5th Week Of Training (February 3-9, 2014)

17 02 2014

February 3, Monday: Rest Day

2-Hour Massage

February 4, Tuesday: @HPA Parade Ground (Paved & Dirt Roads) Start: 5:00 PM

Distance—13.21 Kilometers/8.25 Miles

Time—1:24:04 Hours

Average Pace—6:21 mins/km

Average Speed—9.4 ams/hour

Total Calories—905 cal

Total Ascent—492 meters

Total Descent—508 meters

Weather—Hot & Humid/Afternoon Run

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

February 5, Wednesday: Indoor

40-Minute Stationary Cycling

February 6, Thursday: @HPA Parade Ground/Start: 7:40 AM

Distance—17.01 Kilometers/10.6 Miles

Time—1:55:00 Hours

Average Pace—6:45 mins/km

Average Speed—8.9 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,174 cal

Total Ascent—565 meters

Total Descent—559 meters

Weather—Hot & Humid

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

February 7, Friday: @Mabalacat, Pampanga To San Fernando, Pampanga (Route of Manila to Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race)/Start: 9:55 AM

Distance—35.43 Kilometers/22 Miles (Road Run)

Time—6:25:49 Hours

Average Pace—10:52 mins/km

Average Speed—5.5 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,943 cal

Total Ascent—1,259 meters

Total Descent—1,263 meters

Weather—VERY Hot

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

Comment: Slow Run with Walking Breaks/”Pit Stops” @ 7-11 Stores

February 8, Saturday: @ Mabalacat, Pampanga To Tarlac City (Route of Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race) /Start: 1:03 AM (Night Run)

Distance—32 Kilometers/20.15 Miles

Time—5:20:18 Hours

Average Pace—15:54 minutes/mile

Average Moving Pace—14:47 minutes/mile

Elevation Gain—168 feet

Elevation Loss—357 feet

Total Calories—1,644 cal

Weather—Cooler

Shoes—Hoka One One Bondi Speed

Comment: Slow & Easy Run. Tried some nutrition food/drinks to keep me alert during nighttime running

February 9, Sunday: @Baguio City

Rest Day/Race Director at the Finish Line of the 1st PAU Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race (3-Day Stage)

Total Weekly Mileage: 97.65 Kilometers/61 Miles

Total Weekly Time: 15:15 Hours

Comment: No trail runs for this week but took advantage of the Manila To Baguio 250K 3-Day Stage Ultra Run to put more endurance on my legs, heart and lungs. Runs for this week were more on “heat” training.

Finishing 35K On The 1st Day/Leg Of The Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra

Finishing 35K On The 1st Day/Leg Of The Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra





4th Week Of Training (January 27-February 2, 2014)

6 02 2014

January 27, Monday—Rest Day

2-Hour Massage

January 28, Tuesday: @HPA Parade Ground (Paved & Dirt Roads)/Start: 6:51 AM

Distance—-16.2 Kilometers/10 Miles

Time—-1:40:06 Hours

Average Pace—-6:10 mins/km

Average Speed—-9.7 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,117 cal

Total Ascent—-518 meters/1,700 feet

Total Descent—-500 meters/1,640 feet

Weather—-Cooler on the 1st Half and Early Morning Sun’s Heat on the 2nd Half

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

January 29, Wednesday: @Remy Field Oval Track/Start: 3:30 PM

Distance—13 Kilometers/8.1 Miles

Time—-1:14:16 Hours

Average Pace—-5:42 mins/km

Average Speed—-10.5 kms/hour

Total Calories—-883 cal

Total Ascent—-355 meters/1,164 feet

Total Descent—-361 meters/1,184 feet

Weather—-Sunny/Hot

Shoes—-ASICS Gel-Lyte Racer

Note: Speed Workout—Tried “1-2-3-2-1″ Speed Intervals (One Minute @ 5K Pace with One Minute Recovery Run; Two Minutes @ 10K Pace with Two Minutes Recovery Run; Three Minutes @ 21K Pace with Three Minutes Recovery Run; and then back to 2 minutes @ 10K pace then one minute @ 5K pace. Followed by 3 Reps of 800-meter Intervals with 800-meter recovery run after each repetition.

January 30, Thursday: @Pastolan Trails/Start: 10:37 AM

Distance—-21.13 Kilometers/13 Miles

Time—-3:37:20 Hours

Average Pace—-10:17 mins/km

Average Speed—-5.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,077 cal

Total Ascent—-1,107 meters/3,631 feet

Total Descent—-1,098 meters/3,601 feet

Weather—-Sunny On The 1st Half; Windy & Cloudy/Overcast On The 2nd Half

Shoes—-ADIDAS Vigor Trail

Nutrition—-2 pcs of Hopia (Chinese Bread) + 20 oz of Gatorade + 60 oz of Water

January 31, Friday: @ Pastolan Trails/Playground “Alpha” Loop/Start: 9:40 AM

Distance—-26.21 Kilometers/16.4 Miles

Time—-5:29:53 Hours

Average Pace—-12:35 mins/km

Average Speed—-4.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,254 cal

Total Ascent—-2,377 meters/7,796 feet

Total Descent—-2,300 meters/7,544 feet

Lowest Elevation—-42 meters/137 feet

Highest Elevation—-510 meters/1,673 feet

Weather—-Sunny/Hot & Windy

Shoes—-TNF “Single Track” Trail Shoes

Nutrition—-Steamed Rice, Hard-boiled Egg, Hotdog, 2 pcs of Hopia + One GU Gel on the last 5 Kilometers + 80 oz of water

February 1, Saturday: @Pastolan Trails (10.5K Route-Out & Back)/Start: 1:32 PM

(Note: @7:00 AM—-30-Minute Stationary Cycling)

Distance—-21.16 Kilometers/13 Miles

Time—-3:39:28 Hours

Average Pace—-10:22 mins/km

Average Speed—-5.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,040 cal

Total Ascent—-1,079 meters/3,539 feet

Total Descent—-1,084 meters/3,555 feet

Lowest Elevation—-42 meters/137 feet

Highest Elevation—-390 meters/1,279 feet

Weather—-Cloudy/Overcast & Windy

Shoes—-ADIDAS Vigor Trail

Nutrition—-3 pcs of Hopia + 40 oz of Water + 1 GU Gel mixed with 20 oz of water

February 2, Sunday: @Bataan Death March Route (Km Post #50 – Km Post #83)/Paved Road/Start: 6:56 AM

Distance—-32.40 Kilometers/20 Miles

Time—-4:42:19 Hours

Average Pace—-8:42 mins/km

Average Speed—-6.9 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,862 cal

Total Ascent—-801 meters/2,627 feet

Total Descent—-818 meters/2,683 feet

Weather—-VERY HOT

Shoes—-Hoka One One Bondi Speed

Nutrition—-Fresh Fruits (Sliced Apples & Korean Pears); Hopia; and Gatorade Drinks

Note: Heat Training For 4 Hours

Total Distance For The Week: 130 Kilometers/81 Miles

Total Vertical Distance (Ascent): 6,237 Meters/20,457 feet

More Trails For This Week

More Trails For This Week





Master The Basics & Do It Every Day

8 01 2014

“Master the Basics and Do it Every Day” By Dr. Jason Ross

Note: While browsing on the Internet, I came to reach and read this article. I decided to have it posted in this blog and share it to my readers as a reference or reminder to those who are fond of writing or coming up with their respective New Year’s Resolutions for better healthy lifestyle and outlook in life. I hope my readers will like this article as a guide for their goals in life. Good luck!
I’m a huge fan of Dan John.  He’s a strength coach that has the ability to boil down the fluff and periphery to get to the important, central stuff.  Own the principles, not the methods.  Dan has many books, articles, videos, a lot for free,  all over the Internet.  I would suggest anyone interested in health and strength to take an hour or two and read his stuff and watch his videos.One of the things that has always stuck with me is Dan’s approach to the basics.  Don’t get crazy reaching for the top of the pyramid if your base is not there.
The other point comes from legendary coach Dan Gable who Dan often quotes.  “If it’s important, do it every day.” With that template, master the basics and if it’s important, do it every day, here is my list in no particular order.
1.  Drink water.  Half your body weight in ounces.  Sport drinks don’t count, tea doesn’t count.  Water.  If you drink coffee or pop add another 8 ounces of water.
2.  Don’t drink pop.
3.  Walk.  Try to get 15 minutes a day. Minimum.
4.  Get sunshine.  Have the actual suns rays touch your skin.
5. Get your Vitamin D levels checked twice a year.  Keep your level above 50.  1000 IU for every 25lb of body weight when supplementing.
6.  Lift weights.  Find something you like and do it 2x a week.  I don’t care if it kettle bells, cross fit, powerlifting, bodybuilding or what ever is next around the corner.  The more muscle mass you carry as you age, the more healthy you will be.  Guaranteed.  Carry something, push something, pick something off the floor, pull yourself up.  (colored dumbbells do not count though.)
7.  Floss.  There is a lot of evidence for the health of your gums and the health of your heart.
8.  Wear your seat belt.  ( I stole 7,8,9 from Dan John himself)
9.  Take fish oil.  3-5 grams a day.
10.  Get rid of polyunsaturated oils.  I think this is why most people that adapt a paleo or primal or low carb diet see such improvements.  Unhealthy oils destroy your body.
11.  Be grateful.  Make a mental list or a physical one.
12.  Breath well.  Inhale with the diaphragm.  Exhale.  The ribs should move, not your shoulders.
13.  Stretch the hip flexor and then pair it with a glute activation exercise.  Your lumbar spine will thank you.
14.  Get down on the floor on your back and get back up.  Several times a day.  No particular technique needed.  I’ve lost track of how many patients tell me they fear getting down on the floor for how hard it will be for them to get back up.  Don’t let that happen in the first place.  If you don’t make it a priority, it can be weeks before you have to actually do it.  Think about that for a second.
15.  Eat some vegetables.  Think Rainbow.
16.  Master the hip hinge.  Use it.  When you bend at the hips not the back, you save your back abuse.
17.  Read.  The person that doesn’t read and the person that doesn’t know how, not much difference.
18.  Roll the bottoms of your feet with golf balls.  A lot of fascial lines evolve or cross the bottoms of the feet.  Next time your tired at work or after work, take a few minutes to do this and feel your energy return.19.  Focus on getting some good fat in your diet.  MCT oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, olive oil, fish oil, avocado, red palm oil, to name a few.20.  Drink Green Tea.  On top of the water you are going to drink.  It’s like amazing for you.

21.  Laugh.

22.  Sleep.  7-8 hours a night.  There is a lot out there these days about how to get by on less, but science doesn’t seem to support that.

23.  Your own personal physical/personal goal.  Find a way to work at it every day.  If you want to write, write at least one sentence.  If you want more mobile hips, do 5 min a day of hip mobility work.  Striving towards something you want every day, builds strength and character.  Lay some ground work every day, it’s the consistency that counts and makes real changes.

This is my list, I think it’s hard to argue with any of them.  What do you want to add?





Race Report: Clark-Miyamit 42K Trail Marathon

27 09 2013

Just like in my participation to the Pagsanjan To Majayjay 50K Road Ultra last September 1, Clark-Miyamit 42K Trail Marathon was not a part of my training as an intermediate race in preparation for my target race but knowing that all the known fast trail runners and “hardcore” ultra runners that I know of are going in the event, I finally decided to join the said event barely one week before the scheduled date.

CM42 Logo

CM42 Logo

The Race Director, Atty Jonnifer Lacanlale was kind enough to accept my request to join the event together with one of my elite runners, Danin Arenzana, who happens to have won in last year’s CM60K Trail Run. Danin had been my training partner for the past 3 months in my training ground and running after him during the race served as my target-competitor to force me to keep on moving relentlessly from start to finish.

Due to my numerous visits to the Miyamit Falls and recon runs previous to this event, I was confident of finishing this race better than those times that I had visited and trained in this place.

Clark-Miyamit 42K Elevation Profile (Courtesy of Rey jimenez)

Clark-Miyamit 42K Elevation Profile (Courtesy of Rey jimenez)

I was prepared to arrive at the starting area at 3:30 AM last Sunday, September 22, 2013 but due to a text message from Jonel Mendoza of frontrunner Magazine that the race start time will be delayed for a hour due to the inclement weather in the area and some problems with the transport of the volunteers/marshals to the peak of the mountain, I took my time to travel and prepare the things/logistics  I will be needing in the race.

At 4:30 AM, I arrived at the assembly area and got processed where I was able to sign some papers and got my race bib. It was raining and the temperature was cold and refreshing. I was able to talk to some of the runners and it was some sort of reunion among ultra runners and trail runners. They jokingly told me that I was so serious to say in my blog that I will be on a Race Mode, thus, I will not have any time to talk or “socialize” to any of the runners during the race. I just smiled to them and wished them good luck and have fun during the race.

All the runners were called under the Start/Finish Arc for the final briefing by the Race Director 15 minutes before the start time. There were some pointers and warnings issued by the RD for the runners to know due to the weather condition of the day. I positioned myself at the back of the runners while listening to the briefing. At exactly 5:30 AM, the race started and I was with Jonel as the two of us were last runners to leave the Starting Line.

Final Briefing By RD Jon Lacanlale

Final Briefing By RD Jon Lacanlale

Still Dry & Looking Fresh @ The Starting Area

Still Dry & Looking Fresh @ The Starting Area

The Gun Was Fired And We Were Off!

The Gun Was Fired And We Were Off!

My race strategy was to position myself at the back of the pack at the start and then slowly pick-up the pace as the race progresses. The first two kilometers were made as my warm-up period with a slow and easy jog as this part of the course is flat and slightly going down. Most of the runners picked-up their pace immediately on the 1-2 kilometers of the route. As soon as I hit the first uphill of the course, I was already sweating, though I was hiking briskly.

On this very challenging trail race, I always see to it that I “brisk-walk” or power hike the uphills and once I reach the top, I force myself to jog and run on the flat and downhill parts of the course. This drill is being repeated from start to finish. However, if the uphill is not too steep, I would attempt to jog over it by taking small gaits/steps but with faster cadence. In order to be consistent in this, I would briskly pump my arms, over swing them and breath faster. Of course, I would do this in my training runs and comfortably apply this in my races.

Jonel & I Were The Last Runners To Leave The RD

Jonel & I Were The Last Runners To Leave The RD

At the back of my mind, I would like to register a “negative split” of my time in this race by being slower on the first half and then going faster on the last half of the race. Obviously, that will happen because the first half is an uphill climb to Mt Miyamit/turn-around point  which has an elevation of about 1,150 meters above sea level and then the last half will all be generally downhill. But such conditioning to the mind did not happen because of the weather condition that brought about with those slippery, muddy, and water-soaked trails.

On the second half or downhill part of the course, the trail was so slippery that most of the runners would look for the sides of the trail where they would land their feet without falling on their butts or worse, on their faces. The muddy condition of the ground had also slowed down most of the runners. But all these were part of the challenge and I really enjoyed running on these muddy, slippery, loose, and water-covered trails.

Runner Falling On His Butt To The Ground Due To Muddy & Slippery Trail

Runner Falling On His Butt To The Ground Due To Muddy & Slippery Trail (Picture Courtesy of CJ “Miles” Escandor)

After the Km #10/AS 3 as I was going up to the peak/turn-around point, I was trying to count the number of runners that I would meet in order to find out my ranking among the runners. It was fun to see these faster runners as they go back to the finish line. I would not be surprised to see these top runners as they see me going up to the turn-around point. But I could see in their faces how surprised they are when they see me as I get nearer to the turn-around point! They are also surprised that they have a few meters gap from me from their backs! As I reached the turn-around point, I was able to count 47 runners that I met along the way which makes me as the 49th runner (Danin was the 48th runner).

A Part Of The Easier Sections Of The Course

A Part Of The Easier Sections Of The Course

Everything that happened in this race was so fast, except when I was going up from the checkpoint at the foot of Miyamit Falls up to the Aid Station #3. I practically walked this uphill stretch of about a mile/1.5 kilometers and it took me 31 minutes! I was not sure if I was exhausted or needed some “sugar” to my body system. I took this opportune time to eat more solid foods (hard-boiled eggs with salt) and take in a GU Gel.

On the last 10 Kilometers to the Finish Line, I tried my best to run and jog all the way except for some delay on those steep downhill slippery parts of the route where I have to walk slowly. I maintained a steady pace and Ultra Runner Jon Borbon kept me company as he was tailing me throughout the said distance.

Wet, Dirty, & Tired But Still Smiling Towards The Finish Line (Picture By Photo Ops)

Wet, Dirty, & Tired But Still Smiling Towards The Finish Line (Picture By Photo Ops)

I finally reached the Finish Line with an Official Time of 7:57:58 hours with a rank of 36th runner among the 115 Finishers. The RD was at the Finish Line to award the Finisher’s Medal and congratulate me for finishing the race.

Finishing at 36th place was more than a success to me since I have targeted a conservative goal for this race to place on the top 50% of the runners. As a result, I landed among the upper 31% of the finishers!

I would attribute such accomplishment on the following:

1. Consistency—I have followed a structured training program for the past 3 months + one week leading to the race where I have completed a total distance of 1,627 Kilometers or 1,017 Miles. Since this mileage was done in 85-90% of mountain trails, I can roughly estimate my total workout for about 325 hours (1,627 kilometers X 12 minutes/kilometer).

2. Specificity of Training—As shown above, almost all my training was done in the mountain trails where my 61-year old body slowly adapted to the challenges of the environment. Speed was put behind and more focus was concentrated on endurance and proper footing/feet-landing techniques on different kinds or situations on the mountain trails. The more slippery or muddier the train is, the better for me!

3. Nutrition & Hydration—In my training, I have experimented on my nutrition and hydration, most specially on my weekend long runs. Such experimentation was applied during the race. For the race, I ate a simple breakfast of steamed rice + 2 pieces of hotdog + hot coffee, 45 minutes before start time. Some runners who greeted me at the Starting Line saw me eating this stuff. I took in some water with the food. Twenty (20) minutes before start time, I took in my first Espresso Love GU Gel. From the start up to the finish, I took this GU Gel every 40-45 minutes and hydrating with Perpetuem Mix and Water every 20 minutes in an alternate manner. At the turn-around point, I started eating my Hopia as my solid food. On my way from Miyamit Falls to the Finish Line, I was able to eat 2 pieces of hard-boiled eggs with salt. I have also six pieces of Butterscotch from Biscocho Haus of Iloilo City in my pack as my reserve food. At the end of the race, I was able to consume eight (8) GU Gels; 4 pieces of Hopia;  2 pieces of hard-boiled eggs; 40 oz. of Perpetuem Mix; and 40 oz of Water. This nutrition & hydration strategy was strictly followed to keep me from “bonking” and reacting to it and as a result, I was being proactive to the needs of my body during the race. It is like being attached with an Intra-Venous (IV) fluid where every drop of  fluid enters the body every second.

One Pack Of Hopia

Two Packs Of Hopia

4. Running Kit & Apparel—-My Patagonia Shorts kept my iPhone on its back pocket with 6 GU Gels (3 pieces on each side pocket). My Patagonia shirt was very light even if it was damp/wet the whole race. The Ultimate Direction AK Vest which I use in my training kept my 2 bottles  for hydration and food at the back pack; my tiny Nikon Camera on my right shoulder pocket; and two GU Gels on my left shoulder pockets which I used also to keep my trash during the run. I was wearing my favorite Giro Cycling Gloves which was very useful during the run (I guess, I need to post  a separate story for this!). Calf sleeves were used to protect my legs from the sharp leaves of wild grasses along the trails. I also used Gaiters to protect debris and other dirt from entering my shoes. I’ve chosen my ASICS Gel-Mt Fuji Racer Trail Shoes instead of Inov-8 Mudroc 290 due to its lightness and easy drainage of water entering the shoes and it gave me the much needed confidence to paddle through water-soaked, muddy, and slippery trails. My Under Armour running cap and Buff which were damp and wet were also useful in maintaining a lower body temperature on my head and nape.

ASICS Mt Fuji Racer Trail Shoes

ASICS Mt Fuji Racer Trail Shoes

5. Rest, Recovery, Taper—-From Wednesday up to Friday before the race, I had full sleep during nighttime of not less than 8 hours per night. On Saturday night, I was able to sneak in at least 5 hours of sleep. During my training period, I have to fully rest (without any runs) on Mondays—it’s the day when I eat my favorite food, walk and watch a movie in the malls, and/or read some books. One day before the race, it was completely a rest day for me.

6. Knowledge of the Terrain and Be Able To Acclimatize with the Environment—-Having been to the route at least one month before the race with the same weather condition, I already knew what to expect and I even tried to locate for points/places along the route where I could slow down or speed up or where I would take in my nutrition. I was able to test and find out what would be my running apparel/kit for the race during my last recon run to the place. I was able to test also the amount of fluid and food I would need for the race proper, thus, it would lead to the next factor to consider as stated next to this.

7. Not Stopping At The Aid Stations—–It is enough to hear the cheers and greetings from the volunteers and then for me saying, “Thank you for being here for us” to them as I continue my run and pass every Aid Station along the route. It is either I slowed down with my run or simply hiked/walked as I reached the Aid Stations to greet the volunteers. For the Aid Station on the wider road, I would just wave my hand or give them a “thumb-up” sign to acknowledge their presence on the trails even with the rainy weather condition. The cooler atmosphere and rainy condition contributed for my body not to perspire so much and I was able to conserve my intake of hydration fluid. It was only at the place where the 4 X 4 vehicles were parked where I was able to ask for water refilling on my way back to the finish line.

8. Listening To My Body—My HR Monitor was my basis to get feedback why I would breath heavily during the run. I would see to it that I was maintaining an Average HR of not more than 150 beats per minute. There was only one instance where my Average HR reached to 152 bpm and I had to slow down with my power hike on a steep trail. I would feel some pain on my knees and quads on the second half of the race and that I would slow down and observe if such pain would disappear or not. Generally, I did not experience any severe pains/injury or muscle cramps in any parts of my body up to the end of the race.

Success and being able to reach one’s goal in any race is not developed and attained overnight or for a short time even if one has had finished harder and more challenging races in the past. It takes a lot of planning, attitude, determination, patience and handwork.

In short, this is in my own words is called, “discipline”!

Congratulations to RD Atty Jonnifer Lacanlale for a successful race and my special thanks to those volunteers who braved the inclement weather in the mountains to make sure the safety and well-being of all the runners on the night before the race as well as, after the last runner had crossed the finish line. Good job, guys!

Lace up, go out of the door and run!

(Note: For more details & data of my run, please check on this link: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/380094060)





How To GU Properly

4 09 2013

In the past years, I’ve been buying GU Gels by pieces, depending on the distance of the race that I would join. I’ve been conditioned to use GU Gels in half-marathon and full marathon races, taking one gel every hour of the race. I’ve never used gels in my training runs because they are very expensive and it was hard to be accustomed with the best tasting one.

When I started to join ultra marathon races, I was sparingly using the GU Roctance until I completely shifted to solid foods. Since then, I forgot to use these Gels in my training and races.

One Box Of GU Gel (The Thing You Could See On Top Of The Box)

One Box Of GU Gel (The Thing You Could See On Top Of The Box)

With my new training program which started three months ago, I re-introduced the use of GU Gels in my body system during my weekend long runs but only when I am in the verge of bonking on the second half of my workout. The Espresso Love Flavor is presently my most preferable tasting GU Gel and it gives me the desired energy on the last 1-2 hours of my long runs.

What Is Written On The Side Of The Box

What Is Written On The Side Of The Box

It was only when I bought this preferred flavor in boxes when I read the printed instructions on the side of the box on how to use GU properly.

It states that in one’s training workout/run, the runner must ingest ONE GU 15 minutes before starting the run and then ingesting ONE GU every 30-45 minutes during the run. In order to save my stash of GU gels, I eat solid foods before I start my run and during the first half of my workout. On the second half of my workout, if I feel that I am losing my energy, I would ingest at least ONE GU in order to maintain a strong finish.

The instructions also states that when a runner is going to join a race, he/she has to ingest ONE GU 45 minutes before the start of the race and to be followed by another GU 15 minutes before the start of the race. During the race, the runner must be able to ingest ONE GU every 30-45 minutes.

In my latest ultra road race last Sunday, I made some adjustments with the suggested instructions since I had prepared some Perpetuem Mix and additional solid foods for my additional nutrition. I ingested ONE GU 15 minutes before the start of the race and then ingested ONE GU every hour during the race. I think my regular intake of GU Gels with solid foods and liquid/water provided me the much needed energy to finish strong in the said race.

ONE GU Gel (Espresso Love) has 100 calories in one sachet. If it is taken every 30 minutes, the runner has 200 calories for his energy to burn in one hour which is enough to maintain for a consistent energy for the body.

It took me sometime to experiment on the use of GU Gels for the past months. It is costly but very effective but if you have the desire to finish a race, the costs will be worthy.

Finally, it should be noted and highly suggested that the empty sachets of these GU Gels should not be littered along the course. Make sure to return the empty sachets to the pocket or hydration belt/vest where you stashed them before the start of the race and dispose them later in trash bags/bins at the Finish Line.

Keep on running!





100 Miles Cafe

25 04 2013

As early as January 4, 2010, I made an appeal/wish in my blog for the establishment of a “Runners’ Museum & Library”.

This is the exact wordings of my 2010 Running Wish—-“A Runners Library & Museum—A place where runners could share their running “collections” and a place where runners would meet and make their research. A place where we could see the Hall of Fame in Athletics!”

After a year, I made a follow-up blog to remind my readers about my wish for the benefit of the growing number of runners as the years passed. The following is the link of such wish:

http://baldrunner.com/2011/01/05/review-my-past-running-wishes/#more-9269

I made a specific wish to Coach Rio (I am not sure if he is reading my blog then!) and to other runners to come up with an “cooperative effort” where every runner could share in the realization of my wish. But nobody made the move and I thought that if I have a wish to attain, it is upon me to make the MOVE and start initiating such effort. However, I could see that each runner, blogger, race organizer, and race director have their own personal interest to focus on. And as for me as the “initiator” of this idea through my blog, I simply kept silent on the said wish.

After two years, I was surprised to see on Facebook about the “100 Miles Cafe” concept that my ultra running friend, Jael Wenceslao, had posted in one of his rare “status” at the PUMAGs (Pinoy Ultra Marathoners Group) Page on Facebook.

Months later, I was invited to see for myself where this establishment is located. I would not like to describe in details on what to see and expect in this place.

It may not the exact ideal “Library & Museum” concept that I was thinking but it’s purpose as a place where runners, endurance athletes, their guests and families, relatives and friends could meet and share their  “stories” to one another and at the same time a place where lectures, forums, and meetings would be conducted, is very fitting for the said place. But I know, in a few months, this place will transform into a “Library & Museum” for all runners/endurance athletes!

Finally, 100 Miles Cafe will be officially opened with a simple ceremony where runners and other endurance athletes are invited.

100 Miles Cafe Inauguration Invitation

100 Miles Cafe Inauguration Invitation

See you at the Starting Line @ 100 Miles Cafe, 12 Noon, tomorrow, Friday, April 26, 2013!

Congratulations To Jael and to the Wenceslao Family!





Race Report: 2012 Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run By Seow Kong Ng

15 01 2013

The following is a repost of Ultrarunner Seow Kong Ng’s Race Report on the 2012 TD 100 Endurance Run which was originally posted on Facebook last December 21, 2012.

Consecutive DNFs in two 100 miles races in Great North Walk 100 miles (Nov 2011) and Taklang Damulag 100 miles (Dec 2011) must have been so devastating. I signed up for 2012 TD100 immediately on 5th Jan 2012, vowing that I SHALL RETURN almost a year later with a vengeance to seek the revenge. It has been a long time coming since, and finally 2012 TD100 was upon us on 15th Dec 2012.

Training for the race has been less than optimal, with the “so cold and so wet” Shanghai Marathon two weeks ago serving as the last long run, but certainly not the kind of “heat training” called for by this TD100 which is known for the ruthless heat on Mt. Taklang Damulag. Although December is normally the wet season, it hasn’t rained for more than two weeks before the race. We were relieved that some river crossings would even be totally dry.

Things like DNF happened for a number of reasons, and I would be foolish not to learn the lessons.

I developed hyponatremia (a complication of other medical illnesses in which excess water accumulates in the body at a higher rate than can be excreted, sometimes a result of over hydration) in 2011 race, and had to stop at Palali (98k point). Why did I drink so much? It was HOT last year, and I stopped regularly at the sari-sari (stores) to buy coke and ice.

And I did not have enough to eat earlier on in the race, and went hungry for most of the race. Worst of all, I did not even have salt to eat, causing me to develop severe cramps even on my first trip ascending and descending Mt. Taklang Damulag.

Back in town again (I mean Fort Magsaysay of course), Allan Lee (my fellow Malaysian participant) and I may have overkilled quite a bit on the nutrition front. Supported by Cally and a vehicle, we had our meals and drinks strategy planned out before the race. Our hired van was well stocked up with watermelons, rock melons, honey dews, apples, pears and etc. If anything, nutrition should be the least of our issue in this race.

2nd TD 100 International Runners. Seow Kong Ng Is 2nd From Left.

2nd TD 100 International Runners. Seow Kong Ng Is 2nd From Right. (From Left, Gilbert Gray of USA, Mark Jolin of USA, Andre Blumberg of HK, Seow Kong Ng, & Allan Lee of Malaysia)

22 100 milers took off from the starting line at 5:00am on 15th Dec 2012. Instead of making myself to the front of the pack like last year, I held back for much of the first 5 km or so. Chatting along the way to Dick Balaba, with whom I got lost together for about 1 hour last year, Allan and I moved in the middle of a pack of runners towards Bacao (5k) and Palali (15.5k) without much incident, covering the undulating trails to Nazareth (27k) with much comfort too in about 3 hours.

It’s another 24k of mainly flat road initially, trails later on to Fernandez Hill. It was during this stretch where we started our spending spree from sari-sari to sari-sari on coke, ice, and ice water. Sometimes it is like striking a lottery to find a store selling ice, so we went around sticking our tongues out to who ever that came in sight, and asked if they know which stores are selling ice. Mind you, we reckoned that Day 1 last year was hotter than this year, and I had a lot more coke taken then. Good for me.

One thing that I did not learn very well obviously is on “not getting lost”. Well, this time we were following a pinoy runner (can’t remember his name now) all the way to Bacao, took a picture with a sergeant and his fellow volunteers there, and ran straight into the trails. Almost like 2km down the trail later, a mountain motorbike came along with this rider who delivered the dreaded message that we’ve got into the “small loops” of the trail instead of the Big loop first. SO, we were not lost, but we got into the wrong trails.

So, instead of reaching Fernandez Hill at 12.00 noon (7 hours from the start), it was almost like 1pm when we could have our proper lunch at the Hill. 25 minutes of lunch break later (and yes, plenty of watermelons later), we headed to the hill to start our first ascent of Mt. Taklang Damulag.

I was intent on avoiding similar cramps at the hill and taking it real easy as I made my way up the hill. Turned out that it was much easier than I imagined. No cramp, and much less sweating than last year. Of course, I have been taking salt tablets every 1-2 hours before. Instead of 3 hours, we completed the first loop and in less than 3 hours, with the second loop slightly faster (cooler) although requiring wearing of headlamp. Returning to Fernandez Hill, there were already some casualties from the heat, and Andre and Dick (last year lone survivor and finisher) have both decided to pull out from the race.

By the time we reached SOCOM (Special Operation Command Centre) at 83km, the end of the 1st loop, it was about 7:50pm. We have completed the first loop in just under 15 hours, and have 17 hours left to cover exactly the same loop. We can’t afford to get lost at all, and will need to push the pace a little just to be on the safe side.

Again, we were well fed before taking on the long night out on the trails. We made sure we have Cally followed us with our support vehicle for as far as possible. Going pass the villages again, the dogs obviously did not believe that they have seen two friendly Malaysian runners passing by earlier on during the day on our first loop. So, went they barked, and barked, but we must be some kind of even more vicious creatures with lights on our heads bouncing along on the trails. No villagers have behaved like that before I’m sure. Especially when we pointed our headlamps towards the dogs, they must have been more frightened than us.

Such was the run through the night and the sunrises, and we were back at Fernandez Hill again at about 6:45am. By then, we have completed 134k in less than 25 hours. We have caught up with most of the remaining survivors of the race, which was 10. 12 runners have DNFed the race at this stage.

Fully energized, and motivated by the remaining distance of 32km, Allan and I shifted our gears right up. Especially Allan, who apparently completed the first loop in only 1.5 hour, whereas I was also faster than before, but a full 1 hour later than Allan. By then, Allan was already on his way passing and catching everyone who has been in front of us since 5am the day before.

The second loop was completed in hot condition between 8:40am to 11:30am, but I still have 1.5 hour to run 6km to the finish line at SOCOM. I was lying in 8th place then, with now 13 runners out of the race already.

Being the midday, the blazing sun was at its full blast on the home stretch of 6km. The water bottle (full of ice) did not last even 2km before it went totally warm in my hand. Passing CJ about 2 k down the road, and narrowing the gap with the 6th runner in front to within 200m, I finally hit the finishing line in 7th place. At 31h21m42s, less than a minute behind the 6th finisher.

Although TD100 is designed to be an easy course, but certainly one with a very tight cutoff, considering the hot weather during the day, which is when most of us will be scaling Mt. Taklang Damulag. Apart from the exceptional Allan and the 1st runner-up, all the remaining 7 finishers finished within 1 hour of each other, at around 31 hours. Not to mention a finishing rate of 40.9%, which is not a high successful rate as well.

In completing the unfinished business that was TD100, I can attribute the success to the following KSFs (key success factors):

1). Food was excellently prepared, catered, served (including the can’t be missed water melons), devoured and digested. In short, no stomach issue, but plenty of energy;

2). No over hydration this time. Drinks, complimented by chia seeds every now and then, were carefully consumed without excesses. Some cokes and ice cream went a long way too. In short, no hyponatremia;

3). No cramp. I sweated profusely last year on climbing the hills, and yet not taking in any salt tablet at all. This year, I have plentiful of them, and popping them at every 1-2 hours intervals. In short, no grimacing on the hills, up and down.

4). Buddying with Allan. Buddying always help in mental games like 100 miles races, especially when you are buddying with a fast guy like Allan. In short, he kept me on my toes, and I better be running;

5). Lastly, I believe I am a slightly different guy this year. In short? Older, but faster!

And wiser as well, even when I got lost again!!

(With this race, the final curtain came down for 2012 with the completion of 9 ultras, 6 full marathons and 1 half marathon. It has been a good year, a no-regret arrival at the door of the End of the World, today).

Seow Kong Ng of Malaysia Receiving His Silver Buckle & Finisher's Medal

Seow Kong Ng of Malaysia Receiving His Silver Buckle & Finisher’s Medal





Amazing Marcelo!

13 11 2012

Marcelo, The Champion is totally different from the rest of the running elite athletes that I’ve known.

I had the chance to be with him for almost 7 days/one week. And for the those days that I’ve with him, I found a lot about the personal life, attitude, behavior, and inner thoughts of this runner.

I went up to Baguio City to personally meet his “handler”, the one who he said to be the person who had helped him in his running career before I discovered him in the 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Run. “Che” Alberto is Baguio City’s Number #1 Running Event Organizer and Marcelo’s running sponsor in running events where he would join. She is a nice lady and practically knows the life of Marcelo.

But I did not ask her about the details of the life of Marcelo. It was enough for me to know and meet her personally. And with the brief meeting with her, she provided me with copies of the published SUN STAR Baguio Newspaper where Marcelo was featured. I was amazed that the local newspaper featured Marcelo in a story with picture every time he finished as Champion in my Ultra Marathon Races. I was surprised! Marcelo did not even informed me about these publications since I could easily link them through my blog posts.

Talking with “Che” Alberto was very brief and I reserved some time to ask Marcelo about his life. Knowing the details of Marcelo’s life should come from Marcelo himself.

I was introduced also to the writer and sports reporter of Baguio’s Sun Star, Roderick Osis, who have written those sports stories/news every time Marcelo would join PAU’s Races and every time after Marcelo wins an event. Marcelo was so proud to introduce me to these people who are helping him in his passion to run in my events.

Marcelo informed me that he had been interviewed by the local TV network for so many times and thereby, making him as the most popular ultrarunner and a household name in Baguio City! But Marcelo was not affected with such popularity as he remains to be silent, reserved, and humble.

Before leaving Baguio City, he invited me to his house in the Dominican Hill area where he would get his things as he was going with me to Bataan in preparation for his participation in the 1st WC 200 Ultra Race. I was able to meet his wife. The couple do not have any children. They live in a decent house which the couple built in a lot which was part of the inheritance of Marcelo from his Aunt, sister of his mother.

A day after coming from Baguio City, I brought him to Porac, Pampanga to conduct a recon run on the 22-Kilometer mountainous stretch of the Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Trail Run. He was paced by Danin, one of my runners whom I brought to the place in one of my runs, and I gave them instruction of what to do during the run. I would bring them to where runners would usually start at Barangay Sapang Uwak and for them to run all the way to the Miyamit Falls. I gave instruction for them to take some pictures with the Falls as the background and have their “pit stop” thereat and immediately go back to where they started.

Mars @ Miyamit Falls on “Pit Stop” (yes, he is still using the same shoes he used at the MK50)

Marcelo & Danin started the recon run at 6:00 AM and at 9:10 AM, they were back at the place where I released them. Mission accomplished! A recon run on this route usually takes 5 to 5 1/2 hours and these two runners did it for 3:10 hours! Amazing!

I told Marcelo that he has another 10 Kilometers to run from the Falls all the way to the peak of Mt Miyamit. He was breathing heavily, silent, and very composed. I did not hear any complaints from him about those “killer” ascending parts of the route. Danin and Marcelo were smiling as they changed their running attire to drier clothes! As I reviewed the shots in my camera, they took a lot of time in the falls to eat and in some parts of the route where they posed for their pictures.

I spent another two days living with Marcelo in Bataan before the start of the 1st WEST COAST 200 Ultramarathon Race. The Miyamit Run was his Taper Run for this 3-day multi-stage event. On these days, I got to know more about Marcelo.

Marcelo is the youngest of 3 children (all boys) whose parents are unknown to him. His parents (both from Baguio City) gave their children to their brother/sisters for them to be taken cared of. Marcelo, being the youngest, was given to the parents’ relatives in Caranglaan, Nueva Ecija. Such town is the last town of Nueva Ecija in its northern side/boundary and it is located in a mountainous area. Because of its mountainous & rugged elevation profile, it is still a “hotbed” for the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in the boundaries of Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora and Nueva Ecija. This is where I had a lot of armed encounters with the insurgents when I was the Brigade Commander of the Philippine Army in the said area.

Life in the mountains was very hard for Marcelo but he was raised as a good kid. He finished his Elementary and High School education in the public schools of Caranglaan, Nueva Ecija. But while he was studying, he was helping his foster parents to raise some agricultural crops in the mountains. But he takes pride of cutting those cogon grasses in the mountains as they are sold when dried along the Maharlika Highway as roofing materials. At one time after his graduation from High School, an attempt to recruit him to the folds of the New People’s Army was made. He was asked to join the Armed Movement with all those reasons to fight for the injustices of the government and the society. He was firm in his decision not to join the movement for the simple reason that it would not be good for his future.

He left Caranglaan and asked his foster parents to look for his true parents. Actually, his purpose of leaving the place was to look for a better work, rather than be a farmer and cogon grass cutter in the mountains of Caranglaan or worse, as a NPA fighter!

He tagged along with an older guy and a resident of Caranglaan who worked as one of the employees of Northern Cement Corporation (NCC) based in Sison, Pangasinan. At the NCC, he became a cement loader—he carries bags of cement to be loaded on a truck and off-load such bags of cement upon reaching its delivery point. A truckload of cement can accommodate 1,000 bags of cement and Marcelo shares the loading with two other companions. He is being paid 75 centavos per bag of cement he loads to a truck and another 75 centavos to off-load one bag of cement in its destination.

At the average, he carries 330+ bags of cement per delivery and that is multiplied by two to complete the work. He even boasted to me that he can carry two bags of cement at one time. At the age of 16 and with the height of almost 5 feet, you might wonder where he is getting such strength!

He stayed in Sison, Pangasinan and worked as cement loader for two years! Life is hard for Marcelo during those years but he survived. But he suddenly thought of another way for him to change his life. He thought of looking for his true parents.

Looking at the address of his parents from his Birth Certificate, he was able to trace and locate such address. He was able to re-unite with his brothers but he was sad to know that his parents had died already due to sickness. The sister of his mother was the one who took cared of him and he was back again in Baguio City for good.

Marcelo told me that he tried his luck to become a soldier where he had to spend a lot of money for documentation and travel as he was asked to follow-up his application to the Philippine Army recruitment office somewhere in Pangasinan in the early 2000′s. I was surprised to know his story about his plan of being a soldier. I have a suspicion that he could have failed in one of the screening examinations or he was not qualified because of his height.

His failure to enter the military service did not deter him to pursue a better life. He became a construction worker in some of the buildings and residential houses in Baguio City. And later, he applied as a Janitor in one of the Shopping Malls inside the Baguio City Market. Marcelo did not complain about his life and he lived very simple and decent. And at one time, he attempted to apply as OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) but it did not materialize until his passport expired.

It was not his luck to become a soldier and OFW but being being able to look for his brothers and his aunt in Baguio City gave him a “home” to stay at. His Aunt had a house and lot property in Baguio City and Marcelo became as one of the heirs of the property when her Auntie died due to old age.

As part of his inheritance, he constructed a decent small house in a lot located on the slope of the famous Dominican Hill in Baguio City where he lives with his wife. He was proud to invite me into his house for a cup of hot coffee and I really appreciated his gesture/invitation. I was able to meet his wife who was busy ironing her clothes and uniform. The wife works as a Security Guard at the Baguio City Export Processing Zone.

On the wall where a small old TV is flashed, you could see framed “blow-up” pictures of him being awarded as the Champion of the 1st PAU National Championship in Guimaras. Only medals and trophies where he was the No. 1 and/or Champion were placed on top of the TV and I know that all of these came from my races!

He started to run and join short road races exactly ten (10) years ago and finished his first Marathon race in 2007 with a time of 3:10+ hours. The love of running was planted in the mind of Marcelo when his Uncle who now lives in Canada advised him to start training as a long distance runner. He improved progressively through the years by asking from his Baguio running friends about their training and advise. He takes pride in telling me that he was the FIRST Champion in the 1st Philippine Skyrunning Association’s Race in the country which was held in Benguet/Baguio City. He won his first Champion Award as an Ultrarunner in Bad Circle’s Ilocos Norte’s 50K Race last April this year beating some of the best runners from Baguio City. From this ultra event, it was a non-stop win for Marcelo in every ultra event that he joined. But, after winning the first Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Race last June, he became the most popular ultrarunner in the country!

During those 3 days that I’ve observed Marcelo during the 1st WEST COAST 200K Ultramarathon Race, he was very calm, silent, and raring to finish each leg of the event. I told him that the event is not a Race for him because I gave him the information that nobody could equal his speed and endurance. All I need for him to do was to Finish the Race without any injuries and set the FIRST Official Course Record of the Race.

Mars In Action @ WC200

I was thinking that he could finish the race in 21 hours or less and not less than 20 hours but he proved me wrong. Even if I told him that the next runner behind him is 8-9 Kilometers away, he would still steadily increase his pace and shorten his brisk walking breaks. During the evening run (last day), I was able to catch up with him to provide his water needs at Km #28 which was the halfway mark. He asked me if he had ran a distance of 10 Kilometers already. And I thought he was delirious or losing his mind. I said to him that he had ran already a distance of 28 kilometers and he was on the halfway of the course distance. He was shocked and excited. As he resumed his run, he was looking at his back trying to see in the darkness if there is a glimpse or sparkle of light from the runner behind. He could see nothing as the next runner was 8 Kilometers away!

When he reached the finish line in Barangay Lucap, Alaminos, Pangasinan in 5:15+ hours, he told me that he could have delivered a faster time if I did not stop him for a water re-supply 7 kilometers away from the Finish Line! I wonder what a minute of stop could possibly make a difference from his record time of 19:32+ hours! A record time which was too fast from my predicted time for him to finish the race.

But the truth during that night run was the fact that he was delayed by stopping and talking to the owners of those dogs running after him. He would tell them to pay for his purchased plane ticket for his trip to the next year’s Hongkong 100K Ultra Trail Race if ever he is bitten by their dogs!

Through my FB Live Update of the WC200, words spread immediately about Marcelo winning the event and his running friends in Baguio City were surprised about what Marcelo have done for the past 3 days. It was the FIRST in the history of road racing in the country where runners have to run in 3 consecutive days that most of the ultrarunners have feared of what would happen to their body after running 70 kilometers for the first day and for them to start again to run an ultra distance (70K) for the next day and another 60K for the last day.

Marcelo, Champion of the 1st WEST COAST 200K Ultra Run

Many of his friends would think that Marcelo is committing a suicide and that he would be injured as a result of the run. But on the contrary, it was not! He had his recovery run on the following day after he finished the race and he reported to me that he is okey and ready for the scheduled recon run of the Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Run’s Clark to Sapang Uwak section which covers a distance of 38 kilometers (back & forth). (Note: Marcelo & Danin finished the recon run in 5:20 hours last Sunday!)

During his “low” moments, he would lament to me why he was not included among the five (5) selected Baguio City runners who were supported to join/participate the 2013 Bataan Death March (BDM) 102K Ultramarathon Race. I was surprised to know this information from him. It seems that nobody from Baguio City offered to sponsor for him to join the 2013 BDM 102. Well, I told him that he has a reserved slot for the race because a “Good Samaritan” has already paid for his registration fee and he has to prepare for the race.

How does Marcelo train for an ultrarunning event? Long Runs! As preparation for the 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Run, he would take a bus at midnight from Baguio City to Carmen, Rosales, Pangasinan and from Carmen, he would run all the way back to Baguio City via Kennon Road, a distance of 85 kilometers where the last 35 kilometers is uphill up to an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level. The shorter version of his long run would be from Urdaneta, Pangasinan to Baguio City, a distance of 70 kilometers. Since he boards the bus in his running attire (shorts & singlet), the conductor would ask Marcelo to sit on the last row of seats in the bus. With small cash in his shorts’ pocket, he would make it back to Baguio City with an impressive time, averaging at 10 kilometers per hour on “self-support” mode!

His nutrition and hydration needs? Definitely, he is not fond of sports gels and sports bars! He eats solid foods like boiled bananas, boiled sweet potatoes & potatoes, boiled eggs, Cloud 9 chocolates, and lots of water to drink. He only take some sips of Sports Drinks like Gatorade and I force him to drink Ice Cold Coke on the last 7-10K of the race on each leg of the WC200. He does not take any “pain-killer” tablets but he is fond of Pharmaton! On average, he takes two (2) Pharmaton capsules every day during the 1st West Coast 200 Ultra Run.

After being featured lately in a local newspaper for winning the 1st WC200, his sixth (6th) consecutive win in Ultra Events, being interviewed by a local TV network, and being presented to the Baguio City Government’s Mayor, City Council & Employees as Baguio City’s Pride in Ultrarunning, Marcelo remains to be humble and silent about his accomplishments.

Marcelo With Baguio City Gov’t Officials (Photo Courtesy of Eugene Valbuena on Facebook)

What impressed me most is that he does not ask for any monetary reward for his winnings. He told me of saving some of his salary for him to buy few bags of cement and make those temporary steps/stairs to his house to be made as concrete and not as bags of soil/earth dumped to form as stairs. Other than that project, he is simply passionate in his love to run and prove to himself that he is still have the speed and strength in order to explore his limits in ultrarunning.

What he thinks of his future? He is excited to travel outside the country to carry the national flag in the Vibram HK 100K Ultra Marathon Race, a chance to fulfill his dream to travel and compete in a running event abroad.

Marcelo is simply amazing!





“Full”

20 01 2012

Whenever you are asked to eat some more in parties or in family lunch or dinner, your probable answer would be, “Thank you, I am full”. It means that you don’t have enough space in your stomach for the additional food being offered to you. Your stomach is already “stuffed” with the mixture of solid foods and drinks that you have ingested.

The problem now among us is how to determine if we are already “stuffed” with food after our meals. Sometimes, most of us would loosen our belts and allow our stomach to bulge to the fullest when we say that we are “full” already. Others would simply eat the right amount and have the discipline and consciousness to eat the right amount of food without being “stuffed” or without their stomach “ballooned” to a bigger size.

We always do this whenever we are invited to parties and other events where the host would prepare a lot of mixed selection of foods. This is a chance for us to eat the foods which are not normal or ordinary in our daily meals. This is a chance and opportunity for us to stuff our belly with such served foods. Much more when we are invited when the food being offered are in buffet style!

For a runner like me, I would say that I could easily burn the calories on those foods for 1-2 hours of steady run the following day and I could revert back to my usual foods for the days to come. But for others who are not consistent with their running workout and for those who are not involved in any kind of sports, such foods “stuffed” in their stomach would be converted to fats and I am sure that this will result to some additional pound/s in their body weight. And when they see that their weight had increased, then that the only time that they realize that they have to exercise or go out for a run/bike/swim. It is sad to note that it is faster to add more pounds to your body weight than the time needed to reduce one’s weight!

So, how do we find out if we are already “stuffed” or “full” when we eat? The technique that I would recommend is to make a rating of fullness from 1-to-5 scale. If your rating is 5 on the scale, it means that you are about to loosen your belt and remove the upper button of your pants! If your rating is 1, then you need to eat some more! So to be safe, a rating of 3-4 on the scale would be a good gauge to say that you have stuffed the right amount of food which you could easily burn while you are doing your regular daily activities.

Remember, the rating 3-4 on the scale whenever you eat in parties or in buffet lunch and dinner so that you can still maintain your running performance weight in every running event you would want to join.

Good luck and see you at the Starting Line!





Running Is Patience

3 01 2012

This is the most important virtue that a runner must have, whether he/she is a beginner, average, or competitive one.

Patience is having more time to wait for things to unfold, as a result of your training program, before being reckless and do things the wrong way. As a result, you will regret for the things you have done. Your actions in running should be deliberate as there are NO “magic bullets” or “quick fix” in the sports we love.

In training, you need patience for you to develop your aerobic endurance and overall, improve on all the aspects of running. It does not take days or weeks to happen, but it would take months and years to develop your maximum potentials in the said sports. There are “ladders and steps” to overcome from one level to another level. Patience means you don’t have to go through a marathon (42K) training without experiencing what it takes to finish a simple 3K run. If you think you are good in 3K distance, you can go to the next step of trying a 5K run and so forth. However, there are training programs that you must follow in order to get the full potentials of your body’s capabilities if you want to excel in the distance you want. If you want to finish a marathon race, you need patience. Believe me if I tell you that I prepared for one year to experience what it takes to finish my first marathon. More patience is needed, if you desire to finish your first ultra marathon race.

Not adhering to patience by trying to do so much too soon in one’s mileage have always been the number one problem among runners. Not following the time-tested 10% rule of increasing one’s mileage on a weekly basis always brings runners to being injured and stale in their improvement. As a result, patience will always be the solution of this problem—patience to let the injury heals itself.

In races, runners would always forget what it takes to be patient. The tendency of most runners is to go out too fast once the gun is fired only to realize that mistake had been done when he/she is “crawling” to reach and cross the finish line. We always don’t have the patience to remember and stick to our race strategy and the training we have done in preparation for the race.

We need also patience in choosing our first running shoes and running attire. We have the tendency to look like the elite runners who are featured in “glossy” international runner’s magazine with the thought that we look “cool” and better runners than others. We have also the tendency to buy what we see for the first time not knowing that there are better fitting shoes with less cost if we waited and had time to look around. It is not the brand, color-combination, and the weight of the shoes that count most, but the proper fit to our feet. As for the running attire, you need patience to find out what is more comfortable for you considering our weather and humidity.

We need also patience in trying to find out what food and drinks that are good and work best for our performance.  Depending on the distance you want to race or run, you can experiment on what nutritional needs for your training, pre-race, during race, and recovery period.

We need patience to find out what races we want to join in the future and patience to prepare for these races.

We need patience to finish what we have started. Because finishing a race is what matters most!

Like life itself, we need patience. There are lots of options but we need to have smart choices and decisions.

In running and in the race called “Life”, always think and remember…PATIENCE.

See you at the Starting Line!

"Running Is Patience" (Photo By Ding Quinto/The Frontrunner Magazine)








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