Nihal Baig

Nihal Baig


Career Highlights

Awarded as Best Athlete across all IITs in Inter-IIT Sports Meet-2014 where I won 5 medals (3 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze)

Boston Qualifying Time in Airtel Hyderabad Marathon-2018: 3:03:37 3

Overall Winner of Deccan Triathlon (Kolhapur)(Half Iron distance)-2018: 4:51:05

Ironman 70.3 Bahrain (my first Ironman event)-2018: 4:44:48 – 5th in Age Category

Ironman 70.3 Colombo (PR)-2019: 4:39:18

Ironman 70.3 Goa-2019: 4:47:47 – Overall 2n

I started running when I was in IIT-B during college where I ran short distances (usually 5K) for 5 years. In IIT-B I enrolled myself under National Sports Organisation- Athletics. While I maintained a good record in sports, it was in the final year that I won 5 medals (3 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and I was awarded as the Best Athlete across all IITs. After graduating, I shifted to endurance events, started with Half Marathons and later I realised I wanted to aim at an Ironman title, so I learnt how to swim, I started cycling, and did my first Triathlon (half iron distance) in October 2017 with a timing of 6:59:51

Up Close, and Personal

To me, sport is…

Sports has been an integral of my life for 7 years now. Now it has become my passion. Not a single day goes by without doing workout. Sports remains on my mind all the time. This is what has defined me and made me what I am today. I have learned a lot of lessons from sport and I apply it during my day-to-day life And I would continue this throughout my life, because this is something which makes me feel more alive.

On a typical training day, I do

I do: 2 workouts every day. It could any two of Swim/Bike/Run/Strength/Core.

I eat: f I have a run, I don’t eat anything before. But for Swim and Bike, I normally have a banana. Then Post workout, I eat a lot of carbs (breakfast) + protein (Recovery mix/protein powder).

I listen to: I listen to music all the time when I am not sleeping or working out. It calms my mind.

I recover by: doing good stretching, applying ice over any inflammation and foam rolling (mostly after an intense bike/run workout).

I cross-train by: I don’t need cross-training as I am into triathlons so each discipline act as cross-training for the other.

My idea of an effective weight training session is

So most of my workouts are planned, And I try my best to stick to it. Effective training session would mean that I have successfully completed my training according to the plan and I don’t feel any discomfort during the workout. This would also include how effectively I have managed my nutrition during the workout. And when this happens you feel this euphoria, that’s when you feel that the training session was effective.

The moment when I discovered my athletic potential was

I was never into sports during my childhood. But who doesn’t fancy to be one of the faster guys? Though I wasn’t even in the top 10 fastest guys during my school, deep down I always wanted to be as fast as them. After I got into IIT Bombay, I took part in Freshmen Cross-country. This was the first time that I ever ran over 400m and just with sheer grit and constantly telling myself not to stop I managed to finish third. Then I enrolled in NSO (National Sports Organisation)- Athletics. I was doing good among the freshmen and the coach saw potential in me and he trained me along with the best athletes of my college. That’s how my journey started.

The three biggest lessons I have learnt so far in my athletic career is

1. Not to give up till the last moment. I have won my best race with this ideology in mind.

2. Trust your training and lift your confidence during the race.

3. Hard work, Grit and determination is what makes you a good athlete.

Before a big race, I tell myself

I tell myself that I have done the right and sufficient amount of training. And only person that can take you away is you. So you need to put a lot of confidence in yourself and believe that you can overcome any obstacles during the race.

The toughest race of my life was

I set myself a goal timing of 3:05 (Boston Marathon Qualifying Time) I was recovering from a fibula stress fracture so wasn’t sure if I could do this since the pain kept coming back after every run that I did. The pain was terrible the night before the race, and I had to mentally prepare myself to run the next morning. I ran with muscle sprays and compression socks and 28km into the race my pain vanished. When I reached the 30K mark, I felt this surge of power that had me complete the marathon in 3:03:37.

The most memorable moment of my sporting career so far

December, Inter IIT Sports Meet-2013, Guwahati : 5000m race I was used to running in grassy track in Mumbai, so the rough terrain in Guwahati had me wrapping up my toes in bandages. I maintained a steady pace and ran all my laps within 85 seconds, but it was the last one where I overtook the one in front of me and beat him by a second to win the race. I completed this lap in 62 seconds, and with a toe that was bleeding profusely. The cold weather had numbed the pain.

My training sanctuary is

1. Swimming: IIT Bombay Pool

2. Running: IIT Bombay roads and grass track

3. Cycling: Indoor Trainer. For outdoors- Eastern Express Highway & NH8

My dream starting line is

World Marathon Majors and Ironman 140.6 Championship, Kona.

I nourish my soul with

Healthy Food (lot of food) and Music.

Unived helps me by…

I have used the following Unived products:

1. Unived Salt Caps: I have been using this for about 1.5 years. They’ve been very helpful during long runs and rides. I rely them completely for my salt replacement on race day. In last few months, I had to a lot of bike workouts during late afternoons. This has helped me a lot during those sessions.

2. Unived Elite Gel: The gels are quite smooth and thus easy to gulp. I would normally need a lot of water to gulp other gels. Thus Unived Gels have helped me with efficient training where I don’t have to worry about drinking too much water with it.

In 2020, I am setting my sights on…


1. Do a sub-2:40 Marathon
2. Finish in top 20% of my AG in Ironman 70.3 World Championship
3. Do a Sub-4:30 Ironman 70.3 race


1. Boston Marathon
2. Ahmedabad Half Iron Triathlon (Feb)
3. RT Olympic Triathlon (May)
4. Ironman 70.3 race (yet to finalize, around July/August)
5. Ironman 70.3 Goa
6. Ironman 70.3 World Championship, Taupo, New Zealand (29th Nov)

I have chosen to associate with Unived because…

All of the Unived products are a result of quality research, and I like the way the Unived put in their efforts to make the products better and more adaptable for the athletes. Also the products are all extracted from the nature.

My favourite Unived product is…

Unived Salt Caps.