“4-Minute” Workout

26 12 2012

For those who are in the know of this kind of workout, it is simply called “Tabata” Interval Workout. It is an intense workout created and studied by a Japanese Sports Scientist Izumi Tabata whose duration is only FOUR MINUTES! According to his studies, exposing this workout to athletes, on a regular basis, had greatly improved their aerobic and anaerobic capabilities.

It is simply done by doing the exercise (of choice) in 20 seconds and then resting for another 10 seconds. This repetition (of exercise and rest) is done for eight (8) times, totalling to 240 seconds or 4 minutes. The intensity of the selected exercise could be fast/hard, moderate, or easy, depending on one’s capability.

This workout can be done indoors or when you feel bored/sleepy in the house or in the office or in the classroom. You can start with a single exercise or combine it with other exercises depending on the duration of your planned workout.

As for me, I usually complete a 4-minute workout for a certain exercise before going to the next exercise that I want. Some athletes would prefer to alternate one exercise to another. There are no strict rules to follow as long as you do one exercise for eight (8) repetitions.

To strengthen my legs, I usually do the following exercises one at a time by following the Tabata Protocol (20 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest, 8 reps):

Jumping Jacks

Body Weight Squats

“100 Ups”

Forward Lunges

“High Knees”

It will take me 20 minutes to complete these exercises with my shirt and short soaked with my sweat! I usually do this workout at least twice a week inside the house. However, I still do some light stretching before and after my Tabata Workout.

I use my Gymboss or my handheld digital stopwatch to time my workout.

You can devise you own set of exercises depending on what part of your body you want to be strengthened. You can also use some weights or other exercise tools for this workout.

Tabata Workout/Protocol can be applied in your speed training on the oval track, hill repeats or on your “speed bursts” on the road & trails. The possibilities of applying this protocol to your workout/exercises are endless.

Try it and you will be amazed how easy you can heat up your body or see your sweat dropping on the floor or your clothes being damp/wet with your own sweat.

For more information and details, please visit http://tabatatraining.org/

Getting Back My Speed

22 12 2012

Interval workout in an oval track or in a measured-loop course is one of the best ways to improve one’s speed in running. Whether you are training for the usual long distance runs from 3K to Marathon or even Ultra Marathon Races, a runner needs to incorporate speed workouts to his training program.

Having been absent in local races for the past months and weeks, I continued to do my LSDs on the roads, trails and mountains as I slowly recovered from my running-related injury. But my LSDs and peak-bagging feats made me a slower runner on the roads but made me a stronger runner on the trails.

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve started running again on city roads and I monitored my LSD pace for these runs. I’ve observed that I could run an average of 7.5K per hour speed which I think is an appropriate ultra marathon speed to finish an ultra distance within the prescribed cut-off time. But for a marathon pace, such speed is a “death march” pace to the finish!

I wanted to improve my speed to the range of 8-8.5K per hour and for me to get into that range of speed is to do some interval workout. I started doing my interval workout at the Philippine Army Grandstand/Parade Ground Jogging Lane. The course is flat, paved and it is approximately 1-kilometer loop (actually it lacks 3-5 meters which is very negligible). This is where I started doing my weekly 1K interval repeats in five (5) repetitions with 400-500 meters as walking breaks in between.

What is different and unique in my interval workouts is that I do it after one hour of snorkling/swimming at the Philippine Army Swimming Pool and it is usually done from 11:30-12:30 noon time. Yes, that’s how crazy I am in my present training. That is the reason why my skin is becoming darker everyday! (Note: One-half of the loop is partially shaded with trees)

My first week interval workout data gave me an average of 5:30 minutes/km pace and my average LSD speed increased to 8K per hour. My second week interval workout gave me an average of 5:20 minutes/km pace and my average LSD speed increased to 8.5K per hour. Lately, my third week interval workout gave me an average of 5:10 minutes/km pace and my average LSD speed increased to 9.0K per hour. In my rough estimate, it’s within 10:45 minutes/mile range and if I can sustain such pace, I can run a full marathon in 4:42 to 4:45 hours. Not bad for a Senior Citizen!

Even if I immediately wear my running shoes after coming out of the swimming pool and do my jogging to the Parade Ground, I still do my warm-up easy run for 1K; do some basic stretching to my calf muscles, quads, hamstrings, glutes and ITBs; and do some brief speed drills like “knee-high” or “100-ups”, butt kicks, and bouncing lunges! After my interval workout, I have to do also another 1K “cool-down” jog or brisk walk before I end up with my post-stretching exercises, the same ritual before the workout, except for the speed drills.

Since is it very hot at noon time, I see to it that I have to drink water every time I finish one repetition of the workout. It is only after the workout that I ingest food and drink my sports drinks. (Note: There are water fountains along the jogging lane)

If you want to get faster and more consistent in your training and races, don’t forget to include an interval workout in your training program, at least, once a week. There are other ways and means to make you faster but I’ll have to reserve that in my future posts.

Remember, interval workout is the reason why the runner in front of you is faster and stronger! You can do it, too! And ultimately, beat the runner who had been passing you or the guy in front of you!

Mt Samat Mt Miyamit 438

(Note: Don’t be misled why I’ve been swimming a lot. Swimming is a part of my cure/treatment to my injury and I use it as an “extender”/cross-training workout for my ultra running training)

Official Result: 1st WEST COAST 200 Ultramarathon Race/ 3rd Day

18 11 2012

1st WEST COAST 200K Ultramarathon Race/ 3rd & Last Day

8:00 PM November 3, 2012-6:00 AM November 4, 2012

Start: Municipal Plaza/Park, Infanta, Pangasinan

Finish: Barangay Lucap Port, Alaminos, Pangasinan

Distance: 56.6 Kilometers

Number of Starters: 30

Number of Finishers: 29

@ Infanta, Pangasinan Municipal Plaza With 30 Runners

1 Marcelo Bautista 5:15:01
2 Alfred Delos Reyes 6:46:33
3 Henry Laron 7:03:52
4 Graciano Santos 7:04:47
5 Bob Castilla 7:05:04
6 Jorell Anthony Paringit 7:09:02
7 Ronnel Go 7:10:19
8 Ricardo Cabusao Jr 7:15:42
9 Alain Cuchas Llagono 7:21:19
10 Dante Sagayap 7:24:45
11 Jonel Mendoza 7:34:00
12 Bong Alindada 7:35:41
13 Roger Villareal 7:49:43
14 Reylynne Dela Paz (F) 7:54:14
15 George Dolores 7:56:22
16 Mac Milan 8:11:37
17 Carl Balagot 8:17:23
18 Don Gutierrez 8:18:04
19 TJ Isla 8:18:35
20 Tin Ferrera (F) 8:25:29
21 Ma. Josephine Liao (F) 8:28:13
22 Meljohn Tezon 8:28:21
23 Calvin John Escandor 8:47:01
24 Yob Red 8:52:25
25 Kharl Ocampo 8:52:37
26 Jinky Yray (F) 8:52:45
27 Hazel Arnaiz (F) 8:52:48
28 Alex Jones 9:06:57
29 Ron Illana 9:07:17
30 Stephanie Hefti DNF/28K

On Rehab

17 04 2011

For the past one week, I’ve been regularly going to the Gym to strengthen my knees, quadriceps and calf muscles. In short, I’ve been trying to to cure my injury which I incurred during my “West To East” Run. The problem lies on my left leg which I think had been my more dominant running leg in my workouts and road/trail races.

Since I’ve finished my latest adventure run, I rested and recovered for about 16 days without any run or physical activity. My daily activities were geared to my rest by doing some light stretching exercises, walking, and browsing on the Internet. I did not have any massages but I concentrated more on my intake of natural foods rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fats. However, every two days, I have to take one capsule of Alaxan FR.

After 16 days of no running, I decided to go to the gym and start trying to bring back some “action” to my legs. After 16 days of no activity, I’ve observed that my leg muscles were soft and tender. I missed those times that my legs were full of “lumps” or “rocks” of hard muscles.

I have been doing lots stationary cycling/biking maintaining an rpm of not less than 100; doing also fast rpm on elliptical machines of at least 120 rpm; and lastly, on the rowing machine trying to maintain at least 22-24 strokes per minute. All these exercises are done with an elapsed time of at least 30 minutes. I hope these exercises will result to something better for my running legs.

The core and upper body muscle routine is still there but the emphasis in my gym works are now concentrated to my legs.

To top it all, I’ve been drinking Ensure as my nutrition drinks. Lots of water intake during gym workouts.

We will see in the coming days what would be the result of my gym workouts. I hope my legs will be better.

“Uh-Oh! I Did It Again”

29 12 2010

Two days after the 2nd Quezon City International Marathon, I went to Camp Aguinaldo to have my recovery run. I planned to have one loop of the 7K-loop course with a slow pace. However, after running for about 5 kilometers, I slowly increased my pace up to the finish line. But my workout changed when I felt my 7K run was not enough. So, I decided to continue my run with a goal to finish 10K for the day. Read the rest of this entry »

Running Clinic @ Thomson Reuter

10 08 2010

Mark Hernandez of Thomson Reuter is one of the avid ultrarunners based in Metro Manila, having finished the 2010 BDM 102 and the 1st PAU 50K Race. He is the one spearheading the activities of his company’s Running Team. As part of their active lifestyle and sports activities, he requested me to conduct a running lecture and clinic to his officemates last month. Finally, on the early morning of July 31, a running lecture and clinic was conducted to almost 20 persons in their office.

The running lecture started at 6:00 AM and it was followed with an open forum and discussions. The clinic was conducted outside the office, along the wide streets of McKinley Hill. Stretching exercises, running “drills”, and a 15-minute easy run was led and conducted by the members of Elite Team Bald Runner.

1st Time To Conduct A Running Lecture Early In The Morning

Answering Questions During Open Forum

Stretching Exercises With Elite Team BR

...Running "Drills"

15-Min Easy Run @ McKinley Hill

Mark, Thanks For Your Support to the Elite Team BR & BR's Events

Group Picture After The Activity

“Back To The Slope” #2 (1st Week)

20 12 2009

1. “Back To The Slope” simply means “Back To Basics”. After a forced rest & recovery due to a chronic muscle tear on my Peronues muscle for six (6) weeks, I am starting from base training again. This “Back To Slope” thing will be a series of “tips and lessons” for beginners as well as competitive runners.

2. For the 1st week of my training cycle, I was able to run a total of 55 kilometers as seen on the following log of my runs:

14 Dec (Monday)—10K in 1:09+ hours at an average pace of 6:55 mins per km

15 Dec (Tuesday)—6K in 45+ minutes at an average pace of 7:04 mins per km

16 Dec (Wednesday)—8K in 48+ minutes at an average pace of 5:57 mins per km

17 Dec (Thursday)—8K in 1:00+ hours at an average pace of 7:29 mins per km

18 Dec (Friday)—10K in 1:02+ hours at an average pace of 6:13 mins per km

19 Dec (Saturday)—13K in 1:35+ hours at an average pace of 7:27 mins per km

20 Dec (Sunday)—Rest/30-min Active Recovery Run

3. As gleaned from my log workout for this week, I’ve been strictly following the 2nd training principle which I want my readers to know and follow. It is the principle of “hard-easy” method. If the workout intensity is hard for today, the following day’s workout should be easy. By following this principle, the body would be able to rest and recover for the following day’s workout. This is one way of preventing a running-related injury.

4. There will be no road races on Sundays for my base training phase. I am giving a day for my body to rest & recover for the week’s running workouts after doing a 30-minute slow active recovery run (at 7:30-8:00 mpk pace). However, I strictly made more stretching and selected Pilates exercises before and after my daily workouts.

5. The following are the suggested “drills” and stretching/Pilates workouts for core strengthening:

Forward or Walk Lunges

 Lunge one foot forward as far as you can and bring the body down while bringing both arms up in the air. Do 10 lunges per foot/leg.

Push-Up (Starting Position & Up Position)

 I always try to do 20 repetitions of push-up properly after my workouts. Be sure that your upper arms are aligned with your back when you are on “down” position. Your palms’/hands’ distance should be your shoulders’ width.

Push-Up (Down Position)

 Try to keep your feet together and the whole body should form a straight line while doing your repetitions. Inhale as you push your body up and exhale while you put your body down.

Leg & Upper Torso Lift

 Try to hold your body in this position from 30 seconds to one minute while maintaining your regular breathing. You will be surprised what part of the body will be strenghtened!

The Hundred

 They call this as “The Hundred” because you have to pump your arms 100X while maintaining this pose and regualr breathing.

Roll Like An Egg On The Spine

 This rolling exercise will strengthen your spine and your back muscles.


Lift your legs and upper torso with arms straigthen forward and hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat 4X. Maintain regular breathing.

Lesson #2: Follow the “Hard-Easy” method of training.


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