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!