For those who take part in Singapore races regularly, Nimesh Gurung, 29, who is from Nepal, would be a familiar figure to many in the local running scene, as he has collected many accolades in local races to his name over the years.
Many victories to his name
These include victories in the 15km category of the Race Against Cancer for the past five consecutive races, as well as a 2nd place in the 18.45km category of the Straits Times Run in the City this year. In addition, he also won the 10km category of the Ground Zero – Run for Humanity last year.
Over the years, Nimesh has won more than 200 gold medals in running and his specialities are in the 10km and the half marathon distances.
Said Nimesh, “I like long distance running.”
Nimesh, who also holds down a day job in the security line as a Gurkha officer, will also be taking part in the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon in September this year, and hopes to clinch first place – he had come second during his previous attempt at this race, in 2014.
Additionally, he will also be running in both the 10km and 21km events at the next World Police and Fire Games competition, which is an Olympic-style competition taking place in the United States amongst athletes who hold down day jobs as firefighters and law enforcement, as well as officers from the corrections, probation, border protection, immigration and customs disciplines.
Started running only in 2012
Nimesh may have progressed a lot in running since he started out in the sport, but he wasn’t always a runner. In fact he didn’t start running till 2012. He also confessed that he had used to be very slow at the beginning but, determined to get faster, he never gave up though.
He added, “But then I decided to work harder in my running and I did hard training. Now I am one of the fastest runners in Singapore.”
Determination is important to improve
Indeed, Nimesh pointed out that determination is one of the most important traits in order to run faster. He said, “You have to train hard and always stay motivated to run.”
How does Nimesh himself train? He said, “For me, I run 15km in one day over two sessions. I also do a variety of training sessions. Sometimes I do short runs, other times I have long runs and I also do hard interval training. I train for five days each week, doing two sessions per day, and I have two rest days. To run faster, I think it is important to maintain a good variety of training sessions, such as fast training and long distance runs.”
He added, “I would run hills sometimes to vary my workouts further, and also do cross training like swimming and cycling, but I don’t lift weights though, as I don’t think that is necessary.”
Nimesh also stressed that he is self coached and that nothing more than pure determination had got him to where he is today, in terms of his running journey. So he does not think that there is necessarily a need to spend money on an expensive running coach, as long as you have the discipline.
Have a structured training programme
He pointed out, however, that many runners tend to make the mistake of simply running, without any structure to their training runs.
He said, “They don’t do good or hard training. If you like running and you want to improve, you must train hard. And as you get older, maintain your training. Begin each training cycle with long runs and then bring in speed work after a few weeks and over time you will improve.”
Race Day tips for runners
And also, what tips does Nimesh have for runners on race day? The Nepalese runner feels that many runners tend to make the mistake of starting out too fast and they would then end up walking in the later stages of the race.
He said, “When I run races, I run slow at the beginning and go fast at the end. Never run fast at the beginning. I think that many people make this mistake because they do not practise their long runs or endurance training. They simply run and do not vary their training runs.”
Nimesh also pointed out that eating something light is important prior to a run or a race, in order to get the energy that he needs, to run. He said “I eat biscuits and water about 30 minutes before my training runs and races. You need to eat something to get energy.”
He added, “But during the run, if it is 10km or a short distance, I would not need to take any gels.”