Monday, February 28, 2011


My uncle came over a few days ago and he actually had some leftovers for me. In the bunch there were two energy bars, these Dole Real Fruit, and a whole lot of G2 Gatorade! The G2 Gatorade was what I was most excited about. With what I heard, this was a formulation specific for endurance athletes and I would like to back up this sales pitch.

I have used the G2 formulation twice already. Once was for a 83km bike ride, while the other for a 33km run. Both in which I felt the energy and zap coming from the drink. It has this weird feeling of numbness in your tounge which seems to hold back the thirst. I don't specifically know what its doing but what ever it is doing, its doing it right for me!

The G2 formulation is also a very sweet type of drink and the label shows that most of its carbs are from the sugar content of it. I have a feeling I'l have diabetes cause of the sweets I keep eating during long races, but I just can't help it. Sugar is one of the best and fastest carbs known to man, which is perfect in trying to get some fast energy back especially while on the go.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Training Log #11 - Training Quantity vs. Training Quality

Training as a triathlete, we have so little time, but so much to do. It's no joke having to train for three different sports in one week, this plus having our own lives to deal with can be tasking sometimes. So I've began to think that quality workouts are really whats important as to quantity of workouts.

I've noticed that just swimming/biking/running without any direction on your workout will give you minimal gains on your overall conditioning. 

So if I were to compare just running five times a week to running three times a week with the proper workouts being done, I would more favorably say so that you will get more benefits with only those three runs per week. 

What I usually like to do in those three workouts are the following.

  1. Intervals
  2. Tempo
  3. Long Run/Swim/Ride
These for me work best since I am able to work on my lactate threshold and aerobic endurance. 

Lactate threshold is the point in the exercise where your body produces more blood lactate than it can reabsorb, you know that tingly weird pain when you go really fast? Thats basically lactate building up, so you can actually train that so you can keep going.

Aerobic endurance on the other hand is the ability to continue to exercise for longer periods of time. Remember how when you started doing exercises, 30 minutes felt like a drag? But then as you further progress and start doing this type of exercise 2-3 times per week, your body adapts to it and thus it gets easier. This whole concept lies around what we call as aerobic endurance, and this can be improved during our long workouts.

Now if you will be leaving yourself to plainly running or biking five times per week, you lose the benefits of getting more out of your workouts. Well my two cents are that since we are already out there working our butts off, lets integrate these certain workouts so we can maximize our improvements and minimize the work hours.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Training Log #10 - The Questions and the Doubts

During my last two sessions of training, doubts seem to fly around quite easily. Questions that make me think if my dream is every something that is possible? Or am I just overly excited not knowing how much work this all means.

Sometimes through the pain you get discouraged and ask yourself, when does it ever get easy? Truth be told, I don't think it ever does. Even though we get faster or stronger, it will never be easy. It will still hurt and you will still be going through that pain at which ever level you are in.

So when does the pain end? Well I guess its when you stop! lol But in that stopping or finishing of your workout, you get another rush. Its that sense of accomplishment, going through something which you thought you couldn't finish. It's really a mind game sometimes, you play games with yourself. Don't tell yourself you can't do it cause you can!

This is to blocking out those voices in my head (I hope I'm not crazy haha) I will reach my dream. They may keep doubting and questioning, but lets just keep moving forward from here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Training Log #9 - Poor Man's Energy Gell

Over the weekend I ran another 30kms in preparation for our upcoming marathon on March 20. As I learned from last week's long run, nutrition must not be taken lightly in such long distance runs. So this week I came prepared.

At first I was thinking of purchasing a few pieces of Hammer Gels, but then these things are quite costly. At about 85 pesos a piece, I usually tend to leave these types of luxuries for race day.

So I innovated! I brought with me a banana, Cloud 9 chocolates, and a Hanny Choco Nut. After last week's great recovery after eating chocolates, I opted to test this out further.

Shockingly they seem to work really good for me. I ate one at 15kms, 25kms, and 27kms. They were a tasty treat under the scorching heat of the sun and I felt that the sugar was a really good way replenish the depletion in my body. As you would know, sugar is what we call as fast carbs so these are easily broken down and is able to replenish the body at once. Weakness of it is that it does not help fill you for long.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Training Log #8 - A Sari-Sari Store Can Save Your Life

I did a 30km run today and, I would have to say that these are one of the things that are easier said than done. As with my usual long run training, I integrate rolling hills and steep inclines during my workouts. (If you'r wondering why, check out my former entry on training in the worst condition to race at your best condition)

Today I returned to my old playground which is at Nuvali. I wouldn't say I've missed it, since I always get so wrecked when I do my long runs here, and today was no exception. We were out there at 5am and started running by 5:30am.

As I usually do, I bring two flasks filled with Gatorade and nothing else. So as I began my long run and felt the usual rush of starting out really good and wishing for a strong finish. About half the time I do long runs above 17kms I usually gamble if it will be a "feel good" run or one those "draggy" runs. At 20kms it finally hit me, that dreaded heaviness of both legs and body. My mind wanted to go on but my body just wanted to end this.

From here on out til 27kms it was the worst feeling of running-walking and taking breaks. I keep thinking to myself why this happens, is 30km too much for me? Funny enough I realize that the answer I was looking for was staring right back at me. Who in the right mind goes out to run 30kms with only 2 flasks of gatorade and nothing else.

My body was shutting down since it could not go any further with improper nutrition. Its almost a no brainer when you think of it, but that seems to have been my mistakes for so long. I keep doing these long runs with minimal nutrition and even water. That's pretty dumb when you think about it.

At 27kms I was lucky, I found this sari-sari store and was able to replenish. In an instant I bought 2 pieces of this bite size milk chocolate called Hanny and 2 packs of Tomi.

Here I was also able to refill my flasks with water and finally drink some for myself. My this was the best ever tasting Tomi and Hany I have in my life! lol

On the last 3kms I finally regained my energy back and was able to pace properly through out the run. So the basically I just answered the question I've been asking myself for so long.

Why are long runs so hard for me?

Answer: Cause Elmer you've been a dumb ass! lol

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Training Log #7 - The Work that Lies Ahead

I look at race results, heck you probably do to. It gives you a glimpse of what to expect in a race and what sort of standards you should put yourself in these types of races. You get to imagine how hard the race course could be and even be able to average where in this list you will probably finish in.

In looking at these results it humbles me think of how much work is needed to be able to reach the goal I am setting for myself. There are a few athletes whom I have noticed would run a 41:38 10km distance after already doing a 1.5km swim and 40km bike. Wow. It's just crazy right? I'm not even sure I can put up a pace like that with just running.

The numbers right now honestly scare me. They make me doubt and fear this certain path I'm venturing on to. But deep inside me there is this fire that wants to conquer just that. For every obstacle I see a new goal to conquer, if we must quote Miley Cyrus then here goes

"There's always going to be another mountain. I'm always gonna wanna make it move"

So I say, let the numbers be, cause one day those numbers will be my own.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Training Log #6 - Train in the worst conditions to race at your best condition

 Train in the worst conditions to race at your best condition

This was the exact phrase going through my mind today while I was running under the heat of the sun. If you were to train in the worst type of possible conditions, then won't that make you both physically and mentally prepared to attack any race route come race day?

I for example believe in the saying that "hills make you stronger on flats while flats don't make you stronger on hills". I'm not sure if anyone ever does this too, but I actually plan and do my long runs on hills and I make it a point that it really is exaggeratedly a hill. My favorite route has this 4km straight inclined road which just keeps going and going. We usually go up and down this "hill" twice.

Well basically what am I saying here is that this could be a good training ground since, when I see a hill in a race course I just imagine I'm back in my training ground and its all good. So I guess this will be my new mantra for now. Let's see how it works!

Worst Possible Condition I can imagine are as follows:
  • Hills
  • Heat
  • Minimal Water - Wouldn't recommend to do this in a test run though, very dangerous

Monday, February 7, 2011

Training Log #5 - Walking, who knew?

Woke up bright and early today planning to do a short 5km run. As I stepped out the door I did my usual warm up and then began walking. Usually at this point I would start to open my strides and begin to transition into a run. Today though was different, some may say its listening to your body. But I felt this urge to just keep walking.

I have been running for two years now and I have never gone out in the morning for a walk. Everyday since I started, I must have been following some sort of program that told me how far to run. It was a whole new world to say the least. It felt relaxing and peaceful.

I realized that I sometimes tend to forget the peace of such a simple activity. Yes running does give you peace too, but nothing does it like walking. I'll be honest and say yes I push myself a lot in most of my training days. This simple active recovery exercise though feels like a breath of fresh air. I really have a hard time explaining it but it really felt good, I think too that my body loved it. It finally got a break for himself lol

So I learned something today. Walk! I'l try and integrate this once or twice a month into my training.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Training as a Triathlete

Triathlon as we know is three sports rolled into on. Its the swim, bike, and run. Question I usually get is how do people roll it into one whole week?

Well I try and keep a balance of the three sports every week. I work on my weak sport a lot while maintaining a quality level of training on my strengths. Sometimes it feels like a circus act having the juggle all these three sports all at once.

A Breakdown of my Training Week

The best thing though about training for the triathlon, is that you always have something new to look forward to on the next training day. It never gets old cause its always changing.

The hard part though is the dedication and time you gotta give for the sport. I won't lie, I barely have any time for anything else. With having to juggle office work, teaching, MBA, and other household duties. I have to give up a lot of things. Although I believe all of these things are worth it if you want to reach your dreams.

New Year Goal #1 - Done!

At the start of this year I had 3 major goals. Here's a recap of them:

  1. Sub 1:50 21k
  2. Sub 4hr 42k
  3. Sub 6hr Half Iron Man
Each of these goals are kinda like a pre-requisite of the other since they would be a sort of test to see if I can be able to do the next. The very last one in there would be the Half Iron Man, which is basically what I will be preparing for in the next six months.

The setting for this half marathon was done today in the Condura Run for the Dolphins Marathon. I was honestly very nervous cause I know how the result of this race would set the tone for my up coming goals. But none the less I know how much work and training I put into this and that this will be my strength in conquering my goals. 

The race started early morning at 4:30am in Makati Ave. The race route will be bringing us up the skyway then there will be a turning point, from there we would then make our way back to Makati and finish of the race at The Fort.

I was greeted by a lot of familiar faces in the crowd from our running group the Alabang Snail Runners. Where our motto is to "run with passion and precision" lol 

As I started to walk up to the starting line I couldn't help but breathe in the race atmosphere. I honestly missed this! The last time I ran a major race was last year during the 32km Run United 2 event. There is something different about being in a crowd of thousands of people, all sweaty and are roaring to get the run started. There really is no other feeling.

Once the race started, I was giving it all on the line from here. The skyway route was fairly alright for me, people usually talk about it being hilly and would have lots of slopes and all, but I didn't really mind. I think what helped me were my LSD runs which I do on hills. Just like the saying goes "hills make you fast on flats, but flats don't make you fast on hills".

Moving on, the turning point came quite early at 8kms. I actually shouted and asked the marshal three times if it really was the turning point, I guess medyo "bitin" pa ako sa skyway haha At this point I also realized that I was doing good time. I was about 5 minutes ahead of my goal time which was a 1:49:59. Yes I literally was targeting a SUB 1:50 time. I also saw that I was beginning to start running alone cause I was moving away from the main pack. So I became a lone ranger.

I tried as much as possible to keep pace with different runners. It's very hard to pace to alone. Hearing someone else's footsteps and breathing keeps me calm and lets me gage how fast I'm going. And well it also reminds me of the Iron War between Mark Allen & Dave Scott. 

By the time I got off the Skyway and was at Buendia Ave, I was approximately 5 kilometers away from the finish line. This was by far, my most favorite part of the race. I was practically alone at this point and all I could here were my footsteps. It was just me and this pitch black road in the middle of soaring buildings which just went on and on. From time to time I would see marshalls but it was just dark. I felt like I had the roads of Makati just for me lol

This little enjoyment though was short lived when I just started to feel out of it at km 18. My legs were heavy, my breathing pattern was wrong, and I felt like I just wanted to stop. I really just wanted to stop right there. If I could hit a pause button I would have. But this was a race so I had to deal with it.

I walked about three time until the finish line and had about five people pass me in those last few kilometers. That really killed me in the inside. I worked hard to gain that lead and it just dissapeared in an instant. I guess they just worked harder right? By the last kilometer I was cramping and had nothing else to do but walk. I really wanted to push it but my body couldn't.

By the end I finished with a time of 1:46:07. It was way better than my projected time but I knew I could have done even better if things went my way. But hey thats the beauty of it right? Things don't always go your way. Even in life this statement stands true. All you can ever do is just keep working hard and try over and over again. Only you can say when you will give up.

Overall it was a great race indeed. Lost of high emotions and experiences I won't soon forget.

Before I end this entry I just want to make a shout out to the following people for an extra ordinary effort today.
  •  Ding Cabanero for a crazy sub 4hr marathon finish. 
  •  Donna Segunial for finishing her first half marathon and will be attacking the FULL Marathon next month (Yes I meant to make the FULL in all caps haha).
  • John Jacob, my co triathlete for finishing his first Full Marathon
  • David Oting for a sub 2hr finish on his FIRST half marathon, WAW!
  • Paula Plaza the woman who in my mind can do everything (Law school, social life, marathon, its all in a days work) for finishing her first Full Marathon
Congrats everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Training Log #4 - Training for the Half-Ironman. Really?

I've finally been able to register for this year's Cobra Ironman 70.3 and I've talked to coach about what plans and preparations we are going to be doing and what expectations should I have about the event.

Well one thing he pointed out is that right now we are building our base, as of now and will be moving into the next phases of our training. Some of the few things he told me that I should expect is a swim session that will be lasting for 6kms long and a brick session which includes a 100km bike - 18km run. WHEW.

Am I ready for this? Well I sure hope so. Damn, it feels like I'm going to be studying for the board exams or something lol But after hearing these challenges though, I've become even more determined to do this. I love this sport, it challenges you with something new everyday.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Training Log #3 - The Side Stitch

I had quite a gruesome run yesterday. I had no program or goal in my head. It was more of a feeling run, if I was feeling good then we go on. If I was feeling bad then we head home. Well I was feeling it alright. I had a side stitch which painfully made me stop my workout a few times.

I have a feeling this was because of me running too fast without the proper warm up. Reason behind this was because I tried out my new Addidas Tech fit shirt. With these really short running shorts, you can just imagine how speedy you feel on this.

I was probably overly excited and started running way too fast. I averaged a 5:24 pace for that 4.39km run. Hmmm.. Just another lesson in this very beautiful sport.