Dev Roy, Founder and Managing Director of FitKids Education and Training, participated in the recently concluded Abu Dhabi International Triathlon 2013. On his return after successfully completing the 1.5km swim, 100km bike and 10km run event, Roy’ surprising comment was “My engineering background really helped me prepare for the race!” What could possibly connect an engineering degree to an endurance sport like the triathlon?
Roy went on to explain that, “Triathlon is a very complex sport, but it is one in which you can improve if you understand the basic scientific principles of training methods and techniques used by elite athletes. A triathlete's physical ability may be an important factor, but when it comes to success in the sport, knowledge of the science of triathlon is equally critical.”
A deeper exploration on the subject helps explain the carry-over from academics and geek-dom into the sports arena. “A significant amount of energy is required to train for and compete in triathlon," says Roy. "A practical knowledge of the physiology of energy production can help you design effective workouts and pace yourself more effectively during races. Triathletes must therefore first understand how their bodies process energy."
Roy’s next explanation involves Biology, Physics and Engineering: “The greater the oxygen delivered to the muscles, the greater the endurance and tolerance for exercise. During endurance events, athletes require a rapid uptake and then delivery of oxygen, which requires adequate numbers and function of red blood cells.
Also by minimizing torque production at a joint in one direction, a triathlete can minimize fatigue, and by maximizing torque production in the opposite direction, an endurance athlete can maximize power and velocity.”
Ever the thinking entrepreneur, Roy talks about how his ventures, Nephrolife (India’s leading nephrology care and dialysis provider) and FitKids Education & Training (India’s premiere provider of sports and co-curricular education in K to 12 education space) have contributed to his preparation and success in the triathlon.
“When I started both Nephrolife and FitKids, I could not afford to be a specialist, but rather don multiple hats and be a jack-of-all-trades to carry out the various activities required to bring both companies to where they are today. In much the same way, a triathlete must move seamlessly from one sport discipline to the next.”
Roy points out the importance of strategizing in preparing for an endurance event like the triathlon. “To achieve the perfect race performance you need to achieve a balance between going fast on the bike and saving energy for the run. As a result, developing into a faster triathlete becomes a matter of increasing your power as high as possible so that you can maintain the pace necessary to achieve your goals.”
One concludes from his comment that his ability to think through and plan a race is a definite take-away from his staying power in the business world, where both Nephrolife and FitKids have become forces to reckon with in the long term!
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