Runner’s Insight – Pooja Gaikwad

Runner’s Introduction – Basic Profile

Myself Pooja Galani Gaekwad, born and brought up in Vadodara. I am 36 and working as Senior Data Processing Specialist at Nielsen IQ. My previous professional experience was with TCS where I was introduced to a fitness culture.

Q: How you have started running/cycling & your milestones so far?

My fitness journey started post pandemic. Earlier I was 65 Kgs, slightly above average weight with respect to my height. One could call me Chubby!!!. I was happy with what I had till I discovered real me post pandemic. It all started with short cycling rides where I met few of my amazing buddies. Slowly the same buddies inspired me to start running. I wondered if I could do it but since I am always longing to try something new, I gave it a shot. Started with hardly 1 to 2 km of run that too a down hill run with my friends. However, I didn’t let go my cycling.
Till now I have completed 10000 + km of cycling since 2020. My longest ride till date has been 200 Km to Statue of Unity and back. We still go every Saturday for 100 Km ride except summers. And as of today, I might have done 70 to 80 numbers of 100 KM rides. One of them on my birthday a solo ride of 100 km.
Parallelly I also excelled slowly in my running. Started to feel amazing on shedding few extra kilos. My friends and my small achievements motivated me to push myself further. Increasing my distance and upon finishing 7 HMs, few 10ks/5ks and 1 Ultra run (72 KM), since July 2020. I have improved upon my pace and endurance to reach sub two for my HM.

1. 2nd position at MOV Relay Run
2. Winner at 5k Unity Run 2021
3. 2nd position at MOV Saree Run
4. ‘Fitness Hero’ award at Nielsen IQ company in 2022
5. 2nd position for 10k Run at Valsad Beach Marathon 2022

Q: What motivates you to do it regularly? 

My running buddies

Q: Any advice for new runners ?

Do start your journey my buddies. It’s now or never.

Q: your Motto/Tagline ?

My moto is “Run for Happiness”. Its ultimately your run for your own self. The sense of achievement, confidence and patience one gains is unparalleled to any of the medal or podium.