“The proof is in the pudding”.  

While I believe my own success is testimony to the effectiveness of my claims, I felt that undertaking a Pilot with a typical runner may provide a better case for assessing the quality and effectiveness of what Catalyst Sports has to offer to the general runner.

Rewind to April 2011.

Vaishali Kasture, MD with a global financial services firm, was a veteran women runner with some running history and recently done 2.12 in the half marathon at SCMM 2011 followed by 5.05 for the marathon at Auroville 2011. And injured for her efforts. What was working for her was a fierce determination for excellence but she lacked the route map.

When we started working together, there were some ground rules, namely

Get into ideal running weight
Work on proper running form, and
Follow a customized training program that factored in her work responsibilities
and personality type

And importantly, to adhere to gradual progression so that her body could keep pace with the increased stress loads, and so no attempt at the marathon till the 10k and half marathon were truly beaten. Injuries are a setback to training and demoralizing on a runner and this gradual progression with proper running form goes a long way to keep injuries at bay.

And so began months of mentoring, with all aspects of the jigsaw puzzle slowly put into place.

Nutrition counseling to build muscle and lose fat
Major emphasis on core and agility training for better muscle balance
Speed and endurance workouts for better running performance
The best running accessories to support the runner
Practice fueling & hydration across training to prepare for race day
Mandatory rest & recovery procedure to prepare the body for the next workout
Discussion on the mental aspect of running strong and believing in oneself

There are no shortcuts to success. This rigorous but smart approach to preparations paid off for Vaishali as her running graph soared – see below. The icing on the cake is her success in doing a 3.40 for only her second marathon attempt and becoming a Boston Marathon Qualifier.

Statistics: Key races only
Jan: 3:46 at SCMM (1st place Veteran)
April: 3.45 at Boston Marathon
May: 0.47 at TCS10k (2nd place Veteran)
June: 10.23 at Comrades Marathon 89.2 km (Bronze medal)
Aug: 1:48 at AHM (1st place Veteran)
• Oct: 1.45 at BM (3rd place Veteran)
• Nov: 1.42 at ADHM (1st place Veteran)
• Dec: 3.49 at R&L Gurgaon (1st place Women)

Jan: Repeat winner with a 1:45 at SCMM (1st place)
May: Fastest 10k timing of 0.47 at TCS10k (1st place)    
June: The ultimate victory of being a Boston Qualifier with a 3.40 at HFM
Marathon (USA). This was a full 14 minutes faster than her qualifying timing
Aug: 1:48 at Hyderabad Half Marathon (1st place Veteran)
Sep: 1:47 at KTM Half Marathon (2nd place Open)    
Nov: 2:08 at Bangalore Ultra 25km (2nd place Open)

Nov: 1:42 at R&L, Gurgaon Half Marathon (1st place Open)
• Dec: 1:43 at ADHM (2nd place Veteran)

Jan: Revenge at SCMM with a 1:47 (1st place)
Oct: Braved the hot sun for a 1:47 at ADHM (2nd place)
Nov: A PB of 1:43 at Hamilton HM (Canada)

August: Breaking the 2 hour barrier with a 1:58 at Hyderabad HM (1st place)
Sept: Breaking 1.50 with a 1.49 at ADHM (2nd place)

In my own assessment, Vaishali is still 75% of what she is capable and future mentoring should see her achieve 45/10k, 1.40/HM and 3.30/FM in the medium term. Further to that she would need to focus more on her running form.

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