Aabhas Sharma, Courtesy Business Standard
The Bollywood actress and marathoner talks about her running mantra, the gear she uses and the importance of having ‘proper’ running shoes.
At the age of 15, she first started running and it was her father who got her into the habit. Since then it has become an integral part of actor Gul Panag’s life, something she can’t do without. She talks about her running mantra, the gear she uses and the importance of having “proper” running shoes.
Running for you is…?
The most natural way to remain fit and something which makes me happy. I am a road runner and an outdoors person. I use treadmills only for sprints and not more than two times a week.
I used to run about 40 kilometres a week, but it has come down in the last few years. Your knees are like tyres and have a certain amount of miles in them, so with time I have started to conserve these miles. I want to be running till I am in my 50s, so I have slowed down a bit.
What type of running shoes do you use?
A pair of running shoes is the most important thing for a runner. In India, not many people are aware of pronation, a concept which is crucial in choosing a running shoe.
Pronation tells you how your feet fall on the ground and which kind of shoe is more suitable to your running type.
There are three types of pronation — normal, overpronation and underpronation, and I am a normal type. I went to the London Marathon Store to check my pronation and since then I have been buying shoes from there only. The brand I use is Saucony and the model is 0012.
Though right now I am using a pair of Nikes, which I picked up in Bangkok about 15 months ago. These are shoes which come with the iPod sport kit and I have found them extremely comfortable.
The running gear you swear by?
I am not too fussy about the top which I wear when running but cycling shorts are a must.
Running shorts haven’t become too popular in India, so I wear a pair of cycling shorts as they’re extremely comfortable. Lululemon is a brand I swear by for my running gear and their Athletica range is what I wear while running.
One thing which people often underestimate while running is the importance of a good sports bra. I know many people don’t like to talk about it but a good sports bra while running helps in preventing potential tissue damage.
Music on the run?
I am from a generation where only the rich kids could run with their Walkman plugged in.
Frankly we could never afford it. So I never got used to the idea of running with music on. But my husband swears by it and never runs without his iPod.
I do try running with music and must admit it’s great fun. But then I am a road runner and running on Mumbai roads where traffic is heavy and horns are blaring all the time, it’s not such a good idea to have earphones plugged on while running.
Also I like talking to myself while running, make lists, plan my day and channelise my thoughts, so music on the run is very rare.
Saucony Shoes: Rs 6,000
Lululemon Tops: Rs 2,000
Shorts: Rs 1,500