“Back To The Slope” #2 (1st Week)

1. “Back To The Slope” simply means “Back To Basics”. After a forced rest & recovery due to a chronic muscle tear on my Peronues muscle for six (6) weeks, I am starting from base training again. This “Back To Slope” thing will be a series of “tips and lessons” for beginners as well as competitive runners.

2. For the 1st week of my training cycle, I was able to run a total of 55 kilometers as seen on the following log of my runs:

14 Dec (Monday)—10K in 1:09+ hours at an average pace of 6:55 mins per km

15 Dec (Tuesday)—6K in 45+ minutes at an average pace of 7:04 mins per km

16 Dec (Wednesday)—8K in 48+ minutes at an average pace of 5:57 mins per km

17 Dec (Thursday)—8K in 1:00+ hours at an average pace of 7:29 mins per km

18 Dec (Friday)—10K in 1:02+ hours at an average pace of 6:13 mins per km

19 Dec (Saturday)—13K in 1:35+ hours at an average pace of 7:27 mins per km

20 Dec (Sunday)—Rest/30-min Active Recovery Run

3. As gleaned from my log workout for this week, I’ve been strictly following the 2nd training principle which I want my readers to know and follow. It is the principle of “hard-easy” method. If the workout intensity is hard for today, the following day’s workout should be easy. By following this principle, the body would be able to rest and recover for the following day’s workout. This is one way of preventing a running-related injury.

4. There will be no road races on Sundays for my base training phase. I am giving a day for my body to rest & recover for the week’s running workouts after doing a 30-minute slow active recovery run (at 7:30-8:00 mpk pace). However, I strictly made more stretching and selected Pilates exercises before and after my daily workouts.

5. The following are the suggested “drills” and stretching/Pilates workouts for core strengthening:

Forward or Walk Lunges

 Lunge one foot forward as far as you can and bring the body down while bringing both arms up in the air. Do 10 lunges per foot/leg.

Push-Up (Starting Position & Up Position)

 I always try to do 20 repetitions of push-up properly after my workouts. Be sure that your upper arms are aligned with your back when you are on “down” position. Your palms’/hands’ distance should be your shoulders’ width.

Push-Up (Down Position)

 Try to keep your feet together and the whole body should form a straight line while doing your repetitions. Inhale as you push your body up and exhale while you put your body down.

Leg & Upper Torso Lift

 Try to hold your body in this position from 30 seconds to one minute while maintaining your regular breathing. You will be surprised what part of the body will be strenghtened!

The Hundred

 They call this as “The Hundred” because you have to pump your arms 100X while maintaining this pose and regualr breathing.

Roll Like An Egg On The Spine

 This rolling exercise will strengthen your spine and your back muscles.


Lift your legs and upper torso with arms straigthen forward and hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat 4X. Maintain regular breathing.

Lesson #2: Follow the “Hard-Easy” method of training.

Pilates @ Gold’s Gym

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)