3rd Day: Quad Marathons

At 11:20 PM of Saturday, June 10, 2017, all the runners had to transfer to the LAOAG Landmark at the Laoag City Plaza for the assembly, briefing, and start of the third Marathon Race as the new START and FINISH areas for the 3rd and last Marathon.

3rd Day Briefing Start
Briefing Before The Start (Picture By Joaquin Bordado)

Upon the start of the race, the runners have to cross the one-kilometer long Gilbert Bridge as they move towards the south direction. The first town that they would reach is the Municipality of San Nicolas which is famous for their hand-made claypots. As the runners pass the San Nicolas Church, they have to turn left towards the San Nicolas-Dingras Highway and follow the said Highway going to the east direction, passing some Barangays of San Nicolas and Sarrat. It should be noted that this particular route is exactly parallel to the route on the 2nd Day. After 17 kilometers, the runners will reach the Poblacion of Dingras and the turn-around point is beside the Covered Court/Multi-Purpose Hall of the Municipality.

3rd Day Start
3rd Day Marathon Group Picture Before The Start (Picture By May Santos)

The race started at 11:35 PM and 10 minutes earlier than the 2nd day Marathon. It was somewhat cooler when the runners were running along the Gilbert Bridge but once we hit the populated area of Barangay Uno of San Nicolas, the air became warmer and humid. With the help of one of the runners of Team Kimat, Joaquin Bordado, he was requested to position himself at the intersection going to Dingras at the San Nicolas’ Claypot Marker as a Marshal to prevent the runners as well as their Support Vehicles to go towards the City of Batac.

The course have some rolling hills and also lined up with trees and other vegetated areas/rice fields. There are some portions where some road constructions and bridges are being widened and repaired. But the course is relatively flat. I was surprised to find out that there are Hotels and Resorts along the route. I was informed that the new River Mount Hotel and Resort has the best swimming pool in the province.

Aside from the resorts, along the route is where the Main Office of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative is located, 4-5 kilometers away from Poblacion of Dingras. One can see also the bridge that connects Dingras and Sarrat (crossing the Laoag’s Padsan River) as an alternative route from those coming from the towns of Marcos and Nueva Era in going to Laoag City.

As I was approaching the turn-around point, I came to realize that the turn-around point should had been the PETRON Gas Station where my GPS Watch registered a distance of 13.1 miles. There was an extra 400-meter distance yet to be covered before I could reach the announced turn-around point. By this time, I was already the 7th runner to reach the place. In summary, the 2rd Day Marathon was longer by 800 meters!

3rd Day Turn Around Point
Turn-Around Point (21K) @ Poblacion Dingras (Picture By May Santos)

There seems to be a close competition among the top 3 runners! Since the Day 2 race, these runners had been putting off their headlights while they are on the run making sure that they could not be seen from afar from one another. I think somebody had leaked the information (which is supposed to be a surprise!) that I will be awarding the Overall Top 3 Podium Finishers for the whole event. I think these runners know the significance of being “Pioneers” and being the Top Podium Finishers of this new BR’s event.

The following is the result of the 3rd Day Marathon:

RANK      NAME              TIME (Hrs)

  1. Gibo Malvar ———— 4:45:44
  2. Dondon Talosig ——- 5:00:49
  3. Rod Losabia ———— 5:35:56
  4. Tess Leono (F) ——— 5:38:11
  5. Rose Betonio (F) —— 6:01:28
  6. Jovie Narcise/BR —— 6:17:43
  7. Reese Rogel (F) ——– 6:37:40

After the Awarding of Medals and Shirts, we had our usual group picture and it was time to recover again for the last and 4th Marathon Race. All the runners will be starting for the next/last race tonight!

3rd Day Finish Group Picture
Group Picture After Finishing The 3rd Marathon (Picture By May Santos)


Jeff Galloway’s Lecture @ Oakwood

Weeks before the arrival of Jeff Galloway to the country, I was invited by Lit Onrubia after he crossed the Finish line at the Rizal Day 32K Run to attend in one of the scheduled lectures. On the other hand, a few days after,  Jerome Cartailler, BDM 102 veteran/PAU runner and resident chef of Oakwood Premier also extended his invitation for me to attend a “shorter” version of Jeff Galloway’s Lecture at the said hotel. I learned later that Jeff Galloway stayed at the said hotel during the duration of his stay in Manila.

I opted to join the lecture at the Oakwood Premier as it suited to my schedule for the said weekend. Twenty minutes before the scheduled start of the activity, I was already at the venue with another runner. Jonel Mendoza of FrontRunner Magazine joined later and Lit Onrubia of Chi Running was also there as he acted as the host and moderator of the event.

As soon as Jeff Galloway entered the lecture area, Jonel and I approached him and we started a conversation with him. As usual, Jonel was the more articulate and talkative one for the introductions and Jonel “trapped” Jeff Galloway with copies of his FrontRunner Magazine as he gave Jeff lots of them. The “blitzkrieg” approach led to a special pose for picture with the guest lecturer!

Number 1!!! BR, JG, JM

I could sense that Jeff Galloway knew things about me and Jonel (He could have visited my blog or had been well-informed by his Hosts about the running community and the running magazine of Jonel). He started a topic where he informed us about his son, Brennan Galloway, a running film producer who made lots of running films about the famous “minimalist” ultra trail runner, Anton Krupicka. There you go, Jeff knows that we are ultra marathon runners!

After a few conversations with the guests and Jeff, the lecture started at least 10 minutes late from the schedule which was okey with us as more interested guests were entering the venue. At least, 40 guests were present during the lecture.

Jeff Galloway had been in the country when he was still in the active military service as he was with the US Navy in his younger years. He knows about Subic and Olongapo, of course! He did not mention the particular year when he was here in the country. I could only guess that he was here during the Martial Law years under the administration of former President Marcos. (Note: Dr George Sheehan, a runner, writer and lecturer was also with the US Navy rising to the rank of Navy Captain).

One Hour Lecture Full of Information About Run-Walk Strategy

Jeff Galloway Lecture was geared towards his “The NO PAIN Marathon Program”. Let me quote the brochure which was available for all of us that explains the Jeff Galloway Method of Training:

  • Minimum workouts needed: 20-30 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday plus a weekend run.
  • Weekend Run gradually increases to goal distance in gentle increases, followed by short runs.
  • Walk breaks are inserted into every run, from the beginning, to erase pain and fatigue
  • Avoid running too fast by using a “magic mile” prediction exercise (MM).
  • Many surveys have shown that taking walk breaks early and often result in faster finish times.

The “Magic Mile” can predict current potential and set long run pace. You should be able to time yourself for one mile (4 laps around the oval track) about every 3 weeks and the following Run-Walk-Run Strategies should be followed depending on your pace (per km or per mile).

Pace Per Km Pace Per Mile Run/Walk Amount
4:58 8:00 4 min/30 sec
5:16 8:30 4 min/45 sec
5:35 9:00 4 min/1 min
6:12 10:00 3 min/1 min
6:50 11:00 2.5 min/1 min
7:27 12:00 2 min/ 1 min
8:04 13:00 1 min/ 1min
8:41 14:00 30 sec/ 30 sec
9:19 15:00 30 sec/ 45 sec
9:56 16:00 20 sec/ 40 sec
10:33 17:00 15 sec/ 45 sec
11:11 18:00 10 sec/ 50 sec

 More interesting insights and information were gathered during the “Open Forum” where Jeff Galloway was able to answer questions from the guests. Some of the pointers were the following:

  • He does not recommend stretching exercises  for long distance runners
  • Extensive Long Slow Distance Run (LSD) every 3 weeks in the Marathon Program
  • More Long Runs For Endurance rather than Speed runs
  • “Speed Training” is NOT recommended for the 1st time Marathon runners. They should simply enjoy the experience and have fun
  • On Core Strengthening, he recommends two (2) workouts: “Arms Swinging with Light Weights” (natural form when running) and Abdominal “Crunches”
  • Running is controlled by the Brain Function
  • On running compression tights, no benefits on the performance of a long distance runner. However, there are studies that compression calf sleeves are the most beneficial to runners. He highly recommends such apparel to long distance runners.
  • Water hydration during the race is the only thing that is needed during a marathon race.
  • It takes 24-48 hours for the body to absorb the replacement electrolytes from Sports Drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde, Propel, Pocari Sweat, and others.
  • Carboloading from foods rich in carbohydrate taken a day before the race is beneficial.

On a personal note, I don’t agree with his answers about his view on the unnecessary need of sports drinks and food being ingested during the marathon race. In a country like ours, the heat and humidity make our body metabolism faster and there is a need for sports drinks and food to be taken in somewhere along the marathon distance. He thought that Philippines is like Taiwan, South Korea, Japan or the United States where the temperature is too low that a runner could hardly perspire during a marathon race.

I could follow the Run-Walk-Run Galloway Method in an ultra running event to last and finish the distance but I will never walk in a Marathon Race where my goal is to finish a better PR best time.

Ironically, in my collection of running books, I found out that I don’t have any of the books written by Jeff Galloway.

Masters In Marathon (M.I.M)

While reading the back issue of the magazine “Running Times” dated November 2003, I came upon an article entitled “A Master’s in Marathoning: Choosing the Education of Running” by Mike Tymn. The article stated that running a marathon race is in itself a post-graduate education degree that has a curriculum and subjects to be attended to. For a student who enrolls in this Graduate Studies on Marathon Running, it would take years before he/she could complete or graduate depending on the goal/objective to be attained—to simply finish or finish within a desired time or improve one’s PR or qualify for the Boston Marathon! The following is some of the excerpts from the said article:

The marathon curriculum begins with courses in anotomy, physiology, and medicine. We learn about cardiovascular endurance, anaerobic threshold, oxygen debt, target heart rate, maximal oxygen uptake, running injuries, pronation, supination, to name just a few. The curriculum continues with courses in Physical Education as we are schooled in the principles of adaptation, overload, progression, specificity of training, recovery and rest. We are exposed to interval training, fartlek, LSD, circuit training, stretching, tapering, pacing, peaking and overtraining. We learn about diet and nutrition, finding out what to eat and what not to eat. We are introduced to carbohydrate loading, electrolyte replacement, and proper hydration.

The marathon curriculum includes lessons in psychology, as we must better understand how to deal with problems in goal setting, self-motivation, mood swings, errors in anticipation, regression under stress, and fear of failure. We learn about such things as mental rehearsal, visualization, and self-reward reinforcement.

There are also lessons in planning, time management, and conflict resolution, especially for the runner who is attempting to balance family and occupational responsibilities with the demands of training.

I see the marathon as a microcosmic lesson in life. We learn to commit ourselves to a goal, to discipline ourselves to the demands of that goal, to develop, adapt and evolve, to pace ourselves for both the short and the long haul, to cruise, to struggle, to overcome, to struggle again, to push on, to slowly “die”, (as oxygen is depleted), then to be “reborn” (as we cross the finish line).

There are so many lessons.

We learn that we can work a lot harder than we had ever realized possible, but we also learn that we can work too hard and set ourselves back.

We learn that we can start too fast and never finish, and we can go out slow and never catch up.

We learn that winning or achieving our goals can be fun and fulfilling, but we also learn that winning can bring unwanted pressures and harmful stresses.

We learn that being a poor loser is better than being a poor winner.

We learn that our fiercest rivals can be our best friends.

We learn that success can instill pride, but it can also bring an abundance of humility.

We learn that we can get slower with age but faster with adaptation and experience.

We learn that there are a lot of contradictions in running, just as there are in life, and the key is a balance mixed with just the right amount of patience, persistence and perseverance.

More than anything, marathon running is a course in philosophy, an attempt to answer the essential questions of life. To what end? At what price? The questions and answers are endless.

Whether you are an elite athlete who makes running as your source of income or a competitor who finds challenge in trying to find your body limits or a runner who wants to engage in an active healthy lifestyle, running in itself is a way of life.

So, if you want to graduate in this course of Masters in Marathon, you have to “pay your dues/fees”, study your lessons, do your assignments/homeworks, and above all, pass your quizzes and comprehensive examinations!

(Source: A Master’s in Marathoning: Choosing the Education of Running by Mike Tymn. Running Times Magazine. November 2003. pp. 29-30)

Things Your Dad/Mom Forgot To Tell You About Marathon Running

…Assuming that your parents are seasoned marathon runners!

The following are the 13 rules of marathon running, principles which must be followed if you want to have a great race. These are things your Dad/Mom should have told you about, although if he/she had known you were going to become an avid marathon runner, he/she might have invested in counseling rather than inform you about training and sports-nutrition.

Rule #1—You should treat the marathon as a power race, not just a test of endurance.

Rule #2—If you are running about 35 to 40 miles per week (56 to 64 kms) and want to become a better marathoner, you should not simply add on more mileage.

Rule #3—You must optimize your lactate-threshold running speed (LTRS) before your marathon.

Rule #4—Plan your workouts so that you accomplish five key (5) tasks ( endurance, tempo runs, speed runs, recovery, & tapering) before race day.

Rule #5—Start the race slowly

Rule #6—Make your pre-marathon long runs “race-specific”.

Rule #7—Take in four (4) grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day during your marathon training.

Rule #8—If you are female, schedule your marathon for the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle (the time period between the onset of menstrual flow and ovulation).

Rule #9—In spite of what everyone says, do not smear vaseline on your foot before the race begins.

Rule #10—Have a BM (Bowel Movement) before the race.

Rule #11—Do not run a race while bearing a child.

Rule #12—Stay away from ill people during the week after your race.

Rule #13—Rest for seven (7) days–with no running at all–after your marathon.

Reference: IAAF New Studies in Athletics Quarterly Journal. April 2007. page 86