Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

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. 😉


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 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.”


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


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.


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.)


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.”


(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.)


This is LOVE. This is FAMILY.

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Articles, People

The Inspirations: Jamie and Lynn Parks
Ride along with this couple as they show you what family is really about.
By Gail Kislevitz
Published 12/07/2007

After she was nearly killed in a car crash in 1987, doctors doubted Lynn Mcgovern would walk again. But Mcgovern, whose brain stem had been damaged, endured seven years of rehabilitation to learn how to walk a short distance–namely, down the aisle to marry Jamie Parks in 1994.

Since then, she has continued to defy expectations by completing more than 170 road races, thanks to her devoted husband, who would rather push Lynn in her wheelchair than run alone.

“I am so lucky Jamie has given me this gift,” Lynn says. The 45-year-olds have covered more than 13,000 miles together. Their personal bests, including a 17:35 5-k and a 2:57 marathon, are remarkable, given Jamie’s workload (Lynn and the chair weigh 170 pounds).

Jamie, who met Lynn in 1985, started pushing her in races in 1991. “She faces so many challenges, but never complains,” says Jamie, a mail carrier in Tinley Park, Illinois. “It makes it hard for me to complain about anything.”

At a half-marathon in August, one of the chair’s wheels fell off at mile 12. Jamie pushed Lynn on a single wheel for the final mile, finishing in 1:32:11. “We were mad, but then you move on,” Jamie says. “We don’t take things so seriously as other folks might. Our big picture is much bigger.”



After their recognition in 2007 has RW Heroes, this speedy couple caught the attention of A Step Ahead Prosthetics and Orthotics who offered to design and create a racing chair for Lynn. Aided by the upgraded wheels, the pair competed the 2008 Boston Marathon. Their pre-Beantown preparation and debut was filmed for a documentary featuring Lynn and Jamie called “Marathon Love,” which has won several film festival awards. In 2009 and 2010, the pair has spoken at race expos in the U.S. After celebrating the 20-year anniversary of their first race together in July, the couple has run 222 races and covered nearly 18,000 miles.

(Article from Runner’s World Magazine)

Paula Radcliffe at the finish line of the 2003 London Marathon

You can change the rules, but you can’t change history.

In 2003, Paula Radcliffe ran the marathon in a world record time of 2:15:25. Now there is a rule which retroactively plans to strip her of her world record because she ran with men.



Negating existing records punishes heroic women
Peter Gambaccini, ESPN

What sport could possibly be more basic and uncomplicated than running? You line up at Point A and run to Point B. If you do that faster than anyone else ever has, you’re a record-holder, right?

Umm … not necessarily, it now seems.

You may have absorbed some of the controversy regarding a decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regarding women’s marathon records. The IAAF is the governing body of track and field and road racing, and has now decided that only times run in “women’s only” races can be given consideration as world and national marathon records, and that times in “mixed” races, or those in which men were employed as women’s pacesetters, cannot be designated as records. The most controversial part of the decision is that the IAAF is rewriting history.

Thus, Paula Radcliffe’s previously accepted world record of 2:15:25 is out, as is another 2:17:18 she ran. The consolation is that Radcliffe is still the world record-holder, with a 2:17:42 she posted in London in 2005, when the women started 45 minutes before the men. Radcliffe told Runner’s World that the IAAF action “is a little unfair. If they were going to make that rule, it should have been so from the beginning when world records came in on the roads. Now it is messy.” She also made clear that in the two races now ineligible for record consideration, “it was not my decision to have male runners with me, but that of the race organizers.”

Deena Kastor’s listed American women’s marathon record of 2:19:36 is now out, as are fast times by Joan Benoit — who nevertheless will likely be listed as the U.S. record-holder, based on her 2:24:52 back in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics. Kastor suggested that the IAAF ruling “feels like a little bit of a cheapo shot” and asserts “nothing is going to take away the feeling I had of breaking the record that day.”

Well, the IAAF is going to try to take away that feeling. One has to wonder why any sense of urgency exists about rewriting the marathon record books. One has to wonder because the IAAF isn’t saying much about its motivation. It’s a decision that seems both idiotic and nasty. If it’s an attempt to provide “clarity,” it fails miserably.


So it seems that runners, on average, are more conscious of their finances. Who would have thunk? I’ve always been frugal since childhood but I didn’t know there was a correlation. Nifty.

Amby Burfoot’s article on Runner’s World points to a scientific study that concluded just that:

Some behavioral sciences researchers at Boise State decided to find out a little about women ultra marathoners. Prepare yourself not to be shocked. These women had a strong healthy-lifestyles orientation, and scored high in psychological coping and task-orientation. They trained nearly 12.5 hours a week, 64 percent of the time solo, and 80 percent were self-coached. Sounds like an ultra-runner to me.

Here’s the curious finding–the thing I didn’t expect to read about. These ultra running women were “financially conscious.”

Now, I know a number of runners who are accountants of one type or another, but I had never thought about this piece of the running-numbers game: financial smarts. It makes sense, however.

Unfortunately, Amby forgot to include a link to the original study, which I eventually found anyway. Go ahead, fellow running geeks, feast on this… um… abstract.

Anyway, this got me into thinking about my running-related habits. In the past year, the vast majority of my new clothes have come in the form of event singlets and finisher’s shirts. I use all of the race freebies like the breathable black cap from Ion Energy Drink, the red Coleman visor, and the Unilab sports bottle. Whenever I ride a plane, I carry all my stuff in my Corregidor backpack instead of a fancy wheeled luggage carrier. For my race baggage, Unilab sling bags are always on call. Yes, there are a bunch fancy gears being sold out there but I try to keep mine to a minimum.

I have never worked out in a gym. I prefer running outdoors where I can feel the wind and the scenery changes constantly. When I’m not in a hurry, I will walk the 2K+ to Cubao or the 3K+ to Ortigas. We are so used to taking the tricycle, the jeepney, and the taxi for even the shortest distances. If you think about it, most of the places we go to are just 20mins away by foot. Unless it’s raining cats and dogs, I try to walk as much as I can not just to save money but because I genuinely enjoy it.

Much has also been said about running producing a lot of stats, making it a magnet for the goal-oriented, spreadsheet-loving nerds. Guilty as charged. I have both financial and running Excel files. I keep track of all my expenses just as obsessively as I track my weekly mileage. My calendar is full of scribbles detailing my training plan. I guess that’s just how it is for serious runners. You have to love numbers, and the numbers, in the form of PR, will love you back. Applying this to finances, you’ll get more savings.

How about your own experience with running? Are you better at finances or worse because of it?

It seems like everywhere I look today there’s always some mention of barefoot or minimalist running. Most major sports brands have released their own shoe line that caters to this trend. I’ve seen several local Facebook pages selling sandals modeled after the Tarahumara’s. Recently, a barefoot running event was organized by Bald Runner with bigger sequels being planned for the near future.

Do you think it’s a fad or is it here to stay? Are you embracing barefoot running?

For the uninitiated, here’s the story the started it all:

The Proper Running Form

Posted: April 12, 2011 in Articles

This is for all the beginners out there. Having a good running form prevents back pain and injuries. It also helps increase efficiency so you can run longer before getting tired. Here are some of Coach Rio’s tips:

  • Stay relaxed. Let your shoulders drop, and breathe properly. Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, fists open. Stiff shoulders and closed fists may cause muscle contractions.
  • Keep it natural. Don’t force your movements. Swinging your arms unnecessarily, for one, will only drain your energy without making you go any faster.
  • Remember the midline. Don’t make the common mistake of letting your arms go beyond the middle part of your body while running.
  • Look straight ahead. Instead of looking down, keep your chin up while running.

For clarity, the video below shows the basics in posture, lean, and footstrike in detailed graphics. If it’s all too much to take in at once, concentrate on perfecting one thing during your runs before you move on to the next. Even I’m still working on my lean. Practicing in front of the mirror helps.