As a day job he treats patients who can barely walk a few steps while recuperating from grave accidents or illnesses. Over weekends he trains fitness enthusiasts in the outdoors. And on holidays, he races the best tri athletes across the globe on the world’s toughest race – meet Radstrong Ironman Triathlete Dr. Kaustubh Radkar.
On 29th March, this man completed a mind blowing feat. He finished Ironman on all the 6 continents it is held on. Dr. Radkar, a former national champion in the 50,100 freestyle and an Indian swimming team member from 1997-2001 has been competing at the highest level at Ironman races for the last 7 years.
A triathlon race considered to be one of the toughest in the world. A full Ironman consists of a 3.8 km swim, 180 km cycle and 42.2 km run, all back to back with the goal of finishing under 17 hours. Dr. Radkar has been ranking among the top 5% in the world in his age group (30-34) for the last two years.
After moving to Pune in early 2014, and helping out with the local Mii triathlon, he realized the need to expose people to more triathlon training. With this in mind he explored ideas of hosting a triathlon camp that would attract athletes of all capabilities. An organic village, a unique farm setup close to Bhor came forward and agreed to host athletes for a weekend camp, Apace an upcoming athletic clothing brand from Pune provided athletes with quality jersey that can be used to cycle as well run. Athletes had the choice of sleeping on tree houses or machans, a rarity for most of us, and all their meals were taken care of which meant everyone could focus on training hard.
He says, “Open water is a completely different ball game as compared to pool swimming, swimmers can’t see where they are swimming, due to the current and waves.” The swimmers with his lead did a lot of drills that made them comfortable in the water, and also has the opportunity to learn what to do in race situations when panic sets in.
The biggest difficulty for people is to run after a long bike ride, with this in mind this camp had small bike rides set up for athletes followed by 3-5 km run to help them understand how muscles feel.
There was a small lecture series in the evening about how to train for a triathlon, the dos and don’ts to race, nutrition and diet plans while training and during a race were some of the topics covered.
Dr. Radkar is working on promoting participation in triathlons in India by hosting several such camps in various cities, right now there are some being planned for Mumbai, Delhi and Surat and Pune.
Based on the running and cycling community, he feels that triathlon will get popular in the next couple years; people just need to be shown the right direction to train for it. He is also hopeful that within the next couple years, the big brand Ironman will host a race in Pune.
When asked about local triathlons people can participate in India he shared, “There are multiple triathlons coming up, the first one in July is in Chennai, which offers both an Olympic as well has half ironman distance event. The next one will be in August in Bangalore called the Thonnur lake tri, this one is more famous.”
The Rad Strong family and training for Triathlons is picking up pace like never before. It is an exciting time for anyone interested in combining their passion for sports and the outdoors to take it forward and training with Dr. Radkar will help you put your best foot forward. To connect with Dr. Radkar you can join the Rad Strong Community on Facebook or write to him at [email protected] Are you an Ironman or triathlete? we can’t wait to hear your story; write in a comment here or post your story to [email protected]