Monday Long Run


8:15-11:00 AM 26 November 2007 

After my 10K Animo Race yesterday, I planned to have my Monday Long Run to improve my running form and foot-strike on the ground with my new New Balance 902 running shoes.

I started late in the morning as I was expecting more cloudy skies brought about by Typhoon “Mina”. I left my quarters in Fort Bonifacio at 8:15 AM after 15 minutes of stretching. I started slowly on my pacing focusing on my toe-heel footstrike. From the Gate near the Libingan Road, I turned left towards the “Heritage Mile” up to C5 Highway–then back at “Heritage Mile” and then turned left towards the Gate of Libingan ng mga Bayani. I did 2 1/2 rounds around the Libingan grounds taking the outer most roads and then back to the “Heritage Mile” up to C5 Highway. From C5, I passed through the “Heritage Mile” all the way to the Libingan Road up to the Lawton Road going towards The Fort Area.

After passing Essensa, I turned right towards South of the Market & at the back of Serendra taking the road leading to the “Fully Booked” Store at the Bonifacio High Street Mall. I slowly jogged along the stores and establishments that are lined in the said Mall, peeping from one sports store to another. From the western end of the stretch, I turned right towards the MC Home Depot and then turned left towards the first branch of Jollibee at The Fort. I turned left after reaching Jollibee and jogged all the way to McDonald’s, then passing by the front street of Pacific Towers, to Essensa, then to the Main Gate of Fort Bonifacio.

I started to cool down after I entered the Main Gate of Fort Bonifacio and slowly jogged up to my quarters which is about 800-meter distance. My total time for the run is 2 hours, 35 minutes & 18 seconds. I estimate that I was able to run a distance of 23-24 kilometers. For the two hours that I’ve been running, I was having an average pace of 6:00-6:15 minutes per kilometer.

The following target objectives were attained during my long run today: I was able to sustain a continuous ball-heel footstrike for 45 minutes; I was able to continuously sustain my speed at the “Heritage Mile” all the way to the Essensa which I consider as the “Killer Last Two Miles” of the Pasig River Heritage Marathon; improved more on my running form; and develop more endurance & stamina to run for more than two hours.

Slowly, I am improving on my running form with my New Balance 902. I did not feel any pain on my quads, hamstrings, calves, and knees after running for more than two hours. My Nathan “SOB” Water Belt was helpful in this kind of long runs where I made a refill of water in one of the stores at the Bayani Road.

The “Heritage” Mile


Last Wednesday morning, between 7:00 AM-9:00 AM, I had my run from my quarters in Fort Bonifacio to the Libingan ng mga Bayani grounds. I finished 2 rounds of the outer circle/outer roads of the cemetery and went out passing infront of the Heritage Park towards C-5 Road. From C-5 Road, I made my speed run up to the Bayani Road (Ft Bonifacio Gate near the Chapel). I call this stretch as the “Heritage” Mile! This is the place where I totally walked during the 2005 Pasig River Heritage Marathon which took me almost 20 to 30 minutes. I made two sets of running through this stretch from C-5 using the bermuda covered lawn of the park just to remove the “ghost” of the past. It took me at least 8 minutes to run the distance.

From the “Heritage” Mile, I went back to the Libingan grounds and ran another 1 1/2 rounds and then returned to the streets of Paoville (Officers’ Quarters area) and back to my quarters. My whole running time was 1 hour & 48 minutes. I estimate that I was able to run about 17 to 18 kilometers or 11.25 miles.

Comment: I was annoyed and irritated by the sunblock lotion I placed on my face. The lotion got mixed with my sweat and it entered to my eyes. The irritation on my both eyes practically made me blind during the first round at the Libingan. I had to stop at the outpost and asked for bath soap and water from the soldiers/guard to wash my face. I got a lesson from this experience, not to use sunblock again!

Yasso 800s


I found out about “Yasso 800s” when I started buying back issues of Runners World Magazine for the months of April, June & July of this year. I bought these back issues last month when I started running seriously again. I thought Yasso 800s is some kind of an equipment that improves the performance of a runner or an equipment that measures the strength and endurance of a runner.

My research in the Internet brought me to the article of Amby Burfoot in the September 2001 issue of the Runners World Magazine where he started to use the term “Yasso 800s” based from the training experiences of Mr Bart Yasso in his preparation for a Marathon race. According to Mr Yasso, he runs sets of 800-meter runs and the average time in these runs could predict accurately his time to finish a marathon race. If he averages 2:45 minutes in his 800-meter runs, he predicts that he could finish the marathon in 2 hours & 45 minutes. Simply put, the minutes & seconds a runner could finish sets of 800-meter runs is translated to hours & minutes as predicted time to finish the marathon.

Early this morning, I ordered some of my men to measure a distance of 800 meters, with a measuring tape used by my engineers,  along the 2-mile route I am using in my camp in Jamindan. The first 400 meters is slightly uphill and the rest is relatively plain.

I tried my first Yasso 800s at noon today when the rains stopped. After a short stretching exercises, I did my first set at 3:49 mins and slowly jogged 400 meters. My second run was 3:45 mins. My third run was 3:46 mins. My fourth & last run was 3:52 mins. I between these runs (2nd to 4th) I jogged 500-700 meters as my recovery runs. Before I ended my brief and testing for my first Yasso 800s, I slowly jogged 1 km to cool down. I ended the workout with the stretching of my legs. I ran a total of 6-7 kilometers for the whole Yasso 800s workout.

I am happy with the results of my brief Yasso 800s runs. If Mr Yasso is right in his predictions/theory, I am predicting that I am regaining my power, strength, and endurance when I was a serious runner 25 years ago. This is a positive result after three weeks of serious training for a marathon.

Thanks, Mr Yasso, you will be my regular training partner every week!!!

Sunday’s Long Slow Distance Run


18 November 2007

For not running for the past three days, I planned to have my long slow distance (LSD) run for Sunday. I felt the three-day rest I imposed to myself made me nervous and uneasy, thinking that the mileage I have ran for the past days would be meaningless and gone to waste. For the past weeks, I’ve been trying to test and evaluate my body if I could still run the Marathon despite the short preparations and training adjustments I have to make while I am doing my job with my unit or command. This is the reason why I came up with a Training Journal so that I can review and evaluate my training progress. But the 3-day rest since Thursday is telling me that my body could no longer take the beating of a Marathon, more so that I am getting older since I concentrated on training and finishing my yearly marathons in the ’80s & ’90s. But my mind would tell me otherwise..I wanted to run some more!

Finally, last night I’ve decided to run even if Sunday is supposed to be a rest day but those three days had made me restless, uncomfortable and uneasy. It seems my body is asking for more beating on the road and for more practice runs. I prepared my grey Accel shorts, white t-shirt, socks and my New Balance running shoes. I slept early last night just to be sure I have at least seven hours of sleep. I had my alarm clock set at 4:30 AM and intend to have my run at exactly 5:00 AM after a short stretching session.

As scheduled, I started my run at 5:00 AM with a small flashlight on my right hand as the surrounding was still dark. I conditioned my mind that this practice run is a long, slow distance run and had to control my pace. After running for almost one kilometer, it started to rain! I made a wrong decision not to wear my Fort Ilocandia Golf Club baseball cap! The rain started to hit/drop on my bald head and the feeling was refreshing. I kept on running while the rain was on and off. On my second kilometer, my sweat started to mix with the rain and my whole t-shirt was damp.

I made my run along the 2-mile route that I have measured inside the camp. Practically, the course is a hill practice route. I prepositioned a number of bottled water at the starting line where I can take a drink every after a round of the route. My first round’s time was 18:48 mins and I had to slow down as I wanted my pace to be slower. I guess, I started to run faster when I felt the rain falling on my head! At least, I wanted to have an average pace of 20 mins per round (2 miles) or 10 mins per mile pace. So, for the next rounds I have to slow down.

I really wanted to test my body how it feels when I run continuously for two hours, not thinking of the distance I could cover for the duration of my run. Slowly and consistently, I was able to finish and stop my run for the morning after completing seven (7) rounds of my 2-mile route. If not for the Sunday Mass which is scheduled at 8:00 AM this morning, I could have run more and test my body at how much time lapsed and how far is the distance that I could cover before I hit my “wall”. I stopped at 7:20 AM and did my stretching exercises after the run. For two hours and twenty minutes, I was still strong and wanted to run some more. But my schedule with God, the Creator for at least one hour per week in our Chapel has the most priority to attend to during Sundays.

For this morning, I was able to run 14 miles or 22.4 kilometers for a time of 2:20:00. This is the longest run I’ve made since I started to train again for the Marathon or be serious again in joining the road races in Manila. I was running at an average pace of 6:15 mins per kilometer or 10:00 mins per mile which was very comfortable and easy for me.

Surprisingly, I don’t feel any pain or any injuries on my feet and legs. I got some rashes on my groin area because of the wet running shorts that always got stucked to the inner portion of my thighs. The rubbing of the wet shorts to my inner thigh made my skin sore. I should had applied more body lotion/oil on my groin area. Anyway, the rashes will be gone in a few days.

Positively thinking, I can conclude that I can still run the Marathon within the four-hour range/sub-five hours if I joined a Marathon Race today! I can feel I am on the right track for my preparations and training for my next Marathon in February 2008. My previous increasing and graduated long runs for the past weeks; hill training runs in Jamindan; regular massage; sleep; and the latest 3-day rest contributed in today’s training accomplishment.

This calls for a celebration..I will drink a glass of Robert Mondavi’s Cabarnet Sauvignon before going to bed tonight!!!

Recap: Training Journal (11-17 Nov 2007)


Total Miles/Kms (Running)—18.125 miles/29 kms

Total Miles/Kms (X-training/Cycling)—13.125 miles/21 km

Total Miles/Kms Covered—31.25 miles/50 kms

Average Speed (Run)—6:00 – 6:15 mins/km or 9:30 – 10:00 mins/mile

Number of Speed Runs—One

Number Speed/Tempo Runs—None

Comments: I am starting to get my strength and endurance for longer distance running. If not for the rains in my place, I could have logged on more kms/miles for the week. Anyway, I was able to have more time to rest and have my muscles recovered through massage and stretching. I hope to improve more on my speed in the next weeks to come. So far, I don’t have any injuries or pain after my rest days. It was a nice week!

My Pictures Today (08 Nov ’07)


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I started my running at 5:30 AM from my quarters, going outside the camp towards the Poblacion of Jamindan, Capiz. This picture was taken inside the camp on my way back to my quarters. The distance from my quarters to the Brgy Aranda Crossing is 7 1/2 kilometers and I ran it in 40:30 mins. I was running at a pace of 5:24 minutes per kilometer.

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I am using my brand new Accel Running Shorts, new cotton singlet/sando from Islands Souvenir which I bought at their store in Bohol Chocolate Hills, my reliable Casio “Sea Pathfinder” Titanium Watch, M716 New Balance Running Shoes, “ONE” Wristband, and my old Fort Ilocandia Golf Club Cap. The Accel Shorts costs me P 350+ and my sando costs me P 250+, cheaper and more comfortable than the Nike Running Apparels.

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I finished my morning run infront of my office/Headquarters. From the turnaround point at Brgy Aranda Crossing to this place, I finished in 41:20 mins. The last 1/2 kilometer was a killer due to the steep grade going up the camp. Overall, I ran a total of 15 kilometers for a time of 1:21:50. My average pace was 5:27.3 per kilometer. I did not stop or walk along the way but I had to drink some bottled water while running–when I reached the turnaround point at Brgy Aranda Crossing and at the 2-km marker before reaching the camp.

“Shuffle, Don’t Bounce”


When I joined the 1st City of Angels Half-Marathon Race in Los Angeles last December 4, 2006 with my daughter, I observed that she was “bouncing” during the run. “Bouncing” means that you are pushing much of your legs after your foot hits the ground. In effect, the whole body is bouncing as you run, creating extra effort to your legs, knees and body. Sometimes, bouncing creates a semblance of being suspended on the air for a half of a second before your leading foot strikes the ground. Well, I didn’t mind her style of running while we were on the race but I encouraged her to increase her speed and maintain her cadence and breathing rythym on the last 3-4 miles before the finish line.

Immediately after the race, she was happy that she was able to improve her PR best time for the distance by 12 minutes. I congratulated her for the determination she had shown despite for the reason that she just had her “monthly visitor” (which she told me only after the race!). Anyway, while we were walking back to home (our house is 2-3 miles away from LA City Hall), I told her about her tendency to “bounce” during running.

Of course, she told me that she is not “bouncing” when she runs. I described and demonstrated how she was “bouncing” while running. I also demonstrated to her how to “shuffle” while running. I suggested and recommended to her to adopt the “shuffle” style of running.

Basically, I am a “shuffler”. Shuffling means that a runner does not need to raise his/her knees too much in the air and the foot should not be ahead of the knees while running. It is an exaggerated trotting of the feet with the ball of the feet or heel hitting much of the ground. This is the most relaxing way to run with the knees not being forced to exert extra effort. It takes time to practice and adopt this kind of running. But for me, this is the best running style I recommend for runners training for their first marathon.

My running models in marathon in the ’80s; Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Robert de Castella, Toshihiko Seko,  Steve Jones, and Waldemar Cierpinski; were all “shufflers”.

My God, I am really that old and bald if you don’t know these famous marathoners in the past!!!

High Altitude Training


I accidentally deleted my previous posting on this topic. I posted this topic while I was in Boracay Island for two days.

Altitude Training or High Altitude Training dates back after the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968 where the city is located 2, 240 meters above sea level. It was at this time when world records on sprints and endurance sports were broken and some of the time records then were not yet surpassed up to this time. Most of the athletes from the high altitude places of Africa, Finland, and New Zealand had excelled in endurance sports events.

Scientific studies showed that when the body is exposed to altitude training, there is less oxygen in the air and due to less oxygen intake, the body tends to develop new red blood cells. New red blood cells means more oxygen in the blood which is translated to more speed, power and endurance.

This is the very reason why it was a part of my planning, practice and strategy to have my practice runs in Baguio City for a minimum of one month up to a maximum of two months. Although Baguio City (1, 530 meters above sea level) is not as high as Mexico City, it was the most accessible place where I can have my altitude training.

I may not be as competetive as the national athletes at that time who were training in Baguio City, but I knew that altitude training gave me more endurance to finish the marathon race without any pains and had faster post recovery than the other runners. In all my marathon practices, I saw to it that Baguio practice runs were part of my training/s.

Simulated altitude training gadgets are already available in the market by elite athletes in other more developed countries but they are expensive. However, I don’t recommend such gadgets/tents to average runners. Actual practice runs in higher elevated places is highly recommended as it is more affordable and economical.

Baguio City is still my best bet to practice altitude running/training. The route from Silang, Cavite to Tagaytay and running within Tagaytay area is also an option. Another option which I tried before is the route from the UP Los Banos Grounds to Mt Makiling peak.