Kudakwashe Trevor Muranda
Harare Institute of Technology
Whenever the word Marathon running is mentioned, one is exonerated for picturing the legacy and exploits of the renowned Ethiopian champions Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele.
With all professional sports and athletics activities suspended, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a new normal in all sectors of the sporting arena even to the much glorified football.
The new normal has brought in many new potential marathon champions among the youths in Zimbabwe, especially among university students who are ready to create a new legacy in Zimbabwe and in the world as far as marathon running is concerned.
I am a self-made 10km and above marathon runner who emerged during the Covid-19 lockdown era.
I am aged 24 years and studying Food Processing Technology at HIT. I was born and raised in Kadoma and did all my primary and secondary education in the same city.
I grew up walking long distances from Rimuka to the town centre. As a little child, while other children travelled to school in taxis and commuter buses I would walk.
Whenever I was given bus fare I would use the money to buy goodies and walk. Most of the time I would walk 14km from Chakari to our farm. I started as a fast walker.
My journey to marathon running started at HIT. I tried many sports such as tennis, snooker etc. I loved to play amateur soccer but whenever I would play my pace would not match that of the other amateur players.
So I began to do workouts in my lodgings.
I was always fascinated when other colleagues were lifting heavy weights and performing push-ups while I would manage just a few and become exhausted.
Every morning I would exercise before I went for lectures. This boosted my confidence.
I learnt the art of building from nothing while celebrating those small successes.
When the Covid-19 pandemic erupted this year in March and massive lockdowns proclaimed, universities were forced to close. Then that’s when I found myself with ample time and opportunity to train.
The proclamation by health practitioners and medical doctors that running exercises and others would help boost the immune system in fighting the virus became the launch pad for my marathon training.
It started as a health concern but later I discovered it’s my talent and my passion as well. From that time I began to run timed circuits in Budiriro, Belvedere, Tynwald South and Kadoma.
I began with 3km circuits and after sometime I upgraded the distances. Changing places was the motivation for increasing distance for marathon running. I have reached my first goal to be a 10 km and above marathon runner.
I am aspiring to qualify for the Olympics and raise the national flag, given the opportunity.
To help youths who are aspiring to be successful marathon runners, here are some self-coaching marathon running principles which I learnt and which helped me to reach where I am.
- Never start a race you cannot finish. No matter big or small, it may be hard but it’s the secret to successful marathon running and unleashing new levels;
- Before you start any race, you must have finished it already in your mind. The battle is in the mind;
- Marathon running is not about competition. It is about discovering yourself and unleashing your full potential through consistency and commitment;
- Successful marathon running is about competing against time because time is consistent and waits for no man;
- In Marathon running, exercise the art of celebrating small successes because the journey is long;
- Winning Marathon running competitions are just by products of effective Marathon running;
- In Marathon running you are as strong as your mind. The strength of your mind determines your success;
- Starting small is the strongest and safest foundation to marathon running;
- Do not exceed in training. Enough rest between successive training sessions is key to effective marathon running;
- Life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon, endurance is key.