Wednesday, 7 July 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

During last Sunday’s 34th Milo Marathon, a young male runner gunning for his 21km PR, collapsed 1km away from the finish line and was rushed to the hospital.  Sadly, he passed away yesterday.

I haven’t stopped thinking about him since I heard the news.  I’ve collapsed once when I had just started running, and so did my best running buddy, Annie, as she ran so swiftly for a podium finish at Nike Human Race 2008.  Yes, it could’ve been any one of us.

I thought the best way to help in this kind of situation was to try to prevent it from happening again.  I publish race reviews with the sole purpose of guiding organizers how to improve our races, not to rant or complain.  I thought I’d post this today to guide our runners, especially the beginners, on how to run safely in races.

I got in touch with our top experts in the field and asked for their top safety tips when participating in a race.  Read it twice or thrice over.  Run safe, guys and girls!


  1. Coach Rio de la Cruz
  2. Coach Jim Lafferty
  3. Coach Jim Saret
  4. Coach Ani de Leon
  5. Dr. George Canlas


  • COACH RIO: Prepare for the distance you are planning to participate in by training properly.
  • COACH RIO: Before the race, especially when it’s long distance, eat a minimum of 2 hours before the race.
  • DR. CANLAS: Be fit to run and not run to be fit.


  • COACH ANI: Hydrate well, and douse yourself with water at the aid stations. Keep your core temperature as low as you possibly can.
  • COACH JIM L.: Stay hydrated. Not only water but importantly electrolyte solutions such as Gatorade or Powerade. When you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated!
  • COACH RIO: Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to hydrate. Drink fluids at least every 10 to 15 mins. Better yet, take a few sips at each water station.
  • DR. CANLAS: Have a good hydration plan.


  • COACH ANI: Sleep, sleep, sleep… it has been shown that without enough sleep running races like this is extremely high risk
  • COACH RIO: Make sure you get enough sleep a day or two before the race.


  • COACH ANI: Stay within your zones… do not go beyond your aerobic threshold, especially for longer races.  Manage your efforts well and stay within your capabilities.
  • DR. CANLAS: Know your limits.
  • COACH JIM S.: Avoid the urge to “sprint with the pack” during the start of the race. Stick to your regular or planned pace.


  • COACH JIM L.: Watch out for traffic! This means both other runners, particularly in larger races, and cars/jeepneys in open road races. Always be prudent and stay clear!


  • COACH JIM S.: If you feel some form of pain during your run, slow down and have a feel of how bad it really is. If it seems to be going away, then go ahead and resume your regular pace. However if the pain persists and/or even increases in pain as you continue to run, seriously consider stopping and getting some help. Pain is the body’s way of letting us know something is wrong. No race is worth the risk of hurting yourself by continuing to run and causing a minor injury to turn into a major setback.
  • COACH JIM L.: Be smart. If you’re feeling poorly or sense “something is wrong”, a pain or sensation that’s new to you, TAKE A BREAK. Its not worth the risk and better to run again another day. I’ve seen too many runners trying to “push through” and they either ended up in extended injury, or worse.
  • COACH RIO: If you feel something is wrong, such as difficulty of breathing or pain in the chest, slow down. Stop and look for a medic or ask for help from fellow runners.


  • COACH JIM S.: Decide if you need to see a medical specialist if you feel something “off” with your body.
  • COACH JIM S.: Do not think of lying down immediately after your event. Keep moving.


Monday, 3 May 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

So, the TBR Dream Marathoners should have run their most crucial long run yesterday.  Many of us ran at NUVALI together (click HERE to view how much fun we had there),  but the heat was so intense by 7 a.m. that some runners fell short of their goal distance or time.

We all know they shouldn’t run that distance next week, two weeks to marathon day, when they should be tapering already.  What do they do now?  Or, what about runners who, due to some unforeseen circumstance such as illness or an event, missed out on their long run?

I called Coach Jim Lafferty last night to get some expert advice.  And, he sent me a file to email to our exclusive TBR DREAM MARATHONERS Group.  For this one, however, I thought it best to share with all of you since it may help you with training.

The letter is all about BACK TO BACK HARD DAYS, which as Coach Jim says is “a training technique created for the Comrades Marathon in South Africa (89 Kilometers, and frankly I believe the hardest race in the world as it has a 12 hour time limit and crosses 4 major climbs)” and developed by Dr. Tim Noakes.

This makes for a great read.  Download the PDF file by clicking on this link: TBR_MISSED YOUR LONG RUN.

Baguio Day Two: 20KM Around Baguio

Friday, 9 April 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

Previous Post: Baguio Day One: Camp John Hay

DAY TWO: SLOW AND EASY | 2 hours, 30 min around Baguio

Based on Coach Jim’s TBR Dream Marathoners training program, which hubby is following, he was to run 2 hours and 30 min. over the weekend. He was to do a 9 min. run and 1 min. walk interval. I promised to run with him.

The night before, I set my Garmin 310XT to a 9:1 interval program with 15 reps. Just 15 reps?! It sounded so short and manageable.  (Later on, we realized it was easier said and done, especially with the undulating hills of Baguio!)

We started our run at 5:30 a.m. with the roads enshrouded by a wonderfully thick fog. The weather was slightly chilly, just the way I liked it.

– Map of our 20km Run around Baguio from Garmin 310XT –

First 5k: Mines View

From Baguio Country Club, we made a right on Country Club Road. Upon reaching Park Road, we made another right climbing up a steep Ignacio Villamor St. that made me yell no less than 5 minutes into the run: Is this our warm up?!

– This was our marker on Park Road –

Every now and then, we had to deal with crap (not figuratively but literally horse manure) but that was about the only problem I had. Our slow pace, combined with the walks, allowed us to enjoy the cool weather and wonderful view that Baguio had to offer.

There were a handful of runners we passed along the way. A couple of them were obviously veterans, clad in Milo singlets and conquering ascents as if they were flats. The one that stood out was a boy, probably below 10 years old, who ran solo at a pace that was reserved only for the elite.

– Up, up and away! –

When we reached Mines View Park, the park and the stores were still closed. It was unfortunate as I looked forward to even just dropping by the Mines View viewdeck to catch a glimpse of Baguio’s landscape or to ran past the quaint stores with souvenir items. Still, we felt like tourists seeing the place with new eyes as we surveyed the area on foot even before the crowds came in.

We ran downhill (finally got to rest those quads!) through Gibraltar Road reaching the rotunda passing Pacdal Church. We hit 5k at Park Road, near Baguio Country Club, where we started earlier. This gave us a perfect 5k loop.

– Pacdal Church along the rotunda –

2nd 5k: The Mansion & Wright Park

Eager to hit more tourist spots, we took the same route earlier (yes, another round of those hills on I. Villamor!) but, instead of entering Mines View, we took a left turn on Leonard Wood and ran towards the Mansion, the official summer residence of the President. As soon as we reached the Mansion gates, I slapped myself in the head for leaving my camera behind.

– I took this photo when we returned in the afternoon by car –

Across The Mansion was Wright Park where hubby and I ran around the Pool of Pines along with other runners doing their rounds. It was the first time I visited this side of Wright Park, even if I had spent every summer visiting the horses on the other side.

– The Pool of Pines was filled with runners early in the morning. I took this in the afternoon too –

We made our way back to Baguio Country Club for a quick toilet break and we were off again.

3rd 5k: Teacher’s Camp

After Baguio Country Club, we ran through South Drive, a road which I found more enjoyable to run on; there were less hills, the road was a bit wider, and, most of the time, we could run on the sidewalk without worrying about vehicles.

We passed the old location of Hyatt Hotel, one of the worst hit by the 1990’s earthquake killing over 50 people. Hubby was running at a steady pace, but I quickened the pace at this point as my imagination went wild over ghosts and spirits.

When we reached Teacher’s Camp, we screeched to a halt thinking if we should enter the area to pay the Track Oval a visit. Almost on cue, hubby and I shook our heads at the same time since we both knew the uphill climb heading out of Teacher’s Camp from the track oval would be pure torture.

We attempted to run in Loakan, but after almost getting sideswiped by oncoming vehicles, we decided against it. We made a u-turn and ran towards the gas station (forget if it was Petron or Shell) where we refueled with Gatorade, Hammer gels, and—I couldn’t resist—a tiny chocolate bar. We then headed back towards Baguio Country Club again.

Last 5k: Camp John Hay

Our last 5k was at Camp John Hay. We covered almost the same route we ran the day before but at a much slower pace.

By the last 15 minutes, hubby felt knee pain. He stopped to rest and a good samaritan—in the form of a National team boxer—helped stretch the tight muscles with my hubby squinting in pain. It was a funny sight, really.

I advised hubby to walk it out. After all, he had covered around 2 hours 20 mins already. I went ahead to finish an exact 20km. To date, that was the most memorable tour of Baguio I’ve ever had. Highly recommended!

Baguio Day One: Camp John Hay Run

Friday, 9 April 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

We were to spend 4 days in Baguio for Holy Week. I packed 5 sets of running clothes. Just to be sure, right? Running in cool weather—with the El Nino heat of Manila—was an opportunity that this runner wanted to take full advantage of.


I run in Camp John Hay every single time I’m in the City of Pines. But, this being the first time that I’ve visited Baguio completely injure free; I had the liberty to roam the camp and go where my feet took me.

-Entering Camp John Hay –

From Baguio Country Club where we were booked, hubby and I ran towards Camp John Hay. We took our regular path in the Camp making an immediate left after the guard house, which is a steep and long uphill, more torturous than the deadly McKinley Hill that we urban runners are used to. I know that this hill is where many of our elite athletes run their intervals. An ex-National team member friend of mine said that they used to run 30 reps up this hill. Hubby and I could hardly catch our breath when we reached the top. No reps, just one climb!

We rolled down towards Mile Long and attacked more hills as we ran towards the Manor. We made our way toward the other gate of Camp John Hay passing Figaro and the horseback riding area. We decided to stay within the confines of the Camp and turned around at the end, where the other gates was, and proceeded towards the mini golf. It was a pleasure to run in the secured residential area where the Baguio cottages always make me want to abandon the city and live in this city instead. We passed by the Pet Cemetery and made a mental note to tour the kids there later on.

– Love these roads! –

We ran down again towards the Manor passing Mile High.  We then took a deep breath and attacked another uphill climb as we made our way towards Starbucks and Cantinetta. It was here that I decided to just walk and enjoy the view of the golf course on both sides. Upon reaching the top, we entered another residential area. This is where hubby and I parted ways as hubby cut his run short to rest before our long run the following day.

– Entrance to one of the residential areas we ran in –

I completed a total of 10km. As I was making my way out of the village heading back to Baguio Country Club, the guard told me: “Ma’am, iniwan ka an ng kasama mo!” Pleased with my run in such beautiful scenery, I replied with a smile: “Okay lang. Mahaba pa takbo namin bukas.”

NEXT POST: DAY TWO: 20KM around Baguio City

Speed, Agility, and Quickness (SAQ) Camp

Wednesday, 24 March 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

My good friend Coach Jim Saret sent me this. Looks like a great program coached by a powerhouse team! I sure could use more speed, agility, or quickness…or all of the above!


The hottest sport training program in the US is finally here! Join the first ever SPEED, AGILITY and QUICKNESS (SAQ) CAMP in the Country.

Get your young athletes to GET FASTER, MOVE QUICKER and REACT BETTER! U.S. Speed and Conditioning Specialist Coach Jim Saret and our country’s Top Olympic and Asian Games Athletes will teach participants how to be extremely Fast, Quick and Agile — the foundation of every superior athlete!

Launching on April 5 at ADMU. Open to kids 7-18, varsity and pro athletes. This special camp is powered by MILO and A.P.E.X. (Athletic Performance Enhancement Training) Sports Training!

Call 0906-387-5058 (Cookie) or 0920-952-1979 (Coach Jen) for details!