How To Be A Fat Bastard And Run The Marathon

This weekend is the Virgin London Marathon and sadly, I won’t be running it. I have entered the marathon ballot for four years on the trot and have still not got a place. Those who do not get a place after the fourth attempt will, on the fifth attempt, get a guaranteed place; so, I was expecting a place for 2011. Then I get an email yesterday from Virgin saying that the 5th time rule will be phased out over the next few years…excuse me while I shout some expletives…@#CK!

Anyway, the good news is that I managed to submit my early entry yesterday to increase my chances of getting a place. So, as of now, I will be training as if I am going to be running the marathon in 2011. I will be running when I’m 34 and I’d almost totally forgot that I’d made a goal to run it by the time I was 35.

I could have gone for a reserved charity place like Arvind but I decided a while back that I didn’t want to do it that way.

Run Fatboy Run

So far I’ve run the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge 4 times. It’s a 5.6Km race and I’ve run it in 50, 45, 42 and 39 minutes respectively with my ultimate goal being to run it in under 35 minutes. I’ve run the Silverstone Half Marathon twice and ran it in around 2h:40 both times. I ran it while I was 19stone and I have since gained a bit of weight. If I’m going to run the marathon, and I want to be able to still walk for the rest of my life, I’ll need to drop about 4stone or get down to 16 stone to be able to do it properly and run it in under 5 hours.

As far as fitness and overall health are concerned, I’d say I’m probably one of the fittest, 20 stone fat blokes, that I know. (I’ve laid down the gauntlet!) There are people out there, even slim people, who are not capable of doing what I do. However, I want to do the marathon properly and I know it’s not exactly as stroll in the park. I’m kicking off my game plan now to be in the right condition physically, mentally and spiritually to be able to run it. I also want to be publicly accountable to you all for my fitness and preparation for the race next year.

Before I reveal my game plan, if you’re over weight and unfit, ahh heck even if you’re under weight and unfit, you have to begin somewhere so I suggest starting here. People still continue to make silly mistakes like joining overpriced gyms and buying expensive equipment way before they’ve even got into the habit of exercise and end up wasting tons of money.

My Tools

There is always some level of investment needed. For badminton, there is the cost of being a member of a club, (3 actually for me), racquets, regular restringing and since it’s such a high impact sport, I buy new trainers every 3 months. Each pair only costs £27 each so for those of you not so good at math, that’s £108 each year.

Any activity will require some form of investment. The one key thing I will always invest in is, a decent pair of running shoes. I get my running shoes from Runners Need. They film you while you run and then based on your running style and shape of your foot they will recommend the ideal running shoe.

Here are the existing tools I’m going to use:

1. I have a Wiseman Klein wrist heart rate monitor which monitors from the wrist and doesn’t need the chest strap. It’s great because it has a calorie counter too. With this watch I discovered that my resting heart rate is 46 (excuse me while I just show off for a little while) and that during a 3 hour session of badminton I’m burning, in the region of, 1500 calories.

2. I have this cool pedometer application on my iPhone which monitors how many paces I do per day. I don’t use it every day but I used it a few times to average out what I do so that I have an idea of how much I do. From it I’ve discovered that I burn about 100 calories for every 1000 steps based on my height and weight. I generally do a minimum of 5000 steps a day. 10,000 steps is recommended but I think a minimum of 5000 is fine if you exercise regularly too.

3. I keep a skipping rope in my badminton bag and I skip regularly. It’s a great, cheap form of exercise that is great for footwork and fantastic for building endurance.

My Game Plan

1. Continue playing badminton – Although badminton doesn’t burn fat, it is a great fitness exercise and also builds flexibility and stamina.

2. Use the stairs – I’m going to continue to use the stairs as much as possible. It’s great for strengthening the leg muscles, especially around the knee, and the gluteus maximus aka the butt-tocks. Ladies – it’s fab for minimizing cellulite! 😉

3. Weights – I already have a gym membership and I am going to take up weight training again for fat burning. Most people don’t realise that cardio alone is not enough to burn fat; you need to add a weight training program in to do that. I’m going to create my own program but if it doesn’t work I’ll hire a personal trainer to devise a good program for me.

4. Cut down on fat intake – My biggest weakness has always been food. However, I’m not going to deny myself anything, that hasn’t worked for me in the past and I don’t see it working in the future. I will however cut down and monitor my fat intake closely. My diet isn’t terrible. It just needs tweaking.

5. Water – Probably the best drink in the world! – I drink plenty of water, usually at least 2 litres a day if not more. However I’m a bit erratic sometimes. Drinking water first thing in the morning is a great tip for keeping your body healthy.

6. Run – Because I already exercise so much, I won’t be doing much running in the beginning. I will drop some weight first and then kick of running by doing the JPMorgan run again in July. Over the year I’ll slowly build that up to 10 miles. Before the big event next year I will want to run 20 miles at least once.


I just wanted to finish talking to you a bit about procrastination. If you intend on doing something like this then most people let little things get in the way. That always happens. In fact things will inevitably come along to test your resolve; they always do! Here are a couple of quick final tips:

1. Find a exercise or activity that you enjoy doing. Nothing trumps enjoyment. If you enjoy something, you don’t need to motivate yourself to do it.

2. Prepare for setbacks now. They will come; in what guise, I cannot tell you but it’s up to you how you respond to them and you choose whether or not they will get in the way.

Apparently countries like the USA and the UK people are getting fatter and more obese. Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t make exercise a chore. Make it fun!

I’m only gutted that after this I won’t be able to use my fat jokes in my comedy set any more! 🙁

38 Responses

  1. Kartikey says:

    just came up with an idea; may suit your style. follow your progress via video. “Hi this is Amit Sodha and this is to inform you that I have successfully resisted this burger currently being eaten by my pal…[show your friend standing next to you eating that burger].

    fertile imagination.

    and hey, for strength, consider very cheap gyms. and visit thrice a week (NOT daily). just my med knowledge.
    .-= New at Kartikey’s blog ..Sam Ved’s Three-Day Arts Festival =-.

  2. Amit,

    I think any type of physical activities should be good. I am very bad at running but I have done a few walkathon for a cause that have been alright. I used to go to regular gym, but now I do things at home with family, like running, jumping and dancing with kids at home. It is lot easier and I win sometimes against kids, so gives my ego a boost! just kidding.

    I am glad your mom is better. “Ee sara thai jai tho vadhu saru!”
    .-= New at Zengirl @ heart and mind’s blog ..We are what we eat, really! =-.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      It’s ok Zengirl, I know secretly that you enjoy the winning but it’s great coz it makes the kids try harder the next time. When I play games with the disabled kids I make sure I only just beat them to give them a chance to aim to get better. Mind you, some of them who play boccia, can, if you’ll excuse the expression, whoop my ass at it!

  3. Anastasiya says:

    Good luck with your marathon! Your plan of action seems very simple and yet effective. I have given up on gyms long time ago and I find much more satisfaction and pleasure in exercising on my own. Fitness does not cost much (like many still think unfortunately). All it takes is just a little determination and discipline. Again good luck!
    .-= New at Anastasiya’s blog ..How to Build Relationships that will Help You Grow in Life =-.

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Thank you Ana. I think you made a wise choice as when you get into the habit of exercising on your own, who needs a gym?! So long as you enjoy it and it keeps you fit and healthy then I say it’s all good!

  4. Farouk says:

    good luck with your plans amit 🙂
    .-= New at Farouk’s undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  5. Hey Amit,
    Love your plan…and love it that youre gonna be running….talk about cutting the fur hmm… 🙂
    Well keep posting your progress so little furs like me can benefit form this valuable experienced info 🙂
    Much Love,

    • Amit Sodha says:

      Yes Zeenat, sadly I will no longer be poofy as Mani but I’ll still be still be as bubbly as ever! LOL

      I’ll definitely keep you updated on the progress!

  6. Swati says:

    Run Fatboy Run!!! (we still need to watch that film!) I’ll be coming to support you when you run the marathon, you never know, I may get fit enough to do it myself!!! ha ha x

    ps i joined a gym (!! I know) and it wasn’t overpriced…cool huh

  7. Woah! You’re super-fit! I’d dispense some follow up advice, but I need to go find some cake.
    .-= New at Marianne Cantwell’s blog ..Is your luggage oversize? =-.

  8. Just got back from the London Marathon 2011 and will get one this running apps for the iphone for my first marathon.

  9. Andre Ellis says:


    Like you I’m a FB – but I have just finished the NYC Marathon to add to two London Marathon Medals. So very happy with myself so I thought I’d just share some of the interesting things I have noticed which might help.

    1) Plan for a 16 week training plan if it is your first – 12 weeks if you have done one and have continued to exercise.
    2) Plan to get to your “realistic” running weight by 10 weeks – after that it becomes more important to eat for your longrun’s and just focus on keeping your weight the same.
    3) Prepare for big “weight shifts” after your longruns – water retention etc.
    4)Do not buy into recovery, protein shakes etc. These will only make 3 worse
    5) Plan for 3 key training sessions in the week:
    a) Longruns – at least 2 – 32Km runs before the race and aim to run these between week 7 to 3 on the schedule. I’m sorry but this is key for us FB. Remember that slower is better – aim for 30 – 6- sec slower per km (90 sec slower p mile)
    b) Tempo – don’t laugh but this REALLY helps with your fitness. Race pace for 60 min to 1 h 30. Change the race pace portion of the run from 20 – 80 minutes as you are building up
    c) Yasoo 800 – If you plan to run a 5h Marathon – run 800 in 5 min – jog for 2.5 min. Start at 4 Reps and build to 8 – 10 about two weeks out from race day.
    6) Mileage should be around 30Km per weeks (walk or roll) in the first 4 weeks. 45Km week 12 – 8 and consistently above 60 during weeks 8 – 2.
    7) ALWAYS move forward. Train your brain for this – stopping kills your run mentally – even if you just walk – every step closer to your goal
    8) The mental game of getting your shoes on is 90 % of the battle.
    9) Reward yourself – not with food – but with kitt – new shirt, pants This makes you want to go out and show it off 🙂

    If some of this helps – let me know – I have plenty more on kitt, race plans – H/Monitors etc


    • Amit Sodha says:


      So good to hear from you and always great to hear from a fellow FB! 😀

      Congrats on finishing your 3rd Marathon! That’s a rather impressive accomplishment.

      As for those tips, those are very invaluable!

      I’ve done two half marathons and I’ve done the one full marathon which I did in 2012 and I’m so eager to do another in the next year or two.

      What’s the NYC marathon like? Have you ever done the London Marathon?

      All the best,


  1. April 20, 2010

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  2. April 20, 2010

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