Dr Kaustubh Radkar India’s Best Ironman
- How was your journey from a swimmer to a triathlete? What made you decide to go for triathlons?
- Kaustubh Radkar India’s best Ironman was former national champion in India from 1995-2001, in early 2001 I went to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania on a swimming scholarship. Immediately after graduating in May 2004, I started an intense Masters program at the University of Wisconsin, getting time to swim was tough so I started running to stay fit. Soon I discovered I was good at long distance even as a runner, and started running marathons. A change in jobs took me to Boulder, Colorado in 2006, the Mecca of triathlon as it’s called it. Within few weeks, I was training with the best triathletes in the world and they said I had two of the three essential disciplines covered for Ironman, the swim, and the marathon run so told me to get a bike and start doing tris. I followed their advice and never looked back.
- How is one of your typical training weeks? How do you juggle between the three?
- During the weekday, I try for 2 hours of workouts every day, and then on the weekends I typically average 3-4 hours each day. I structure my workouts so that I achieve 4 swimming sessions, 4 running sessions and 3 biking sessions of which 1 is outside and the other two are in the gym on a spin bike. I do like to do some weight lifting twice a week and work on my core few days a week, I stay injury free by stretching religiously and then doing yoga once a week.
Read on to see what Kaustubh Radkar India’s best Ironman has to say-
- What is your favorite thing to eat before during and post training session?
- Kaustubh Radkar India’s best Ironman relies on simple breakfast items pre-training, such as toast and a protein shake. I will have oatmeal or cereal too. Post training session is all about getting the required amount of protein and calories. I eat a very balanced diet that I can’t pinpoint one favorite, but tandoori chicken is one that comes to mind after a heavy training day. I rely a lot on fruits as well and try to eat 3-5 fruits a day. According to Kaustubh Radkar – India’s Best Ironman it is vital to manage hydration and I try to stay on top of my water and electrolytes while training especially.
- Tell us more about Radstrong. What kind of athletes are there?
- Radstrong honestly is for anyone and everyone who wants to stay fit and wants to either run or bike or do triathlons as a mean for the same. I have people who are off the couch and just ran their first 5km-10km to people who have now committed to this lifestyle and are on the verge of taking on bigger challenges. The first batch of Ironman athletes were at Zurich of which 2 finished, another group of 4 is going to Ironman Malaysia in November.
- How does it help to be a doctor and a triathlete?
- As a doctor, I get to practice what I preach to my patients, the important of staying active and healthy every day. It helps me keep motivated and disciplined because I work with a sick population, for whom sometimes just walking 5 mins at a steady pace is a challenge. My mind is fresh after the training and am ready to tackle the busy workday. But I also know my body well as a doctor, in case something feels different I can take care of it quickly, lik a running injury or a shoulder injury.
- You have finished 13 IM events. How many IM events do you plan to do? What are your goals that you’d like to achieve in these events?
- I think 25 will be a good number to retire on and as long as I stay healthy I should be able to achieve it. I believe it’s really not about a specific number, it’s about if you are enjoying what you do and right now I am very happy with the training and racing I do.
- What do you think about triathlon scenes in India? What does the future look like?
- According to Kaustubh Radkar India’s best Ironman, the triathlon scene is picking up in India, It has been quite a change since 2008 when barely 1-2 people were aware what an Ironman is. Now I believe at the end of this year we should have about 30-40 Indian athletes closer to finishing an Ironman. There are a number of triathlons being organized in India of different distances. Based on this the future is bright, but we need more help from corporates and government in organizing events of a larger scale.
- Where do Indian triathletes rank on world scale? What would it take to have professional triathletes from India at IM level?
- Right now there only a handful of us who have an international presence. Its my 3rd year in a row I have been top 5% in my age group for Ironman (M 30-34), its pretty challenging living in India and maintaining this at times. Good coaching, good diet and sticking to training plans are the ways to get more Indians to have an international presence. To become professional in an upcoming sport like Ironman, its important to have support from corporates and sponsors. Kaustubh Radkar India’s best Ironman also stated that, the way cricket, tennis players are being picked up for jobs a similar stature needs to come to triathlon as well.
- How do you juggle between your professional life, family and training?
- It’s a constant challenge to fit it all in, but I keep things in perspective. It helps to have an understanding family that they know I have to get most of my training in the wee hours of the morning, my patients have slowly started to realize who I am and they actually have started to take interest in my Ironman expeditions as well. While I was getting my MBA, I was working 50-60 hours a week, and finding time to train full time as well, it’s very similar for me. It all comes down to having a good regimen and staying disciplined with it.
- What would you advice first timers when it comes to selecting and training for an ironman?
- Firstly, get a coach who can guide you with all you want to achieve. This is where Radstrong separates from rest of the crowd. Our programs are specifically created with your individual goal in mind. If you have already done a half ironman before the transition to a full ironman can happen with a good 6-month training program. If you haven’t done a half then it will take longer for most people to conquer the full ironman, so give yourself a year for the same.
- What are the things one should do before few days of an event?
- Important thing is to rest, doing any kind of heavy workouts to “catch up” on the training you have missed isn’t going to help you; it will only deter your performance on race day.
- What kind of a diet would you advise athletes to follow?
- There is so much going around in terms of diet, I think as long as you eat at any of foods in moderation it is good. One shouldn’t use training as an excuse to eat a lot of calories, there still is the “calorie in, calorie out” formulae that applies to athletes. I do work very hard to get a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, ample supply of natural proteins and try to limit my intake of sweets. You find all kinds of diets being followed in India now, vegan, high protein, low carb etc etc, I firmly believe a balanced Indian diet is much better than going after something that doesn’t necessarily work, or works by limiting essential sources of food. You see a lot of people with Calcium, Vitamin D, B12 Deficiencies, also traditionally Indian people are anemic (low hemoglobin), I recommend managing all of these in your daily food intake.
Special thanks to Kaustub Radkar Ironman
Abhishek Tarfe163 Posts
Abhishek Tarfe, a man always on the move! A cycling enthusiast, a content writer by profession and a dreamer by nature. Abhishek always has something different up his sleeve! To know more, do follow him on his social media accounts.