“Back To The Slope” #4 (3rd Week)


1. For this week, I slowly introduced some speed drills during my runs. The speed drills consist of “fartlek” and “strides” incorporated during my runs. My “fartlek” runs are done by increasing my pace for the duration of one minute and then continue with my usual pace during the run. After 2 minutes of my regular pace, I do another repetition of a fast-paced one minute duration until I could do at least 10 repetitions. Sometimes, I do some counting from 1 to 60 as my left foot touches the ground during my “fartlek” runs.

2. For the “strides”, I do a fast-paced run of 100 meters and then go back to my regular pace for the next 100 meters. I usually do this while running on the oval track. I do at least 20 repetitions of the “strides” during my running workout at the oval track.

3. My total mileage for this week is 62 kilometers. The following were my workouts for the 3rd week:

28 Dec (Monday)—10K Easy Run at The Fort with an average pace of 6:18 mpk

29 Dec (Tuesday)—12K Easy Run at Camp Aguinaldo with an average pace of 6:09 mpk.

30 Dec (Wednesday)—Rest Day (?) Rizal Day 32K Run as Race Director.

31 Dec (Thursday)—12K Easy Run at The Fort & McKinley Hill with an average pace of 6:36 mpk.

01 Jan (Friday)—10K Easy Run with “Fartleks” at UP Diliman Compound with an average pace of 6:07 mpk.

02 Jan (Saturday)—12K Easy Run at The Fort with an average pace of 6:45 mpk.

03 Jan (Sunday)—6K Fast Run at the Rizal High School Oval Track with an average pace of 5:25 mpk.

4. My run last Sunday, 03 Jan at the Rizal High School Oval Track in Pasig City was supposed to be an active recovery run for about 30 minutes. However, once I started my run after my stretching and warm-up, I felt I was running faster than my usual pace for an easy run. I felt comfortable with my pace and continued my run and finished 6K. I really do not know if the Adidas TechnoFit compression/tight shorts was instrumental for my fast pace. It was my first time to try such compression shorts with “special bands” squeezing my butt, hamstring, and quadricep muscles. I have yet to use it more in my runs in order to assess and evaluate its usefulness as its price is too expensive as compared to other compression shorts.

“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.

Swimming

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.

“Back To The Slope!”


1. When I was a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy, I always hear this statement or command from my Tactical Officers if they want the cadets to repeat a practice on our Parades and Ceremonies after doing one or two rounds. The start area of our parade and drills is a sloping/downhill road towards the Borromeo Field, the Parade Ground of the Academy. Figuratively, if this phrase or statement is uttered, it means that you have to repeat from the start what you have done in order to correct a mistake or error.

2. After five weeks of rest & recovery due to an injury, I am going “back to the slope!” and have started to follow a training program as a guide for my future marathon and ultramarathon races for the year 2010 and beyond.

3. The first step in my training program is to abide and recall the most basic principle in training for a running event—base training. I always say in my running clinic lectures that preparing for a running event is like constructing a building or a house where you need to have a durable and stable base/foundation. In running, base training  means building a base of aerobic endurance.

4. So, early this morning, I had my first “base training” at the ULTRA Oval Track completing a distance of 10 kilometers, running along the outer lane. I did my stretching exercises before and after the run. In addition, I did some running-related “drills” during and after the run. I finished my 10-K run in 1:09:13 hours with an average pace of 6:55 minutes per kilometer. I was so happy that I was able to breach the 7:00-minute per kilometer pace. Slowly, but surely, I could run within my base training pace.

5. To give a full description of the drills I’ve done during/after my run, I am posting the following pictures with the hope that other runners would also adopt them to make them stronger and faster.

"Running No Arms"
Front View of "Running No Arms"

To do this drill, a runner must lace his fingers and form a big circle with his arms at shoulder level. Run 100 yards at moderate fast pace with arms in this position. Return to your running form after 100 yards and repeat after running another 100 yards. I did 10 times of this drill while I was running around the track.

This drill forces my inner abdominal muscles to maintain an upright posture and activates such muscles while running. It also eliminates unnecessary swaying or rotation of my shoulders from my waist while running.

"One-Leg Hop"
One-Leg At A Time

To do this drill, one has to run as fast as possible with one leg for 20 seconds or approximately 20 leaps/bounce or more. This drill will increase one’s push-off power of the feet and will enhance the stability of the hips, pelvis, lower spine and knees on impact of the foot to the ground by forcing the muscles to stabilize the joints for a short period of time.

Lesson #1: In a training cycle, first phase is to develop your aerobic endurance base.

(Source/Reference: “Brain Training For Runners” by Matt Fitzgerald)