Running Shoe Pricing Matrix

Tuesday, 2 December 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

‘Tis the season to shop for new running items, or perhaps jot them down on a list for loved ones to purchase.

If a new running shoe is at the top of your wish list, my good friend and running shoe adviser Hector prepared this pricing matrix for you to know exactly which shoe fits into your budget (hay, if only price were of no importance)…





Thanks Hector!

Racebelts, anyone?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

The race belt—although seemingly insignificant compared to one’s training, shoes, bike, attire, and other tri equipment—is an important accessory for a triathlete. You don’t want to be fiddling around with pins at the transition area nor do you want to feel tiny needle pokes on your tummy while you’re racing (there’s enough suffering out there on the road!) I realized the importance of this little belt, a little bit too late, as I prepared for my first tri last month. 

A week or two before the race, I went all over the Metro looking for a race belt; none at ROX, Bike King, or bike shops at Alabang. I heard these were readily available at Cartimar, but I had no intentions of spending money on gas that would have probably cost more than the race belt.  Thankfully, a runner/triathlete friend, Mark P., said he would get his hands on a few race belts from a friend.  As back up (yes, I leave no stone unturned), I also borrowed the belt of another triathlete friend, Jamike, who offered to lend his a day before the race.

To cut a long story short, I ended up with 4 race belts during the Animo Tri. Three from Mark, two of which I handed out to Marga and Philip, and one for me. Then, I used Jamike’s race belt.  Hooray for race belts! Goodbye to pins!

Fast forward to Adidas KOTR—with race belts being the farthest thing on my mind—I meet Rikkiboi and Toto, two guys who approach me proudly showing off their new products: racebelts!  They share their desire to offer belts to runners (not just triathletes) to avoid punching tiny holes in expensive singlets and avoid losing time attaching those 4 pins on your shirts. Soon, they’ll be offering new products such as “the race lace.”


The race belts will be available at future fun runs/ races so keep your eye out for them.  For any inquiries, contact Rikkiboi or Toto at

Running Aid at ROX

Friday, 12 September 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

Despite the terrible weather, runners of all shapes and sizes—wannabes, newbies, recreational, serious, ultramarathoners—showed up in large numbers at ROX last night for the Running Aid Part 2 session. 


– Neville Manaois on anything and everything a runner needs –

Neville Manaois, team principal of Pinoy Ultra Runners, gave a comprehensive talk on Running Essentials enumerating each item a runner needs—from shoes to petroleum jelly—for distance runs. Neville was very knowledgeable about the topic, not just discussing items he’d picked up from a book, but obviously drawing from his own experiences as an ultramarathoner.  


– Dr. Paolo Punsalan on the proper form for runners –

The next speaker, Dr. Paolo Punsalan, a Pinoy Ultra runner and Orthopedic Surgeon, discussed Running Form & Technique for distance runs. I was in and out of the session but I did pick up a number of important points. He emphasized mid foot landing which is consistent with Coach Jo-Ar’s training with me. Dr. Punsalan also mentioned leaning forward, minimizing arm swing, high cadence (90 per leg per minute) and maintaining balance while running.  He even dissected the form of Haile Gebresellasie for all of us to attempt to emulate…yeah let’s keep on dreaming.

I highly recommend this talk for runners. I hope the Pinoy Ultra Runners and ROX will have another run (no pun intended) of these talks as it promotes running to non-runners and gives us runners the opportunity to improve ourselves while avoiding injury.

To all those I saw last night—Marga, Jeremy, Hector of Nike, Philip and his wife, Felipe of SOS Village, Andrew of Epic, my TI coach Nonoy B., dad and mom of CougCat, bugobugo, Mel, Irene, and Omar—it was nice seeing you. Neville, nice chatting with you again. Hope to run with you on my side of the world.

The Search for a Tri Suit

Thursday, 11 September 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

By now you should know that when I set my sights on something—be it a marathon or an antidote to shin splints—I can get pretty obsessive about it. The upcoming Animo tri was not an exception. With my training in running, biking, and swimming (more emphasis on the swim portion to avoid potentially embarrassing incidents at the pool) in progress, I had to worry about what to wear.

For two weeks, I pondered over this issue, surfed the net, and asked several friends exactly what should be worn to a mini-sprint. Marga advised me to purchase a tri suit and achieve that “Lara Croft” feeling (with the option of pouting my lips just like Angie).  Mary Anne told me she was sticking to a bathing suit with leggings and pulling a singlet on top of it for the bike and run.  Annie lent me her Speedo long sleeve rashguard with matching teeny-weeny biking shorts (which did end up looking too tiny for my not-so-size-0 body).

Aaah, so many options, so little time!  Early this week, I surrendered to the idea that no one really cares what one wears because they are too busy doing their own thing.  Wear what is comfortable and easy during transitions. One that doesn’t need to be squeezed into, pulled down, or yanked up all the time. So, I opted to purchase the tri suit: the most convenient option but not necessarily the cheapest one. I never knew tri suits cost so much:

Speedo Bodyskin, Speedo BHS……….P13,000++
Orca tri suit, Bike King BHS……….P5,000
Epic tri suit, ROX BHS……….P2,500

Do you have to ask what I ended up buying?  Last Monday, I dropped by ROX (yes, on that stormy evening) to make the big Epic tri suit purchase. I liked the material (available at Bloomingdale’s store in Shang) and it fit well, like second skin. One wouldn’t even know this was locally manufactured. I was slightly concerned about the color (I wanted a black one to make me look 10lbs. lighter) but settled on the only one available, a grey/aqua/white design. 

Buying the tri suit was quite an adventure. I love ROX and all (it’s my new favorite store in Manila) but that night was terrible. I was alone in the dressing room when a blackout occurred. When I tried to pay with my card, they couldn’t process it due to the blackout so I had to part with my cash.  They did not allow for a 10% discount from my Nike+ Human Race participation; in fact, the cashier had no idea about it.  Last but not the least, it took them more than 5 mins to look for my umbrella which I left at the door (they had apparently used it at the 2/F! What?!)  

Oh well, I’m not complaining. I’m happy with my tri suit. I took it for a 650m swim test yesterday and it passed with flying colors. My only prayer is that I don’t have to run to the little girl’s room too often on race day—zipping in and out of that thing alone is a wannabe triathlete’s worst nightmare.

Nike Lunar Test Run

Friday, 22 August 2008  |  Bullish Insights, Gear + Gadgets


Last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to be one of those invited to test the new Nike Lunar Trainer at Bonifacio High Street. It was a reunion of sorts as friends from the running world (I won’t name names since I’m bound to forget someone!) showed up eager as I was to try out Nike’s newest shoe. Of course, the celebrities were there too, such as triathletes Drew Arellano and Paolo Cabrera and Tessa Prieto who I’ve read is currently training for NY Marathon.


After our costume change (Runaholic singlets, dri-fit socks, and the Nike Lunar Trainers were distributed like candies on Halloween), the test run’s organizer, Coach Rio, beckoned for us to run loops around BHS together. At an easy pace, we ran chatting, laughing, and exchanging stories that only runaholics like us could truly appreciate. After a couple of loops, there was a brief presentation about the features of Nike Lunar Trainers, which got its name from the lunar system encased inside the shoe (lunar foam with piston waffles).


– Norman, My hubby, Annie, Ben, Coach Jo-Ar, Doc Oknoy and Patrick C. –


– Hanging out after the run: Annie, Ben, Patrick C., Mon, Doc Oknoy, and Norman –

Since Saturday, I’ve used the shoe twice which is enough for me to give an honest evaluation of this shoe:


  1. Ultra light: This was the lightest shoe I have ever worn. After running in them, you might look at your feet once in a while to wonder if you actually forgot to wear the shoes; it feels as if you’re just wearing socks.
  2. Super fast: Oh, I felt invincible when I wore them last night. My regular pace for short runs is 6:00 to 6:15 min/km. Last night, I was surprised to find myself running at 5:30 without extra effort.
  3. Very stable: It’s wide so I felt like it protected me from my usual overpronation problem.
  4. Great fit: This shoe is all about comfort. It was soft and snug; I cannot imagine anyone getting blisters from this one.
  1. Lunar look: I’m all for new and unique designs, but the bright green color and the wide outer sole of this shoe just made me wish I could run with my eyes closed.
  2. Too soft: I could feel the cushioning underneath; one can almost feel a spring-like action once your feet hit the ground. But, after 2km, my left foot (my left is the forever injured, annoying leg) was feeling the brunt of the way too soft sole.
  3. Not for my shins: The marketing guy in Nike mentioned that the shoe could be used by flat-footed runners and I felt as if he was talking directly to me at that time. I should’ve raised my hand to ask if it was fine for flat-footed, overpronating runners with shin splints because, after using the shoe twice, I felt slight pain on my shins both times. Fortunately, the minor pain immediately subsided the day after.
As mentioned in Runner’s World Sept 2008 issue, it is “recommended for the few biomechanically efficient runners who can train in such a minimal, lightweight shoe.”  Biomechanically efficient? That, my dear friends, much to my dismay and misfortune, I am definitely not.