10 Cool Tips for Running in the Heat

Friday, 3 May 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

We’re back!  It was one of the best marathons and most fun family trips I’ve ever had.

– Our last day in Paris. The two “cray-zees” had two scoops of Haagen Dazs each when it was freezing cold outside. –

I’m glad to be home again, but, I must admit, as soon as I felt sweat dripping down my forehead the minute we stepped out of the airport, I almost wanted to fly out again.

I know you’re sick and tired of everyone on Facebook and Twitter complaining about the heat.  So, instead of whining about how hot it is that I would prefer to kill myself with a 5k swim than run the same distance under the sun, I thought of giving you tips on how to make the best out of your run with such high temperatures.

To all you brave souls out there who are committed to running in this heat, I salute you and I send this article out to all of you. As for me, I’m just glad I’m on recovery mode for now!

10 Cool Tips for Running in the Heat

1. Run before the sun rises. Best time to run, especially if it’s longer than 2 hours, is to run at around 4:00 AM. No, it doesn’t follow that the earlier you wake up the cooler it is. Take it from me. When I had to run my longest run before London Marathon, I started running at 2:30 AM.  Stupid me. Humidity was so high that I practically choked to death at the first 50 meters of my run, the air was so stale and heavy that words exchanged during the run clung in the air like a cartoon.  Ack. It was so frustrating to learn that it felt even cooler at 6:00 AM rather than 3:00 AM.

2. Hydrate. You’re a runner! You should know this! Make sure to hydrate with water or your favorite sports drink. No messing around with this one especially in this kind of heat. Heatstroke is not a joke and it can happen to anyone.

3. Change venue. If you’re usual run route leaves you exposed under the sun, then consider running in tree-lined, shaded routes at least once a week. How about U.P., Filinvest City, or other exclusive villages that you may have access to?

4. Wear shades. A good pair of shades won’t just block your eyes from the shimmering sun, but it will actually help you mentally beat the heat too. With the tinted view of your surroundings, you simply feel that it’s cooler and it allows you to go a bit further.  My fave brand are Oakleys.

5. Think yourself cold. Scrap the following lines from your vocabulary while you run: “Ang init!”, “Grabe, ang init!” or, worst of them all, “WTF, ang init!” Believe me, all that complaining will only make you sweat more (and piss off your running buddies, too!)  Beat the heat by fooling your brain into thinking it’s cool. Say the following instead: “Good thing it’s not too hot today.” or just repeat the words “cool” or “cold” over and over. Okay, okay, I’m not really sure if this works under 35 degree weather, but it’s worth a try!

6. Change costume. If you’re running long, chances are your shirt will be soaked in sweat in an hour. A change of clothes midway through your run will make you feel fresh and cool.  Oh, and don’t forget two magic words for your apparel: DRI FIT.

7. Run on the treadmill. I know a lot of runners who are treadmill-averse. I was one of them. But, in this kind of heat, it just didn’t make sense to suffer under the scorching sun at 8:00 AM (that was the only time I could run after dropping kids at school), or, worse, to skip a run simply because of the heat. So, my treadmill and I kissed and made up early this year and I ran twice a week on the treadmill training for London Marathon. It was great.  Treadmill runs are a great way to watch your form, follow a good program at a controlled pace and setting, and, best of all, if it’s in a gym, it’s air-conditioned!  Woot!  To stay sane and keep boredom at bay, download a good and challenging workout for treader runs and don’t forget your music.

8. Cover up with a bandana or visor. I usually use a visor instead of a cap to allow the heat from my head to escape.  I would like to try the Magicool Cooling Bandana. I haven’t tested it, but we featured it on TBR Magazine (Mar-Apr 2013) and I do want one. The bandana can be tied around the neck, head or wrist and it can absorb cold water so that you can run with it. Sold at SecondWind and G-Stop for P350 only.

Magicool Bandana
– Magicool Cooling Bandana –

9. Bring cash. Imagine this: You’re running at 15k in the heat, you happen to pass a 7-11 and spot a pedestrian savoring his large Mountain Dew Slurpee. Now, you don’t want to pine for the same drink without any cash on you, do you? (Obvious ba this has happened to me? heehee)  Make sure to hide at least P50 in your pocket (or under your insoles like I do) for an impromptu Slurpee; one for you and treat a run buddy while you’re at it.

10. Cool off with a chilled towel.  Pack a towel in a ziplock in your cooler along with your iced drinks. After your run, use the towel on your face, nape, and limbs to cool off.  If you don’t yell out “Haaay sarraaaap!” and think that it’s almost manna from heaven, something must be wrong with you.  Go rest and have a frap. It’s on me. (I’m kidding of course!)

Pooped…And Loving It!

Monday, 21 January 2013  |  Bullish Insights

What a weekend! Here’s my training weekend in pics:

SATURDAY: 80k cool and windy (brrr!) ride in Nuvali

– with Jun aka Tatang, Lit, Tristan Choa, and Leanna Carmona. Missing in pic: Ge and Gem! –

SUNDAY: killer 21k run

– with Tatang, Rico, Bambi, Ton, and Edwin  –

The training was challenging and exhausting. But, for some reason, I felt more alive and invigorated after each workout. Is this a sign that I’m getting stronger? Or that I’m just really nuts now? Maybe both.

Last night, while the kids were out with the hubby, I had a massage to loosen up the muscles and allow my tired body to recover. I was definitely pooped!

When I heard them arrive, I snuck under our bed with the master plan of surprising both kids when they entered the room. (Yes, we’re crazy like that!) I waited for a full 10 minutes under there. Unfortunately, my kids are too smart. They entered the room and found me almost immediately. I was advised by Little Miss Bull Runner that, if I should ever attempt this again, I should hide in the far end of the bed so as not to get caught. (Smarty pants!)

Even before I could whine over my failed attempt, my clever kids pointed at the floor and said our dog Cosmo had pooped under the bed exactly where I was hiding. I checked it out and—gasp!—there it was, long brown poop!

– Poop! –

I wanted to scream. I checked my clothes if any poop had gone on it. I wanted to bathe. Honestly, I wanted to puke.

The kids were laughing hysterically. (This was NOT funny!)

Right before I jumped into the shower, my son grabs the poop and lifts it up on his palm. IT WAS FAKE!  I was freaking out over a wet, brown paper bag rolled up to look like poop!

Waaah. It was bad enough I was pooped over the weekend, then I had to get poop pranked too.

To my kids: I’ll get you next time!

Visualization for Athletes

Thursday, 17 January 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

Experts say that visualization helps in achieving one’s goals. The individual simply imagines the desired outcome, every single detail in that ideal situation from his/her feelings to actual performance, and this puts him in a place of confidence and calmness increasing his chances of actually achieving what he intended to do.

Many elite athletes practice this. We’ve heard of olympians imagining themselves winning the gold medal even before the race started or runners visualizing themselves crossing the finish line first. The strategy works not just in competition, but also in training.

Now, just because we’re not elite athletes, it doesn’t mean we can’t employ the same technique in training and in races, right? Right! So, I thought of doing the same.

During the first week of 2013, Coach Andy Leuterio sent me my training program for the next eight months. The training program will prepare me for two A-races: London Marathon in April and Ironman 70.3 Cebu in August.

When I saw my program for the first time, I was left in complete shock. Okay, perhaps shock is an understatement. I basically stared at my mac for 30 mins., weeped over the suffering that was to come, hyperventilated, attempted to swallow a few leftover kwitis from New Years Day, then laughed extremely hard about how crazy I am for actually looking forward to all this.

The program is quite unique. Sure, I’ve got the required easy runs and long runs, the spinning, intervals, and long rides. No swims yet. And, Monday as rest day where I actually take Bikram Yoga. But, what stands out are the titles of my workouts. On Monday, I must do a “Chuck Norris,” a “300” on Thursday, and “Fight Club” on Fridays. (Now you understand why I laugh-cried when I first saw it?!) I won’t go into the details of what these workouts are (Er, you’ve got to sign up with Coach Andy if you want to find out. Hah!), but, suffice it to say, it scared the hell out of me!

Last week though, when Week One of my training started, I realized that, by employing visualization techniques, I had more confidence to accomplish the workouts and, more than that, finish them strong.

Here are the mental images that filled my innocent and wholesome mind for the past 2 weeks:

– Chuck Norris! Photo: www.theplace2.ru –

– Sparta! –

– Brad! Photo: www.movie.yahoo.com –

See!  Now you know why I was so inspired to work out so hard!  Nothing like images of burly men with six-pack abs smothered in sweat and grime to keep a girl like me pushing myself during each workout, right?  And, when the going got tough on the road or on the treadmill, I would tell myself:  “Fight!” or “For Sparta, for freedom, to the death!” or “Chuck, please save me!”  Okay, I’m kidding on the last one.  Seriously though, you ought to try visualization.  It may work for you to improve your performance and help you achieve your goals this 2013.

Now all together:  “Sparta!  For the glory!”

Road to IM70.3: 3 Weeks To Go

Tuesday, 17 July 2012  |  Bullish Insights

I don’t know how I survived the past week.  Really.

With three weeks to go, my program last week was heavy.  As in, ton of BRICKS heavy. (No pun intended.)  Total number of hours I worked out last week was 14 hours.  Longest I’ve ever trained!  (Imagine, I could’ve flown from Manila to LA with all that time and with much less sweat!)


I swam my longest ever, 3km, on Friday, rode my farthest distance, 110km in Nuvali on my Shiv Saturday, then ran 24k with friends on Sunday.  If the workouts weren’t long, they were intense; those are what I did on the other days that week.

Except for the run (don’t be surprised), I wanted to quit each workout that week.  While swimming laps with Coach Martin, at the 6th out of 24 repeats, I was thinking I could just pretend to drown, which was not very far from how I looked at that point.  During my bike trainer sessions at home, the cushy bed upstairs seemed to be calling out my name every 5 minutes; I replied “No thanks!” with all my might in between groveling and gasping for air.  As for the run, nearing the end of the 24th kilometer, I felt like I could do more, but, um, the smell of breakfast beckoned so I knew it was time to stop.


Surprise surprise, I did accomplish every single workout the past week.  There was a lot of groaning and whining, but, at the same time, there was a lot of laughter, pride, and high fives along the way.

I am completely amazed at what my body can do now compared to a few months back.  (I am equally astonished at how much weight I’ve lost despite all the food I’m eating!)  I am also equally aware of how—through months of training this body at specific skills—I’ve also inevitably trained the mind to become stronger and more focused.  And, the latter, my friends, is what I think matters most and is, so far, the biggest gift this journey has blessed me with.


This coming week is all about back-to-back twice a day workouts.  (Say what?!  Coach Andy, I never heard of such punishment!)  Man, these triathletes have been putting themselves through these grueling workouts probably for years now and I’m the new runner who’s foolish enough to try it. Hah!

So, let’s see how I fare this week.  I expect a lot of suffering and a lot of fun! (Yes, I’ve learned the past few months that the two can actually co-exist.)

Training Goes On with Playtex Plus a Chance to Win P3,500 Runnr GC & Playtex Products

Monday, 9 July 2012  |  Gear + Gadgets

Now that I swim, bike, and run six times a week, with kids, work, and a household to manage as well, there’s almost no time for me to sit still (except when I get my weekly massage).

It used to be that when the dreaded time of the month came for women like me, I would quit working out for at least three of the heavy days. It drove me nuts. I couldn’t run because it was my 2nd day. I wouldn’t register for a race because I knew I’d be getting my period then. No way I’d even attempt to swim. It was just too uncomfortable and downright messy to run, bike, or swim with a napkin on. (Sorry for TMI, guys!)

That was until I discovered tampons. I use Playtex Glide now. Whoa boy, it changed everything for me. I kid you not. Nowadays, my monthly period just comes and goes without affecting my workout or lifestyle too much.


I used the Playtex Glide during my longest bike ride a few weeks ago, I’ve done speedwork wearing them, and I don’t even remember how many times I’ve gone swimming with them on. It’s really the perfect companion for women like me who live an active lifestyle.


So, to celebrate the huge difference Playtex Glide has made in my life (I told you I wasn’t exaggerating haha!), I’m throwing a contest for female readers.

> Grand Prize: P3,500 worth of Gift Certificates from RUNNR store + P500 worth of Playtex products
> 3 runners up: P500 worth of Playtex products

3 weeks – July 9 to July 30, 2012

1) LIKE Playtex Philippines Facebook page
2) LIKE The Bull Runner Facebook page
3) Post a comment below answering this question:

What seemingly impossible run, race, or event do you think you can achieve with Playtex during your monthly period?  Example: I can do a full marathon twice even with my period!  (1 sentence only)

4) Include the following in the comments box:
> Your full name
> Your username on Facebook

1) Deadline for submission of entries: MONDAY, JULY 30, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.
2) TBR will choose the top ten answers based on their wit, humor, and creativity.
3) Top 10 answers will be eligible for a raffle conducted by TBR via random.org to determine the Grand Prize winner and three runners up.
4) All entries must comply strictly with the rules, must have complete information, and must be submitted before contest closes.
5) Only one entry per runner. Submission of more than one entry leads to disqualification.
6) Only females are eligible to join the contest.
7) Winner will be announced on this blogpost as an update and will be notified via email on how to claim the prize.

May the best female runner win!


Congratulations to the following winners!!!

> Grand Prize: P3,500 worth of Gift Certificates from RUNNR store + P500 worth of Playtex products goes to CELMA HITALIA
> 3 runners up: P500 worth of Playtex products: Kay Ann Parra, Reese Rogel, Goldy dela Cruz

[This is a sponsored post by Playtex.]