Sundreysh Sarup: Running helps me stay positive, manage anger
Like most people, Sundreysh Sarup started running to get fitter and lose weight. He began walking and slow jogging in 2012, and gave himself a year to train for his first half marathon in Delhi in 2013. Since then, he has run about 10 half marathons as well as a few 10K runs. Last year, in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM), he achieved his personal best time of 2 hours, 16 minutes for a 21.1km run. The managing director of Logistics Plus Pvt. Ltd is often joined in his runs by his 11-year-old son; they both look on it as father-son bonding time. Edited excerpts from an interview:
Have you ever hit the wall while running? How did you get over it?
The 16km mark during my first ADHM in 2013 was the first time I hit this wall and it continued to haunt me for some time. My biggest learning from here was that with persistence and patience, we could overcome difficulties.
What impact does leading by example as a fit leader have?
A leader is always defined by his/her overall personality. Being a fit person helps me showcase commitment and dedication as a quality which people around me should imbibe.
How does running influence your performance at work?
Running has tremendous influence in my work life. Decluttering of thoughts, staying positive and anger management are a few of the biggest benefits I have derived at work and all these came since I started running. Tough situations were handled much better.
Any leadership lessons from distance running?
I believe all leadership qualities and values can be derived by distance running. Discipline remains the foremost. Also the idea that one bad day is not the end of the world, i.e. persistence is key. It teaches you to have fun even when you are tired, make new friends and learn from others.
How do you balance your training and work?
This is the best part of running, it doesn’t come with a membership and limited timing slots. One can run whenever one finds time. My work makes me travel three-four days a week, and the best way that I have explored cities is by running. All I need to carry are my shoes and make sure that I either run early in the mornings or late at night. Training for running never hampers work, rather complements it.
Has running made you more goal-oriented?
I have always believed in targets, and then working towards achieving them. Running enhanced the same concept. At times, I just have short goals which help me achieve the annual targets. A focused approach always helps.
Discipline in a runner’s life is paramount. Do you think this discipline also reflects your leadership style?
Absolutely, it does. I am disciplined about not just the “in” time but also the “out” time. I encourage teams to be disciplined about leaving home on time and completing daily tasks irrespective of how small they may be. Being disciplined allows me to juggle the home/work-life balance with ease.
Your toughest race?
My first Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in 2015. Since I am from Delhi, I hadn’t anticipated the humidity and the toll it takes on the body. I learnt my lesson and came back much stronger to deliver precise timings as an official pacer in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon early this year.
Your best running memory.
My very first half marathon—the ADHM in 2013—remains the best run so far. The smiles, high fives while running and the hugs, the running high after completing the race, are beyond words. Seeing my wife and son cheer for me at the finish line is a memory I cherish.
Running With The Boss is a series in which CEOs, MDs and senior executives talk about leadership lessons, management mantras, the importance of a fit team and striking a work-life balance through running.