Amit Chaturvedi, ‘After completing Ironman triathlon I broke down’

Amit Chaturvedi, a businessman from Jaipur, participated in the recently held Ironman Triathlon in Karnten, Austria. He completed the full triathlon on July 1 in 14.23.51 hrs. Amit tells us, “I feel incredible as I achieved this after a lot of persistence, training and hard work. I had to make a lot of sacrifices, including my sleep, comfort and family time. It’s definitely a very satisfying feeling, which is hard to explain in words.”

‘COLLAPSED AND BROKE DOWN AFTER FINISHING THE RACE’

The moment he crossed the finished line, Amit says that he collapsed and broke down. “The realisation of finishing the race, and that too with an unexpectedly good timing was so overwhelming that I broke down. Even when I was driving back from the race venue to where I was putting up in Austria, my mind was groggy and numb. The maximum session during my training had been eight to nine hours, with rest breaks in between. This was 14-and-a-half hours non-stop. I started at 7.05am and completed at 9.25pm,” he says.

‘PARTICIPATED IN SEVERAL HALF MARATHONS IN JAIPUR, DELHI AND MUMBAI’

Talking about his stint with running and swimming, Amit tells us, “I was never active in any sports. Just to stay fit, I started running alone at the beginning of 2011. After a friend’s suggestion, I registered for Delhi Half Marathon in November 2011, and without any technical knowledge or training, just landed up at the start line of the marathon and managed to finish in 2.19 hrs. This is when I got hooked on running. I participated in several half marathons thereafter, including in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Jaipur and slowly graduated to full marathons. I also did a lot of endurance cycling, including a couple of 250km ride events and cycling from Manali to Leh over 8 days in July 2014. In spite of being a complete non-swimmer, in February 2015, I tried Olympic Distance Triathlon in Goa with a bunch of friends. I had never learned about swimming the right way and had an aquaphobia. I could not swim 100 meters at a stretch.

However, I managed to swim 1,500 meters in Goa Triathlon in 2015 and the triathlon bug bit me then. I did another Goa Triathlon in 2016 before attempting my first half Ironman in Phuket, Thailand in November 2016. I did that comfortably.”

‘HEARD ABOUT IRONMAN TRIATHLON FOR THE FIRST TIME DURING A BUSINESS TRIP IN FRANCE IN 2013’

Amit says, “I was in Nice, France for a business trip in June 201. Before my meeting. I was strolling on a nearby beach and coincidentally, the Ironman Nice was going on and finish line was just there. At that time, I had no clue what Ironman was. Strolling around the finish line wideeyed, reading and asking people, I understood and was astounded by the distances involved in a full Ironman — 3.8km swim, 180km cycling and 42.2km run back-to-back. I spent the entire evening just absorbing the atmosphere in complete amazement and admiring the super-fit athletes finishing the race. Those were like ‘gods’ for me. But I could never dream of attempting anything like this. It was way beyond my imagination.

However, that got me into the Olympic distance (1,500m swim, 40 km bike and 10km run) triathlon and slowly into half Iron distance (1,900m swim, 90km bike and 21km run). Finally, having completed half Ironman in November 2014, the next step was a full Ironman. I was mentally and physically prepared for the same.”

‘NOT VERY KEEN ON ULTRAMAN YET’

Having decided to go for the full Ironman Triathlon, Amit hired an Ironman coach for structured training in February 2018. “I followed a rigorous diet and training plan for five months starting from February and was training six days a week, two to three hours on weekdays and four-eight hours on weekends. The normal training week consisted of at least two swims, two cycling rides and three runs per week, weekends being the longest. The volume and intensity grew till mid-June and tapered down post-mid-June,” he tells us.

Amit recalls the moment when he reached the finishing line and saw his family cheering for him. “There were hoards of people screaming and cheering at the finish line and also along the entire run route and many parts of the bike route. My family was there with friends at the finish line cheering, waving and shouting out my name. It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment after months of hard work,” he says.

So, is Ultraman next on his list? He says, “I am not very keen on Ultraman yet. I will most probably pursue my favourite sport — running. I will look at some good full marathons in the next year or two.”