Parasports October 17, 2020
Para cyclist Himanshu Kumar looks to set Limca record with marathon cycling ride
Himanshu Kumar hopes to cycle his way into the Limca Book of Records with his marathon cycling record of 100-km ride in six hours. Quite incredible given that he started training for this just a few weeks ago.
A few months ago when para athlete Himanshu Kumar was struck with the idea of setting a marathon cycling record, he didn’t hesitate to act on it despite all the challenges of training amidst the coronavirus pandemic..
Himanshu’e left leg was amputated from the thigh down 12 years ago after an accident. “My journey after that was not easy. It was really difficult and challenging at times, for my family members as well”.
He never allowed that setback to make him feel less able in any way. It has only driven him to push the boundaries in sport. A champion blade runner he has participated in many cycling events as well.
Leg amputated after accident
Himanshu started thinking about the marathon cycling attempt earlier this year but was forced to set it aside after the pandemic. “Due to Covid, we could not practice riding outdoors as a person with physical limitations has to depend on someone to be physically present at the venue”. He used the time to train. “My coach Manish Jayal from iRide 2 Reach sports focused on online sessions for strength and stamina-building through body weight, resistance band and core building workouts. Indoor trainers were not available so I was not able to practice indoor cycling which is needed to build up the endurance”.
Himanshu hopes his marathon cycling record will earn a place in the Limca Book of Records.
I successfully completed 100.28 km within the given time. The idea for this record came to me a few months ago and I started training for this ride several weeks ago. The Covid pandemic restricted my outdoor cycling practice and I managed to train indoors under the able guidance of my coach and mentor Manish Jayal. – Himanshu Kumar, Para athlete
Himanshu worked in building strength in his glutes, core and back. He did various body weight exercises using resistance bands.
He credits his nutrition sponsor Proathlix for backing him regardless of weather and other factors. His route was checked one day earlier by his coach. “The 25-km long Noida Expressway has many gradients and soft climbs which only a cyclist can feel especially when the heat from the sun bears down on your back”, says Himanshu. “Every climb felt difficult but I was determined to go over it”. Cheering him on were various cyclist friends.
Eyes set on next record
Manish says Himanshu’s achievements are remarkable given his disability. “He has no left leg and uses his right leg to put force on the pedals of the cycle. For the left side, he has to use his core and oblique muscles. He shows immense physical and mental strength”.
Manish along with a feeder crew supported Himanshu throughout, taking care of his nutritional and hydration needs along with massages to relax the muscles.
Himanshu is already working on his next challenge. “This is going to happen in November or the first week of December. This will be the maximum kilometres by a specially abled rider using only one leg, that means that even the support my prosthetic leg gives me will not be enough. I am going to attempt for a Guinness book of records.The training is already started with my coach”.
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