MRC Veterans: Harendar Pharswan

An engineer by chance, an athlete by choice and an artist  by profession, is how Haren Pharswan likes to summarize himself. A 2016 MIT aeronautical batch graduate, he currently works in the creative design team for Think and Learn, Byju’s, in Bangalore and his superb artistic skills and creativity has earned him a promotion and fame in a couple of months. Besides this, Haren finds innate pleasure in running and athletics and has participated in several marathons and triathlons both in Manipal and at the open level in Bangalore and Pune. He was a member of the Manipal University cross country team that represented the university at the All-India Inter University National Meet in October 2015.  He was also an active member of the hockey team of the college and played football.  His talent is unmatched and his service to the society by participating in many voluntary activities like the Leo Club’s social service events, needs to be saluted.

He also runs a page on facebook where his immensely beautiful sketches and paintings can be viewed.

One of Haren's works on his facebook page
One of Haren’s works on his facebook page

He recently visited Manipal and we were lucky to take him for a run with us and got to hear his story. He has a number of fans for his all-round skills and we hope they will all be inspire to take up running and fitness after reading his story and his motivating message for everyone.

 

So how did you start running ? When did it all start?

Since my childhood I have always been a very sporty person. Being an army brat I was always exposed to almost all kind of sports in different parts of the country. Running became an essential part of it to build up my stamina. It also helped me to stay always connected with nature and fulfill my adventure plans. In Pune, there is this hill nearby and I run it up daily because my father has always instilled fitness and dedication in me. I have also been part of the National Cadet Corps in school as well as college and physical endurance including running are part of the daily training.

You have always been enthusiastic about running even when it is not part of your  training schedule. So what has been your motivation to keep running?

 My motivation to run comes from testing my own limits, pushing myself to the point where the body and mind just give up. My motivation also comes from people I run with. Above all I run because I want to lead a healthy life. Also running after classes freshens my mind and helps me in concentrate and think. It really benefits my concentration skills while I sketch and paint. The scenic places and beautiful sites that I visit are all part of the paintings I draw. Besides being a regular member of the hockey team of MIT,  I have always been motivated to run to maintain fitness so that I can perform well in games that require dynamic stamina. I’ve made some really special friends and the best way to spend time and stay happy is by going on long runs with them.

2

What is your training schedule like?

My training includes interval training, tempo runs and long steady run. I do long runs twice to thrice a week which could be generally up to 14km.. Also I do uphill running once a week. While in college, I used to run up the slope from 17th block to 14th block and Timmy Anna’s slope. Besides this twice a week, I was frequently involved in tempo runs around Manipal lake and end point where after every 200m, I used to sprint for 80m and did atleast five such repitions in a run of 45 minutes.

What are your running achievements?

I was a member of the university cross country team and went for national championship last year, representing Manipal University in the All-India competition. One of the most grueling runs was the Western ghats ultra 35k that tested me to the limits but I emerged as a confident person. I have also completed 3 half marathons with a timing of around 1 hour 50 min and recently ran the Nirbhaya midnight half marathon in Bangalore.

4

How is it running in your hometown?

Running in my hometown has been a very enthralling experience. I usually go to the tea gardens in Dehradun. It’s very cold  and fogy in the morning but you can still see a lot of people running around, which is pretty motivating. The weather in Dehradun plus the encouragement given by schools to running is amazing. After moving to Pune, I got a massive platform for running as many open and professional triathlons and  running events are organized there. There are many running clubs as well. Now that I live in Bangalore, I get to participate in runs very frequently and no one can doubt the fact that Bangalore is the running capital of India.

You have run many races till now. What goes into your mind while running a half marathon or some more greater distance?

 I keep reminding my brain to keep my posture straight, keep myself hydrated and keep breathing in sync with my strides. I also think about the people I’m running with, cheer them up if they are slowing down which somehow motivates me and refreshes me instantly. The joy of crossing the finishing line is the most satisfying feeling ever. The sight of smiles you see all around is what I always aim for when starting a race.

 What are your future goals in running?

My goal is to run a full marathon within next 6 months. I am currently training for the Bangalore half marathon on October 16, 2016. I also aim to gather as many people as possible to take up running so that we can run together and spread the message of fitness all around.

What has distance running taught you?

It has taught me discipline, to stay focused, to appreciate nature, and to never give up. Running has taken me to the remotest scenic places in this world, among mountains, valleys and beaches, all of which have given me wonderful ideas for my art work.

3

What advice would you like to give to someone new to running?

Don’t think just run. Run for yourself, run to make youself a better person, run to gain confidence, run for fitness and run because you love it.

Do you someone who inspires and motivates you?

My father . He’s been very supportive and he’s always there for my running events. I look upto him and proud of him for serving the country. His dedication for fitness and running are the ideals I always look upto.

I also have a favourite quote

 It’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

 

We wish him all the best as he trains for the Bangalore Marathon. We hope that y’all have been inspired by his story and will step out to experience the bliss of running.

Check out why you should start running here

You can find the first week of Couch to 5K programme here

Read our previous MRC Runner Profile here

Keep running! Keep smiling!

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