Episode 90

Deepak Raj: non-runner to Kona finisher

In some countries, triathlon and endurance sports are part of the national psyche. In many others around the world, they're really not. Whether it's due to a lack of infrastructure, facilities, culture, money or races, for some, there just aren't as many opportunities to take part in swim, bike run. Our guest this week is Indian athlete Deepak Raj who's also a coach and the brains behind the Yoska training community. It's a really emotional interview with Deepak who explains how triathlon has completely changed his life. He has gone from a total non-runner to a Kona finisher. He also talks about the pivotal role he has had in developing the sport in India:

You'll hear:

15:52 Deepak talks about his first ever event being a 38km skating event, which he took part in when he was posted to Germany with his work.

18:00 Deepak talks about the first time he started to run. I ran 2-3 minutes and that's all I could run. I was huffing and puffing and I walked home, thinking oh my god, here I am and I can't run.

23:12 Deepak says lining up at the Berlin marathon for the first time was really scary and I was scared because I wasn't sure about pushing my limits.

28:15 I hadn't even heard of triathlon. The first time I really heard of it was when I was living in Germany.

31:45 The mindset about getting through the swim when you're not a very confident swimmer. "I signed up for a skating marathon, without being able to skate"

37:40 Talks about making the swim cut off by just over a minute at his first Ironman and his wife getting stressed about if he would make it

38:24 Why are people taking up triathlon in India

41:12 Talks about the uptake of triathlon and while a race might only be 10% female, the number of women doing the sport as a lifestyle is a lot higher.

42:38 Some of the barriers that stop people from doing triathlon

46:30 The work Deepak put in to try to bring Ironman to India

51:08 Deepak get very emotional when he describes what it meant to him to bring Ironman to India

54:30 There are so many people involved in the sport has taken off and the whole cultural shift of getting people fit and healthy is really happening and we need that in India. But because the foundations are not there, people have to start to learn to swim at the age of 25.

1:00:18 What's your dream for triathlon in India? India should be one of the top countries in Ironman's portfolio and that will result in more people in the sport, a healthier lifestyle and things like that.

1:01:48 Deepak's digital training platform, yoska

Find out more about this week's guests

Deepak Raj Instagram

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About the Podcast

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Inside Tri Show
Helen Murray brings you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond

About your host

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Helen Murray

Helen has been working in triathlon for a decade as an athlete, coach and broadcaster.

Helen hosts the Inside Tri Show podcast bringing you awesome interviews from triathlon and beyond