“Walkabout” @ LA Lakers Parade

19 06 2009

The people here in Los Angeles love to see parades, most especially yesterday when the LA Lakers paraded themselves on top of  firetrucks and two-deck buses in celebration for winning the Championships in the 2009 NBA Finals. This event had been customary for the LA Lakers to have this kind of Victory Parade from the City Hall to the Staples Center and last one happened in 2002. After seven years, the Lakers got the NBA Championship back but instead of the usual route of the parade, they made it to start at the Staples Center and ending at the LA Coliseum which is about a 2-mile distance along Figueroa Street.

Thousands of fans lined up along the edges of Figueroa Street up to the LA Coliseum and I was there to observe and take pictures. Most of the people in the parade were wearing LA Lakers Jerseys and LA Lakers T-shirts and I was one of the few who was wearing a different attire for the day. I positioned myself about 100 yards away from the starting point of the parade which was the entrance of the Staples Center. After waiting and standing for at least 20 minutes, the parade finally started at 11:22 AM. It was a sunny day and there was a festive mood everywhere at Figueroa Street.

Thousands more of fans were waiting at the LA Coliseum as a Program was prepared for the fans to celebrate the victory of LA Lakers as the 2009 NBA Champions. Reports and estimates from the LA Police showed that the LA Lakers Victory Parade was attended by 250,000 fans coming as far as San Diego and other cities near Los Angeles. After almost few minutes of the firetrucks and two-deck buses where the players rode had passed my position, I decided to go back to my “walkabout” routine for the day.

I did at least 3 hours of walking along the different streets at Downtown Los Angeles and it was my workout for the day.

The following were the pictures taken during the parade.

"Go Lakers" at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel (Under Construction)

"Go Lakers" at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel (Under Construction)

Lakers Fans Walking Towards The Staples Center

Lakers Fans Walking Towards The Staples Center

BR at the Vicinity of Staples Center

BR at the Vicinity of Staples Center

LA Lakers Dancers & Cheering Ladies (?)

LA Lakers Dancers & Cheerleaders

Fisher on the Left Side

Derek Fisher on the Left Side

Gasol On the Right Side

Other LA Lakers Members

Glimpse of Kobe On the Right Side

Glimpse of Kobe BryantOn the Right Side

It's Time To Go Back To My "Walkabout"

It's Time To Go Back To My "Walkabout"

Kobe Bryant @ 2009 LA Lakers Victory Parade (Photo Courtesy of Ben Gaetos)
Kobe Bryant, His Family & Mayor of Los Angeles at the 2009 LA Lakers Victory Parade (Photo Courtesy of Ben Gaetos)
Pau Gasol @ 2009 LA Lakers Victory Parade (Photo Courtesy of Ben Gaetos)
He’s Sasha Vujacic, not Pau Gasol at the 2009 LA Lakers Victory Parade (Photo Courtesy of Ben Gaetos)

BR’s Running Plans & “Dream” Runs

17 06 2009

The following are my running plans and “dream” runs until I am still strong to run:

1) Boston Marathon—They say that you are not an ultimate marathoner or runner if you don’t experience the “Holy Grail” of Marathon Running on Earth. First, I have to look and join for a fast marathon race which is Boston qualifier for me to have a finish time of 3:45 hours in my age category.

2) Manila to Baguio City Run—I made this announcement during the Awarding Ceremony of the 1st BDM 102K Ultramarathon Race. This will be a 3 to 4 -day multi-stage run along the McArthur Highway. There is no registration fee as each runner must have his own support system.

3) Mt Arayat Traverse Run—With the approval of the security forces within the area, this will be a one-day affair. There will be no registration fees. Each runner will have his own support system with him during the run.

4) Mt Tirad Trek & Tirad Pass Run—The run will start infront of the Candon Elementary School in Candon, Ilocos Sur and runners will go to Salcedo, Ilocos Sur up to the peak of Mt Tirad, where General Gregorio del Pilar died, and then back to the starting area. The distance is approximately 80-90 kilometers. No registration fee. Provide your own support.

5) Ilocos Norte Sand Dunes & Beach Run—From as far as the boundary of Ilocos Sur & Ilocos Norte (Badoc, Ilocos Norte) to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, running along the sand dunes and the coastal beach of Ilocos Norte. There is no need to participate in the Marathon Des Sables and spend $5,000 for registration fees for each runner. Instead, runners will run the sands of the Ilocos region, from South to North direction and end with a beach party in Pagudpud’s Blue Lagoon. No registration fee. Provide your own support.

6) Fort Magsaysay to Dingalan, Aurora Run—This is entirely a trail run that starts from Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija) to the shores of Dingalan, Aurora with the Pacific Ocean. This trail has been used for the training of the Philippine Army’s Scout Rangers and Special Forces. No registration fee. Provide your own support.

7) A 100-Mile Trail Run in California—I hope this will be the ultimate test in my running career.

Any takers? These running adventures will ultimately make our Metro Manila “runabouts” as part of our past. You can signify your intentions by making your comments. Have fun and we’ll keep on exploring through running!

Pilates @ Gold’s Gym

15 06 2009

My daughter, Jovelle, brought me to her Pilates Class at the Gold’s Gym at 7th & Figueroa Streets in Downtown Los Angeles at 1:00 PM. The class was held inside one of studio rooms of the Gym where it could accommodate at least 30 people. We entered the room a few seconds before the class started where I was the only male in the group. After taking some yoga mat, roller tube foam, foam blocks and light dumbells from the equipment room of the venue, the class started immediately.

It was my first attendance to a formal Pilates class and it was a new experience for me. There are exercises that seem to be easy but after doing them for more repetitions, I felt that there are muscles on my core and back that are not fully used and stretched.

It was a non-stop transition from one exercise to another and I started to sweat after 15 minutes. I hope I could explain in details the different exercises where you have to use those hard foam blocks, those hard ball weights, and those hard foam tube that you roll on top of your body and arms while making those sit-ups from lying position on your back and other exercises which are mostly on the mat.

Aside from making the core muscles strengthened, the back muscles and spinal bones were also given some exercises to make them in their original alignment and make you sit tall.

I’ve observed that there are some pose that resembles yoga positions but I think Pilates exercises are more intense, though they emphasize also correct breathing cycle through a rythym of inhale and exhale. I like that pose where you lift your back & head & both legs/toes straight up in the air while your straight arms are pumping (and your butt is only the one that touches the mat) while breathing with a rhythm. This exercise really hardens your abdominal muscles!

The ladies, to include my daughter, in the class were very graceful in their movements as if everything to them was so easy but I was there at the edge of the room moaning, breathing heavily and sweating. And I realized that all the ladies, to include the instructress, were all in their 20s, 30s, and I was the only guy who is in his late 50s!!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Well, the instructress noticed me in my predicament and she just made a general statement that “to take it easy if you are new to the Pilates class”! It was nice to hear it and I slowed down with my exercises after hearing her words of warning. (To the Hardcores: Guys, I was surrounded with beautiful ladies!!! Ha! Ha! Ha!)

Due to the smooth transition and continous instruction from the lady instructor, the class and different exercises passed so fast that I wanted to have more of them. The class lasted for one hour. It was a nice experience to attend a formal class in Pilates. I hope I will be able to make Pilates as part of my running exercises. In fact, in my readings from the training of top ultrarunners, they recommend Pilates exercises to strengthen the core muscles and be able to maintain a good running form.

After the Pilates class, I had an additional 30-minute workout with the machines and kettle bells in the gym.

I hope I could attend more of the Pilates classes in the coming days.

If you haven’t tried Pilates, find time to do it in your Gym workouts or better buy those DVDs where you could play and imitate the movements while watching it. This is not a guarantee that it will make you faster in your runs immediately but I am sure it will strengthen those hidden muscles in your core & back which you haven’t exercised before and prevent your body from injuries related to your running and other physical activities.

I Was Shy To Ask Permission For A Photo During The Pilates Class

I Was Shy To Ask Permission For A Photo During The Pilates Class

A Pose @ Gold's Gym (7th & Fig) Los Angeles

A Pose @ Gold's Gym (7th & Fig) Los Angeles

Lunch @ Panda Express After Pilates Class (Beijing & Orange Chicken)

Lunch @ Panda Express After Pilates Class ( With Beijing & Orange Chicken)

Tendai “Marathon Monks”

13 06 2009

July Oconer, one of the Finishers and Sponsors of the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race, posted the following article in Facebook about the Tendai “Marathon Monks” of Japan. It is a nice reading item to runners and the reason why Japan is one of the top sources of marathon runners in the world.

Tendai Marathon Monks – The Run of A Lifetime

by James Davis – The London Observer

Some of the world’s best athletes gave a very good run for their money in the London Marathon, others picked up their appearance fee and pottered round without threatening to win. The world’s top distance runners are well rewarded – the best earn one million dollars a year – and they reckon to run only two or three marathons a year.

What a comparison that is to a group of men who can claim – though they never do – to be the greatest, toughest, most committed athletes in the world. They run for no other reward than spiritual enlightenment, hoping to help themselves along the path of Buddha towards a personal awakening. They are the so-called ‘marathon monks’ of Mount Hiei, Japan.

The monks, known as Kaihigyo, are spiritual athletes from the Tendai Sect of Buddhism, based at Mount Hiei, which overlooks the ancient capital city of Kyoto.

The ultimate achievement is the completion of the 1,000-day challenge, which must surely be the most demanding physical and mental challenge in the world. Forget ultra-marathons and so-called iron-man events, this endurance challenge surpasses all others.

Only 46 men have completed the 1,000-day challenge since 1885. It takes seven years to complete, as the monks must undergo other Buddhist training in meditation and calligraphy, and perform general duties within the temple.

The first 300 days are basic training, during which the monks run 40km per day for 100 consecutive days. In the fourth and fifth years they run 40km each day for 200 consecutive days. That’s more or less a full marathon every day for more than six months.

The final two years of the 1000-day challenge are even more daunting. In the sixth year they run 60km each day for 100 consecutive days and in the seventh year they run 84km each day for 100 consecutive days. This is the equivalent of running two Olympic marathons back-to-back every day for 100 days.

Author John Stevens, in his book, The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei describes the running style which dates back over a thousand years. ‘Eyes focused about 100 feet ahead while moving in a steady rhythm, keeping the head level, the shoulders relaxed, the back straight, and the nose aligned with the navel.’

What makes all these distances even more amazing is the manner and the conditions in which the monks run. These runs are usually begun at night and are over mountain paths that are uneven and poorly marked. During the winter months the low temperatures and snow are a great hindrance to the runners. These monks do not wear the latest in footwear and clothing, but run in straw sandals, an all-white outfit and a straw hat. They also run on a diet of vegetables, tofu and miso soup, which modern athletes and nutritionists would deem to be unsuitable for endurance events.

Not only do they wear clothes and shoes unsuited to running, but they have to carry books with directions and mantras to chant, food to offer along the way, candles for illumination, as well as a sheathed knife and a rope, known as the ‘cord of death’. These remind the monk of his duty to take his life if he fails, by hanging or self-disembowelment. The course is littered with unmarked graves, marking the spot where monks have taken their own lives. However, there have been no cases of monks’ suicides since the nineteenth century.

During these long runs the monks must make stops at temples of worship that can number up to 260. This means that the 86km run can take up to 20 hours to complete leaving the monk with very little time for recovery or rest, but as an old saying goes: ‘Ten minutes’ sleep for a marathon monk is worth five hours of ordinary rest.’ They also learn to rest sections of their body while running, such as their arms or shoulders.

And then there is the doiri, where the monk faces seven days without food, water or sleep or rest. During this time the monk will spend his entire day reciting Buddhist chants and mantras – perhaps up to 100,000 each day. The only time the monk will leave the temple is at 2am to walk the 200m to a well and return with water to make an offering. He is not allowed to drink any himself and the 200m walk can take up to two hours in the final days of the fast. During his time spent meditating there are two monks who are in constant attention to ensure that he does not fall asleep.

For several weeks before doiri, the monk will reduce his food intake so his body can cope with the fast. The first day is no problem, but there is some nausea on the second and third days. By the fourth and fifth days the hunger pangs have disappeared, but the monk has become so dehydrated that there is no saliva in his mouth and he will begin to taste blood.

The purpose of doiri is to bring the monk face-to-face with death. During this fast, the monks develop extraordinary powers of sense. They talk of being able to hear the ashes of incense sticks fall to the ground and, perhaps unsurprisingly, of the ability to smell food being prepared miles away.

Physiologists, who have examined the monks after conclusion of the rite, find many of the symptoms of a ‘dead person’. Monks talk of experiencing a feeling of transparency where everything good, bad and neutral leaves their body and existence in itself is revealed in crystal clarity. Relatives of those who undergo this rite of passage talk of the difference that the seven days makes to those who undergo it. One remarked, ‘I always dismissed Buddhism as superstitious nonsense until I saw my brother step out of Myo-o-do [the name of the temple] after doiri. He was really a living Buddha.’

When the Japanese Emperor maintained his court in Kyoto, the monks were afforded a special thanksgiving service in the Imperial Palace after completing their 1,000-day term and the ‘marathon monks’ were the only people who were allowed to wear footwear in the presence of the Emperor.

Even today thousands will turn out to watch a monk nearing completion of a 1,000-day term, as he runs the old course that now passes through Kyoto’s shopping streets and the entertainment district, complete with its bars, restaurants and strip joints. Many turn up hoping to be blessed by these special monks whom they believe have powers to heal.

Japan has the largest number of marathon runners per capita in the world. From the Arctic northern island of Hokkaido to the balmy tropical islands of Okinawa in the Pacific, each and every town will organise a number of long-distance runs and each school will have a strong running club.

There is even a corporate-sponsored running league, whose teams are even allowed to have one foreigner in their team. Jeff Schiebler, a Canadian Olympic runner, is the only non-African foreigner who competes. He described what it is like to run in Japan. ‘It is totally different from anything in North America. They have multimillion-dollar contracts, team chefs, great training facilities. That kind of thing makes Japan a power in long-distance running. They go mad for road races. Kids there grow up wanting to be the next marathon champ.’

Japan’s love of marathon running was epitomised with the incredible outpouring of emotion that followed Naoko Takahashi’s victory in the women’s Olympic marathon in Sydney last year. The race and the prize-giving attracted a massive 84 per cent TV rating as the fresh-faced girl from the mountains of Gifu became the first Japanese woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

She became an overnight superstar and her face was splashed across newspapers, magazines and on talk shows. She even received The People’s Honour (only the third woman ever to do so) from the then prime minister Yoshiro Mori, who said: ‘You have given inspiration and encouragement to youngsters as well as a whole people by crossing the finish line with a refreshing smile.’

Very few runners will cross the finish line in London with a ‘refreshing smile’ after 26 hard miles. Grimaces of exhaustion and relief will be a more common sight. However, after looking back at the 26 miles and a bit, there will be a feeling of great personal pride and achievement in their performance. Many will have achieved personal best times and others will have raised hundreds of pounds for charity. But will many of them be able to say they have gained something spiritually, as with the ‘marathon monks’ of Japan?

Dante’s Peak @ Griffith Park

11 06 2009

This is not about the movie which was released in 19997 about the eruption of a volcano in Dante’s Peak, a small town somewhere in the USA. The movie was played by a pair of popular stars in Hollywood—Pierce Brosnan (the former James Bond actor) and Linda Hamilton (Sarah, the lady character in the Terminator movies).

For the past days, I’be been planning to run to the highest peak of Mt Hollywood at Griffith Park, starting from the house as part of my running workout. Finally, yesterday, I went out of the house bringing with me my Nathan Hydration Belt, some cash and identification card. It was 11:40 AM and the sky was covered with thick clouds and there was a 20% chance of rainfall as predicted by the Weather Report. The weather was cool at mid-60s and I wore my TNF long-sleeved technical running shirt.

From the house, I maintained an average pace of  5:45-6:00 mins/km while running along the sidewalk, facing the incoming traffic. The streets from the house to Griffith Park consisted of uphill & downhill terrain but there are times that I had to stop whenever I cross busy intersections. There are designated pedestrian crossing areas on the streets that you have to wait for that pedestrian light (a walking figure in white light) to glow while a blinking red light with a figure of a palm of the hand means that you are not allowed to cross the road yet! It is a simple street light in crossing a street but the people here follow the lights even without the presence of a police. By the way, do you wonder why there are no traffic aides or policemen here in every corner of the streets? The answers are: the traffic lights are there (very efficient) in every crossing and the citizens (drivers & pedestrians) are disciplined in terms of road rules and regulations. In the Philippines, we have those traffic lights, yet, we still have those traffic aides & PNP & Highway Patrol & LTO, but most of us do not follow those pedestrians lights and coss the streets along the pedestrian lanes!!! Very simple rule but it is hard to implement. Your answer is as good as mine.

After running for almost 10 kilometers, I finally reached the foot on the northern part of the mountain at the Griffith Park. I intended not to go to the trails that I’ve been into last year and I started to explore while I was on the road that goes to the Griffith Park’s Golf Course. While running uphill along the asphalted road, I saw an opening of a trail track on my left and I immediately went to it and started to run uphill. Yes, the small trail led me to a wider trail which is a part of those many trail roads/fire roads that snake up to the peak of every ridge at Mt Hollywood.

Even with the coolness of the place, my sweat, coming from the visor of my runner’s cap, started to drip to my legs and shorts and it was continous while my legs were taking shorter strides and my arms were swinging at a moderate frequency. It was a very challenging uphill climb where I had to brisk walk along steeper climbs along the way. I have to practice what I’ve learned in ultra trail running—“brisk walk” on those steep uphill climbs and “fly” on the downhill side in order to preserve my strength for the rest of my running workout. 

At The Hyperion Bridge where I Had A Picture of My Daughter Running The 1st City of Angels Half-Marathon

At The Hyperion Bridge where I Had A Picture With My Daughter Running The 1st City of Angels Half-Marathon (The Mountain Range on the Background Was My Destination)

My Entry Towards Griffith Park

My Entry Towards Griffith Park

Finally, I Entered This Trail

Finally, I Entered This Trail

Trail Running Alone Is Refreshing!

Trail Running Alone Is Refreshing!

After 15-20 minutes of steady uphill climb, I came up with a water fountain! I walked towards it and drank some water and took some pictures and later I was back on my run. Later, I was running on an asphalted road but it was a short distance. At the end of the asphalted road, I saw some people who are preparing for a buffet lunch in one of the vista places along the route and I realized there was a  movie or TV “shooting” in progress within the vicinity. I did not dare to stop but just greeted the people I met along the road.

My First "Aid Station"

My First "Aid Station"

A Drinking Fountain On The Mountain Park

A Drinking Fountain On The Mountain Park

I entered Bridle Trail and that was the start (again!) of another more challenging uphill climb. Every time I reached a high part of the route, I would look up for another target to reach and study the trail that leads to it. That procedure had been repeated until I reached the highest peak of the mountain. I did not realize that the name of the highest peak is Dante’s Peak. It was my daughter who told me of the name as she already reached such place by hiking. I further “googled” it and I was able to see this website.

The Entrance To Bridle Trail

The Entrance To Bridle Trail

More Trails...

More Trails...

And More Uphill Climbs...

And More Uphill Climbs...

Finally, A Pose at Dante's Peak

Finally, A Pose at Dante's Peak

HOLLYWOOD Sign at The Background

HOLLYWOOD Sign at The Background (My Right Elbow Pointed To It)

A View of the Back of the Griffith Park Observatory

A View of the Back of the Griffith Park Observatory

Ahh..Running Downhill

Ahh..Running Downhill

After taking some pictures at the said place, I was thinking of pushing myself to go to the HOLLYWOOD sign but after looking at my GF 305, I was already on the road for more than 2 hours! So, I decided to return here on my next running workout and be able to reach the said sign and retrace the route I’ve taken. So, Dante’s Peak became my turn-around point and I prepared for downhill run!

The traction of my TNF Arnuva 50 BOA trail shoes was very helpful on my downhill run as it gave me the needed traction on those steep portions of the route. My quads started to absorb the weight of my body and I started to feel some “burning” pain and my knees were starting to show some pain, too while trying to gain speed on those downhill runs. It was my mistake not to bring any GU/sports gels on this workout as I started to feel hungry. As I reached the water fountain, I drank more water and “peed” on the forested area. After a few minutes of running along the trails, I finally reached the place where I entered and then slowly jogged on the asphalted road until I reached the Los Feliz entrance of the park.

After running for another 3 kilometers on the streets, I entered Ralph’s Grocery Store and bought some cookies and sports drinks. I ate and drank what I bought while I was “brisk walking” along an uphill climb at Glendale Blvd. Finally, I resumed my running until I reached the house. I was able to run/jog/brisk walk a distance of 30.66 kilometers in 3:40 hours! It was a tiring “runabout” but it was refreshing to be out in the mountains and explore what I want to see. 

From the base of the mountain, I thought of coming up with a test or survey on how or what the person/s I met or passed along the trails would react if I greet them or wave my hand to them. I usually greet walkers/hikers or runners along the trail with a simple “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” or just simply wave my left or right hand while smiling at them. This simple courtesy was a good lesson that I’ve learned and observed when I had those trail runs at Mt Wilson with my kids last year. I was able to count 24 people whom I met or passed along those trails at Griffith Park. Out of the 24, only 12 of them greeted me back, most of them ladies and couples (husband & wife) who replied “Hi” or “Hello” and they are “white”. I saw some Asians (I really don’t know if they are Chinese or Vietnamese or Thais or Koreans or Japanese) but they did not greet me back. Unfortunately, I did not see any Filipino!

After the run, I had a shower and ate a lot of food. Later, I started to cook for dinner while watching the NBA Finals’ Game #3. As I predicted, the Magic won this time.

I’ll be back for another run to Dante’s Peak and to the HOLLYWOOD sign soon!

And finally, my food (yes, I cooked them!) and supplement drinks for the past days!!!

Tofu With Bochoy (Pechay)

Tofu With Bochoy (Pechay)

Beef With Ampalaya

Beef With Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd)


My Supplement Drinks

Organic Honey

Organic Honey

And...Probiotic Drinks

And...Probiotic Drinks

Yasso 800s: “Do or Try It Now”!

9 06 2009

Last November 20, 2007, I made a post about Yasso 800s. It is a simple formula to guide a runner who is training for a marathon race to predict his finish time. This simple formula (?) to predict one’s finish time came out from the observation and experiences of Mr Bart Yasso who is now the Chief Running Officer of the Runner’s World Magazine as he finished and trained for more than 1,000 endurance sports/races for the past 29 years. However, in my first post about Yasso 800s, I was not able to tell or mention some important details about the said workout.

This post will now fine-tune what I’ve posted almost 21 months ago. Yasso 800s is supposed to be a “speed” running workout done at the oval track. As part of ones preparation for a marathon race, this is supposed to be done at least 5-6 weeks before the marathon race day. Which means that you were able to build-up the much needed “foundation” of mileages/kilometers in order to develop the endurance (strong legs without any injury and aerobic capability to sustain a faster pace) through your easy runs, long runs, tempo runs, speed runs, and hill repeats/workouts.

During the Yasso 800 session,  one has to run at least 10 repetitions of 800 meters with 400 meters jog in between repetition. The average time of your 10 repetitions will likely be your time for the marathon race, not in minutes, but in hours. For example: if you have an average of 3:32 minutes for the 10 repetitions you have done running at a distance of 800 meters at the oval track (2 laps around the oval track at Lane #1); most likely, your finish time in the marathon race is 3 hours & 32 minutes! It is very easy, you just convert the minutes into hours. It is mandatory to have at least 10 repetitions of the Yasso 800s in order to be accurate in your prediction for your marathon finish time.

However, according to Mr Bart Yasso, the Yasso 800 is not an accurate or perfect predictor of your marathon finish time time as you need to make some adjustments depending on the terrain of the course and the prevailing weather during race day. In extreme conditions of terrain and hot weather, a runner who has 3-4 marathon finishes on his/her belt, he/she can make adjustment by adding 10 minutes; and for those competitive and experienced marathon runners who have finished more than 5 marathon races, they can add 5 minutes to their average Yasso 800s result.

If you are preparing for the MILO Marathon Eliminations on July 5, you can try this workout and hit the Lane # 1 of the ULTRA Oval Track as soon as possible. Just be sure those “walkers” and slow runners (with their Ipods) at Lane # 1 will not interfere with your Yasso 800s. Good luck! 

By the way, this is my training target pace data in preparation for the MILO Marathon:

Easy Run—5:46 mins/km

Long Run—5:46-6:15 mins/km

Tempo Run—4:45 mins/km

Speed Run—4:12 mins/km

Yasso 800s—3:35 mins

So far my training had been going on for the past days since I finished the LA Marathon. We will see how this training will turn out in the coming days to come.

Simple Reminder: The “Basics” In Running

6 06 2009

In my earlier posts in 2007, I mentioned about the writings of Dr George Sheehan whom I consider as the Philosopher of Running in the Modern Times. As a tribute to this old runner and prolific writer, I always mention his tips and suggestions to runners whenever I conduct lectures and running clinics to “newbies” in the sports of endurance running. Up to this day, his “tips and suggestions” are still valid which are basically explanation of the basic principles in training for runners.

I also mentioned in my previous posts of my 100% acceptance on the training methods and programs of Arthur Lydiard in running which is a result of years of experimentation and studies on himself. Up to this time, I am still a strong believer and follower of the Lydiard Method of Training in Running.

If you want to know the details of the works and written studies of these two running icons, you can easily “google” their names and you have a lot of manuscripts and books you can read in the Internet. However, these runners/writers thoughts will always boil down to the “basic principles of training for running” and other endurance sports which in my mind are the most important for everybody to remember, whether you are a beginner or a competitive or an elite athlete. The following principles are the most important and basic for everybody:

1) Build-Up Foundation—For you to become a strong and fast runner, you must be able to build-up the much needed foundation because you need to be stable and firm. It is like constructing a house or a building that you need to build a stable foundation first before you construct those rooms, walls, stairs, and others. In running, you must be able to progressively introduce stress to your body system so that you will develop strength on your legs and improve the aerobic capability of your respiratory and blood circulation system. Remember the word, progressively! It takes time for you to develop those strong legs and strong heart & lungs to run a 3K, 5K, or 10K run. It takes patience and perseverance to build-up a stable foundation in running. In my experience, the longer period I build-up my mileage and the more number of my weekly mileage is, the more I am stable and prone-free from any injury. Would you believe that I trained for my first marathon for one year by just building-up those mileages?

2) Consistency—If you want to be a good and competitive runner, you should be consistent in your training. It means that you must at least run every day or maintain a certain level of fitness in running. It means that for a certain level or classification of a runner (beginner, non-competitice, competitive, elite, or national elite), you must maintain a number of average kilometers or miles to be ran for the week. To a leisure/non-competitive runner, he/she must be able to maintain at least a weekly total of 40 kilometers to maintain a certain level of fitness. If you are a competitive runner, the more you have those weekly miles and kilometers to cover. Through consistency in running, you must also remember to apply the “hard-easy” method. It means that you must be able to “listen to your body”. Assuming that you are still building-up your foundation, if you ran 10 kilometers today, make sure you run a lesser number of kilometers the next day or on your next session, and follow this method in your training program. If you are already in the competitive level, do not do your “speed” training in two consecutive days. Let your muscles/body system recover and you will be surprised that your body will adapt to the stress and you will become stronger and faster in your next workout.

3) Specificity of Training—Simply said, if you want to be a stronger and faster runner, you must run! Do not swim, do not bike, do not develop nice muscles at the gym, do not play badminton, or do not play basketball in order to improve your running finishing times. Stretching, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, and other drills are just supplementary means to improve your performance but 99% of your effort must be in running.

Just remember these three (3) basic principles in training for running and you will enjoy the sports we love most!!!

Good luck to all the runners in the Mizuno Infinity Run! My spirit will be with you as I will be contented to have my easy run at the Elysian Park Trails and then move to the Griffith Park Trails and later end up my runs at the Silverlake Reservoir & Echo Lake Park Loops!

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