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STAYING FIT AT HOME: Dubai's marathoners still keep on running

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on April 5, 2020
Jitendra Singh has taken part in premier marathon events in the UAE. (Supplied photo)

Indians Jitendra Singh and Amitangshu Dev Choudhary are striving hard to stay fit, considering the scenario

The current situation that has engulfed the world hasn't, by any means, been easy on elite athletes and sporting stars across various sports.

It has been totally different for them, trying to train while staying at home during the lockdown. And that mirrors right down to the common man, who takes inspiration from these athletes and is trying to lead a healthy lifestyle.

It goes without saying that it has been tough and difficult for them too who regularly go for a run. But two Dubai residents, avid marathoners, are going all out in their efforts to make the most of this situation.

Indians Jitendra Singh and Amitangshu Dev Choudhary, who have taken part in full marathons, half marathons and 10km runs in the UAE, are striving hard to stay fit, considering the scenario.

"Until two weeks ago, I used to regularly go out for a run but now, I've completely stopped going outside," Jitendra told the Khaleej Times on Sunday.

"I've started following a new routine which is a sort of a home workout. It is a high-intensity interval training so at least I can stay fit at home. So, I spend like 45 minutes to one hour almost four times a week," he added.

Jitendra, who has lived in the UAE for just over a decade now, started running in 2015. He began taking part in 10km events from 2017 before going on to do half marathons, where he has won plenty of medals. He then went the whole hog in 2018, competing in a full marathon.

The 32-year-old, who hails from a town near Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, is a regular at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon and the Abu Dhabi Half Marathon.

Adapting to the new situation has been tough but the will to do it, keeps him going.

"When you go outside it is a totally different environment, totally different atmosphere. You feel good, you feel more energy inside you, and of course, fresh air. It is difficult to keep up that rhythm when you are working out at home. But at least you don't get frustrated about not working out because when you are a fitness freak, you want to do something. You can choose, you can stay at home and do nothing or you can just do something," said Jitendra, who used to run between 7km to 15km four times a week, apart from hitting the gym.

STAYING FIT AT HOME: Dubai's marathoners still keep on running (KT2384545.JPG)

Amitangshu Dev Choudhary is also keen on doing the 'Marathon at Home,' an initiative rolled out by the Dubai Sports Council

Meanwhile, Amitangshu, who runs on alternate days, too is finding it tough.

"It is difficult because I tried to run with a mask a couple of weeks ago and to be honest, it wasn't comfortable at all, running," said Amitangshu, who has taken part in the 10km segment at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, the Abu Dhabi Half Marathon, the Dubai Desert Run, Beach Run, apart from the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Amitangshu's dream is to take part in a full marathon but with the fluid situation means he will have to wait. The RAK Half Marathon was perhaps one of the last events to take place in the UAE as from the first week of March, many events were either postponed or cancelled.

"My ultimate dream is to do a full marathon at some point in time. I hope I can prepare myself and do it towards the end of this year, it would be great," he hoped.

The Abu Dhabi Full Marathon is in December, while the Dubai Marathon is pencilled in for January next year.

"It all depends upon how it goes with the current situation. Everything is very uncertain now," the 40-year-old from Assam, said.

Amitangshu is also keen on doing the 'Marathon at Home,' an initiative rolled out by the Dubai Sports Council, but it all depends on his wife's approval.

"I'm interested but I have to make my wife understand," he giggled.

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