At the young age of 18, Vishwanathan Iyer accidentally became a teacher 😊. Having completed his HSC with fairly good marks, he was approached by two youngsters who needed guidance with Book-Keeping and Accountancy. By the time he graduated, he was a huge hit with more than 100 students 😎. Needless to say, Prof. Iyer went from strength to strength and his Heramb Coaching Classes became the go to place for the Commerce students in Kalyan E over the next 20 years. Unfortunately his busy schedule and 14-hour work days took a toll and soon he was not only obese but also detected with Diabetes 😔.
Spotting a running post on FB put up by his ex-student Pratik Shetty about time trials in May-June 2015, Vishwanathan got in touch with him. However, Pratik informed him that the batch was already full with no room for new entrants. Luckily, he was able to join their new batch in August even though he delayed by a week due to a prior family commitment.
On 9th August, 2015, Vishu woke up at 4 am; a feat he had never managed before 😁. All excited he reached the KDMC ground at 6 am, way before the reporting time of 6:30. That day, after a bit of stretching the Coach- Suhas Bhopi Sir asked him to jog 3 rounds of the 500m ground. Somehow he managed to do the same. This was followed by some stretching and 5 more rounds using run-walk strategy. He managed this humongous task almost walking and crawling rather than running 😌.
That evening his body was painful and stiff forcing him to move around like a robot. The next day was even worse but Vishu laughed at himself and kept at it realizing his poor body condition. The following week was a big struggle as he progressed from running 10 minutes to 60 minutes.
It took him a whole month to get to 5K. To be precise, on 6th September, 2015 Vishwanathan ran about 4.5K from Wilson College to NCPA with the MRR Gang. Thereafter he joined MRR Stalwart, Satish Gujaran who was there to motivate newbies at the Badlapur pipeline road and ran his first 6K 😎.
Thereafter despite the tedious journey from Kalyan to Mumbai, Vishwanathan tries to join in the monthly MRR Runs along with other friends. He also makes it a point to volunteer during the MRR Anniversary Run every year. Of course the Annual MRR Awards Night Bash is one party that just cannot be missed 🤗.
On 2nd October, 2015 Vishu did his first timed event at the Kurla Peace Run. A terrible event in all respects but he was happy to complete his first timed 5K in 40 minutes. He followed it up with his next 5K at the Mastek Run two weeks later finishing in 33 minutes.
In December 2015, he did his first 10K in 63 minutes at Daman managing to qualify for the SCMM 2017 🙂.
On 1st January, 2016 Vishu ran his very first 21K at the Badlapur Pipeline Road in about 3 hours. Unfortunately, like many novice runners; having gone too far too fast, he was hit with an ITB (Iliotibial band) Injury. After taking complete rest for 3 weeks he did his debut Half Marathon on 31st January at the Rutu Run, Kalyan. It was a disastrously painful run where he finished in 3:19 and lead to further exacerbation of his ITB 😓.
This was followed by a few rounds to the doctors and physiotherapist and had him out of action for the next 3 months. He felt especially guilty for having ignored senior runner Devendra Mane who had told him skip the Rutu Run due to his injury. Thereafter, he started training under Devendra and the duo started interacting more as both were Admins at KDR by then.
In June 2016, Dev floated the idea of professionally coaching people in running besides organizing marathons to Vishwanathan along with his college friend and runner Dhananjay Shettigar. Thus M/s RunBurn was born and their flagship event TPHC (Tiger Point Hill Challenge) was conducted at Lonavala in November 2016 😎.
RunBurn has grown successfully since with coaching being provided at Kalyan E, Kalyan W, Dombivali and BKC. They have already organized around 10 events in the last three years.
After running a few 10Ks and HMs in 2016, Vishwanathan focused and did his first SCMM in 2017 finishing in 2:24; a whopping 55 minutes improvement in a year 🤗.
Realizing the importance of Form and Endurance, he attended a 2-day workshop with Ash Nath in June 2017 and has been working hard to inculcate his learnings. In fact, he focused on running mostly 10Ks in 2017 so as to build endurance and improve his timings. He also got a chance to be a 10K Pacer at the Customs Marathon and Yeour Hill Challenge 😎. He finished on a high in December 2017 where he got his PB of 2:12 at the Jaipur HM, his best effort till date 😇.
Vishu paced again at the ICT Marathon and KOR in 2018. The highlight this year though was undoubtedly the Runtastics 6-hour Midnight Run on 7-8 July, 2018 where he completed his very first FM 😀. Now the goal is to concentrate and do his first timed FM at the TMM in January 2019.
Currently Vishwanathan is following a 4-day Run schedule with Speed Intervals on Tuesday, Tempo Runs on Thursdays, short easy Run on Saturday followed by Long Slow Distance Run on Sunday while doing Leg and Core Strengthening on Wednesdays and Fridays with an average mileage of 120-150K that will increase August onwards once FM training sets in.
Ending on a happy note, Vishwanathan says his recent sugar levels are normal and his BMI is also in the Normal range, as against the Obese category that he was in two years back. He is also much more mindful and has made changes to his lifestyle besides reducing his teaching hours 😊.
He advises Newbies to go slow focusing initially on 10K for atleast 2-3 months, improving their timing. Then moving on to HMs which they should focus on for atleast a year before graduating to FMs and Ultras. He says one should not forget the primary goal of running for health. Basically every runner should develop patience, transit slowly and let their body accept the changes gradually.
Vishu signs off saying, “Work for Endurance, Speed will happen for sure.”