A Comment From RunDmoon

RunDmoon is one of the regular readers and “commentor” in this blog and I met him during the Adidas KOTR Run somewhere at Km-11 post during the race. He greeted me and we exchanged a brief conversation. While running, he told me that “I look so tall in my pictures but I look more handsome in person”. I just laughed and said “Thanks”. I tried keep in pace with him and two other runners but they were on a blistering pace and I just simply maintained my pace. However, he made a parting words of joining the Bataan Death March 102K next year.

He made the following comment on my post where I PRed last Sunday’s Milo National Finals Marathon: 

Hi BR. Can i request a post? I always notice from your posted pics that you are wearing a rolled scarf on you neck. Is that your anting-anting (amulet)? Also, you are wearing cycling shorts in most of your runs. Are there benefits of wearing a tight shorts? Are you trying to make a running fashion statement?

BTW, i’ve reached 999km today. I started Sep 29, 2008. Thanks for the inspiring people to run.

I will answer the first question about the rolled scarf or “bandana” on my neck. When I witnessed the start among the elite runners of the 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon Race last July, I observed that most of the ultramarathoners were wearing such scarfs on their neck. These scarfs are special scarf where a runner would roll into them pieces of “dry ice” that would keep him/her cool during the run/race with 110-125 degrees Farenheit heat along the desert. This was the “secret” of the early ultramarathoners in the early edition of the said ultramarathon race. Some of the ultra runners would simply tie the bandana on their necks to protect their nape from the heat of the sun. Others would simply tie around their head or forehead to catch the sweat dripping from their head. As for me, the rolled bandana/scarf is used as a “catcher” and “absorber” of my sweat from head, making the whole scarf as my “neck cooler” during road races. However, in my past posts, I suggested that those runners intending to run the Bataan Death March 102K would also use such bandana in their runs (training or races) to show support for the said ultramarathon event.

On your question about my running shorts. I am having a “chafing” problem when I use the regular running shorts (with side slits & at least 2 inches inseam) and lately, I only use this kind of running shorts during my training workouts. However, when I use this kind of shorts, I saw to it to apply petroleum jelly or Body Glide on my groin area or inner side of my upper legs. When I run on trails, I use the trail shorts (with pockets and longer inseams with at least 5 inches long). However, I usually use a BIKE compression shorts as my underwear. While I was in the US running those trails in Bulldog and Mt Wilson, I observed that there was a pain (not severe) on my left hamstrings and I tried to look for the famous CW-X compression shorts which has some positive testimonials from runners and triathletes with problems on their hamstrings. Not been able to buy one which is fitted to my size and for my needs while I was in the US, I tried to look for my old BIKE compression shorts which I bought in the early 90s and I was able to locate them and presently using them with my trail shorts. Since my arrival from the US last September, I prefer to use the biking/compression shorts rather than the regular running shorts because of the “chafing” problem; I feel like an “elite” athlete when I am wearing such during races where I can lift my knees higher and thinks that I am “aerodynamically” efficient when wearing it; the compression shorts absorbs more of my sweat rather than my sweat going down to my socks and shoes; it can keep a bottled water or Propel tucked in on my back; the tight feeling the shorts gives to my butt and upper leg muscles gives me the confidence of not having any problems of pain or cramps; and lastly, I wear a compression shorts if I feel I could break a PR for the said race. 

Fashion statement? Following one of Machiavelli’s Laws of Power, “Court Attention At All Cost”, I am a believer/follower of this law. Dress up properly and approriately to gain respect and attention…and let your appearance do the talking.

Congratulations for being one of the finishers of the “1,000-Km Club”. You will be the 7th runner to be awarded the Finisher’s T-shirt from the Bald Runner. That was an incredible feat on your part to finish the distance in two months! I am sure you are truly preparing for the Bataan 102K Ultramarathon! Just leave a comment where I could possibly award your prize with the proper photo-ops. 

The Bald Runner is always here to be of service to the running community and to everybody. Keep on running and run faster!


Cycling Shorts vs Running Shorts

Miraclecello/Cecil, one of my regular visitors, asked me to write about the merits of using a cycling shorts or a regular running shorts in a road race. I tried my best to make a research on this one on published articles and running references but I haven’t seen any resources that deal on this topic. So, this a new thing to tread on and I’ll try my best to give my opinion on this one from my personal experiences and observations.

In my observation in past sports events and athletics events as seen on TV, Sports Magazines, and actual events, the cycling shorts or tight-fitiing shorts which has a leg length of at least six inches from the groin area or the length goes up to few inches above the knees, are used in shorter distance runs in oval tracks (i.e. 100-meter dash to 10,000-meter runs). Seldom you could see elite marathon/ultra-marathon runners using these tight fitting cycling shorts. I can surmised that this kind of shorts impedes ventilation to the groin area and upper legs, thus, this is not preferred to be used in longer distance runs like marathon and ultra-marathon races. The regular running shorts are used to these kind of races.

Most of the triathletes use the cycling shorts because they can use it in swimming to cycling then to running without removing from their body, thus, minimizing their spent time in the transition phase in between events

In my experience, using the regular running shorts in 10K, 20K, half-marathon and marathon races produces “chaffing” or skin rashes on the inside portions of the upper legs as the wet seams of these shorts stick to the skin and rubs the skin as the legs move during running. The cycling shorts don’t produce any “chaffing” or skin rashes as the upper leg portion is covered due to the longer length of the inseams. However, “chaffing” is prevented with the application of baby oil, body lotion, or petroleum jelly on the inner portion of the upper legs.

In last Sunday’s Mizuno Infinity 15K run, my New Balance running shorts produced some “rashes/chaffing” on the inner side of my upper leg due to the wet seams of my short that tend to stick to the skin. The body oil and lotion that I applied on my upper legs were not enough to prevent the “skin rashes”.

Also, in my experience, the cycling shorts absorbs more perspiration/sweat coming from the upper body, thus, preventing the sweat to flow towards the legs and your running socks. As compared to using the regular running shorts where most of my perspiration flows towards my running socks making my feet wet, creating a hard rubbing between my wet socks and my feet. This creates some blisters to my feet in longer distances. Petroleum jelly applied to the feet before wearing your socks would prevent any blisters to the feet.

Using tight cycling shorts could be aerodynamically more advantageous to elite athletes in shorter races or dash runs in the oval tracks and they don’t restrict natural leg movements while running. The regular running shorts could create restrictions in the leg actions while running and could produce more air resistance due to its loose appearance.

Lastly, using the tight cycling shorts need a “bold face” from the user as it invites others to look what and how big your “boil” in between your legs. If you don’t want to create suspicious faces from people when they look at your tight cycling shorts, better use the regular running shorts.

Bottomline? I highly recommend using the regular running shorts in longer distance runs (half-marathon to ultra-marathon) and using the tight cycling shorts in shorter distance runs.

Where Are Those Running Shorts?

Four years ago, I was able to buy two (2) sets of running attire (singlet & shorts) from the Nike Store, colored yellow and black. For some time, I haven’t used these attire but when I showed them to my son, I felt that he liked them, So, I gave them without any hesitation with the thought that I could buy another set of these running attires. But to my frustration, I haven’t been able to locate and buy those running attire from the Nike Store up to this time.

During the ’80s, I’ve been using those Adidas running shorts and “copycats” from Botak Running attire. In the late ’90s, Speedo came up with running shorts with curved edges on its side which was made of water-proof clothing material. The Speedo shorts are light and comfortable. I got two of these and I am still using them in my practice runs. Later, Speedo came up with shorts which could be used for swimming and running and that’s the one I am using in my competetive runs.

I also have those stretchable cycling shorts made for running (without pads) which are being used by elite runners but I guess, the Filipino runners are not yet adapted and used to this kind of running attire. During my races in the US in the mid-’80s, I’ve been using these cycling shorts and sometimes tight & stretchable jogging pants during cooler months. Also in the US, I was able to wear those “mid-rib” shirts during summer months. Today, wearing a tight & stretchable “mid-rib” shirt and  a tight “cycling shorts” in competetive races in this country is a fashion statement!

Two months ago, after going through all the Nike Stores in Manila, Cebu and Iloilo, I accidentally browsed around inside the SM City in Iloilo and found a nice running shorts from Accel and it was cheap. The length is too short which resembles to the “old running shorts” in the ’80s. Although I have used it once in my speed play workouts, I found the shorts very comfortable and found myself to be back in the ’80s again.