Tuesday May 25, 2010

AM: ULTRA/5.6K @ 29 mins/Average Pace: 5:08 mpk (Adidas Adizero Mana)

It was a hot day as I decided to start the week with a short run at the ULTRA/Philsport Oval Track at 8:00 AM of this day. I purposely had the day before, Monday, as my rest day after running back-to-back last Saturday & Sunday. I ran 10.1 K in the morning of Saturday at the MOA-PICC-Cultural Center-MOA Route and another 10.2K run in the evening at the The Fort. Last Sunday, I was about to run in the morning at the MOA Grounds but instead, I just stayed on the sidelines to watch the San Mig Coffee Run. However, at 7:30 PM, I returned to the MOA Complex to run another 12.1K before the start of the Call Center’s Night Fun Run.

I really needed those easy long runs on weekends for my endurance in order to back up my body strength in preparation for my speed runs during the week.

On this day, even if it was too hot, I did my usual warm-up run  for 4 laps at Lane #8. My GF 305 registered a distance of 2.33K with a time of 11:50 minutes; average pace of 5:04 mpk. After a brief water break, I did 2 X 400 at Lane #1 with an interval rest of  1 minute. My first rep was timed at 1:43 mins with an average pace of 4:08 mpk. My 2nd rep was timed at 1:41 mins with an average pace of 4:00 mpk. I could hardly breath after doing two reps because of the heat of the sun. It was too hot that I had to take water break in-between my speed reps. Finally, I decided to stop my 400 meter runs and ended doing an easy run for another 4 laps at Lane #8. I had a time of 12:49 minutes and my legs became heavier as I ended my last 2 laps.

PM: ULTRA/8.8K @ 44 mins/Average Pace: 5:00 mpk (Adidas Adizero Mana)

I joined the BR Speed Training at the ULTRA Oval Track at 6:30 PM with the rest of my elite athletes and the Professionals. I ran the usual 4 laps at the outer lane of the oval track as my warm-up before I did my stretching exercises, brief drills, and core workout. After my water break, I did 4 X 1,600 with an interval rest recovery of 2-3 minutes. The following were the data taken from the GF 305:

1st rep: 7:46 mins; average pace of 4:42 mpk

2nd rep: 7:45 mins; average pace of 4:38 mpk

3rd rep: 7:45 mins; average pace of 4:39 mpk

4th rep: 8:10 mins; average pace of 4:50 mpk

I finished my workout with another easy and relaxing 4 laps at the oval track for my cool down run/jog before doing my post stretching exercises. My body and legs are in shape as I did not feel any pain or issues during my workout. The only problem was the heat and humidity plus the number of runners & walkers using the Oval Track during Tuesday evenings. How I wish the Coaches teaching and supervising the different running clinics at the Oval Track should teach their students on the proper use/etiquette to be observed while running or walking at the oval track. 

After the workout, it was nice to hear the stories and experiences of the Team BR Professionals who participated in the latest “The Bull Runner Dream Marathon” held in the early morning of Saturday. You did great, guys! It was nice also to congratulate Mari Javier of Team BR Professionals who got the Champion Award for the RUNNEX 1oK Run held last Sunday morning at the UP Campus and another Champion Award for the Call Center’s 10K Night Fun Run held in the evening of the same day at the MOA Complex.

The BR Speed Training Staff & Elites are really proud of you! Congratulations!!!


getting back my speed

The first thing that I did after arriving in Manila last Monday afternoon was to have a “deep-tissue” massage for two hours. During my adventure run, I did not have any massage along the way and just rested my legs overnight in every leg of the run.

On the following day, Tuesday morning, I had my active recovery run at The Fort lasting for 30:54 minutes and was able to cover a distance of 5 kilometers. My average pace was 6:09 minutes per kilometer but at the middle of the run, I was able to maintain an average pace of 5:32 minutes per kilometer for about 2 kilometer. It was my first step to shift my LSD legs to a faster pace to regain some speed in preparation for the 21K Road Race this Sunday.

In the afternoon of the same day, I joined the BR “speed” training at the ULTRA Oval Track but I was ahead in doing my workouts with the rest of the Team Bald Runner-Professional Group. I did a warm-up run, stretching, and speed drills. Later, I tested my speed by running two repetitions of one-mile run. The first rep was timed at 7:51 minutes with a distance of 1.7 kilometers as I was running on Lane 3 of the Oval Track. The average pace was 4:37 minutes per kilometer. I was surprised that I was not trying to catch my breath after running one mile. After one minute of rest, I did my second repetition on the same Lane 3 with the same 1.7 km distance and I registered a slower time of 8:41 minutes, an average pace of 5:02 minutes per kilometer.

Due to the heavy traffic of runners who are attending a running clinic and the usual runners at the Oval Track, I decided to stop my interval workouts and concentrated on doing stretching and Pilates exercises. Later, I was able to meet and talk about my experiences during my adventure run with the members of the Team Bald Runner-Professional Group.

I did not run on Wednesday morning. However, in the afternoon, I went to the Oval Track very early to continue my speed workout. First, I did my 1.7K warm-up run in 10:04 minutes with an average pace of 5:48 minutes per kilometer. After stretching and short speed drills, I did 5 X 400 interval runs with one minute rest on Lane 2 of the Oval Track and the following were the results:

1st rep—1:46 minutes—4:13 minutes per km

2nd rep—1:47 minutes—4:19 minutes per km

3rd rep—1:45 minutes—4:17 minutes per km

4th rep—1:40 minutes—3:55 minutes per km

5th rep—1:44 minutes—4:13 minutes per km

After a 3-minute rest, I finished my run with a 30-minute steady run where I was able to cover a distance of 5 kilometers. My average pace was 5:55 minutes per kilometer.

Early this morning (Thursday), I had another run at the ULTRA Oval Track with a tempo run. I was able to run a distance of 6 kilometers with a time of 31:08 minutes. It was a good run with an average pace of 5:11 minutes per kilometer.

With all these speed and tempo run workouts after finishing my adventure run, I think I could predict/produce a decent finish time on this Sunday’s Century Tuna Run. It could not be a PR but I am sure that I am getting my speed back again. The goal is to improve my latest half-marathon finish time I’ve registered in the Cebu Marathon last month.

See you at the Starting Line!!!

“The Audience Is Listening”

My staff was able to display three (3) tarpaulin signs to warn the users of the ULTRA Oval Track on the proper use of the track. Two of the signs were positioned on each of the entrances towards the Oval Track after one has to come down from the uppermost level of the Oval Track Grandstand. The other sign was located at the edge of the Oval Track where the members of the Team Bald Runner usually start their “interval” speed training.

With all those three tarpaulin signs I had my staff ordered, made and displayed for the past days, I am happy to note that there was a “big” improvement on the orderliness among the users of the oval track. Last night, Tuesday, can be considered as the busiest day/night of the ULTRA Oval Track where you could see the participants of the NIKE Running Clinic and the Team Bald Runner’s “Speed” Training sessions busy with their warm-up, drills, and speed runs. In addition, the oval track was filled also with high school track & field athletes, corporate runners and joggers, triathlete, muay thai practitioners, soccer players, and simply slow runners and walkers. Despite the full capacity of the Oval Track, I was glad that Lane 1 was free from anybody except for the fast runners who are doing their “interval” speed training.

The members of the Team Bald Runner were happy to experience that their speed runs were no longer distracted or obstructed with people jogging slowly and walkers on Lane 1. Seriously speaking, I was able to reduce my average pace and speed in my speed runs by 5-8 seconds per lap. I am sure that the other members of my team were also able to reduce also their time, pace & speed because of a clear Lane 1.

Yes, the audience (users of the oval track) is now listening and I know that other groups of runners had benefited the proper use of the oval track as their speed runs were not distracted by people who are “ignorant” on the proper use of the oval track. As I left the premises of the Oval Track, I told the lone female security guard stationed at the Grandstand that I am donating and leaving the two tarpaulin signs placed on the two entrances to the oval track and requested her to advise every user of the oval track to read the posted signs before he/she enters the track.

As I’ve Promised…

As I’ve promised on my answers to the different comments of my readers regarding the availability of a Tarpaulin Signage to remind the runners, joggers and walkers using the ULTRA Oval Track, I am showing on this post the pictures of the signage. I think there is no need to explain about the following pictures. I would like to take this opportunity to thank QuickSilver Running for the suggested idea. Also, to those who commented positively and negatively for my actuation as the “oval track marshall” sometime this week, thanks for your comments and I got your “message” and hope that you got my “message”, too!

Two More of This Signage Had Been Ordered To Be Placed On The Entrance To The Oval
Two More of This Signage Had Been Ordered To Be Placed On The Entrance To The Oval
Coach Salazar Will Be Responsible In Displaying This Signage
Coach Salazar Will Be Responsible In Displaying This Signage
Ting, GiGi, Maj Ferdie Espejo & Coach Titus With The Signage
Ting, GiGi, Maj Ferdie Espejo & Coach Titus With The Signage

Once the two other signages will be available, they will be officially donated and turned-over to the caretaker/administrator of the ULTRA Oval Track.

Sometimes, You Need To Be An Asshole!

After 5 months of observing the runners and walkers at the ULTRA Oval Track, I had to do something to inform those who do not know the unwritten etiquette in using the oval track. In short, I became the Oval Track Marshall for tonight at the ULTRA.

Yes, I need to become an asshole tonight just to inform those slow runners and walkers who are using Lane 1. As soon as we started our “speed” session for our one hour of 85% Lactate Threshold as our “menu” for this night’s training, I started shouting those who are walking on Lane 1; tapping their shoulders to walk or jog on the outer lanes if their pace are slow as I tried to pass them; telling them that there is an etiquette in using the oval track;  and sometimes telling them that if I pass them on my rounds, it means that they are slow runners. Sometimes, I became rude to those joggers/walkers who would insist on going back to Lane 1 even if they have a slow pace.

I have observed that those whom I’ve shouted were using their Ipods. Most of the walkers/joggers do not know such etiquette in using the oval track. After 2-3 laps of consistently warning those slow runner/walkers who are using Lane 1, my run was no longer distracted and Lane 1 was clear for me up to the time I finished my one hour of running. How I wish this will be the start of better use of the Oval Track where Lane 1 or 2 would be clear for the faster runners.

As I finished my run, I smelled that somebody was smoking. Yes, my sense of smell is very sensitive to the smoke of a cigarette which I got when I started my runnng in the 80s! I looked up at the Grandstand to see 2 gentlemen in their barong shirts smiling at me while I was shouting at them that the ULTRA Compound is a “No Smoking Area”. I don’t care if these people are VIPs but the big sign is there at the Grandstand that the place is a “No Smoking Area”. I have to call the attention of the Security Guard and I was supported by one of the audience (wearing a Barong Shirt) who together with the Security Guard approached the 2 men whom I’ve observed to be smoking. The 2 gentlemen had to put off their cigarettes.

My coaches and other running coaches in the oval track had been telling their runners to abide by the unwritten etiquette in using the oval track but there are still runners/walkers who do not know about this. I told my runners and coaches that effective tonight I will be the Oval Track Marshall whenever I have my running workout in the said place. As I left the Oval Track, I told the lone Security Guard that I will help her in the implementaton of the proper use of the oval track and to see to it that the “No Smoking” policy shall be followed.

 As they say, don’t just wait for something to happen, do it and make things happen!

Two or Three Days Rests

Last week, I had a 3-day rest (Monday to Wednesday) from running and resumed my running on the morning of Thursday at the ULTRA Oval Track. I did a 10K run at the oval within my 97% Lactate Threshold with an average pace of 5:03 minutes/kilometer. On the following day, Friday morning, my son and I ran the route of the Happy Run 15K with 79%-80% Lactate Threshold with an average pace of 6:10 minutes/kilometer. However, during our scheduled “speed” session on Friday night, Maj Espejo gave us the usual instruction to run 75% of the distance we are going to run for the Sunday’s race at our 100%-110& Lactate Threshold. So, for the members who were scheduled to run the Happy Run 15K, they ran 11 Kilometers at their race pace and I ran 7.5 kilometers at my race pace for the Resolution Challenge 10K Run and finished it with an average pace of  4:48 minutes/kilometer. On the early morning of Saturday, I was back at the ULTRA Oval Track for my 30-minute “active recovery” run with a 70% Lactate Threshold or with a slow pace of 6:30 minutes/kilometer. Well, last Sunday, I finished the Resolution Challenge 10K Run with an average pace of 4:32 minutes per kilometer, barely missing eight (8) seconds from my 110% Lactate Threshold.

This week, I had another 2-day (Monday & Tuesday) complete rest from running.  I went to the gym after lunch yesterday for a 0ne-hour workout for my upper body and “core” muscles. After a short shower and changing my attire for running, I was already on my way to the ULTRA Oval Track for the Wednesday scheduled training. During our training session, the coaches gave us more new “jumping & bouncing” drills and “new” speed drills we had never experienced before. Our coaches keep on surprising us with their “gimmicks and techniques” wherein they explain the importance of each drill for us to improve our finish time and running technique & form. The best part of such explations is that our coaches deliver their point in English! I can say that almost 100% of the members keep on improving their finish time because of the “message/voice” of Coach Salazar which keeps on repeating to our ears & brains during weekend road races! Here comes now the best part—our “main course” for the day! We were directed to do 5 X 400 meters with 1:30-minute rest in-between interval at our 110% Lactate Threshold. That is just the starter. After 3-minute rest after finishing the 5 X 400, we have to do 2 sets of 15-minute runs with 3-minute rest in-between the sets within our 110% Lactate Threshold, too! There was no need to complain as we knew our coaches were leading us to a new and higher level of running performance. As my GF 305 was not working because of spent battery power, I really did not know how fast or slow we were running on those laps and sets. However, what I knew was that I became stronger and faster after those two days rests and did not have any leg pains or soreness even if I had my gym workout before this speed training session yesterday.

On these two or three days rests, I went to the province, away from the polluted air of Metro Manila. I just enjoyed the fresh air and the nice cold weather in Laoag City last week and in Cagayan Valley last Monday & Tuesday. No running but just a short walk to have a glimpse of those vast fields newly-planted with rice. Just breathing the fresh air around; enjoying the fresh foods which were home-cooked and sometimes, served “raw”; and resting and relaxing for the rest of the day during these days made me recover my tired muscles and I know my body is ready again for more running “adventures” in the coming days.

To all the runners, I suggest you take also a 2 or 3-day rest and drive/fly away from the noise, crowd, traffic and polluted air of Metro Manila and re-charge yourself. Just relax, eat, and breath the fresh air around you.

Also, to most of the runners who want to improve on their speed and finish times in their future road races, you should know your Lactate Threshold and be able to use it in your training. You should know the answers of the “WHY” you are doing those repetitive interval runs of 100, 200, 400, or 800-meter or other speed runs on the track and your “fartleks” in your road runs. Not knowing the reason/s why you are doing something to improve your running is not good for your training.

(Note: For those runners who do not understand or don’t have any knowledge about Lactate Threshold, join or visit our “speed training” sessions at the ULTRA Oval Track, our coaches will be glad to explain it to you. If interested, our coaches will be glad also to test and find out your Lactate Threshold. For our schedules of training, please visit www.teambaldrunner.wordpress.com)

137 Days: Trip To Laoag City

Yes, on this day, there are 137 days before the Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race.

Last Monday evening, I left for Laoag City by plane to visit the graves of my Mom and close relatives who had passed away. It was some sort of a late celebration of All Souls Day as I was not able to leave Manila on those holidays. Anyway, as they say, “better late than never”. This was the reason why I was not able to attend the 1st and 2nd sessions of the Team Bald Runner’s speed training clinic at the ULTRA Oval Track.

As soon as I woke up last Tuesday morning, I had a run at the newly-renovated Laoag City Oval Track which is 800 meters away from our house. The Oval Track had been fitted with an Olympic-standard tartan track which was formally opened last 21 September 2008 (Milo Half-Marathon Elimination Race Day) by no less than the Governor of Ilocos Norte, Hon. Michael Keon, the former Director of Project Gintong Alay and former Chairman of the Phillippine Olympic Committee during former President Marcos’ administration. As I was about to start my run on the oval track, I saw Dr Chester Punio, a practicing medical surgeon in Laoag City and an avid runner, and he called my attention and we had a brief conversation. He introduced to me Reynaldo Pascua, an elite runner from Ilocos Norte who qualified for the the Milo Marathon Finals this coming 30th November for finishing No. 2 during the Milo Half-Marathon Elimination Run in Laoag City.

After a brief conversation with Dr Ponio, I started my run and Rey Pascua joined me during my workout. I found out that Rey Pascua is 38 years old with a height of 5 feet and had been a past/former champion of yearly races in Metro Manila in the late 90s and early 2000. He told me that he is one of the provincial elite athletes being supported by the Provincial Government but he lamented to me that he still lack the much-needed financial support for him to participate in road races in Metro Manila which offer Cash Prizes to the top winners. While he trains for the MILO Marathon Finals, he receives a monthly stipend of less than P 4,000 (barely $ 80.00) which I have the impression to be his salary for being one of the maintenance personnel of the Oval Track. I really admire his passion in competitive running but I also pity him for being not being supported well in his training.

I was able to run 10.32 kms in 52:54 minutes last Tuesday morning with an average pace of 5:07 mins/km.

On the following day, I went to the Oval Track for another run and I was able to cover a distance of 10.04 kms in 55:40 minutes with an average pace of 5:32 mins/km.

It was a little odd to see that the Oval Track is already under repair after almost two months since it was opened for the public. There are portions of the track where the tartan was not evenly “fixed” or “snugged” to the ground and these portions are starting to create “bubbles” on the track. I hope these problems will be fixed soon. I got some information that more people from Laoag City are starting to run and use the oval track which is a good sign of the sports development, most especially in running, in the said city.

Lastly, what I like about the Laoag City Oval Track and Iloilo City Sports Complex Oval Track is that they are FREE for the public. How I wish the ULTRA Oval Track should also be FREE for the public. PSC has more appropriated budget/support from the national government than the local government. This is just a wish.

Reminder: To The “Hardcore Group” & Future Fast Runners

The “Free” Speed Training at the ULTRA Oval Track will start this afternoon at 5:30 PM and it will be followed with another one tomorrow at the same time and next Friday afternoon. Henceforth, this speed training will be done on the said days and time on a regular basis.

The speed training requires each runner to report in their running attire (leave your Ipods at home!). Each runner will be given a “diagnostic test” to determine your level of competency in running. Of course, you will be told to run at your race pace for a certain period of time. Capt Espejo will start from there out from the results of this test. For you to hear his instructions while you are running, again, you have to leave your Ipod at home. Aside from the instructions, Coach Salazar will remind you to hear the sound of your feet/shoes everytime they hit the ground/track.

For the other runners, you will learn also the technique of drinking of water from those cups while running. Your mentors will provide you with drinking water during the training.

Remember, our training is “low-tech”—no computers, no screens, no LCD projector, no Public Address System, & no comfortable chairs (you will be seating on the bleachers or on the track). This is a “personalized” training and your workout will be different from the other runners. That’s the reason why you are called “The Hardcores” or the “Road Warriors”.

Good luck! Lastly, this is FREE!!!

Another Wednesday “Double” Run & “The Engineer”

I was out of town last Monday and Tuesday and had a complete rest from my running. But as soon as arrived in Manila, I immediately hit the ULTRA oval track on the early morning of Wednesday with an easy run with a distance of 12.5 kilometers in 1:14:31 hours. It was another 30-lap run for the day.

What is worth mentioning in this blog on this particular morning workout was my coach’s initiative to introduce me to a fellow runner, Mr Leo Valdez, who is popularly known as “The Engineer” of the worldwide known stage play, “Miss Saigon” and an outstanding singer and recording artist. I’ve been seeing him doing his running workout almost every day at the ULTRA Oval Track and there was no chance for us to be introduced to one another as both of us were busy with our respective training. During our brief conversation, I congratulated him for making the Filipinos proud and known worldwide because of his superb acting in “Miss Saigon”. I even told him that we were both runners & marathoners during the 80’s when Mr Elpidio Doroteo and Jun Castro were the popular Race Organizers of road races in the country. And such recollection of our past running experiences made our conversation more interesting. I hope to see more of him in the coming days at the ULTRA Oval Track. “Mr Engineer”, you make us proud and hope that you will be blessed with more shows to come! Keep on running!

At 5:30 PM, I was back at the Oval Track with a plan for a faster pace. I did another 30-lap run with a distance of 12.4 kms in 1:07:51 hours. After my usual post stretching, my workout for the day was done.

I was able to cover a distance of 24.9 kms for the day.

FREE Speed Training For “Hardcores”

Team Bald Runner is inviting runners who have been training/running continouosly for one year for a “free and personalized” speed training lectures and speed workouts at the ULTRA Oval Track every 5:30-7:00 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This is open to everybody, male and female, who are in competitive running and would like to improve their PR Best times in every road race. This training will start on 18 November 2008.

Captain Ferdie Espejo Jr and Coach Saturnino Salazar, both Level 4 IAAF trained-coaches, will conduct the said training and to be assisted by members of Team Bald Runner.

Runners are advised to prepare P29.00 for payment to Philsports/ULTRA for the use of the Oval Track.

Duathletes & Triathletes are also encouraged to join this training.