attempt a BRM, my first BRM was 200 km to Vishal Khadi which I completed just 30 minutes before cutoff time. That’s when my mentor and present coach Nimish Makadia asked me to go for a big distance; my first attempt for endurance cycling was 400 km ride from Vadodara to Mehsana and back which I completed in 25 hours -2 hours before cutoff time. My first 600 km ride Vadodara to Charoti (Maharashtra) I had to quit at approximately 425 km which made me feel very bad. As Said, failure is the new beginning, I took it as a challenge and went on to become double SR that very year and was hooked on to endurance cycling, following year again did a SR series and then 1000 was on my mind which I completed from Surat Club ride which was from Surat to Abu Road and back to Surat for which the time limit was 75 hrs, and I very well completed in 71 hrs. Endurance Cycling test you in all ways physically and mentally. Now I enjoy long distance and it has become part of my lifestyle and I would like to keep on cycling, till the time my body supports.
SF: What were the challenges that you faced initially when you took to running?
JR: I took up running as a cross training for my cycling. I very well remember my first run was of 5 km and it was so bad that I could not run for next 10 days.
SF: Any specific reason you took to running?
JR: I started running as it was a part of my cross training and to strengthen my legs.
SF: what is more tough, running or cycling and what difference do you find in matter of strength?
JR: Running or Cycling are not easy and our coach always ask us to follow 3D’s Discipline, Dedication and Determination. One has to get mentally as well as physically strong to achieve their goals. It has its own demands, limitations, risk, benefits, and both activities are best in their regards, so it’s hard to compare both on the same platform.
SF: You take part in triathlons also, how tough it is or let me use the word easy also, to shift between all these three forms of endurance in an event?
JR: I have never ever attempted triathlon but it is definitely on my wish list. I need to work on my swimming
SF: How does running contribute to your fitness as a cyclist?
JR: For any kind of sport, you take up, one has to do running as part of cross training, and it increases Bone Density, Increase Cardiovascular, And Muscular Strength. So ultimately Running helps in becoming a better Cyclist.
SF: What is your running schedule currently, how much do you run in a week?
JR: Cycling is my primary sport I try to run twice a week
SF: Though it is imprudent to ask a lady her age, what care should a women runner or cyclist should take care in terms of fitness in the middle age section?
JR: One should set the goals according to her body limitations, never overdo any activity, Rest and Recovery plays important role to stay injury free. Proper balance diet is also of prime importance.
SF: We have seen your eagerness for improvement in cycling, as well as running, how important it is to cross train to better yourself?
JR: Cross Training is very important. By doing cross training we target different muscles groups in our body instead of just targeting a specific set of muscles. In cycling quads always over work, but when I do cross train I try to use Hamstrings and other muscles also. The development of other set of muscles then invariably puts fewer loads on my quad muscles and that helps in long hours of riding
SF: How has running and cycling changed in the last five years, since you started running and cycling?
JR: With the technology and right kind of trained professionals, online information coming in, all sports have undergone lot of changes in last five years; we have been improving our techniques and mastering them as the competition has increased.
With less efforts getting maximum is the mantra but what I believe is that without practice and proper training and the guidance of professionals it was never easy then and now also.
SF: Injuries are bound to happen most of time, have you gone through any injuries and how did you cope with that?
JR: It is very difficult to find a sportsman/woman who have not faced this situation in their life and I too was not spared (had few bad ones and few narrow escapes). Cyclist in India are never respected they are always looked down and being into BRM (ultra-distance) we have to face the nights too which are very unsafe specially for women.
In one of the most challenging 200 km BRM in the month of March a girl crossed the road without seeing right or left and before I could react we banged into each other, the fall was nasty but somehow reached the control point at Macchi and finish the ride in time. By then the pain had gone bad to worst and on getting diagnosed I had a hair line fracture in my rib, was off cycling for almost two months.
Certain injuries are such where you cannot do anything you just have to wait to get well and get back to action.
SF: A Cyclist and runner of your caliber should always give some wisdom thoughts, runners reading this will be surely enlightened …..
JR: As my coach says there is no short cut to success and just follow 3D’s Discipline, Determination and Dedication