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Home » Take Action to Change your Life – One Step at a Time with Mahrukh Imtiaz! Episode 022

Take Action to Change your Life – One Step at a Time with Mahrukh Imtiaz! Episode 022

#022 – What is getting in the way of achieving your goals in fitness and life? Join us for this inspiring episode to learn about how Mahrukh Imtiaz, fellow runner and player for the Candian Women’s Cricket Team, took action and changed her life to become the fittest she has ever been and doing the things that she enjoys.

Topics Covered:

  • Understanding your situation and identifying how you can change it
  • Overcoming the mental barriers that hold us back and taking action
  • Giving yourself time and space to make a change; and with the help of others

Today’s Guest

Mahrukh Imtiaz Wake up, look at the scale, go to work, eat a greasy hamburger at lunch even though you know you shouldn’t, grind out at a job that you don’t like, go home, mindlessly scroll through profiles on dating apps , go to sleep, rinse and repeat. This was a regular day in Mahrukh Imtiaz’s life until she decided enough was enough. She knew she was wasting away her one life and potential and knew there was a way more fulfilling life waiting to be discovered. Fast forward 5 years, Mahrukh Imtiaz changed her lifestyle and is the fittest she’s ever been (lost 50 lbs), is working in a job she loves, playing cricket for the Canadian Women’s team, and building a side hustle where she gets to impact people to live their best lives. Despite saying on camera that running sucks, she now runs 5 times a week and has started to enjoy running.

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Richard Conner 0:00

Welcome to Episode 22. I know I always say this but I’m really really excited about my conversation with my Mahrukh. She has a really interesting perspective on life, and share some really great stories and tips about how you can overcome mental barriers and kickstart your fitness journey and become the person you want to be. Hope you enjoy. Here’s what you can look forward to on this episode of inspire virtual runs podcast,

Mahrukh Imtiaz 0:28

The first kilometre, my brain gives me every excuse in the world to leave and just not run anymore. But after the one and a half kilometer, it’s almost like now I get what the runner’s high is, and I’m like doing air quotes on the video. Because before I never got it, but you almost get that runner’s high of like, Oh my god, I did my one kilometer. If I can do one and a half kilometer, I can do five like, you know, it’s just you almost get that motivation, but you don’t get it until you get past that one kilometer. And that’s where beginners quit. And that’s what they need to understand that every time you’re going to run, you’re going to get that kind of your brain is gonna say no, no, no, don’t do this. Don’t do this. And once you get past that, then it’s like this blissful experience.

Intro/Outro 1:11

Welcome to Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast, whether you are new to running or seasoned. Get tips and the inspiration that you need to achieve your health and fitness goals. Now, here’s your host, Richard Conner.

Richard Conner 1:28

Hi, everyone. Welcome to Inspire virtual runs Podcast. I am here with today’s guest, Mahrukh Imtiaz. Mahrukh is a fellow runner and has an intriguing bio that goes like this. Wake up, look at the scale, go to work. Eat a greasy hamburger at lunch. Even though you know you shouldn’t, grind out at a job that you don’t like, go home, mindlessly scroll through profiles on dating apps, go to sleep, rinse and repeat. This was a regular day in Mahrukh life until she decided enough was enough. She knew she was wasting away her one life and potential in knew there was way more fulfilling life waiting to be discovered. Fast forward five years, Mahrukh changed her lifestyle, and is the fittest she’s ever been, is working a job she loves playing cricket for the Canadian women’s team, and building a side hustle where she gets to impact people to live their best lives. Despite saying on camera that running sucks. She now runs five times a week, and has started to enjoy running. So welcome to the show Mahrukh.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 2:38

Thank you so much, Richard. I’m so happy to be here today.

Richard Conner 2:43

So you have a very intriguing bio. And I’m really excited for this conversation.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 2:49

Yeah, same same. I’m so excited to just talk about running because honestly, as I mentioned in my bio as well, I mean, I have gone on camera and said running sucks. Like, you know, this sucks. This is mental torture. And, you know, I really believed it, I really believed it. I was like, you know, I am willing to play sports make me do cardio when it comes to sports, I’m willing to do skip a rope jump rope. I’m willing to swim. But I don’t know how people run. And I remember I was telling myself every time I see people running, they’re never happy. They don’t ever look happy. You know, they’re always just like, it was such a serious face. I’m like, if I always see runners that have such a serious face, I’m pretty sure they’re not happy. And if they’re not happy, I don’t want to be doing what they’re doing because I want to be happy. And to from that literally from that a point to being at a point where now I actually look forward to my runs I run five times a week. It’s just incredible. And honestly, this all started just two years ago. So it’s just kind of speaks so much about always be willing and open to trying things and you never know when you fall in love with something.

Richard Conner 3:57

That’s really awesome. And I’m thinking about when I’m running, do I look happy? Maybe Maybe I don’t maybe I’m thinking man, it’s really cold today or I’m kind of hungry or man, I got another few miles to go. So there’s probably a lot going on in runners mind. That’s why they may not look happy.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 4:13

It it’s true. And that’s the the secret that many beginners don’t know about is that that mindset of like, when I go running, I will always have fun. That doesn’t exist. I’ve spoken to enough runners to know that like before, I thought oh, I don’t enjoy running because obviously people who run everyday just love it so much. And they love it every moment of it. And I’m not saying that you don’t love it. All I’m saying is it’s similar to meditation, right? When you’re doing it, your brain will literally say like, my this is literally my brain every time I run. Oh Mahrukh, you said I know you’ve committed to five kilometers today. Maybe you should just do two kilometers. Oh, and then five seconds later. You must be really really tired already. Maybe you’re getting an injury. Maybe you should run slower or you know what Why don’t you just walk the other time, or you know what, maybe work is more important when you cut this run and path. It’s not until you get past that first kilometer, at least for me, the first kilometer, the first one and a half kilometer. That’s when I really started enjoying it. Everyone that I’ve been running consistently for the past year, every run that I’ve gotten into the first kilometer of my brain gives me every excuse in the world to leave and just not run anymore. But after about one and a half kilometer, it’s almost like now I go with the runner’s high is and I’m like doing air quotes on the video. Because before I never got it, but you almost get that runner’s high of like, Oh, my God, I did my one kilometer. If I can do one and a half kilometer, I can do five, like, you know, it’s just you almost get that motivation, but you don’t get it until you get past that one kilometer. And that’s where beginners quit. And that’s what they need to understand that every time you’re going to run, you’re going to get that kind of your brain is going to say, No, no, no, don’t do this. Don’t do this. And once you get past that, then it’s like this blissful experience.

Richard Conner 6:03

I totally agree with you. And, you know, for me, it’s always that first mile and the last mile, so so totally understand. So let’s, you know, let’s roll back the clock a little bit, because, you know, it sounded like you were in a, in an interesting place a few years ago, and then you kind of decided enough was enough. So just tell us a little bit about what was going on at that time. And then what was that turning point for you to say, I need to make a change in my life?

Mahrukh Imtiaz 6:28

For sure, for sure. I was one of those people who always believed that I have a lot of potential, right. So it was like one of those things where I was very convinced that I am the only person getting in my way. So I was like, you know, I always categorize people into groups like Group A is they’re not even aware of what the problem is that they just blame the world. And then there’s a group B, where you understand that no, you are the problem, but you still don’t know what to do about it. And then there’s a group C that understands the problem. And then they actually start doing something about it. So I was in the group B. So I was aware enough to know that I’m the problem. I wasn’t blaming the world, but just didn’t know what the problem was. Where I kind of started taking steps and realizing enough is enough, it’s because I saw so many people, so many people around me doing incredible things that I wanted to do. And in my mind, I was like, I’m not any different than them. I’m just like them, maybe maybe in my head, I even have more potential than them. I even might even have more talent than them. But what’s stopping me? The only difference was I wasn’t taking any action. And they were. And so I just almost convinced myself that why don’t rather than kind of strategize always why don’t I just start taking action, one step one step at a time. And then eventually things will figure themselves out. So that was basically worse things really started turning around for me was when I was like, I’m gonna do first and think later. And started just doing doing doing. And at that point, like five years ago, doing started with going to conferences and surrounding myself with people who wanted similar things than me. And that’s why I feel like this podcast is so great, because that’s exactly what it’s doing for runners, right? It’s bringing this community together, where you get to hear from people who have similar goals than you. And that’s, that’s the important piece, people need to understand that. If you want to achieve a goal, you have to be surrounded by people who normalize that goal for you. You know, they do it. So often they do it, they do it in a way where you’re like, obviously, this is a normal, this is this is the stuff I should be doing every day. You know, that’s where I was hoping I’m going to start taking action. And the biggest part of the first part of that action is surrounding myself with people who already want doing what I want to do, or have similar goals send me so then it’s like, Okay, I know, I’m talking to these people, I have the support system. And this is a normal thing. And that’s when the wheels really started turning one after another, just one thing, one step at a time, action, and then the right kind of support. That’s where it all started. But really taking it back to running then, as you mentioned, I am a national level athlete, I play cricket for Canada. And even though I’m an athlete, and I know a lot of my fellow athletes will kind of agree to this. I still hated running and when we did it as part of our practice. We did a lot of sprinting I enjoyed sprinting and I enjoyed the the drills, but I did not like the five kilometer warm up run or anything like that. I was just like, oh, why do you have to do this is so boring, we’d rather play soccer or football, you know. But two years ago, my calf started acting up a lot, you know, and it just kept getting injured. I would go to physio then it kept getting injured again. And when I spoke to my physio they were like, Well, yeah, it’s just a weak muscle. That’s it, like you know, and I asked my physio like what do I have to do to strengthen it, they were like well there you can do a lot of things. And then I did my own research and in running is one of the best ways to kind of strengthen that calf muscle and your quads and your hamstrings. Obviously you have to do it in a very like smart way, you can just out of nowhere from zero go from zero to five kilometers, you have to build and train that muscle, but it’s a really good way to kind of strengthen it. And that’s how I started getting into running. I was like, you know, I’m not gonna do it for myself, I’m gonna do it for my calf, you know, I’m going to do it for that muscle. And I remember just recording that process going on a run recording. And that’s where I said, I hate running, but I’m doing it. Because I know this is important for the for the team is important. For me, it’s important for my fitness. And then I don’t know, when the switch happened, where I actually started liking running, like, even right now, like I go running in the evening, I really look forward to it. Like, I actually look forward to that time where my mind’s going to be clear. And the reason before I would go walking in the reason I like running more than walking is because running is like you’re almost instead the first kilometer, you’re torturing yourself. And so it’s like very empowering. Because you’re like, Okay, the first kilometer, I’m portraying myself. But after you get through that torture, you almost feel like, you’ve done such a badass thing. In the day, you know, you’re like, I’ve just ran five kilometers, I can conquer anything in the world. So it’s just very, it’s a very empowering feeling. That’s why I feel like it took a step ahead. For me in terms of walking, even the walking is great people who do that, nothing against them. This took it a step ahead.

Richard Conner 11:18

All right, that’s awesome. And I love what you said there about, you know, there’s a couple of things that you said, number one, about having kind of that accountability group and that support system. And that’s something that that we try to talk about here on Inspire Virtual Runs and we have this community to inspire each other. So I love that you mentioned that. And you know that the second part is about your why, like, for you, it was about strengthening your calf. And initially, it was about, you know, being able to perform in your sport in cricket. But then you started to love running, right, but you started with your why and that there’s something else that we’d like to talk about here is that that’s awesome that you brought up those two points.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 11:56

100%. And I think it’s important for people to understand that I didn’t just even when I didn’t like it, I told myself that I’m going to give it 60 days. So so many times people start something, and they’re like, well, I don’t like it. So I’m just gonna quit. totally okay to not like so I could have still made a decision to after 60 days that I don’t like running, and I could have quit, then nothing against that. But every time you start something new, people have to understand that, by default, your minds not gonna like it. Because you’re a beginner in that space. We don’t like things we’re not familiar with, right? We want to know things, we want to be good at things. So people who are starting off into the running space or starting off increasing their timings or their kilometers, I think they need to be aware that the first 30 to 60 days, they’re probably going to hate that pace. But that’s how you grow. And honestly, as I said, I say 60 days, because I think that’s a really good understanding. Because a lot of times in those six years, you’ll miss a few days here and there. And if you decide after 60 days, you don’t like running power to you choose something else. It’s not for everyone, I’m gonna say that it’s not for everyone. But give yourself at least that beginning amount of time to be able to experiment enough to say, give yourself a decent time to know, is this for me or not?

Richard Conner 13:09

Yeah, that’s a really great point. Because it’s kind of like the old adage, like, how do you how do you know you don’t like it unless you try it? Right. I think that applies to running. And I know a lot of folks are like, I’m not a runner, or I don’t like running. So that’s really interesting. So they can have that 60 day challenge to say, well just stick with it for that time period. And then you know, after that you can decide I really like that. So let’s talk a little bit about like how you started, you mentioned, you’re not going to go from zero to 5k. like overnight. So what did what did you do? Did you have a coach? Did you have training apps? Like how did you like progress from from that zero to 5K.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 13:47

So for me, I’m someone who’s very guilty of trying to do too much too fast. You know, and I think most of the people listening, if there are people who are used to being top performers in other spaces of their life, as I said, we don’t like being an unfamiliar settings, and we don’t like being beginners, right? We want to just start something new and just be really good at it. So I am certainly guilty of that. And I’m self aware enough to know that’s a fault in me. So what I did was, when I was starting running, I was like, I’m gonna start with just running half a kilometer. And that’s it, I’m gonna run half a kilometer and I’m gonna walk the rest of the way. And I committed to that because I knew that if I plan to start with even two kilometers, I’m going to get injured really fast. And because again, I’m not used to running, I’m used to sprinting I’m used to swimming. I’m used to doing drills, we’re not used to running and it requires different muscle groups, obviously applies more pressure on your knees, so I don’t want to get injured. So I told myself, okay, even though I want to do two kilometers, I want to start with two kilometers, I’m only going to start with half a kilometer and I only after I’ve done it 30 times, not even three days because I didn’t know if I was going to run consistently. So as I was starting up I think once I’ve done half a kilometer for 30 days, that’s what I’m going to move to one kilometer. And I committed to that, and I wrote that, and trust me, and the reason I write mentioning again, write that and commit to that is because 10 days in, I’m like, Okay, now I can switch to one kilometer, my brain was like, switch to one kilometer. And I’m really glad I didn’t do that, because because of doing this slowly and steadily, yes, it took me a lot longer to get to five kilometers. But my injuries were almost like minimal, or non existent, you know, I have been able to build mental resilience to things, I’m starting to enjoy it. Because again, I know, I’m not pushing myself out completely out of my comfort zone. If you know, when I started with half a kilometer, then after 30 days, I went to a full kilometer, my body was prepared for that, I wasn’t putting my body through something that it wasn’t prepared for. So I would say, that’s how I started. So I feel like that’s what I’m gonna pass on to people who are listening who are new to our golf, we’re just running half a kilometer, like, you know, and no matter if even if I mean, as I said, I’m an athlete, even if you have training in other sports, every time you take something new requires some different muscle groups, and it requires a different piece of like your brain mentality, like mental resilience wise. So just start off with the bare minimum that you need to start off with commit to it for a long enough time, and then keep increasing loads periodically, don’t just do it right away. Because if you do, yeah, you might run two kilometers for a full week. But guess what, you’re never going to run again after that, because you’re gonna sustain some injury. So that that’s my piece.

Richard Conner 16:34

That’s great. Thank you for sharing that. So as your so it sounds like you took your time you didn’t rush into it, it was great. You know, you didn’t get injured or your your injury improved. So why don’t we talk a little bit about, like, Did this create new obstacles for you? Whether it was mental or physical? Like, what do you think as you started to run longer distances? What was the biggest obstacle that you face?

Mahrukh Imtiaz 16:59

Personally, I feel like with running, and I’m pretty sure many like experienced runners will agree with me, it’s a lot more mental than physical. Every time I was included freezing that half a kilometer, like my mind said, don’t do it. Like you know, this is not you’re not prepared for it, maybe do another 10 more days of one kilometer before you move on to one and a half. So your brain definitely stops you way before your body does. But it’s a truth. And I will say it, when you start running different injuries come as a part of that. So if you don’t take care of yourself, for me, I had to realize that I had to have running shoes, I didn’t start off with running shoes, I was just playing wearing my cricket shoes. And that was impacting, I don’t know the muscle groups really well, but it was impacting a muscle group that was impacting my knee. So it wasn’t your quad or your calf or your hamstrings. It was another one within your ankle, which was like shooting up to the knees. And it was because I wasn’t, I wasn’t landing on my feet properly. And if you’re not landing on your feet while you’re walking, or if you’re not landing on your feet properly, when you’re doing a one kilometer, it doesn’t matter. But if you have repetitive steps where you’re running two or three kilometers, and you’re not landing on your feet properly, it will cause you injuries. So that’s where I learned that Okay, before and this was around the two kilometer mark that before I move forward to two and a half and three, I have to get my running basics, right. So I started like looking at YouTube videos, okay, and then I went to my physio, and I was okay, what am I doing? He saw me right. And I was running in a weird way that had to do with me getting orthotics for my shoes as well. But it kind of opened me up to Okay, now my body again, different muscles groups are being used different. My body movements are a bit different. So I have to adapt. So injuries will only come if you’re not aware enough to know that you’re doing something different. And you might be doing it wrong. And if you’re not willing to correct it. So for me, yes, there was a point when I was injured for a couple of days. And then I went to my physio and they told me exactly what I was doing wrong. And I decided to take a step back. And I was like, Okay, let me fix this first before I’m increased my running distance. And then I did I fixed it, I increased my running distance, I got orthotics as needed. And then I went to two and a half kilometers, and then three kilometers. So it’s just being aware of the changes that come with something new you do. And also being aware of that sometimes your mind is can I get in your way of like, maybe you shouldn’t do this, maybe this isn’t for you. It’s all it’s okay to listen to it. But also know that anything that we do that we’re not familiar with our minds are going to our mind is going to say that so just keep pushing and keep pushing. I don’t mean that from an injury sense. I mean, that from your mind your mind saying you can do five kilometers. Yes, you can. You can run five kilometers every day. I’m not saying start off with five kilometers, but you can eventually build up to that.

Richard Conner 19:52

So Alright, that’s perfect. And it’s interesting what you mentioned about the shoe. So before this, this conversation, we’re talking about my own history and running an insert it back in high school. So, so yeah, so I was a sophomore in high school and I wanted to do sports. And there was not many sports that I was very good at. But I found that running was something that was interesting to me. And I tried out for it, and I really enjoyed it. But when I first started, like you, I didn’t have running shoes, I had cross trainers, and I had very, you know, big feet. So give you can imagine that these heavy cross trainers, and I’m trying to try to run in and that did not work out very well for me. So after first couple of weeks, I really started a feeling I had to get running shoes, there was no way that I can continue with those those cross trainer. So you know, that’s something that we say and advise, like, right, you don’t need a lot of gear really to get started with running. But definitely having a good pair of running shoes is necessary.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 20:48

True, and it’s a good investment in general, like good running shoes are good shoes for your feet in general, like you know, and this is like this is these things impact our body. Like that’s what I tell people like when they’re getting even headphones, right? I’m like, your headphones, impact your ears, make sure you invest in good headphones, like, you know, when you’re investing in things that directly impact your body. People think, oh, I don’t want to spend 300 bucks on running shoes, because Why should I do that. But it’s an investment for your body now and it’s an investment for your body in the future, you’re going to prevent so many illnesses, so many issues in the future because you were taking care of your mind and your body by running. And because you’re running well, because you had running shoes. So I think a lot of times people think of investment the wrong way as well. And I totally agree with the you don’t need a lot to start running. And I definitely don’t want this to be a reason when people don’t run, oh, I don’t have running shoes now. And I know Don’t Don’t do that to yourself, either. You can also get some really good, good pairs for really good price. But yes, this is definitely a basic, which I learned very early on to that I need running shoes. And I for me, I needed orthotics as well, because my feet are flat, which I would have never known had I not started running. So it’s just the things you learn because you experimented. Right, so

Richard Conner 22:02

Awesome. So we talked a lot about like how you got started with running. And now how have you built up to five days a week. And if I understand correctly, you you’re going longer and longer distances. So maybe we’ll kind of shift gears a little bit and talk about that because we have others in our community who who are runners and maybe they’re kind of progressing along and they’re, you know, they’re doing 10K’s, half marathons, or maybe dream of doing a marathon in the future. So let’s let’s talk about your story there. Like how did you How far have you gone? And what are your your kind of long term goals?

Mahrukh Imtiaz 22:33

Yeah, for sure. I, I started with zero kilometers, and I’m at five kilometers, a regular five kilometers three times a week now. And I plan to run a marathon, I haven’t decided if that’s next year. Or maybe in six months, I haven’t decided that yet. But the reason and for me, the reason for running a marathon is I’m brilliant beginner mindset like to prepare for a marathon, I really need to start being focused on running. And even if I’m unable to run the marathon, I’ll be way ahead of where I am now. So it’s like even if I like really fail at the marathon, I’ll be way ahead. So that’s how I’m thinking about it. And the way I’m going about it is the same way I’ve gone so far with zero to five kilometers, it’s small steps, I’m not gonna just tomorrow, start doing 10 kilometers, I’m going to now go from five to five and a half. And rather than doing three times a week, I’m going to try doing that four times a week. So and I’m okay with it taking longer, and which if that means I do the marathon in two years, that’s fine with me, you know, it’s, but it’s that mentality of I can do it. And I remember when I first started, like, even right now telling you telling this to you on this podcast scares me, like, Oh, my God, am I committing to a marathon. So I just want to acknowledge that it is a real fear. Like it is a real fear of like, Can I really do it? Because your brain again says, Do you realize marathon is like 26 kilometers, like, you know, like, it’s like crazy. But I never knew I could run five kilometers when I started in without stopping. And within a certain amount of time, I never thought I would be able to do that, too. And to be able to do that four times a week, consistently. So for me, it’s like, wow, if my if I had listened to my brain, then I would have never gotten this far. So what why should I listen to my brain now, when it when I want to do a marathon because as I said, even if I fail while training for the marathon, I’m still way ahead of where I am now. So there’s nothing to lose. That’s the one thing I pass on to people who want to increase distances. There’s nothing to ever lose when you do want to increase distances. And the second piece is understand exactly why you’re doing it. A lot of times we do it because we want to prove a point to other people. And I know we you touched on this earlier to like the Why is very important. For me, I’m doing it so I can be fitter to play cricket, you know, and the more the fitter I am in terms of running it Helps translate into cricket for me. But it also helps translate in other areas of my life. Like, again, I’m working on my side hustle, I’m working on a very stressful corporate job. So the fitter I am, the better my brain works. And for me, those reminders helped me a lot. And honestly, when I look at all most these CEOs, they all they all have this running routine, something, there’s something there’s some correlation there, right? There’s something that they figured out that probably I need to figure out. So that’s what I’ll pass on. One thing is don’t let the fear of going the extra mile get to you. And the second piece is, do it for the right reasons. Because if you don’t, you’re going to try doing it too fast too soon. And that’s what causes injuries. And if you like I recently watched this Netflix show, movie, Brittany runs a marathon. Have you seen it?

Richard Conner 25:47

I’ve heard about that. I’ve recently so I think somebody in our community just talked about it.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 25:51

Yeah, Amazon Prime, I think. And yeah, basically, in part of the movie, like she also like she’s pushing herself because she’s trying to prove something to her friends. And then she gets injured in the process. But that’s, that’s what happens a lot to people around me. And that’s very important to understand, you’re not doing it for anyone else. You’re not proving this to anyone, me running a marathon. I don’t care what that means to what my image, I’m doing this for Mahrukh. I am doing this for my own health. I’m doing this. So this translates into my cricket. So this translates into my other life goals. But that’s it. And if I if I fail, who cares? Like you know, I’ll try again, I think it’s that beginner childlike mindset that you have to have with running.

Richard Conner 26:37

So you don’t have to make the commitment today, even though this has been recorded, and we’re gonna share it with everyone, but maybe we’re gonna have to, you know, get you back on the show and a year or two and see how things are going with your,

Mahrukh Imtiaz 26:49

with your Why not? Why not? I could I could probably share how my first marathon went.

Richard Conner 26:55

That’s awesome. I can tell you this, I recently did a half marathon a few months ago. But I had no interest in doing it. Like five K’s were kind of my jam. And I’m like that I’m good with that. But then I made a commitment to myself and to the community that I was going to run this half marathon, which which I did. And it was it was interesting. And I think you know, my approach was very similar to what you’re talking about here was kind of like gradually building up to those miles because when I first started it, I’m thinking there’s no way I’m going to be able to run all those miles. But just kind of increasing your distance week after week and gradually getting there before you know it. You’re like, wait a minute, I’m running half marathon distance like I’m ready. So I you know, I assume I’m sure a marathon, there’s probably a lot more to it going, you know, even further farther, but maybe a similar process there.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 27:45

Right. And I think the the important piece to mention there, Richard is that it when you keep those promises to yourself, and when you then achieve them, you are also telling yourself what you’re worth. You’re telling yourself that you’re worth investing into, you’re telling yourself that you can achieve what you set your mind to. So yes, it might help. Yes, doing in half marathon definitely helped you a lot. But what it also told you in your mind is that whenever you dream of something, you can achieve it so that running does have that trickle down effect. And I think that’s important piece.

Richard Conner 28:21

All right. Mahrukh, I love this conversation. This is so much fun. I think you shared so many interesting facts and interesting, I think inspiration for for the community. I hope they’re taking notes. And I hope they’re mentally thinking about if they’re not running today, if they don’t think they can run today, like yes, I can do it. And it’s more mental and physical, you know, in terms of getting started. So I really appreciate you sharing your story with us.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 28:47

Yeah, and thank you so much for having me on. And thank you so much for bringing this community together. As I mentioned earlier to like communities like this podcast like this are very important even if you’re considering running or if you’ve been running for a bit because again, when you listen to people, and when they normalize the behavior for you, you are more likely going to be able to continue running.

Richard Conner 29:08

Alright, so as we wrap up, is there anything that you’d like to share with the community just to inspire them either to run or to continue running anything you want to wrap up with?

Mahrukh Imtiaz 29:19

I’ll just say that I started running just two years ago, and I’m in my early 30s right now. So don’t ever let anyone think that it’s too late. And don’t ever let anyone think that you can’t do it. So just know that no matter what life stage you are at, or what age group or whatever is going on, and no matter what you’ve been before, it doesn’t define who you are today if running is something you want to try. Commit to 60 days, again only half a kilometer to one kilometer and just do it. And trust me even if you decide not to continue with running after those 60 days doing it 60 days is something you will not regret. That’s something I will pass on.

Richard Conner 30:02

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. So what I’d like to normally close with is give our listeners the opportunity to find you on social media and follow you. Is there any place that they can look you up?

Mahrukh Imtiaz 30:14

Sure, they could go to my website. So that’s Mahrukh my first name Imtiaz dot com, and I’m also very active on Instagram and tik tok, and all those handles are available on my website, so that would be the best place to find me.

Richard Conner 30:31

Okay, perfect. So I’ll include that in the show notes. So again, thank you so much, Mahrukh, for coming on the show. And thanks again for sharing your story.

Mahrukh Imtiaz 30:39

Perfect. Thanks so much, Richard.

Richard Conner 30:42

Special thanks to Mahrukh for coming on the show and sharing her story and key insights. And I like to share with you three things that I took away from the conversation that can either help you kickstart or continue your fitness journey. The first one is take action. Mahrukh talked about how she noticed that not taking action was one of the key differences between her and others who she perceived as being successful. And not only taking action, but doing it one step at a time. Two is having the right kind of support. So whether it’s your friends, your family, accountability partner, or even right here, and as far virtual runs, it’s really important to have that right kind of support with same minded people who are working to achieve the same goals as you. And then the third is super important, is just give it time, my roof talked about give it 60 days, if you like it, great continue. If you don’t, at least you tried it. So those are the three takeaways that I got from this awesome conversation. I hope you found that it was interesting and helpful as well. Please come to Let us know what you think. Let us know what other topics you’d like to hear, as well as go to Apple podcasts and leave a review. So with that, thanks again for listening, and have a great day.

Intro/Outro 32:11

That’s it for this episode of Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review. Also, be sure to click the subscribe button so you don’t miss an episode. Thanks for listening.

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