running, marathon, ultra-marathon

Banker to Ultra Runner, Embracing the Power of Consistency

Vikas Solanki, moderated by Vrattanta Editorial

ultra runner

Introducing Vikas Solanki, a 45-year-old ex-banker who was born and raised in Bhopal and now calls Pune home. He has had a passion for sports since his school days and actively participated in Junior National and other State-level Judo tournaments. However, once he entered the professional world, his sports activities took a back seat for almost 15-16 years. It wasn’t until 2015-16 that he rediscovered running and started participating in a few 10km events without consistent training.

In 2016, Vikas got in touch with Angel Aparna Prabhudeasi, the mentor of RUNway Viman Nagar. This marked the beginning of structured training for his half-marathons with the group. These sessions became instrumental in reigniting his enthusiasm for fitness and long-distance running.

In August 2017, he completed his first full marathon, a midnight run, in 5.30 hours with Prasad Patil. However, he had to take a pause afterwards due to a knee injury that required close to a year or more to heal.

When Vikas resumed his running journey, he came across Ajay Desai and Aziz Master Sir, his new coaches, who introduced him to real long-distance running. He successfully completed his first 12-hour run (68 km) in 2019, an unofficial event exclusively for group members. Since then, Vikas has undertaken multiple long-distance runs, but this time with properly structured training, strength training, and regular Surya Namaskar to ensure strong finishes without any injuries.

Never Backing Down

Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, Vikas faced a major setback in his professional life. His entire business model collapsed, and his partner abandoned him. However, it was his consistent long-distance running routine that not only kept him safe from COVID risks but also provided him with the mental toughness to handle the business crisis.

With his regular running routine, he not only managed to successfully establish a completely new line of business but also emerged as a resilient long-distance runner. Running has instilled in him a “never quit” attitude, where “RUKNA NAHI HAI” (Never stop) becomes a way of life. The key to success in anything, according to Vikas, lies in the consistency of one’s efforts.

Throughout his journey, Vikas has participated in various ultra-events, delving deeper into running as a lifestyle:

  • 24-hour relay run 2020 – 104kms
  • SRT Ultra 2021 – 53kms
  • Tata Ultra 2022 – 50kms
  • Pune Kolhapur 2021 – 220kms
  • Border 2022 – 161kms
  • Multiple 8-12-hour training runs

The Ultra Runner Mindset

Vikas follows a formula for strong running, which comprises the following sequence:

  1. Rest and recovery: Topmost priority with a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
  2. Mindful eating: Incorporating protein in every meal and ensuring the lightest meal of the day is the last one.
  3. Consistency in structured training: Including weight training, yoga, and long runs.

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