SHERAS FERNANDES | NT BUZZ
Long distance running happened to Karen Maciel by accident. She maintains that she never opted for it, but long distance running chose her. To her running is a metaphor for life. “What you put in, is what you will get out of it. Running is a patience game really,” she says. Maciel tells us that due to long distance running, she has been able to grow as an individual.
She learned that if one is impatient in this field it could invite an injury. Maciel says that long distance running requires you to master your emotions. “You need to negotiate with your body at all times and not force yourself till your body is ready. If you pay attention to what your body is telling in, you will be able to tune it to what it says,” she says.
She currently works with NEB Sports Entertainment Private Limited that organises races all across India and brings fitness to the doorstep of any aspiring individual. Maciel will be participating in the 12 hour stadium run team relay at Bengaluru.
Maciel who quit her full time job to train and to train other people also has plans of training abroad for a while to improve her timings and win further accolades to make Goa proud. It is with this thought in mind that she plans to go in for crowd funding. “Since I work part time it’s a bit hard for me to figure out the funds. I want to train abroad the next year as the stiff competition would help to bring a level of competitiveness and make it a more worthwhile learning experience.
Excerpts from an interview
Q: When did you realise that you are good at this and can excel in it?
I realised that I was fairly good at it when I registered for a Half Marathon (HM) (21.1 kilometre) and ran it non-stop without any training. It was a complete surprise to me. However, I started training seriously in September 2015.
Q: You have Goan roots, comment on the sports scenario in Goa, specifically about long distance running?
I am from Salvador-Do-Mundo. I love running there because it so peaceful in the village. When I’m home I spend as much time as I can run around the fields and lakes. When it comes to Goa and sports, I think the focus is more around football and cricket, but I do believe the long distance running scene is slowly improving in Goa. During the Goa Half Marathon I noticed there were quite a few amateur runners from Goa and a few women who enjoyed the sport thoroughly. There are quite a few races in Goa and the GRM (Goa River Marathon) is a very talked about competitive event among amateurs all over India.
Q: What is your favourite part of the 10-kilometre and the half marathon (21.1 kilometre) category?
My favourite part of any race is the training aspect, be it, the 10 kilometre or the half marathon. I thoroughly enjoy the entire training schedule with my training partners as they bring an element of camaraderie into the picture. However, I do spend quite a bit of time training alone. As they say, running alone makes you strong, but running in a group keep you going.
Q: You do a lot of running. How do you train and deal with injuries?
Yes I do a lot of running, but my training buddies do a lot to keep me more motivated, sensible and grounded to the sport. We are committed to the sport and it is easier when we are in a group to stay motivated. Running is something that can truly make you humble. Coming to injuries I have had only one injury till date and that was mostly because of incorrect sitting posture (while studying) which caused some muscle imbalances in the upper back. I had to work on it gradually through physiotherapy and soon the imbalance corrected itself.
Q: Tell us about your mantra to stay fit.
I run every day. My workouts consist of speed workouts, long runs, tempos. My day doesn’t really go good without it. I do strength training about 4-5 times a week as well. I also make sure I stretch well after a workout.