Thursday, November 16, 2017

Year End 21k Coming Right Up!

And so, I signed up for this (blindly, hahaha):

It reads "Good Evening Taipei City Invitational Half Marathon"

Reg fee for the 21k race is around PhP1,300.00 when converted to our currency. It took a while for me to reg online as I had to read everything carefully (after Google Translate did a good job on the Chinese language conversion). Racekit can be picked up in the race venue (I hope, hehe). The nice thing about this race is that the 21k gun time will be at 4:30PM with a 3.5hr cutoff time so no pressure on waking up early. The weather should be nice and cold by end December there (I think...and hope) so that should be a good thing for all of us running the half marathon.

I am not sure how the elevation profile for the route will be so I may have to check it out with mapmyrun.com. Hopefully it'll not be a hilly one.

Please be flat :D

So this means I will have to draw up my weekly long run sked until race week (which I've already done) and commit to completing them every Sunday. What's going for me mentally is that I had a good 21k race last month so I just have to recall and improve the way I will approach the training and execution for this race be it pacing and nutrition wise.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Off Season


Trainingpeaks CTL value has dropped to 50 as of today (from a high of 56 mid Oct due to my 21k race). Laziness and family obligations (birthday and vacations) have crept into this latter part of the year so training volume has really decreased a lot.

As usual, I will need to up the training as my weight is nearing 170lbs again. Yup, I have yet to reach my target 159lbs before the year ends. Keto is an option as most of my officemates are seeing remarkable results, but I love the carbs too much so that it's definitely out. Hehe.

I think I will have to hit pause on off-season mode to get motivated to train again. An option could be the Nov12 National Dua championships but I am in no condition (bike wise) to finish that in good time. Logistics will have to be considered as well since the venue is in Subic.

There's also the annual BGC Cycle event which I can join in the 40k race ---still undecided though.

Another one is a 21k Dec30 sundown race in Taiwan which is highly possible since we already booked plans to spend our Christmas family vacation there this year. This one looks possible since I have enough time from now to bring my running volume up. This is still on the drawing board though so let's see if I will have the balls to register before the Nov16 deadline.

Then again, the cold BER months just want to make you curl up under your blanket and doze these calories away. Hahaha...

Oh well. :D

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Race Review: Nutrilite Health Run 2017

The good:

  1. Great race org in general (as usual from Runrio)
  2. Accurate distance (21k)
  3. Affordable reg fee of P850.00 vs other 21k races (also from Runrio)
For improvement:
  1. The 3am gun start is too early for a 21k. Usually, this is reserved for full marathons.

My race:

I went into this race armed with enough training miles under my belt and a manageable strategy to hopefully meet 2:30.

To cut to the chase, I finished in 2:27+ ---well within my target and still standing.

I stuck to my plan all throughout:
  • Pace 7:00/km for the first 16k, then go all out on the last 5k (averaged 6:45/km here)
  • Gel intake every 45 mins (which ended up around km8 and 14)
  • Trusted my training and hoped for the best
I was monitoring my pace (7/km) and heart rate (not reaching 159, my threshold) constantly. For the latter, it was expected to increase on the short flyover climbs (there were 4) and on the last 5k where I was on the chase. I was all the more inclined on to maintain sub 7/km pace in the last 5k since I saw that I was ran 7:05/km for the first 10 miles. I was more intent then to finish this in sub-2:30 time.

Everything went all according to plan and I was feeling great all throughout, with the good weather (with very slight drizzle) accompanying us 21k runners in the middle of the night. The near flat race course and sufficient hydration stops helped as well, which somehow made we wonder if I will be able to finish sub-2:30 if this were on a hilly course such as BGC/Mckinley.

But I will DEFINITELY take last Sunday's 2:27+ finish, with the thought that at 43 (turning 44 this Sat) I can still finish a 21k race in a respectable time. Further, this was a 16 minute improvement from the TakboPH 21k that I ran last year so another reason for this advanced birthday gift for myself.



All in all, a job well done. 😤


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Nutrilite Health Run: Pre-Race Thoughts

It's a few days before my half-marathon (after a long looong while) and I *think* I'm ready for it.

I did a couple of long runs on weekends (two 16s, a 14, and a 12k) and peppered with tempo and race-pace runs during the weekdays. The typical half marathon plan requires an 18k but I wasn't able to do one so I expect the race to be a challenge after 2 hours of running.

It would be an accomplishment to finish in sub-2:30 but anywhere around it is well ok with me. I read my blog posts years ago wherein sub-2:20s are normal for me for half marys. But I have been training with my bike as well (which I love) so achieving such a time is not possible at this point due to lack of time.

Another thing that I am worried about is the 3am gun start (I didn't practice this) which is normally reserved for full marathons. I don't know why Runrio, the race org, scheduled this waaaay too early. This is one of the bad points in races here in our traffic congested country. Races need to start way early in the morning so that we don't cause traffic jams even on a supposed easy Sunday morning. Races in other countries don't start this early. Yeah, probably the tropical weather too was taken into account but 3 effin' o clock AM? Ugh.

This is why I prefer duathlons (and bike races) since they normally start at 6am (although I was told the recent Powerman Clark started at 7:45am for some of the age groupers. Yikes!).

Anyway, back to my race on Sunday. I hope to do well by keeping my pace and nutrition/hydration in check. As I said, it's gonna be challenging by the latter kilometers but I hope to finish this one in good time.

Here we go!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pinoy Running Blogs I Recommend


Aside from my blog (hehe), here's a list of Philippine Running Blogs that I read on my spare time (which can be found on the "Other Blogs" tab on the left side of this page).

Note that this list is in no particular order:


The Bull Runner

Jaymie Pizzaro has been in the running (and tri) scene for quite a number of years now, having established The Bull Runner Dream Marathon to guide newbies into completing their first (of hopefully, many) full marathon. Her posts range from running tips, running event announcements, and her personal account of the races she's participated in. I like it when she posts her race experiences when another participant tries to overtake or draft behind her ---which she leaves in the dust very often. Jaymie is quite fast based on the races that I was able to join that she participated in as well.

Bald Runner
Jovy Narcise is another long time running blogger who's the brain behind the Tagaytay-to-Nasugbu (T2N) and Bataan Death March (BDM) Ultramarathons, to name a few. Coming from the military, his posts are of no nonsense writing of his race adventures which are mostly from the marathon and ultramarathon category. His race reports are very detailed (time upon reaching a certain km mark, for example) such that race organizers will be very wary of him if he joins one of their races. Scrutiny of every detail in the race org manner will definitely come up in his post if it needs the organizing committee's attention for improvement. And, btw, this retired military general is very fast for his age so I take serious note of whatever tips he posts in his blog. I particularly liked that post he wrote years back on his discovery of the Maffetone method which I learned to adapt too.

Kikay Runner
Noelle De Guzman is very active in her blog posting, probably almost once or twice a week. Based on her posts early this year to mid (A day in the life series), her being competitive in the tri season took a back seat to get her body to recover. She has recently returned to active training (a new series called Return to Endurance) which could mean that she'll be back racing triathlons very soon. Her posts are well written, making you realize that training for races is not all there is in this world and that there are more important stuff out there that needs looking into. But when she trains and races, she looks to be very competitive based on her posts. Aside from race experiences, she also posts running event announcements, and other means to get fit (cross training, nutrition, etc.).

Running Shield
When it comes to short and sweet, nothing comes close in terms of Philippine running blogs as that of Patrick Concepcion's. Mostly posting his race experiences, he recounts his overall feeling before, during, and after the race ---with a touch that makes you feel that this guy really loves his running. With race photos be it during the race or post group pics with friends, it is all there in his post. Yes, Patrick is one FAST runner too!

Running Fatboy
Dennis Quepe is also another runner that has been active for several years. His posts are mostly experiences from races he's joined and he is one tough runner. He is a regular at the 21k and 42k race calendar (although he hasn't posted quite a while since July 2017 Milo season). He gives quite a good recap of his races which makes the reader want to cheer for him as one reads along. Determination at its best.

By Sheer Will
Rico Villanueva probably represents most of us who struggle with the daily grind of life, work, and how to fit in our training/fitness goals. Rico has also been around the running/tri scene for quite a while now and his posts on how he is able to achieve and complete his races has always been admirable to read. By sheer will, indeed. He hasn't posted in 4 months so I hope he gets to upload one soon to help get me motivated as well.

Well, that's quite it for now. I may be able to add some more soon. Do you have other Pinoy running/tri blogs to recommend? Do share with them via the comments section below.

:-)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Saucony Type A4 Review


I have been using the Saucony Type A4 shoe for over a year now, particularly for my interval and tempo workouts, and also for my races (duathlons, mostly). I changed the laces to lock laces for a quicker T2.

To be straight about it, this is a great fast shoe for your intervals, tempo runs, and races. It solicits quick leg turnover due to its (almost feather) lightness and with just the right amount of cushioning for a low-profile race shoe.

I highly recommend this shoe if you're looking for a pair for your fast days.....

....however....

Saucony needs to improve the strength of the Flexifilm technology that wraps the upper of this shoe. As the pictures of my pair show below, the Flexifilm wrap has torn out of regular wear in the areas that frequently folded in my running gait. Further, it has caused the inner layer to tear as well.

 

This causes the shoe to lose a little grip on the front part of my feet, which could cause some discomfort (slight slip?) upon ground contact. This is apart, of course, from the obvious degraded look of the shoe.

It is unfortunate that the greatness of this shoe has been undermined by the low strength/durability of the Flexifilm.

And that is why, unless Saucony improves on this, I will have to look at other brands once the Flexifilm (and inner layer) finally gives away.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Up Next, A Half Mary

With my A-race done for the year, it's time to tick off whatever I can do in these BER-months race wise.

One of which is to run a half marathon (or two? hehe).

As I shied away from the RunRio Trilogy series since it was too expensive in my opinion, along comes the Nutrilite Health Run 2017 with a P850.00 21k reg fee ---52% cheaper than the Trilogy series. Best of all, it's also by Runrio. ;-)


Of course, I gave in. :D

I won't forego my bike workouts but I'll have to prioritize my runs over rides should there be conflict with family/work priorities.

So I have started my crash training a couple of weeks back and I'm sloooowly building my long runs. The weekday runs (I try to run twice on the weekdays) seem to be lacking in structure so today I went to the Garmin Connect website which offered free training plans. I took the Tues, Thurs, and Sunday run sked for weeks 11-16 from one of the plans (since I've only 6 weeks left 'til race day) and plotted them onto my Trainingpeaks calendar.

Yup, it should work (I think).

Hopefully this'll help me finish the race on Oct 15 and maybe, just maybe, finish inside 2:30. ;-)


Sunday, August 27, 2017

BikeKing Duathlon: That's Better


RACE ORG REVIEW
Great race org overall. Simply THE BEST duathlon organizer in the country! From the registration to the race proper all the way to the medal and finisher's area plus loot bag, it was very well organized. Of course, riding the SCTEX is always the main attraction of this race and it never fails to disappoint.
Race distance accuracy could be something to be improved though as the bike leg measured an additional 2+ kilometers ---evaporating any PR chances goodbye. I understand the placement of the turnaround point at the Floridablanca exit which is at the toilet area which makes it convenient for participants to make a stop for #1 or #2. Not sure though how Bikeking can resolve this very minor issue.

MY RACE:
RUN1
Took a Nutella sandwich minutes before gun time.
Run1 took us to the ever familiar Porac road which was 3km downhill and then go back up the same 3k for T1. I planned for a 6:30/km pace throughout and I was on point for the first 3k, averaging 6:29+ per km for that downhill section ---refusing to let my adrenaline rush to push for more.
It was a different story though after the turnaround as my pace dropped to 6:44/km for the last 3k uphill. I was overtaking the other participants (who may have pushed too hard on the first 3k) but pace was way outside my target ---a reminder yet again that I should do more hill repeats.
Gel #1 taken at km5 of Run1.
Finished Run1at 6:37/km which was still a good start for beating my PR (I was 6:51/km in the 2015 version).
BIKE
I was able to borrow a pair of UCI-legal aerobars days before the race. I know this is something unusual for me as I try not to do anything new on race day. Although I raced last May with the same aerobars on two duas, I didn't quite specifically train with it for this race. It will just all come to familiarity of feel when I exited T1 and, fortunately, I didn't do any major adjustments with using them (again).
Riding downhill was a breeze (reached 55kph max) and the upward section to the turnaround was expected. I was still feeling good so no issues were encountered...yet. 
Leaving T1 towards SCTEX
The bike leg was a 2-loop ride from Porac exit to Floridablanca, which was probably between 15-16kms. As I looked at my Garmin when I approached the turn around point, it read 15 point something kms which meant that this'll exceed 60kms. I mentally calculated that beating my 3:29 PR will be a challenge as I may have to double the effort. However, opting for safety (in preparation for a good Run2) I just had to manage my pace on the bike since there are makunat climbs on the way back to Porac (which I will tackle TWICE).
As expected, it was a chore on the way back so I relied on my power numbers (3sec power and NP readings) to manage my effort and prevent bonking. Fortunately, this strategy worked well as I was able to finish the 2-loop (hard!) bike course to reach T2 in one piece. 
Average speed = 25.8kph (2015 version was 24.6kph). I will probably make a separate post for my bike leg analysis a la Trainingpeaks for future reference so watch out for that. ;-)
Gel taken every 30mins during the ride (4 gels in total). Hydrated with water only.
RUN2
I ran out of gels by the time I reached T2 so the plan would be to gulp Gatorade at the hydration stops. I was expecting a grueling Run2 if we were made to tackle a shorter version of the same downhill-turnaround-uphill route. Fortunately we were made to run a two loop course inside Sandbox, Porac. It still had its short climbs but not as challenging as the previous versions of this race. What was difficult was running in the hot sun so I had to douse myself with water at the hydration stations. 
I started off well pace-wise (6:30/km) but it considerably dropped to 7:00+ all the way to the finish. Not sure what happened to me from km2-4 of this leg. Possibly fatigue or ran out of energy (although I gulped the Gatorade, it may have been too late as it normally takes a while before you feel its effect to pump you up). Note that I was still running well (i.e. not walking) on those last kms but not on the pace that I liked.
Average Run2 pace = 6:58/km (2015 version was 7:15/km on a tougher course). 
TOTAL TIME?
I reached the finish arc at 3:36 which was 7 minutes over my PR. Nothing to be ashamed of here as I did well in my opinion. Had the bike distance been accurate and I haven't spent too much time on T1 and T2 (over 3mins each), it would've been a PR victory. 
There will be a lot of post race analysis on this one but, overall, I am very happy to finish this (my A-race) on a better condition vs 2015. My (pace and nutrition) strategy was better, my HR numbers were lower with same or better speeds, and I managed myself mentally well all throughout the race.
Even though I left Porac without a PR, this is probably my strongest SCTEX duathlon performance to date.
And I think I am just going to get better by next year's version. ;-) 


 
 

Monday, August 14, 2017

SCTEX Dua: Race Week Thoughts



So it's my long awaited A-race (a.k.a. revenge race) this Sunday and I'm keen to find out how I'll end up then after.

Training-wise, I may have reduced CTL slightly (now in the lower 50s) as the weekend long rides and runs have been left wanting. Been taking the kids to the basketball clinic every Sat am so down goes the long ride/run. Sunday AMs are usually medium rides in BGC with not much elevation (been too lazy to drive to Nuvali) so I will definitely perish on Sunday's bike leg (where the makunat climb awaits).

The runs have been well, sort of, pace wise but with the bike in between come race day it'll be a challenge to keep it going once the Porac exit starts with the nasty climb upon the turn around.

Yup, I've been running this race course in my mind for several days now and I'm quite ready for it mentally speaking.

I predict a good Run1, a good/bleh Bike, and a hard fought Run2 on Sunday. 3:29 is my standing 2014 PR for this dua distance (6-60-4) so I hope to do better than that.

Fingers (and legs) crossed.

Comparing my 2014 vs 2017 training logs from Trainingpeaks, I should (must!) do better this year. It's been difficult though, as mentioned above, to keep the weekend training goals going so I'm not really confident once the race goes beyond the 1 hour mark.

Just need to remember to pace myself in preparation for a good Run2. It'll be a test of wills after that Run2 turnaround since it'll be a long 2k climb to the finish line.

Ah yes, and don't forget to have a good time. It's still a privilege to be able to ride my bike over the SCTEX highway ---makunat or not. :)


Sunday, July 23, 2017

No Milo for me this year


Yup, I (lazily) made up my decision not to reg for Milo 21k in Metro Manila which is happening this Sunday (July 30). The medical certificate requirement to register became rather tedious for me as our company clinic will only issue one if I pass an ECG and XRAY exam ---which I need to take in another clinic on another company building. Sigh.

I know I know. Should've been something that I could've done if I really wanted to race but, then, adding to a lot of things to do at work (and just being plain lazy to walk 600 meters away) made me decide to skip this race....for now.

In the meantime I've been training as much as I could for my A-race (BikeKing Duathlon) happening on Aug 20. Traningpeaks CTL is near the 60s so that's a good sign.

My runs have been doing well endurance-wise but I need to inject more of those tempo/speedwork sessions in the weekdays (long runs since my Maxicare 16k have been good pace-wise ---10k and 12k). Probably add more hill repeats too will be vital ---especially on the Run2 4k on race day.

My rides have been declining mileage/hours wise but I've been compensating it by doing a lot of high intensity short bike sessions on the weekdays (Sufferfest, and mostly GCN 40-minute sessions). I hope to cover more ground bike-wise in the coming weeks. Fingers crossed.

Oh, lastly, I've been doing some yoga at home for my back pain. The one with Adriene has helped relieve the soreness of my back IMMENSELY so I'm sharing the video here which I hope you'll try as well. I will probably do more yoga (once or twice a week) to keep my back (and probably my whole body in the long run) in tip top flexible shape. :)


Monday, July 10, 2017

Race Review: Maxicare Run 2017


The good:


  1. Accurate distance
  2. Well placed aid stations
  3. Great post race stuff: finisher's shirt, medal, lootbag, etc.

For improvement:
  1. Still need to find a way to prioritize runners over vehicle traffic especially along Gil Puyat. I may have lost a minute or so due to marshals giving vehicles a chance to cross.

My race:

I was able to meet my target for this race which was to pace at or near 7:00/km throughout. I never felt the need to speed up (except for the last 2k which I'll explain later) as I never thought of "really racing" this one as this would be my longest run (16k) after quite a while which would really be an achievement in itself. The plan was simply to control the pace throughout and see how I hold up towards the latter kms. This also served as my gauge if I will ever be ready for the upcoming Milo 21k on July30 (which I haven't signed up yet) ---pace wise so that I am within the 2:30 cutoff.

I got a little worried about the 2 week taper that I did before Sunday but in retrospect, it worked out well for my benefit. The body was fresh for 16kms of sub-tempo running although the high HR is something I need to work on (jumped to 155 as early as km5). Perhaps adding a lot more Zone 2 running (or longer tempo runs) should do the job?

So onto the race. I was coasting for sub-7:00/km from the start until km11 and I thought, "Hey, maybe I can speed up a little" and so I did, running about 6:50/km for the next 3 kms. Btw, the Kalayaan flyover on the way back to BGC was still hell as ever as I pushed hard while I recorded my highest HR for the race (170).

By the time I was back in BGC there was this guy with specs and wearing wireless earphones using me as a marker (I was wearing the classic bright yellow Adidas singlet from years back) as I was easily noticeable among the blue singlets around. He would run past me then stop to walk. By the time I would pass him for a couple of meters he would do the same all over again. I knew he meant no disrespect but I guess it was just a way for him to motivate himself to finish.


I, on the other hand, got irritated. My competitive me took control of my race pace plan and just said, "F*ck it, we're leaving this dude!"

So, in the last 1 or 1.5km of the race, I stepped on the gas and zoomed away. I would check for him if he voted for chasing his "marker" but I guess he couldn't as I averaged 6:39/km for the last 2 kms. Sorry dude, but I just had to go. ;-)

Finished the race in 1:50:52 (Garmin time) for a 6:49/km average pace. 

Not good, but not bad either. :)

1,300 calories burned!

All in all this was a good race for me even though no PR was broken. I felt really good after that race as I *think* I'm back on the groove again in terms of my running. Hopefully I could keep the weekly volume up and, just maybe, help the weight go down.

Milo 21k is coming up in 3 weeks but I'm still undecided. The race org requires a med certificate to register (plus a bought Milo pack receipt) so that is keeping me from finalizing my plan to race this one or not.

But it's Milo, right?

Sigh, we'll see.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Another Race Week


So Sunday's the Maxicare 16k race in BGC and I *think* I'm ready for it. I was able to peak my long run at 14.7km the other week and I am tapering nicely in time for Sunday. Just need to make sure that I keep the runs short but intense for the next couple of days (around 2 runs only) before Sunday's 4:30am early start.

As to the race strategy, I'll probably do somewhere around 7:00/km average which is a safe bet based on where I am now in terms of performance. Pushing it to 6:45/km will be excellent but let's see how my body and overall feeling responds by gun time. As always, finishing a race will be fulfilling in itself as I haven't done a 10 miler in quite a long loooong while.

***

Meeting my weekend long ride targets have been a challenge as I am only averaging below 40km on my weekend rides. Largely due to family commitments (my boys were enrolled to a basketball clinic on Saturday mornings), this leaves my weekend ride to the indoor trainer for 1-1.5hrs only. I just try to make up for it by upping the intensity either thru Sufferfest videos or taking the intense ones from GCN, or just coming up with my own set (Z2 and Z3 alternates, for example) to hopefully keep my bike CTL up.

I just hope that I'll be able to log in more longer rides before my A-race duathlon on Aug20 (which requires a 60km ride segment).

***

Body weight is still hovering between 168-169 lbs on weekdays and going back up to 170-171 lbs after the weekend binge ---this is even after 5-7hrs of training per week. I guess cutting back on the food intake is what I need to do (carbs mostly) since it seems that exercise alone is not helping. Yeah, I read about that 80-diet 20-exercise thing (sadly) so I just have to be conscious, especially during weekends.

Tsk, this is hard.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dreaming of Milo



So the annual Milo Marathon Elims are coming up on July 30 and I'm still dilly dallying if I'm going to register....for the 21k race.

As you know I am in NO condition to run a full mary anytime soon so the 21k event is something that I *could* achieve by then.

Maybe.

Possibly.

Meeting the 2:30 cutoff for the finisher medal is also a concern ---something that I used to do with no worries years (and less pounds) ago.

Hmmm....

What's going for me to register is that my weekend long run has been building up nicely (12k and 13k for the past two Sundays). This is in preparation for the Maxicare 16k in BGC on July 9 that I already registered for sometime back. I need to bring back the regular long runs so registering for the July 9 race should help motivate me to run further ---and hopefully start burning more fat in the process.

But the question still remains: should I Milo or not?

Milo is THE race that all purist runners want to do as it is considered as the most prestigious race in the Philippines. Having finished 2 full Milo marathons and 2 Milo halves under my belt has been a great accomplishment already.

But the allure of racing it once again is very tempting ---as always.

Hmmm....

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Training Slump


It's been a week and a half since Duaman and my training, as confirmed by the Trainingpeaks performance chart, is at a slump lately.


Actually, it's been like that for several weeks (even before Duaman or PhilDua Leg2). It was primarily brought about by 2 factors:

                         1. Family obligations
                         2. Laziness

Item 1 mostly happened on the weekends which affected my long ride and long run plans. This drags the CTL fitness of my TP chart greatly. However, being a family man, I have to prioritize my obligations to the wife and kids so this is something that I have no choice and just carry on and make up during the weekdays.

Item 2, on the other hand, is something that I can avoid. It affected my weekday and weekend workouts (chose to do 1 hour ride instead of the long ride, chose to sleep on a Wed morning instead of the required tempo run, etc.) which also contributed to my CTL sinking ---run and bike.

Adding to item 2 was my preference on doing GCN bike workouts (which mostly ran for 40mins) instead of the Sufferfest videos (which ran for 50-60mins on average). This greatly affected my bike CTL fitness to drop. This was very evident in yesterday's planned FTP test, when I bonked miserably midway onto the 20-min test and stopping it altogether as I got disappointed in myself.

But then there is always another day to get back at it. This morning, I finally got the urge to bike hard on the trainer again using the Sufferfest Fight Club workout. I was able to complete the 1hr workout (sweating and panting) which helped up the CTL bike graph, even for just a teeny weeny bit.

It's a long weekend coming up so I'm hoping to go back to the 60s CTL level by Monday, after bringing back my long ride and runs into my training.

BikeKing Duathlon is 2.5 months away so I still have time to get back in fighting shape. Hopefully I'll post some good progress next time.



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Duaman 2017 Race Review

The good:

1. Great race venue (Nuvali)
2. Adequate and good race marshal work considering there were 1,500 duamans this year
3. Some improvement on the gun start time versus last year (6:15am this year vs 6:30am last 2016)

For improvement:

1. Inaccurate Run2 distance (it measured 2.1km instead of 3km)
2. Racekit claiming should've been via package delivery instead to avoid hassles on queuing up hours before race day


My race:

Coming off from the PhilDua Leg2 race 2 weeks ago, I arrived into the race losing a bit of fitness but was fresher due to the self-imposed (i.e. lazy) low volume days before. Target was to beat my 2016 PR of 1:56 for a 6k-20k-3k distance.

Run1 started off too fast (5:45/km on the 1st k) so I adjusted my pace to my target 6:20/km but to no avail. Being the competitive guy that I am, I wanted to finish faster than an old high school friend turned triathlete that I met on the starting line. Average pace for Run1 was at 6:08/km ---waaayyy too fast for my own good (HR maxed at 170!) which I know I will pay for dearly on the latter part of the race. Took a gel midway btw.

Onto the bike leg (after running thru the 250m(!) long transition area), where Nuvali's route has been all too familiar for me since I frequent riding there on weekends. It was somehow difficult for me to monitor my wattage, speed, cadence and HR as my 920xt wasn't mounted on the bike for easier view. I had to glance at it which was strapped to my wrist (naturally) to be able to see how I was doing. However, as this proved bothersome to do in the middle of the race I just rode by feel.

Dingdong

Nearing the turn around point, I was overtaken by Dingdong Dantes, a famous local actor, on his Cervelo P5 bike. Again, being competitive, I challenged myself to make him my target for this race. It was a game of cat and mouse from then on as I led on the climbs but he would come back strongly on the flats and descents (possibly having a more aero bike than mine). He arrived at the transition area about 10-20 seconds ahead of me. Gel taken midway in the ride.

Approaching T2 smiling since I can still see my target ;-)

He was able to rack his bike earlier than me since his was nearer to the bike exit. I had to run past him (with my bike) to my rack area to change to my running shoes. I was able to finish this quickly and glanced back where he was: about 10 meters from me but was caught in traffic by the other duathletes transitioning as well. I was able to exit to Run2 about 10 seconds before he did.

Run2 in duathlons are the hardest, and it makes you pay for all the overconfident speeding that you did on Run1 and Bike legs. I was running on full gas (and high HR!) from then to the finish, with Dingdong just meters behind. I was holding onto dear life and was fighting the urge to stop or walk. I kept my effort in check (6:26/km average for the entire 2.1km Run2. HR maxed at 170 yet gain).

In the end, I was able to finish the race ahead of Dingdong. More importantly, I was able to get a new PR for the distance: 1:41:38 (Garmin time).

An improvement by almost 10 minutes! :)



My race performance here just goes to show that if I want to race faster, I can really do it if I put my heart and soul into it. Heart rate though needs to be lowered at such paces, probably due to a lot of excess weight that I need to carry around while running and riding.

Hopefully I can find the solution to lose the extra 10 or so pounds before my next duathlon on August.

Yup, it's my A-race for the year: the BikeKing Duathlon. My revenge race from a woeful DNS from last year.

Now THAT will need a lot of work to get there in race ready (and PR beating) shape.

I'll see you soon SCTEX! ;-)


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nike Breaking2 Attempt

I watched the live stream in spurts last May 8th and it was breathtaking to watch. Planned by Nike for 2 years, a sub-2hr full marathon would be an achievement that is quite comparable to landing on the moon. All of the running world peeked if this was something that was finally to be conquered.



Naysayers said Nike's attempt didn't conform to the "rules" (was not done on true race conditions, getting in designated pacers, etc.). My opinion is that it really doesn't matter if this will be logged as an unofficial result. The important thing is that a "sub-2hr marathon" by itself is indeed possible.

Unfortunately, the goal was missed by about 25 seconds. But I don't think that Kipchoge and Nike are giving up anytime soon. Who knows, Adidas might be planning one in the near future too?

It's great advertising for an upcoming shoe. But for me it's really about the runners themselves, the engine so to speak, that will make this goal materialize successfully.

And I am pretty sure that 2 hours will be broken in my lifetime.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Race Review: PhilDua Leg2 Clark

The good:


  1. Great race venue that is Clark.
  2. Nice finisher's shirt.
  3. Great race org by Team Adrenaline

The bad:

  1. Inaccurate race distance. The bike exceeded 1.2km and run2 was short by 400m as per my Garmin.
  2. No finisher's medal. I heard that there was a mix up among the org people assigned to bring to the race venue.

My race:

I felt pretty confident going into this one as I was able to follow my pacing and nutrition strategy. 


1. Keep runs at 6:20-6:30/km

I felt that this was the right pace range to go in order to meet my sub-2:20 target. Anything faster than this will definitely see me wither away by Run2. I chose to just maintain this on the flat and downhill sections, and fight for it on the slight uphill part of the runs. 

                    Run1 average: 6:21/km
                    Run2 average: 6:26/km


2. Pace yourself on the bike

As I didn't (or wouldn't?) put my Garmin EDGE on the bike since I was already using my Garmin 920XT on my wrist, I had a problem monitoring my effort on the bike (which was expected). Thus I had to go with perceived effort and occasionally glance at my watch to monitor Ave3sec Power (to not go beyond FTP ---but mostly went over anyway), HR, and cadence (meet 90 as much as possible).

I would also not pedal on occasion at the downhill parts so as to recover from the previous climb or prepare for an upcoming one. This resulted to an NP value of 132W or 89% FTP which was a little above target which could've made my Run2 a struggling run-walk affair. 

I was surprised to see that I finished the 31km bike in 1:07:46 (27.6kmh average). I may have over exerted, I said to myself. Fortunately, there was only 4km (or 3.5km) of Run2 to left which I still had enough in the tank for. 

New gear helped as well too as it was the first time I raced a borrowed pair of aerobars and a new helmet, the Rudy Project Boost 01. Yup, my aero riding may have helped keep the pace especially on those pedal-rest periods.

Sleek

Looking back, I may have to find a way to slap my 920XT onto the bike so I can easily monitor my heartrate, power and cadence efforts for a more controled ride instead of just getting everything by feel.

3. Consciously hydrate and take gels

I purposely didn't take a gel at the start since it was only 6km for Run1. Instead, I was able to take a GU gel at the following points of the race:

  1. km4 of Run1
  2. 30mins into the Bike
  3. 5mins before Run2
Hydrating as well with the race org's supply (water and Pocari) with the gel helped to bring the nutrients to my body faster for processing. This helped a lot (pushing me mentally even) as I didn't give in to bonking). I just kept pushing and pushing (especially on that long uphill on Run2) to keep me within race target.

THE RESULT?

Total time (per Garmin): 2:11.

This was within my sub-2:20 target. I have to say that it was my run pacing and better than expected bike performance that helped immensely in getting this done. Of course, my relentless will power in waking up at 5-6am in the morning to get my workout done to get in tip-top shape for race day was very instrumental. Just putting the miles in through sheer effort made this one possible.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Duaman in 2 weeks in  Nuvali. It's shorter (6k-20k-3k) but I'll probably force myself to beat my 1:56 PR.

;-)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

All Set for PhilDua2 2017

I have never been so meticulous in preparing for a race such as the one coming this Sunday in Clark.

It's my first duathlon since August 2016 and I am just very excited to toe the line and see how my training has taken me.

I have reached the 60s CTL level as per TrainingPeaks ---something that I have never reached for quite a long time. Although I am (STILL) struggling to go down to my race weight (a whole 10lbs of it, sigh) I feel that I am at my fittest in terms of coming into a duathlon race.

Tapering for the past 2 weeks, I have been very careful not to overtrain and balance fitness with freshness levels in TrainingPeaks. I just hope and pray that nothing goes wrong this time (health, bike, etc) so that I am able to start (and finish strong) on Sunday.

Wish me luck? :)

Monday, May 8, 2017

RunRio Trilogy 2017 Race Fees


The social media was abuzz a few weeks ago when posts came out announcing the RunRio Trilogy for 2017. It is a much anticipated event from the Philippine running community as it delivers top notch race organization from the team of RunRio events. From the race kit, the routes, distance accuracy, and race marshals, the event is well planned and very organized. Of course, the most anticipated part is the finisher's medal, which one came combine with the other RunRio legs to come up with one (usually gigantic) medal.

However, the news was also received negatively by many due to the high cost of the reg fees. The 5k event, for example, will cost P1,100.00.

I think the numerous comments from the announcements have shown that the fees are too unreasonable for the average Filipino runner. This may be something that RunRio needs to look into and hopefully be able to justify soon.

Top comments from the takbo.ph FB post announcing the RunRio Trilogy 2017

I will close this post thru the comparison tables below which I made after browsing for popular races online. I put the RunRio Trilogy 2017 fees against local races, other Runrio races, and against nearby Asian races that you may know of.




Monday, April 3, 2017

Ride Improvements @ Subic

We had the usual Subic family weekend getaway the other week and I was excited to ride there again. Last time I rode, it was June12 last year from Boardwalk to Zoobic then Raceway then Boardwalk ---a total of 50kms. I always relish riding outside Metro Manila: the trees, the fresh air, the quiet Sunday roads...

...and challenging climbs.

I was able to enjoy my ride last March 26 with almost the same route (we checked in at another hotel for a 1km distance difference) and I felt that I improved since June. Taking my TrainingPeaks data from my two rides, I was able to compare ride parameters as below:


MORE POWER!

The increase in Average and Normalized Power could be brought about by just being constant in my weekday training and weekend long rides. Further, the 1-2/week strength training may have helped a lot too as I was able to power my way through the climbs.


CADENCE CADENCE CADENCE!

Those weekday indoor trainer sessions concentrated on maintaining a level of power while keeping the cadence by at least 90. The overall average of 82 on my March ride, I believe, proved to be the biggest factor in keeping that ride in tact ---and far better than my June ride.


NOT MINDING THE PAIN

Climbing through the tough sectors of that ride meant I had to concentrate on maintaining my power (just below my FTP) in order to move forward. This means that I had to embrace the pain that I was in (screaming thighs and all!) and just suffer through it to get to the ascent.


.....EQUALS FASTER!

More power, higher cadence, and into-the-pain-cave concentration can only result to one thing: faster speed! The 1.5kph difference from June may not be much, but it counts for a lot when it comes through the climbs.


Yup, can't wait to go to Subic and ride that route again. :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

May is Dua month


I hope to race two duathlons this May:

May 14 - Pilipinas Duathlon Series Leg 2 (Clark)
May 28 - SBR.ph Duaman (Nuvali)
The races are short compared to the standard 10-40-5 distance so it shouldn't be an issue recovery wise (for Duaman).

Training has been going well as I have managed to reach the sub60 CTL levels of TrainingPeaks again ---without getting sick. I am able to listen to my body on when to back off after a hard training day as this 40-ish year old needs a lot of rest and recovery.

Weight though is still a big issue. I'm still eating a lot (damn it!) so not much gains on pace and power if I'm still dragging a lot of excess fat on my runs and rides. Tsk tsk, I REALLY need to get this part fixed A-SAP!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Recalibrate



As I want to make 2017 a more serious racing season compared to the last 2 years (with special mention of 2016 being my worst season to date, ugh!), I have been doing a lot of research (reading, podcasts, workout analysis, "trying" to diet, etc.) on my own to try to find out how to make myself better.

One aspect of it is calibrating my workout paces/zones on TrainingPeaks.com. I have made a humble improvement as of last week on my run and bike, as below:

Run Threshold HR value: from 153 to 159
Run Threshold Pace value: from 6:11/km to 6:08/km
Bike Power Threshold: from 140watts to 147watts

The Run improvement was achieved during my SMDC 10k run while the Bike was from doing an FTP test using the Sufferfest Rubber Glove workout with my indoor trainer.

It is good to have my run and bike thresholds tested every now and then to monitor my improvement (or non-improvement). It also helps me to train at the right paces/zones so that I don't under/over train my workouts.

It's still a challenge though on following to the letter the workouts that I have planned for the week. It could be due to family or work priorities that force me to make adjustments so I try to compensate by working out on my lunch hour at the nearby gym.

I already signed up for the SBR Duaman on end May so it's still a long time before I log in my first duathlon for the year. I may have to scout for another run race (or two) between now and Duaman to maintain/improve my race pace on the run. For the bike, I will have to swallow more Sufferfest workouts to keep the intensity and the wattage up.

Back to training....

Monday, February 27, 2017

2017 SMDC 10k Run: Slightly Better


The good: started on time, flat and fast route (MoA), aid stations, good marshalling(?) of vehicles

The bad: unlit area along Magsaysay road which could cause unknowing runners to hit potholes and get injured, 10k route exceeded by 300m







MY RACE

The race was with fellow Titos (officemates) which made it more fun (and a little competitive? hehe). I was able to manage my training coming into this race, TSB-wise, as I got a +3.6 value vs. -1.3 in my previous race (PSE Bull Run), and 3pts higer in the CTL department. What these values meant was that I was better conditioned and rested before stepping onto the starting mat.

Took a gel about 20mins before the race and worked with water and Pocari as hydration along the route. It was a flat and fast route so by the time the gun went off I slithered in and out of other runners so I can get the free space of road as I strived to improve my time.

The race route took us from MoA to Magsaysay and then Gil Puyat all the way to just before Quirino highway for the turnaround ---unexpected as I was predicting it will take us along Roxas Blvd for some flyovers which I am NOT complaining about, hehe.

It was a race of wills as I worked to keep my pace around 6:10/km (without looking at my HR) which I managed to do most of the time except for 3kms brought about by the starting crowd, and the unfortunate delay cause of the marshals prioritizing the cars to cross. Plus, there was also the exceeded 300m of the route which meant fail for any attempt to make a 10k PR (for the year).

I finished the race in 1:03:07 for 10.3km but was happy overall, especially when I looked at the average pace (6:09/km) which was a veeeeery slight improvement from PSE Bull Run (6:11).

Still, a lot of work to do pace wise and losing the unwanted weight (ugh!), but very happy to complete my 2nd 10k race for the year!



Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 PSE Bull Run 10k: Heading Back

The good: started on time, great route, niiiice loot bag, finisher shirt (RunRio, of course!)

The bad: just one part wherein the marshals prioritized cars over runners in that last critical part of the 10k route (I may have lost 15-20secs there)


MY RACE

The purpose of this race was to see where I was in terms of my running fitness and make the necessary adjustments in time for my major races coming up this season.

I was able to finish in 1:02:45 (Garmin time) which was well below my target of being within 1:05  based on a 30min time trial I did two weeks ago. The extra 2:15 improvement may have been from the adrenalin that normally comes on race day.

Took only 1 gel which was before the race and diligently went through the hydration stations except for 1 or 2. Pace was controlled to be just below 6:30/km throughout the race until I let go of the reigns by km8. Strategy was well kept as I reeeeaaaally kept myself from forcing the issue early on which is something that I need to always remember come future races.

This was a well prepared race for me as I was able to commit to the speed/interval workouts weeks coming into the race. This also included that "cram" 12k long run that I did Sunday prior to boost my confidence in completing the required 10k distance.

Probably, with continued commitment to the hard workouts (AND losing weight!), I may be able to claw myself back again in the sub60 10k finish times. That's something that I hope to see within the year.

All in all, it was nice to be back racing again, especially that of RunRio's. The raceorg did very well (as usual) to give my money's worth for that brief 1hour+ of racing. The running community is still alive as evidenced by the numerous participants in the race which I hope to continue in the years to come.



Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 Philippine Duathlon Sked


Just came up with this based on what's been announced in recent FB posts that I'm following:


Still a lot of details that needs to be filled out, but the dates are mostly been pegged.

I'll post updates from time to time as more details come in.

It's gonna be a good year for duathlon, I think. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Be Kind 2017


December 2016 ended and I wasn't able to race that month. This was somehow replaced by continuous Christmas parties and feasting, resulting in a small weight gain (thank goodness!) during the Holiday season which I need to find a way to lose (and keep it down).

Similar to most out there griping events that unfolded in 2016, this was the same for me race wise. The last two in particular (BikeKing Dua and BGC Cycle) didn't even give me a chance to prove my worth as I wasn't able to start due to unfortunate incidents.

This should not happen this year. I hope to have a better count of races in 2017 vs last year (only 6 races last year!).

Right now, for January, I'm looking at either the Jan22 PSE Bull Run (10 or 21k) or the Enduro(?) Duathlon in Clark. Either way, I hope to race on the 22nd.

That's on the short term.

My other target races for this year are:


  1. BikeKing Duathlon
  2. Powerman MOA
  3. Completing the PhilDua series
  4. Milo Metro Manila 21k 
  5. A RunRio 21k
  6. An international race perhaps?
  7. Powerman Clark (the full distance?)
So I hope 2017 will be kind to me by getting better race performances (which can only be achieved thru better training). Having another DNS race would be disastrous at this point.

CTL is back down on the upper 40s so I need to plan (and execute!) my training sked better. I signed up for Anytime Fitness gym near our office so I hope I can do more strength training there to supplement my runs and my rides.

Happy New Year btw!