“Back To The Slope!”

1. When I was a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy, I always hear this statement or command from my Tactical Officers if they want the cadets to repeat a practice on our Parades and Ceremonies after doing one or two rounds. The start area of our parade and drills is a sloping/downhill road towards the Borromeo Field, the Parade Ground of the Academy. Figuratively, if this phrase or statement is uttered, it means that you have to repeat from the start what you have done in order to correct a mistake or error.

2. After five weeks of rest & recovery due to an injury, I am going “back to the slope!” and have started to follow a training program as a guide for my future marathon and ultramarathon races for the year 2010 and beyond.

3. The first step in my training program is to abide and recall the most basic principle in training for a running event—base training. I always say in my running clinic lectures that preparing for a running event is like constructing a building or a house where you need to have a durable and stable base/foundation. In running, base training  means building a base of aerobic endurance.

4. So, early this morning, I had my first “base training” at the ULTRA Oval Track completing a distance of 10 kilometers, running along the outer lane. I did my stretching exercises before and after the run. In addition, I did some running-related “drills” during and after the run. I finished my 10-K run in 1:09:13 hours with an average pace of 6:55 minutes per kilometer. I was so happy that I was able to breach the 7:00-minute per kilometer pace. Slowly, but surely, I could run within my base training pace.

5. To give a full description of the drills I’ve done during/after my run, I am posting the following pictures with the hope that other runners would also adopt them to make them stronger and faster.

"Running No Arms"
Front View of "Running No Arms"

To do this drill, a runner must lace his fingers and form a big circle with his arms at shoulder level. Run 100 yards at moderate fast pace with arms in this position. Return to your running form after 100 yards and repeat after running another 100 yards. I did 10 times of this drill while I was running around the track.

This drill forces my inner abdominal muscles to maintain an upright posture and activates such muscles while running. It also eliminates unnecessary swaying or rotation of my shoulders from my waist while running.

"One-Leg Hop"
One-Leg At A Time

To do this drill, one has to run as fast as possible with one leg for 20 seconds or approximately 20 leaps/bounce or more. This drill will increase one’s push-off power of the feet and will enhance the stability of the hips, pelvis, lower spine and knees on impact of the foot to the ground by forcing the muscles to stabilize the joints for a short period of time.

Lesson #1: In a training cycle, first phase is to develop your aerobic endurance base.

(Source/Reference: “Brain Training For Runners” by Matt Fitzgerald)

“50/50” & “Running The Sahara”

1. I received a very early X’mas gift  from Jay Nacino aka Prometheus Cometh two weeks ago and it was delivered through courier system. The gift was a compilation of running films/movies recorded in two (2) CDs. Thanks, Jay for the gift. God bless.

2. The following films were recorded in those two CDs: Chariots of Fire; Without Limits; 50/50; and Running The Sahara. Having seen the first two films mentioned in widescreen, I was very interested to watch 50/50 and Running  The Sahara because they deal more on ultramarathon and multi-day stage runs. Both of these running events were filmed sometime in 2006.

3. I will not deal with the whole story of these films as every reader of this blog could easily browse or “google” the title of the films and they could get the details of these running events. 50/50 was made as a film and at the same time published as a book to document Dean Karnazes’ 50 marathon races, in 50 States in the US, in 50 days. Running The Sahara is a film about three (3) ultrarunners from the USA, Canada, and Taiwan traversing the African continent by passing through the Sahara Desert in 111 days.

4. What I like to point out and emphasize in these running events is the tremendous PLANNING involved to undertake such feats. Dean Karnazes took at least 3 years to convince The North Face in appreciating his plan to run 50 marathons, in 50 different States, in 50 days and another year to finally coordinate and arrange for the implementation of the said project. It was only when his book “The Ultramarathon Man” became a No. 1 Top Seller and his being a top contender in the 100-Mile Western States and Winner in one of the Badwater Ultramarathon editions that he became popular.

5. The planning and preparation for the three (3) ultra runners in 3 different countries in the Running The Sahara took also years. Moreso, with the logistics; production/film crew; and other administrative requirements preparations for the event. This film/event also tested the endurance of the support staff and film crew in order to finish the running event.

Kevin Lin (Taiwan); Ray Zahab (Canada); & Charlie Engle (USA)

6. These two running epic events were well-planned and documented. These films really inspire other people to seek their endurance limits and at the same time promoting some advocacies/charities to help less-fortunate people. So, if ever you plan to do such endurance run, whether an ultramarathon event or multi-stage/day run, you have to document it so that the INTEGRITY of the event is intact. A simple blog (with pictures) would do or inexpensive tracker/GPS device to record your event should be with you all the time during your run.

Finally, I am Back!

1. Exactly one month after the PIM Pasig River Marathon, I was back running at the ULTRA Oval Track yesterday afternoon. I did 1-Kilometer slow run at the soccer field, another 5K at the oval track, and finished my workout with another 1K at the soccer field and 1K at the oval track. My average pace of 7:30+minutes per kilometer was enough to bring myself back to (competitive) running. An 8K run at the oval track was “heaven”!

2. Actually, I had my first attempt to run/jog last Thursday when I took pictures of the future site of the Ultra Trail Run that I am planning to implement. I was able to run/walk/jog a distance of 8.5 kilometers but I was still in pain but after this run and a deliberate and very long session of “deep-tissue” massage, all the pain was gone!

3. I had another 6K Run at the Rizal High School Oval Track last Saturday afternoon and it was a workout where I was able to run continously without any walking breaks. Even if my average pace was 8:30-9:30 minutes per km, I was happy that I could run again.

4. From the book of Tim Noakes’ “Lore of Running”, I found out that my injury is called “Chronic Muscle Tear”. “He concludes that this kind of muscle injury occurs in various muscles at specific sites that, for reasons unknown, develop eccentric muscle weakness. This weakness is exposed during faster running. When the eccentric loading exceeds the muscle’s eccentric strength, a small section of the muscle is strained and develops an inflammatory response. This initial tear is too small to cause discomfort. However, once the initial tear has occurred, a cycle of repair and reinjury and reinflammation develops that leads ultimately to the large tender knot.”

5. For the specific treatment, Tim Noakes stated “The only treatment that works is a physiotherapeutic manuever known as cross-frictions. A better term would be “crucifixions” because this is the most painful treatment a runner would experience. In simple terms, this is what I call “deep-tissue massage” or “hilot”. Ask Coach Titus Salazar of Team Bald Runner how this procedure is properly done!

6. You will see me more at the ULTRA Oval Track during the Team Bald Runner’s “Speed” Training on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

What’s Next After BDM 102?

An Ulramarathon Trail Run somewhere in the Sierra Madre Mountains!!!

Clean Air, Quiet Place, & Challenging Route
With Some Water Obstacles
With Some Rocks...
Elevations from 400-800 MASL
Part of the 25-Km Loop Mountain Trail

If you are interested, you have four (4) months to train and prepare. Good luck!

Finding The Cure

1. Simply Rest—This is the first thing that I did after the PIM Pasig River Marathon.  For one week, I ate foods rich in carbohydrates and protein, drink a lot of water, and had full-time 8-hour sleep during nighttime. I tried to walk slowly with a limp around the house. It was a painful experience walking for the first week after the race.

2. Massage—Coach Salazar’s deep-tissue massage was finally introduced to my affected muscle on the 2nd week. I think I had 2-3 sessions with him for the duration of 3 weeks. My stiff Peroneus muscles slowly loosened up but there was still some inflammation and pain to other muscle strands located in between the peroneus and calf muscle. Coach Salazar taught me how to stretch my Peroneus muscles.

3. “Water Treatment”—My regular weekly visits to the Laguna Hot Spring in Calamba, Laguna had greatly improved and maintained my endurance level of fitness without much pounding on my legs. During these visits and immersion in the hot sulphuric water for a maximum of 6-7 hours, I did “water jogging”, leg kicking, leg flipping, and then later, swimming. I’ve been to this place for four times already and my stay here were fruitful as I came to meet more people and get more “insights” from the different sectors of the society.

4. Pain Reliever, Ointment & More Protein Drinks—On the third week, I started to take Alaxan FR before going to bed. Charlie Chua, one of the BR Runners with the Professional Group, suggested an ointment, Fastum Gel (Ketoprofen), for inflammed muscles which I’ve been using for the past two weeks. I also maintained drinking milk, Ensure and MILO’s 3-in1 For Adults (2x a day). All of these contributed to my recovery.

5. Join Road Races as Photographer & Cheerer—Watching the runners at the Start and Finish Lines during Road Races and taking their pictures while cheering them gave me the feeling and urge to recover immediately. I believe that positive thinking has a lot to do when someone needs to recover at a faster rate from any setback.

6. “Brisk” Walking & “Slow” Jogging—Last Thursday, I forced myself to an 8.5-Km distance “brisk” walking and jogging even if I felt pain on my affected leg. I was able to finish the distance in almost 1 1/2 hours. My workout was done in the mountains, 70 kilometers east of Metro Manila!

7. Deep-Tissue Massage (More Deliberate)—Aside from Coach Salazar, I have another staff who had been trained as “masseur” by the members of my Elite Team. He gave me a 1 1/2-hour massage after my 8.5-Km workout and I was crying and shouting in pain. The inflammation of my Peroneus muscle had gone but there is a tiny strand of muscle beneath the Peroneus muscle which needs to be loosened and my staff just patiently did the right thing. After an overnight sleep, the pain on my left lower leg is entirely gone!

8. Rest Some More & Start With a Training Plan—My injury is a blessing in disguise as I was able to rest from the grinds of training and joining in the past marathon & half-marathon races. However, I need more time to rest and do strengthening exercises through Pilates, Yoga, and Weight Training before finally hitting the road, track and trails. I will start a training plan for a 100-Mile Run soon!

Finding The Culprit

1. On December 8, it will be one month sice I finished the PIM Pasig River Marathon where I had an injury. “Purists & Hardcores” in running are not supposed to be talking or discussing much about their injuries related to running but for the benifit of the “newbies”/beginners who are reading this blog, I don’t want them to experience what I am going through right now. The way I look at it, it will take weeks for me to rest and recover to give ample time for my muscle strain to heal.

2. Age—At my present age of 57, I consider myself as a strong and seasoned runner but my age is trying to catch up with reality. Various studies indicate that those runners who remain highly fit and avoid serious injury or illness will average at least 0.5 percent decline in performance per year from age 35 to 60 years old. After the age of 60, performance dropoff tends to increase. I think this is the reason why running-related injury is starting to show up. I hope that through my running, I would be able to slow down the aging process.

3. Ample Time For Rest & Recovery—I have to re-evaluate my road races in the coming months as I need more time to rest and recover in between road races. At least, one ultramarathon race and two marathon races per year would be a good quota for a year.

4. More Stretching & Warm-Up—Before my races for the months of October and November, I shortened my stretching “rituals” and warm-up exercises. I was too confident that the early kilometers of the race with a slow pace would “warm-up” my running legs but I was wrong! I should have made some extended warm-up jogging and stretching exercises before finally going to the coral in the starting area. At least, I would be able to sweat a little before the start of the race. It would be more effective if I did some “drills” before the race. The older you get, you need more time to warm-up and stretch before a major road race.

5. Supplementary Training/Weight Training—For almost six months, I stopped going to the gym for my supplementary weight training and concentrated more with my tempo, interval and long runs in preparation for the MILO Finals, QCIM Half-Marathon, SIM and PIM Pasig Marathon. I was wrong! Some of those tiny muscle groups in my legs were not strengthened by just running only. I still believe that there is a need for strength training to complement one’s running workouts. Pilates and Yoga are also recommended as additional supplementary training for older runners like me.

6. Deep-Muscle Massage With More Time To Heal—I always find time to have a regular deep-muscle massage before and after marathon races. After a satisfactory performance in the Subic International Marathon, I had a massage because of the occurrence of a muscle cramps on my left lower leg on the last kilometer before the Finish Line. I did not wait for my muscles to recover and immediately had a long run a day after the race. After the run, this was where I started to feel a muscle strain on my calf muscle. Instead of resting, I went out again to do my long runs. More massage was done on my legs but I was not able to have my affected muscle to heal for a longer time until I joined the PIM Pasig River Marathon. It is then advisable not to run a distance of a marathon race when there is a pain (even a slight pain!) that recurs whenever you have your running workouts at least two weeks before the actual race. 

7. Combination of Everything—The way I look at what had happened, the cause of my injury is a combination of what I’ve stated above—old age (ha! ha! ha!), more time to heal & recover after major races, more time for pain to heal after massage, and lack of supplementary weight training & warm-up/stretching.

(Note: Next post will be “Finding The Cure”)

“1,000-Km Club” Finishers

The following runners are the latest finishers/awardees of the Bald Runner’s “1,000-Km Club”. Congratulations!!! 

Ultrarunner George aka The Talkative Runner
Ultrarunner Ralph
Ultrarunner Luis aka The Gingerbread Running
Nolan Llanora
Supt. Gregorio Torres PNP
Macky Chamorro aka Gleeman
Carly Dizon
Rodel Cuaton aka Argonaut
Jet Paiso
Paul Paranal

Running Books For Sale!!!

I am selling two (2) copies of the book “Born To Run” in Hardbound for P 1,000.00 each.

Born To Run

I have one (1) copy of Dean Karnazes’ latest book “50/50” for sale for P 850.00 (Hardbound).


The proceeds will go to the training and support of the Elite Team Bald Runner Distance Project.

First come, first serve! You can leave your comment if you are interested.

Thanks for your support!

(Note: These books are highly recommended to ultrarunners!)

Bonifacio Day & McHappy Day

1. November 30 is declared as a Holiday and popularly called as Bonifacio Day (Araw Ng Kabayanihan) but it became more significant not because of the birth of the Father of the Revolution but because it was the day most of the politicians declared their candidacy to the different elective positions for next year’s national and local elections.

Gat Andres Bonifacio as Father of Katipunan

2. It was supposed to be a running workout day for most of the runners preparing for their next marathon race but most of the people went “running” to the COMELEC to file their respective COCs (Certificates of Candidacy). I doubt if these politicians are really “runners/joggers” at all.

3. Instead of having a Bonifacio Day Run to celebrate one of our important heroes, McDonald’s, a popular American Fastfood Chain celebrated the day with a McHappy Day 5K & 10K Runs. How I wish Filipinos would not forget our heroes. Without them, we would not be enjoying the freedom that we are all enjoying today. Are we losing our sense of nationalism or are we completely forgotten that we are Filipinos?

4. I only realized that it was Bonifacio Day when I saw two Ceremonial Guards of the Philippine Army standing infront of the Main Gate of the Headquarters Philippine Army. Just across the concrete fence of Fort Bonifacio, more than one thousand runners were celebrating with McDonald’s along the streets of McKinley Hill, a place which was part of Fort Bonifacio.

5. McHappy Day 3K/5K/10K Runs were done inside the confines of the McKinley Hill and it was done very orderly. I was happy to see very long tables in each of the water stations. There was an organized start and finish to all the runs. During the awarding ceremony, it was my first time to see an elevated podium for the top 3 finishers on top of the elevated stage.

Long Tables in Water Stations

6. I personally congratulated Coach Rio for the outstanding improvements that I’ve been seeing in his races since the TIMEX Run. Is this the result of his latest experiences in attending at least two major road races in California, USA? If so, then our road races are international in quality and standards!

7. One of the famous running coaches approached me and told me how my “boys” (my elite runners) sprinted on the last 500 meters of the 10K run towards the Finish Line. The coach was amazed on their “speed endurance” during the whole race! I just smiled at him and I knew that their training in the mountains for the past weeks is making some progress for better performance.

8. I observed that more Movie and TV Stars are joining the road races. Angel Locsin, one of the popular TV stars, finished her first 3K run during the McHappy Run. I had the chance to have a photo-ops with her and she was very kind and accommodating. More of the runners had their pictures taken with her.

Angel Locsin & BR

9. Aside from the “freebies” to the runners, the awarding ceremony was filled with popular TV stars and international singer. Phoemela Baranda acted as the Emcee and Charize Pempengco sang two songs to the runners. My Elite Team Bald Runner Distance Projects runners won the 1st & 2nd Places in the 10K run.

Rene Desuyo, 1st & Alquin Bolivar, 2nd @ 10K Run (The Elevated Podium is Nice!)

 10. The most glaring observation I’ve noted is the presence of old, young, beginners, and the whole family members joining such road races/fun runs like this particular event. It appears that fun runs are already becoming a way, event, or an activity where the whole family would be together during weekends and holidays. This is a good sign that the whole citizenry is adhering to sports activity that promotes good health and lifestyle.

Of Running Clinics; Meetings; & Visit

1. We no longer offer FREE Running Lectures/Clinics. We are now asking a honorarium for the conduct of our Running Lecture/Clinic. The fee will be used to support our Elite Team Bald Runner Distance Project and logistical needs for the 2nd BDM 102.

2. I was invited for the Send-Off Party this week for our athletes in Athletics (Track & Field) who will represent the country in the 2009 ASEAN Games to be held in Laos. The Track & Field athletes consist of 20 athletes; 6 Coaches; and 1 Head of the Party. The PATAFA Team will be leaving on December 6 for Laos. The 25th ASEAN Games will start on December 9. The TEAM Philippines “HOPES” to get at least 45-50 Gold Medals in the Games.

3.  I made a “surprise” visit to my Elite Team’s “training camp” in the Sierra Madre Mountains and we had some pictorials with them with their new Team Bald Runner uniform courtesy of MILO/Nestle, Phil. Altitude, Hill workouts, trail running, and clean air are the keys for better performance.

Elite Team Bald Runner Distance Project Members
Looking For A Brighter Future In Running

4. A Leadership Training/Speaking Engagement Module had been offered to me by a Private Company engaged in the conduct of training to corporate offices. I think this is a good job while I am on “rest & recovery” period.

5. “Brainstorming” session was conducted among the members of Team Hardcore and other ultrarunners about the creation of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) at the Board Room of Reinier Pacific which was hosted by Capt Amado Castro Jr aka Reinier6666. The meeting was very productive and I was able to gather positive insights about its creation and its availability for membership.

PAU's "Trailblazers" & "Pathfinders"

6. There are already 147 runner-applicants for the 2nd BDM 102. There are 40 slots reserved for the AFP/PNP runners.  If the slots for the AFP/PNP will be filled up, there are already 186 runner-applicants. However, I still encourage runners to apply in my Bataan 102 Events Page. There are 96 Days to go before D-Day!

7. More suggested logos for PAU had been received. Thanks for your interest to come up with PAU’s Logo. Deadline of submission is December 31, 2009.

(Note: Latest Awardees/Finishers of the 1,000-Km Club will be posted next!!!)