Do we have a “running season” in the Philippines?
Do you prepare and train for a particular race during this supposed “running season” in the country?
Are runners and race organizers observe this supposed to be “running season” in the country?
If your answer to these questions is NO, then, we have to find out what is the appropriate “running season” for the country.
In countries where they have four seasons—spring, summer, autumn, and winter—they usually start their running season during spring time up to the end of autumn. Runners usually recover during winter time when it is hard and cold to be running with sleet and snow on the roads and trails. They usually recover, re-charge, rest, or do indoor cross-training activities just to maintain a physically fit body. So, if you observe the race schedules of popular marathon races in these countries, they are scheduled from the end of spring up to the end of autumn (Ex. Boston Marathon in April and New York City Marathon on the 1st week of November). The same is true with the popular mountain trail endurance runs and the more extreme running events (Ex. Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run on the last weekend of June and Badwater Ultramarathon on the 2nd week of July).
In the Philippines, we have only two distinct seasons–wet and dry seasons, which means that we have 6 months of wet/rainy season and another 6 months of dry/hot season. Rainy season starts in the month of June and ends on the last week of November and the Dry season starts in December and ends on the last week of May.
If you think that the 6 months of the dry season would be the appropriate “running season” for the country, you could be slightly wrong. The first 3 months (December, January, and February) are the coldest months of the year but it is followed with the very hot months of March, April, and May where Race Organizers should start their races very early in the morning.
So, based on my observation, the appropriate “running season” for the country would be the period from the first week of December up to the last week of February.
If you are a smart runner, you have to follow a “running season” where all your training and preparations are geared and focused to races (marathon, half-marathon and ultra runs) scheduled in the months of December, January, and February. Make the other scheduled races in the remaining months as part of your your training and evaluation workouts. Also, make the first three months of the rainy season (June, July, & August) as your rest & recovery months or start of your aerobic endurance phase.
On the financial side, if you are preparing for a certain race on the suggested “running season”, you will be saving a lot of unnecessary registration fees to unnecessary weekend races which are not part of your training and evaluation program for a certain race. Be smart, be simple and focused to a particular race where your target goal is realistic and attainable.
This is just a personal advise and please feel free to make your own suggestions through your comments on your thoughts about our country’s “running season”.
4 thoughts on “Running Season”
You hit the jackpot sir! The reason why there are many runners who join December to February races is that it is during this time that most people receive their annual bonuses and other cash conversions depending on which office and what benefits they have. This goes for employees though, which comprise the bulk of the runners anyway. And this has been my strategy as well which is why I have already earmarked some amount of my upcoming 13th month pay for the BDM160.
I am fortunate to be able to run a lot of weekend road races for free [most but not all], as my team [Team Reebok] gets invited to participate. But with the costly registration fees these days, I can only imagine how many runners out there would want to race on a weekly basis but just could not afford it.
I think there is a running season in the Philippines. We just haven’t really acknowledged it yet.
in the first running boom in the country (late 70’s to 80’s), most of the marathon races were conducted in the months of december to february because of the colder temperature. and corporate sponsors would also conduct marathon running clinics from january up to the marathon race at the end of the year, making the running clinic as a year-long duration. so, if we want a world-class marathon race or running event with international attraction, we should schedule them within our running season. thanks, blas!
Totally agree Sir Jovie! Take for example the Milo Elims Manila-leg 42km. If I were to use a 16-week full-mary training program, that period will cover from April to July. As I’ve experienced when training for the 2010 version, long runs had to be started earlier than usual to stay away from the summer heat. ang hirap maglongrun lalo na if I start late, like 6am. That’s why I decided to skip this year’s Milo 42km elims and opt to start training for qcim3 or condura 42km instead where the 16-week period won’t be as hot as the April-May summer months.
For now, I’m concentrating myself with 10k and limited 21k races.
You made a really good point on your blog sir. If you are really aiming for some serious training, preparation and gunning for a specific marathon or time/qualifying, you should really consider the “running season”. A time to execute an X week training plan & earn mileage, consider other indoor aerobic exercises during the wet season and of course a season to rest and recover. You can probably join a limited number of races to see how far you’ve gone with your training & assess if its working. Nowadays, races are getting expensive and its taking its toll on budget. So, this can probably be a good way to cut on expenses and at the same time attain a good personal best. *that actually made me think* Thanks for enlightening me Sir BR!