Trail Running 101: 10K & 16K Runs

19 01 2012

If you have been joining road races for the past months and years and had never tried running on mountain trails, then this is the time to start a new experience.

I have come up with short distance runs on where I had been doing my trail runs for the past years and it is about time that you have to try to experience what it feels to run on mountain trails.

These trail runs will be done every month where the distance will be stretched from 10K to a Marathon distance of 42K. So for the month of January, there will be two distances of trail runs to be conducted this coming Saturday. The shorter distance will be a 10K and the longer one is a 16K distance.

All these trail runs will be an “out and back” runs. In the 10K distance, one has to run 5 kilometers up to the mountain and then back to the point where one started. The same goes to the 16K distance, 8 kilometers up to the mountain and then back to the starting line. Very simple!

The two distance runs will start at the same time at 6:00 AM of Saturday, January 21, 2012. It will start at the “Basilica” Church of Barangay Sacrifice Valley in Dinalupihan, Bataan and ends at the same place. There is no cut-off time for the event. This will encourage the “newbies” to enjoy the scenery and to experience the simplicity of trail running. It is simply running with nature without so much “distractions”.

There will be Aid/Hydration Stations every 2.5 Kilometers. Runners are advised to bring their hydration bottles so that we will adhere to lesser use of plastic cups in trail running events. In addition to the aid stations, there is flowing stream/spring along the route where one could drink the fresh cool water of the mountain.

If you are joining the Subic International Marathon on Sunday, you can drop by for a 10K easy trail run on Saturday morning and then proceed to Subic Freeport after the trail run. Barangay Sacrifice Valley is 15 kilometers away from Olongapo City and the Subic Freeport.

Registration fee/s for the 10K event is P 500.00 and the 16K is P 600.00. ARC Store is presently accepting registration for this event. Registered runners will be given Commemorative T-Shirt for the event and a post-race meal at the Finish Line. Whatever proceeds we get from these trail running events will be used for the support of Elite Bald Runner Team in their participation to international running events. Two of my elite athletes will be participating in the Hongkong 100K Trail Endurance Run in the middle of next month with the objective of qualifying for the Western States 100-Mile Endurance in the coming years. It is unfortunate that we have yet to receive favourable approval of support from corporate entities whom we asked for assistance.

There will be registration On Site, provided that runners will arrive earlier than the announced starting time. The run will start promptly at 6:00 AM.

As in my past events, we will start the race even with 2-3 registered runners!

See you at the Starting Line!

(Note: It is advisable for all the participants to read the “rules of the game” (protocols/etiquette/rules and regulations) in trail running which I published in my previous post)

Trail Running 101: Part #2: “Rules On The Run”

18 01 2012

Now that you are ready to embrace trail running, there are some rules and regulations; protocols; etiquette; or “GMRC” (Good Manners & Right Conduct) things/actions that every runner should know and follow. These rules boil down to the preservation of the environment and “common sense” in treating our co-runners.

The American Trail Running Association (ATRA) offers a list of “must” to be followed in trail running activities and events. For the benefit of everybody, our trail runners and “would be” ones are encouraged to read this list on the “Rules On The Run”. Please read the link below:

It is imperative that every trail runner should follow these rules and regulations.

Good luck and see you at the Starting Line!

Trail Running 101: Part #1

16 01 2012

This is an excerpt from the book, “The Ultimate Guide To Trail Running” by Adam Chase & Nancy Hobbs.

Lisa Goldsmith, two-time USATF Mountain Runner of the Year says: “Trail running requires such an athletic style of running that a lifelong athlete will probably adapt better, say someone who has soccer or some agility sport in their background of experience. That said, I think it behoves a beginning trail runner to do some agility-type training. I am talking about anything from jumping rope to jump squats, running stairs, bounding, skipping, high knee drills, butt kicks; exercise that trains you to lift your feet off the ground with quickness. And, I would remind the runner to not run exclusively on trails as running dirt roads or even pavement will keep leg speed (leg turnover) in the muscle memory. As for racing, I say  “just do it!”. In all sports, I find racing and competing raises my level of skill and helps me find my true edge; racing is where breakthrough are discovered.”

No matter what your running or athletic background may be, the best introduction to trail running is to pick a nice day, find a beautiful gently rolling trail that offers dependable footing, and set off on a relaxed run. Take walking breaks as often as necessary and allow yourself to be carried away by the sounds of the natural environment and the peaceful surroundings. As you move along at a steady pace, absorb the views and breathe the clean air. From your initial experience, gradually build your running fitness and develop your trail running technique and skills.

The problem now is where to find the trails. North of Metro Manila, you can find a prominent mountain while travelling at the NLEX/SCTEX to Tarlac which is the Mount Arayat. I’ve never been to the said mountain but it appears that it is already considered as a National Park and through my readings on the Internet and some Mountaineering resources, the mountain has some trails.

Northwest of the province of Pampanga are the mountain ranges in Porac, Floridablanca, and Bataan which one can see if travelling along SCTEX towards Subic Freeport. Some of the Ultrarunners had experienced going to some parts of these mountains as it is the route of the Miyamit 50-Mile Trail Run. Further down the western side is the location of the “Brown Mountain” where I usually have my trail running workouts.

South of Metro Manila and at the end of SLEX is the province of Laguna. Los Banos is a nice place where one can start looking for trails up to the famous Mount Makiling. A simple research on the Internet will reveal a group of mountaineering clubs in the said area which are good source of information.

On the eastern border of Metro Manila are the mountains of Rizal which are accessible after travelling for 35-50 kilometers. Hopefully, there are still trails in Montalban and Antipolo if they are not yet developed as subdivisions. Sampaloc, Tanay is a very nice place where one could just try to easily find a mountain trail. The place where I had my Tanay 50K Ultra Run offers a lot of trails and I highly recommend this place for beginners.

Northeastern part of Bulacan and boundary with Metro Manila offers also some trails. Nearer to Metro Manila is the La Mesa Dam Trail Park which is also highly recommended for easy trail runs.

If you happen to know a trail near Metro Manila, you can share to us in this blog.

Before you hit the trails and if you are 40 years old and above, find time to talk to your doctor and ask for medical advice if your body can withstand and endure running/jogging/walking along the mountain trails. Of course, the doctor will do some endurance test on you and find out if your respiratory and circulatory systems are efficient for such sports activity. This first step is a must!

On Trail Running Shoes. If you are a beginner, there is no need to buy brand-new trail running shoes. You can use your old road shoes for the mean time and try to observe its performance when you are running on the trails. Stability shoes are more preferred for trail running.

On your running apparel & hydration needs, try to be light as possible as you will experience going up the hill and mountains with an extra baggage. For the mean time, there is no need to bring heavy hydration system as there are water sources along the route. In my running trips to “Brown Mountains”, I usually bring my Nathan SOB Single Bottle Belt which I can refill with water on the springs & streams along the route.

Try to practice some running drills before going to the mountains. For a starter, do some hill repeats to determine how far and how long you can go in an ascending road. Look for an ascending road which would take you 1-2 minutes to reach the top from its lowest part. Slowly jog from the lowest part up to top of the ascending road. Stop jogging once you reach the top and slowly walk to where you started. Repeat the drill up to the time you reach 30 minutes. As you become stronger and more comfortable in reaching the top, you can now increase the time of your drill to 45 minutes. Do this drill at least 3 times a week and try to find out how you progress within a period of at least one month. (Note: Go to McKinley Hill Area and you can find such ascending/descending road for your hill repeats!)

However, don’t underestimate the use of “power/brisk walking” breaks on your mountain trail runs. Usually, trail runners and even competitive ones have to resort to power walks on steep inclines during their runs. Yes, elite trail runners walk during their race! But they have also the mastery on how to run fast on the descending portions of the trails just to be able to regain the time they lost on their power walks. As a beginner, you have to be extra careful on being aggressive on the downhill runs as this will put so much work on your quadriceps muscles and overall balance on your body. Most likely, running fast on the downhill will rub your toenails on the front edge of your shoes and this will result to dead toenails!

Since I started using Heart Rate Monitor in the middle of last year as a means for immediate biofeedback on the intensity of my workouts and runs, I highly recommend that runners who would like to shift on mountain trail running to consider using such device.  In my hill runs, I make sure that my HR would average within the range of 142-150 beats per minute. My average pace might be slower but I have enough strength to last for hours in the mountains and be able to recover for another run the next day.

To be continued.

Good luck! See you at the Starting Line in the Trail Running 101 Runs!

Trail Running Is More FUN

It's Either You Step On The Rocks OR Take A Dip Into The Water

Result: 2012 BDM 50K “Test Run”

15 01 2012

2012 Bataan Death March 50K “Test Run”/Mariveles To Abucay, Bataan/10:15 PM January 14, 2012 To 7:15 AM January 15, 2012.

1 652 Henry Laron 5:27:19
2 777 Simon Pavel Miranda 5:33:05
3 878 Jerome Bautista 5:53:45
4 693 Almar Danguilan 6:00:29
5 881 Carlito Buenaventura 6:04:54
6 747 Fernando Dellomos, Jr 6:11:14
7 663 Alvin Adriano 6:14:06
8 874 Bob Castilla 6:24:07
9 877 Ernesto Badong 6:28:46
10 696 Ric Adrian Salay 6:36:32
11 695 Miguel De Alba 6:36:33
12 896 Jessie Llarena 6:38:14
13 591 Teodulo Alferez, Jr 6:44:20
14 745 Allan Palomares 6:44:21
15 889 Allan Martos 6:51:04
16 882 Kharl Ocampo 6:59:36
17 686 Alain Cuchas Ilaguno 6:59:37
18 879 Jason Sison 7:05:48
19 698 Frederick Quitiquit 7:08:17
20 887 Wesley Orana 7:09:14
21 890 Carl Balagot 7:09:15
22 654 Chips Dayrit 7:10:58
23 653 Darryl Panado 7:11:01
24 778 Angelo Anillo 7:11:02
25 661 Jorell Paringit 7:13:19
26 694 Dennis Carcamo 7:13:20
27 657 Emmanuel Chavez 7:18:41
28 692 Candy Balaba (Female) 7:19:40
29 894 Mark Anthony Delumen 7:25:41
30 872 Benedict Muriel 7:25:45
31 873 Harold Ramirez 7:25:46
32 892 Ofelia Lorete (Female) 7:27:53
33 665 Mary Jane Villamor (Female) 7:32:08
34 664 Jerome Aragones 7:32:09
35 883 Nap Ocampo 7:36:52
36 669 Don Armand Gutierrez 7:43:16
37 885 Choy Zaguirre 7:43:35
38 689 Jojo Paguia 7:44:11
39 880 Carmeli Ortega (Female) 7:45:11
40 884 Alex Jones 7:45:30
41 697 Maria Stephanie Hefti (Female) 7:55:33
42 875 Vic Delima II 7:56:02
43 876 Ruben Fajardo, Jr 7:56:03
44 662 Jonah Rivera 7:59:59
45 886 Jericho De Jesus 8:06:44
46 667 Jinky Yray 8:07:37
47 748 Perkins Briones 8:09:17
48 871 Russell Sanchez  8:12:06
49 893 Harold Lorete 8:42:59
50 891 Jinkee Guerrero 8:43:27
51 895 Joseph Ligot 8:43:29

See you on the next BDM 52K “Test Run” on February 11, 2012. Assembly Time is 6:00 AM @ BDM Kilometer Post #50 in Abucay, Bataan.

Keep on training!

In Memory Of Our Fallen Heroes In The Name Of Peace & Freedom

2012 BDM 102/160 "Brave Warriors" (Photo Courtesy Of Simon Pavel Miranda)

Reminders: 2012 BDM 102 “50K Test Run”

13 01 2012

To All BDM 102 Runners:

This “test run” will simulate your run on Race Day, on March 3-4, 2012. This test run will be held tomorrow, January 14, 2012, which will start at the Bataan Death March (BDM) Shrine in Mariveles, Bataan where the BDM Kilometer Post/Obelisk #00 is located. The Assembly Time is 9:00 PM as most of the participants had signified their intention to register On Site. The Registration Fee is P 500.00 as this event will be properly timed and recorded.

BDM Shrine Kilometer Post #00 In Mariveles, Bataan

The Gun Start is at 10:00 PM (the same time for the Race Day). The “test run” has a cut-off time of nine (9) hours for the runners to reach/cross the Finish Line at the BDM Kilometer Post #50 which is located within the vicinity of the Abucay Public Market in Abucay, Bataan.

Participants have to take note of the following BDM Kilometer Posts where critical intersections are located: Kilometer Posts #14; #23; and #32. Once the runners see these posts, they have to TURN RIGHT on the road intersection in order for them to be on the actual route of the Bataan Death March.

As the runners would be staying on the left side of the road, facing the incoming traffic, the BDM Kilometer Posts are located on the right side of the road throughout the route of the event.

Runners are reminded to test the following during the run: wearing of reflectorized vest; race strategy; hydration & nutrition strategy; the positioning of one’s support vehicle & crew; running shoes & kit; use of first aid kit for blisters & other running-related injuries; and the use of one’s choice of lighting system.

Runners should be aware that the road will be dark during the run and there is a possiblity of rain showers and windy environment on the first 20 kilometers of the run. Practically, you will be running on top of a mountain with the wind coming from the sea/coast.

There is a lot of stray dogs on populated areas along the road. Make sure that your Ipod/MP3s volume are not too loud for you to determine the distance of the barking dogs from you. Take necessary precautions for these barking dogs.

There is a lot night spots/karaoke bars along the route and some of the customers could be drunk or surprised to see runners on nighttime. Find time to greet, wave or smile at them before they could say anything. Be friendly and smart.

For safety purposes, try to find somebody who has the same pace with you and at least, you have a companion during the run. Better if you can run with a group. However, remember to run on single file on the left side of the road. If the shoulder of the road is wide enough for two runners abreast, then it is allowed with care and vigilance.

When crossing the road to the other side to approach your respective support vehicle, be sure to stop, listen, and look around for any incoming vehicle before crossing. Support vehicles are also advised to stay on the right side shoulder of the road when on stop.

Remember, the starting area is in MARIVELES (not in Bagac, Bataan where another BDM Km Post #00 is located). The BDM Shrine in Mariveles, Bataan is located beside the JOLLIBEE. You will never get lost once you see the sign of the fastfood establishment.

(Note: For those who are joining this test run without support vehicle, you can take the Genesis Bus or Bataan Transit from their Cubao Terminal. Allocate at least 5 Hours as Travel Time)

Good luck! See you at the Starting Line!

Trinity Of Sports

11 01 2012

Carl Von Clausewitz’ book “On War” stated that “War is the continuation of policy by other means”. Success in war and in any military endeavor requires adherence to what he calls the “Trinity of War” which are the main elements to be considered and satisfied. The Trinity of War consists of: (1) United Government; (2) Support of the Citizenry/Populace; and (3) Strong and “well-oiled” Armed Forces.

In relation to Sports, I think there is also what it is called the “Trinity of Sports”. First is Government Support; Second is Population/Public Support & Interest; and Third is National Pool of Athletes (being represented by the different National Sports Federations). Absence of one of the elements would mean FAILURE in any of the competition event that the country would participate.

Government Support is a “must” if we want to excel in international competition like the SE Asian Games, Asian Games, and the Olympic Games. It is very self-explanatory as the government has the bulk of resources for the promotion of sports and support for the athletes.

Populatiom/Public Support & Interest is where the Corporate Sponsors would come in and the Media has a great contribution in creating awareness to the whole citizenry. Population is obviously the source of our athletes.

National Pool of Athletes is where good leadership is needed in the different Sports Federations in the country. Poor selection of athletes, “favoritism” and lack of sports development in the grassroots level will surely derail the quality of athletes we are sending in international competition. This is where proper training, equipment, international exposure, good coaching, nutrition, sports psychology, sports medicine and other sports advancement will come in.

If only we could adhere to these elements of the “Trinity of Sports”, we could easily excel in any sports discipline we would like to compete. But going back to the words of Carl Von Clausewitz, “the simple things are the hardest things to do”, these Trinity of Sports could be easily understood but doing something about them would take a gargantuan task for eveybody. However, I still believe that there is still hope for the country as long as we stick to the basics—discover more raw talents in the grassroot level through awareness and local sports competitions and “nurture” them to become world-class elite athletes!

Do you believe that “Sports is also a continuation of policy by other means”?

Another food for thought for the day. See you at the Starting Line!

Running Sartorialist #4: The Lady Ninja

10 01 2012

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