Tough Workout at Newton & Runnr’s Duathlon Clinic

Friday, 11 May 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

Last night, I joined the Newton & Runner Duathlon Clinic at Bonifacio High Street.  The event encouraged runners to start biking as a cross training option and to subsequently start joining duathlons as a new challenge.

The clinic started with a talk on duathlons by my triathlon coach, Andy Leuterio, a brief talk on bikes by owner of Dan’s Bike Shop and Specialized distributor, Joey Ramirez, and, lastly, an introduction to bike fitting by Edmund Mangaser of All Terra.

– Coach Andy Leuterio –

– with Joey Ramirez of Dan’s Bike Shop –

– with Edmund Mangaser, Coach Andy, and my bf, the Shiv, during the talk on bike fit. Photo courtesy of Total Fitness –

After the informative talks, the workout began. It was a—get this—bike-run-bike-run-bike session. Phew!  It was tough. (Big mistake for running an 8k tempo that morning.)

There was a lot of grunting and groaning from all 30 participants, including myself. A wonderfully intense workout that left me soaked in sweat yet happy.

– Fitness First Team –

– with other participants of the Duathlon Clinic –

– Claiming my raffle prize with Zinnia, Tin of Runnr, and Coach Andy. Thanks Runnr! –

Pre-Race Prayer of a Beginner Triathlete

Friday, 13 April 2012  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

Dear Lord,

Tomorrow is the big day: Tri United 1 at Laiya, Batangas. It feels like my first triathlon since I’ve really only done two mini sprints way back in 2008 and 2009.

Oh God, this is the first time I’m joining a triathlon in open water, first time I’m going out of town for a triathlon, and the first time I’m going to swim and bike for what seems like such a long distance! Last year, I would never have dreamed of swimming and biking this much!

If you sense the panic in my voice, please take pity on me and, should you have a short recess from solving the more weighty problems of the world, perhaps you could accede to one or more of my humble requests:

  1. Please don’t let any sea creatures sting me — be it jellyfish or sea ticks. It will be quite difficult for me to employ my own TBR swim-scratch-gasp-swim(R) technique during a race.
  2. Please help me make sure I prepare everything properly in the transition area. You know how often I’ve forgotten underwear, toiletries, or even my own surname after receiving epidural for two kids. Just this once, help me leave nothing behind.
  3. Keep me and all other participants safe during the bike ride. Yes, needless to say, you may also keep them safe from me and my not-so-perfect biking skills.
  4. Guide me as I attempt to drink from the bottle during the ride. I know, I know, you only help those who’ve helped themselves. Promise, I’ve practiced this the past couple of weeks, but I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I must’ve been absent when you blessed humanity with balance and maneuvering skills.
  5. Please spare me from any technical difficulties on the bike. I’ve watched so many youtube videos on “how to change a flat tire” but unless my repair kit has a magical caucasian genie triathlete that pops out and does everything for me, I don’t think I’m ready to change it myself yet. I promise to learn before Ironman 70.3.
  6. Brick? Oh boy, I didn’t have any brick training during my past 3 weeks of mishmash triathlon training. Please Lord, don’t make me wobble like a duck when I hop out of the bike and attempt to run.
  7. Allow me to have a strong and safe run since, this time, it comes after a 1km swim and 30km bike ride. You know I haven’t done anything like this in my entire life, so send some angels to make things a bit easier. If they’re busy doing some good in the world, then second or third or fourth wind would be much appreciated if and when I tire out.
  8. Last but not the least, please let me have fun even if none of the prayers above are answered. Remind me that the first race is always about enjoying the experience. I can worry about time and a better performance at the next race, right?

Yours Truly,


La Mesa Ecopark Trail Run

Thursday, 5 April 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

While the rest of Manila were off to Baguio or the beach this morning, a bunch of us decided to head for the trails. We ran through lush forests and fantastic trails right in the heart of Quezon City at La Mesa Ecopark.

For P200 per head, we got to run the trails with a runner guide, Julie.  We covered 13km for over 2 hours.

– La Mesa Ecopark requires a guide to run with you. No guide, no entry.
– For our guide, we contacted Mang Abe 0916-693-3981.
– Minimum fee is P1,000 to be divided among your group.

– Showing up on this easy holiday Thursday morning were Hec and Mayen of Secondwind, myself, Carl, Neville, Lit, Ton, Jun, Miriam and Angel. –

Here’s a video made by Hector of Secondwind…

The La Mesa Ecopark course makes for a nice and easy trail run even for beginners. It’s relatively flat and safe.


– On the right is Julie, our guide who seemed like he was going for a stroll while we were all trying to catch up behind him –

– Ton, Lit, and Jun searching for what I think were “gazelles” in the forest –

– View from the trails –

– We often stopped for walk breaks and photo ops.  I don’t know how many times we affirmed to each other that we made a good decision to run the trails today instead of the road. –

– So much fun! Trail running offers less impact on the knees, more scenic views, a great opportunity to commune with nature, and it’s just a welcome change from the usual concrete roads –

– Mayen and Jun run under a canopy on the tree-lined path –

At 8.5km, we stopped to rest and hydrate at the Bangkalan rest station along with some other mountain bikers.

– Of course, we needed a group pic here! –

– Lots of mountain bikers here too –

Overheard from the bikers’ conversations about our group:
Biker 1: Saan yung mga bike nila?
Biker 2: Anong bike? They ran!
Biker 1: Ha?! Bakit?!!


– Check out the view –

– That’s me with my Nathan Intensity Hydration vest. (P4,990 at ROX) Oh my gawd, I am in love with that hydration belt. I’ll post a gear review soon. –

– Group pic before we headed back to the end of the trail –

I highly recommend La Mesa Ecopark for a nice and easy trail run. It’s accessible, safe, and clean. Entry fee is reasonable especially since, as mentioned on its website, “all revenues generated by La Mesa Ecopark are utilized for the continuous preservation and protection of La Mesa Watershed.” Bathrooms are clean with running water, soap, toilet paper and even a bidette (as Hector mentioned thrice!)

TIPS FOR TRAIL RUNNING (as I learned today):

1) Bring a hydration vest. It’s quite pricey, but definitely worth the investment if you plan to run trails often. Tip I learned from Neville: Get the air out of the water bag. My water was so noisy while running!

2) Bring food or gels. As road runners, we often think 10k will take an hour just like the roads. But, this definitely takes more time on the trails. It took us over 2 hours to cover 13km today. Always bring food to stave off hunger and keep your energy high.

3) Use short strides. Lit mentioned that in Chi Running for trails they remind runners to use small steps. When in doubt if you should take 1 or 2 steps, Lit said you should take 3 steps.

4) Watch your step but enjoy the view. Be careful of each step to avoid injuries, but also glance at the front every now and then to enjoy the scenery.

5) Run in a group or with a guide. Even if the path is marked and the trail is relatively safe, you don’t want to be out there alone. Besides, there’s more fun in numbers.

For more info on La Mesa Ecopark:

Call: (02) 430-4051/ (02) 430-5207/ (02) 430-5207 (telefax)
Sarah – 09062234125
Dong – 09159013772

The Last Bull Circle and Bull Session

Thursday, 1 March 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

The TBR Dream Marathoners are at the homestretch of their training program!

Last February 8, 2012, we had our 5th and last Bull Circle sponsored by SecondWind Running store.

– Full house again at the Home Depot Events Hall in Ortigas across SecondWind Running Store –

Lit Onrubia, Chi running instructor and lead coach for all our Bull Sessions, gave a talk on “The Art of Tapering” to guide the runners on how to use the last few weeks before the marathon wisely.

– Lit reminds marathoners about tapering properly before the big day –

TV host, former swimming olympian, and TBR Dream Marathon alumni, Christine Jacob-Sandejas, inspired our runners with her animated and entertaining account of her journey towards becoming a runner and subsequently a marathoner.

– TBR Dream Alumni Christine Jacob-Sandejas had the crowd captivated with her marathon story –

– Ask all you want. TBR Dream Team, Neville, Lit, and myself along with guests, Christine Jacob-Sandejas, Susan Lafferty, and Mitch Felipe-Mendoza, answered questions from the runners –

The last part of the Bull Circle was a Q&A on “How to Run TBR Dream Marathon,” a no-holds barred Q&A on details of the upcoming race at Nuvali.

– Neville, Christine, myself, Susan, Mitch, and Lit –

Last February 25, 2012, we had our last Bull Session at Nuvali. We started with a brief talk led by head of Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Nino Singco, who created a special TBR DM drinking guide for our marathoners. How cool is that?

– Gatorade talk on hydration for TBR Dream Marathoners –

Then, Jim Lafferty and Lit Onrubia briefly explained the plans for the day: a 3 1/2 hour run through the roads of Nuvali split into 4 run-walk interval groups led by volunteer pacers (thanks guys! You know who you are!) and they were off!

– Pacers Jojo Manalo and Zaldy Santillan brief their group –

Cip <em>Lim
– TBR DM runners running before sunrise at NUVALI. Photo courtesy of J-Cip Lim –

– Runner bonding! Photo courtesy of Merl Magtangob/ Spongebob Runner –

It was hot and challenging, but the runners braved the hills and the heat to finish their last long run before marathon day on March 18.  Woohoo!  What can I say? This batch of TBR Dream Marathoners is one committed and determined group!  Looking forward to see each runner cross the finish line in a couple of weeks!

– We filled the entire back of Solenad. Looked like a mini BHS, really! –

– Jim with our TBR DM runners –

– with my teammates Bic who’s pacing Adel at TBR DM for his first marathon –

– Group pics after the run! –

– Mission accomplished. Time for rest and recovery. –

10 Things I Would Never Say During Tempo Runs

Wednesday, 25 January 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

The Tempo Run (or anaerobic threshold run or lactate-threshold run) was popularized by Jack Daniels, Ph.D. He defined it as “nothing more than 20 minutes of steady running at threshold pace.” He went on to say that 20 minutes is ideal, but you could vary this to suit the needs of a course. Based on effort, experts will tell you that tempo pace is when you feel like you’re running “comfortably hard.”

You either love tempo runs or you hate ’em. Of course, you could be like me: love them to death before or after the run because you know they do wonders for your speed and strength, but whine and yell and scream (in your mind because God knows you don’t have the energy to even open your mouth and let out a yelp) during every single minute of that run when you feel like your lungs are bursting out of your chest and your knees are about to dislodge from their sockets.

From May to December of 2011, I didn’t have any tempo runs, or any speedwork for that matter, because of my injury. But, when January 2012 hit, and I felt like my foot was ready for some speed, I let out a loud cheer (all alone in the shower that’s why you didn’t hear it): “I can do tempo runs now!” then wiped the sweat out of my forehead as I dwelled on the hardships to come.

Aaah, tempo runs. I love them to death, but here are 10 things that I never ever could say while I’m running my tempos (usually with good friend Alvin in Bonifacio High Street):

1) So, how’s life?
Tempo runs are not for long and winding stories.

2) Hey, is that our good friend at Starbucks?
Tempo runs do not allow for any sight seeing. You’re like a horse with side-blinders on.

3) Wow, look at the stars!
Tempo runs do not allow for sight seeing. And, don’t be an idiot, watch your step!

4) Check out those fireflies!
Aaaagain, tempo runs do not allow for any sight seeing. Good friend Alvin used to point out an area in BGC with fireflies and I would squint in an attempt to see them but this would all seem like a blur. You wanna see fireflies? Save that leisurely stroll for Valentine’s!

5) Can we run through McKinley Hill?
No, don’t try killer hills at such a fast pace! Go for your hill training some other day.

6) How do I look in my bright pink compression socks?
Who cares how you look? A tempo run is serious business. It’s all about performance, not fashion. But, hey, I like those socks. Got a pair myself!

7) Where’s my water?
Uh oh, you should’ve had it in hand. Otherwise, don’t even mention it because you’ll have to run for hydration at the same speed and that is just plain exhausting.

8 ) I think I’ll lift weights later.
Skip it. Just eat and go to sleep after.

9) Oooh, I love running this fast!
I can only say this ALWAYS after the fact!

10) I’m feeling strong? Can we run 5 kilometers more?
If you ask for this, that means you didn’t run fast enough.  OR you’re just plain insane.