Archive for February, 2012

Just Say NO

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Random
Tags: ,

Image c/o El Alpinistas, TBR DM Batch 3

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As someone who loves watching TED Talks, it was wonderful to discover that Google posts its own series of talks by authors and other personalities on YouTube. So far I’ve seen three well-known long distance runners on the roster, each with his own philosophy regarding the discipline. I hope you’ll like these as much as I did.

Dean Karnazes

Dean is one of the best endurance athletes in the world. He has won countless races including the grueling 217K Badwater Ultramarathon. If that isn’t impressive enough, he managed to run 560K in 80hrs 44mins without stopping. He’s always pushing the limits of his body and is genuinely happiest when on the road. We may not be as gifted as he is but I’m sure a lot of us can relate to his passion for running.

Christopher McDougall

Author of “Born to Run,” a book about the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico who run barefoot for hundreds of miles as their primary mode of transportation. McDougall almost single-handedly started a trend towards minimalist shoes and even barefoot running among hardcore enthusiasts. Personally, I’m not rushing to join the bandwagon as I believe that developing proper form is more important and, to be candid about it, my city girl feet are no match for the roads without adequate cushioning. Maybe after 10 years of serious marathon running the natural adaptations will allow me to go minimal, but until then I’m sticking with my Pegasus. Hats off to my brave barefooted friends.

Jeff Galloway

Jeff popularized what has since become known as the “Galloway Method” which encourages runners to adopt a run-walk-run style rather than continually running long distances to delay fatigue and avoid injuries. This strategy is highly recommended for beginners but even elite athletes have used it with excellent results. I’m surprised that Jeff is against stretching as I’ve found it to be helpful in managing my injuries. My view is, like everything else, don’t overdo it and you’ll be fine. He also shared that Kenyans run their LSDs 3-4min slower than their marathon pace. If true, that’s something to really think about during training.

These are fairly long videos and if you’ve managed to finish them all, congratulations! You truly have the patience of a marathon runner. 😉 Which runner/author is your favorite? Which things caught your attention the most?

“I like the solitude of running. Long-distance running is a loner’s sport, and I’ve accepted the fact that I enjoy being alone a lot of the time. It keeps me fresh, keeps me — oddly enough — from feeling isolated. I guess a lot of people find it in church, but I turn to the open road for renewal. Running great distances is my way of finding peace.”

– Dean Karnazes

Here’s something for those who weren’t able to attend the talk last Wednesday night. It will also be useful for anyone who wants to get an idea on how to taper properly. Got this from the notes of batchmate Michael Arcilla (thanks, batch!). I’ve added my own commentary for clarity. 😉

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Tapering is all about letting the body recharge after months of hard training to be in peak shape on race day. The last 3 weeks prior to the marathon is tricky because you wouldn’t want to over-train and get injured or burn out, but at the same time, you don’t want to slack off too much and risk decreasing your fitness level. Coach Lit Onrubia provided these guidelines for us to follow:

3 WEEKS TO GO:

3 runs a week but 25-50% LESS mileage (on long runs)
Ie. 8-10k on weekdays, 15K on weekends

(Those joining the Run United 21K got an earful from Coach. If they were really intent on doing it, he advised them to run 15K and walk the rest. Walking for 6K is not easy. Try it.)

Decrease mileage but not intensity

VISIONING: “my first 90 mins.”

TREAT THIS EXACTLY LIKE THE FIRST 90 MINUTES OF YOUR MARATHON. IT’S A REHEARSAL.

Pacing, Nutrition and Hydration should be as you would do it during the actual marathon.

2 WEEKS TO GO:

3 runs a week but 40-70% LESS mileage (on long runs)
8-10K on weekdays, 10k on weekends

Marathon Pace on all maintenance runs, 30-60 seconds slower on weekend long runs.

1 WEEK TO GO:

2 runs… only TWO RUNS. No weekend runs.
4-8K per run, nothing more than that
30-60 seconds slower than marathon pace, with some quick strides.
Focus on SLEEP.
Be wary of mind games: trust your training; you’ll “graduate” in a few days’ time.

(It’s tempting to run more than what’s recommended because that’s what the body is used to, but Coach Lit says it won’t make you faster at this late stage and could actually hurt you on race day. He shared that when he gets restless, he’d lock himself up inside a movie theater just to take his mind off of running. Find a distraction. Relax.)

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Nothing tiring, keep off your feet
Nothing new
No diets, no feasts
Don’t look at the scale
Remember: “You can’t under-do. You can only over-do.”

NO CROSS TRAINING. NO BIKING.

(Absolutely nothing new on race day. Race shirt/shorts/shoes/undies should be what you’ve been accustomed to wearing during training. Food, drinks, gels, etc must be familiar to your tummy and taken at practiced intervals. Don’t tape on race day if you haven’t done so previously – Jim Lafferty will be fuming. Every detail must be carefully rehearsed during the prior months.)

Right now, the running community is up in arms over the skyrocketing registration fees among well-known races. Those who can afford such prices can continue their patronage of these blockbuster events. Meanwhile, the rest may opt to join other runs with more reasonable rates. These are typically smaller in scale yet definitely enjoyable (I’ve been to several myself). Most of them are for charities so you won’t just be able to continue your involvement in the sport, you’ll be helping those in need as well.

143 Go! is one such charity race. Organized by the UP OBEM, it’s now on its second year after a successful debut in 2011. The venue is UP Diliman – one of the most popular training grounds for runners. All the categories (3K/5K/10K) will only cost you P400 to join in. That leaves you with more than enough money to spare for a post-race meal at Rodic’s. There’s also a separate Couple’s 5K at P750. Singlets and bibs are inclusive. The proceeds from the race will cover the medical expenses of kids from the charity ward. Go on, make a child smile today. 😉

Interested? Sign up at the following registration sites:

UP OBEM TAMBAYAN
Rm. 122, School of Economics, UP Diliman
(9AM – 5PM Mondays to Fridays)

PHILIPPINE HEART CENTER
Social Services Division
(Office Hours Only)

CHRIS SPORTS BRANCHES
SM City North Edsa
(02)928-1487, (02)927-6734

SM Megamall
(02) 584-9468, (02) 633-1659

Robinsons Manila
(02) 359-1848, (02) 536-7847
(Mall Hours Only)

SECONDWIND RUNNING STORE
#45 Malingap St., Teachers Village, Quezon City
(02) 238-4005
(Store Hours Only)

Any questions about the event?

Visit them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/143go2
Or browse the official website: http://www.wix.com/143go2/site

The Condura Skyway Marathon 2012

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Events, Personal

Chona holds her "platito" medal after finishing the 42K

Due to my previous experience with this event and the sky high fees, I wasn’t really keen on joining again. Then, as luck would have it, The Bull Runner held a contest and I won a 10K race kit (thanks, Jaymie!). I went to accompany Joyce who is currently nursing some injuries. Since I am the resident injury veteran in the group, I persuaded her to drop from 21K to 5K so as not to aggravate the situation. The result is a complicated series of bib swaps and our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who made it happen. We’re truly one big happy family.

I also bumped into Mark, my Dutch friend, who is quite easy to spot with his tall and pasty frame. He finished the half at an impressive 1:40 and was very happy with the cold weather that morning. Roxanne made her 21K debut and the rest of the angels got new PRs. Joy even won a 2-night stay at a Cebu hotel for being the first one to bring sunblock on the stage, LOL. I’d say it was a fun day even if I didn’t get much sleep and Alabang is so darn far. Jeff, the mastermind of Pinoy Fitness, made this video of the event. Guess who’s in it near the very end. 😉