Sunday, December 14, 2014

Squeezing This In

I found some free time in my busy schedule, toggling between my work and family duties especially now that we're busy with school events, parties, and shopping for stuff for our friends and relatives, so I'm here to post a quick update on how things are holding up on my training.

I'm about 95% recovered from that nasty multiple rib injury that I took last October. I'm now able to run which my TP PMc run chart is very happy to see. Pace is more than I expected, possibly due to fresher logs from that long no-run layoff.

My bike+run TP CTL is hovering slightly above the 40s (lowest recorded was 39.5) and I'm working on making the most of the off season in bringing it back up to where it was last July (60s, or even more if I can).

Weight has been a struggle as I gained 5 lbs (ugh!!!!!) since the 6 week no-run period. The present holiday one-party-after-another situation is really not helping my cause.


Oh, I forgot to mention that I was able to ride last Nov23 for the BGC 40km Challenge event and I was able to hold a good pace on my own (versus straddling at a peloton on the same event last May). Overall time is slightly off by 1-2mins from May but I'm happier on this one as I was able to push all by myself.

That tummy has nooooo escape! :(


The new frame I bought for my birthday, the 2014 Argon18 Gallium Pro, rides like a dream. Coming from the entry-level 2012 Radon, the Gallium Pro is very much lighter as I experienced on the climbs, especially in Bugarin when me and @roadiemanila went there two Sundays ago. I was supposed to buy a Kuota Kharma aero frame for my duathlons but I'm liking the Gallium Pro as it makes me do better on the climbs. Of course, a second bike, a tri bike, won't be bad at all. ;-)

That's @roadiemanila at the start of our Bugarin climb


I hope to race again sometime soon, be it a running or bike race, or a duathlon even. That'll help me target to push my fitness up, and hopefully, my weight down.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Beautiful Ride

I was awake at 5.30am the other Sunday, the usual time that my body has adjusted to in time for training. However, this was a different Sunday as it was the last weekend until Lucas, my 8yr old, joins his first bike race.
I signed him up for the 5.5km event for Nov22, in the BGC Cyclefest that is on it's 3rd version since starting last year. Thus, I had to make him be acquainted with the distance by taking him and the rest of the family to UP to ride loops around the popular weekend oval.

I brought along my bike as well so that I'll be able to ride alongside him to keep him from hitting runners or being too close to the cars. I put my Garmin 410 on his handlebar so that he will able to see for himself if we made the required distance.

After everything was set, including 5yr old Matteo, we were off.

It was a pleasant ride all throughout and I could notice how relaxed Lucas felt as we hovered at around 11kph. He said it's nice that I am able to talk to him as we rode, and that he said I looked thin (even though I am starting to gain weight again), possibly just being his usually nice self. I felt that he enjoyed it especially on the downward section of the oval as he glided fast and with ease as if with no care in the world, as any child would be.

After our 2nd loop, we cut through the middle of the oval to finish half of it for our 3rd and final loop. The middle road of the oval was quiet except for 1 or 2 skateboarders so I was able to look at Lucas biking amidst the forest backdrop. I looked at him for about 5 or so seconds, memorizing how beautiful and special this moment was. He looked straight on the road, serious but relaxed, with his face a cross between serious and almost coming to a smile. I concentrated on saving that moment in my mind, with high hopes that I will never forget it. Maybe, hopefully, at that moment, Lucas fell in love with biking.

As we hit the straight slight uphill towards the finish, I encouraged Lucas to speed up and give it his all as we were about to end our ride. He obliged and started to pedal fast. I could see from my Cateye that we were at 16kph. With a heavy BMX bike and slight uphill grade, this 8yr old was certainly huffing and puffing his way to his waiting Mom at the make-believe finish line. He slowed about 300m to the finish, obviously tired from the max effort but still pedaling. I told him to just slow to cooldown as we neared the end. I could imagine his relief upon seeing his Mom, with water in hand as his prize for the day. 

Total distance was 5.7km as per Garmin.

I hope not to forget this day, one of the most beautiful rides that I had my entire life.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Injury 2014

I was hoping to get myself injury-free for 2014 as I wanted to join all my targeted races for the year. Today was the Philippine Duathlon Series - Leg 4 in Nuvali, supposedly my last duathlon for 2014.

I wasn't able to race today as I got injured two weeks ago, from of all sports: basketball.

I remember Kenley telling me a couple of years back to stay away from basketball as contact sports and endurance sports don't mix very well.

I should've followed that advice.

I learned it the hard way in the office basketball tournament as my 41 year old chest got hurt from defending an, in my opinion, an oversized gorilla who pump-faked with his shoulder to my descending from flight open chest. I couldn't breathe moments after the impact but, to my credit he wasn't able to get the basket. ;-)

It hurt for several days that I couldn't run, couldn't work, and couldn't even get up from bed first thing in the morning. It was only after 10 days when I decided to go to the hospital and have an X-ray to see what was going on.

The result: the 6th, 7th and 8th right ribs had undisplaced (hair)line fracture. As it was already 10 days after the accident, the doctor said that it was in the process of healing. He prescribed some pain killers and so far it has worked wondrously although I'm limited to cycling.

No contact sports, he said.

Running still hurts, probably due to the up and down motion that my internal organs go through and hit my still healing ribs. Thus, the no-show at today's duathlon race. Possibly my planned Milo 21k next month is scrapped as well.


I'm giving it a few more days before I start running again, probably later this week. We'll see how the ribs feel by then.

Yup, another lesson for me. It's probably time to retire my basketball dreams and focus on duathlons exclusively from here on in. Probably no more contact sports for this 41 year old....

...except with the Mrs. ;-)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Training Update (or the lack of it)

Yup, still here. Training.

Training on my runs and rides have been well, alright, although my TP PM chart shows otherwise:

If my former coach saw this, he would be greatly dejected

The decline in fitness is very obvious (red line) since deciding to go back to self-coaching last August. I've been trying hard to get it all back but it's been difficult, with various excuses led mainly by laziness (ugh!). I'm still hoping to get all that back before my next duathlon on Nov9 in Nuvali which is my last duathlon for the year.

Unfortunately the National Duathlon Championships in Subic, THE A-race that I was preparing for all year, got canceled as per TRAP updates. It was a real bummer but then I just decided to focus on the Nuvali duathlon next month which, incidentally, has the same standard duathlon distance as Subic's. Hopefully all goes well in my training until then.


In place of the canceled Subic dua, I am thinking of joining December's Milo Finals under the 21k category. I've been running 16-18k on weekends, although inconsistently, so that's a good target to set to cap off 2014. I haven't run a Milo race since 2012 and my last half marathon was Oct 2013 so this should be fun. A sub-2:30 will be a modest target for that.


My birthday's next week so a bike upgrade should be acceptable. Right now I am inclined to replace my 2yr old bike frame which has served me well but purchasing a time-trial bike to support me in duathlon races is also a good option. Either way, I'm pretty excited for the upcoming purchase.

That's all for now.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Race Report: Active Health Duathlon

The good:

  1. Well-organized
  2. Challenging course.
  3. Secure transition area.
  4. Nice finish area.
  5. Bike course on the SCTEX. Nuff said.

For improvement, just one: the Run2 course exceeded by 300m due to the final stretch of the run covered the entrance to Sandbox where the finish area was. Unfortunately had to run against cars on trail road.


I started off well, covering the 6km Run1 course in a little over 36mins which was good for average pace.

After putting on my helmet in T1, I headed off for the bike course with my cleats already clipped on the bike as I hoped for a jump on the bike and just strap my cleats as I rode. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to practice this (ever!) so I messed it up and had to go by the side of the rode to secure my left cleat before heading to the Porac SCTEX toll booth.

The first 40-45km of the bike course went well for me as I was zooming my way along SCTEX. By the last “makunat” climb which was the way back to Porac, I saw myself struggling to keep pace. Speed was only at a miserable 11-12kmh. Everyone was overtaking me. Arrrgghh. I am suspecting that it was because I didn’t follow my nutrition strategy (gel every 30mins) so I basically BONKED at that time. Another possible reason is that upon checking my bike after the race, I saw that one of the front brake pads was hugging the wheel which may have caused my pace to slow down at that last climb. Or, I (still) lacked the training to take on steep climbs on the bike.

My bonked state continued until Run2 (4km) as I was run-walking, which I assumed was because I used up all my energy on the bike. I felt really disappointed at myself then as I had to stop to walk since my thighs were all gassed out from running. Run2 felt like forever as I searched for the finish area. Finishing at 3:30-3:40 target time may be out for me, I thought.

At the last turn, I felt reenergized as I saw the race clock on the finish area. It read 3:29 and change as I ran towards the finish line. Wow.

I was lucky to escape this one. Definitely with a lot of lessons learned.

Hopefully I get myself to prepare better in time for my other A-race, this time in Subic.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Sufferfest Video Review: Elements Of Style

As a (wannabe) cyclist for almost 2 years now, I have managed to ride my road bike the way I've been used to as a kid: no care of technique nor form. As long as I can balance riding on two wheels then I thought that I can wing it. It is a good approach if you want to get the hang of things but, if you want to compete, that won't be enough. If your form breaks down due to fatigue then pace/performance is directly affected ---similar to running.

Enter "Elements Of Style."

After a Star Wars like credit intro, the video flashes the above quote, which sets the mood for this 38 or so minute cycling video from the guys at The Sufferfest in collaboration with Cycling Tips.

Being used to the tough workouts of The Sufferfest, their newest video is totally different from the others that they've had so far. The video aims to teach you proper form in cycling which goes through a "9-point systems check," pedal stroke drills, cadence drills, and, last but not least, climbing form (sadly not the form that Alberto Contador is known for, but I forgive them for that, hehe).

The nice thing about this video is that the instructions are given verbally and not in the usual teasing/taunting phrases that flashes on the screen during the tough videos. I think this helps you to better concentrate on that part of your body that needs to be focused on instead of looking at the screen. The good music, as usual, conforms too for the objective of the workout.

After the workout, I got a modest calorie burn (about 50% of the usual hour-long cycling videos) but, more importantly, a better understanding and awareness of what good cycling form should be. As this optimal form cannot be achieved in one sitting (or standing, if you're climbing that is), it is recommended that the Elements Of Style be in one's agenda at least once a week.

Elements Of Style is available at The Sufferfest website starting today, September 9th.

Other video details as below:

  • EoS will be on sale on Tuesday, 9th of September.
  • It was produced in collaboration with CyclingTips ( 
  • Wade Wallace (founder of Cycling Tips), Allan Iacuone (Australian cycling legend) and Cal Britten (Elite Australian MTB and road cyclist) feature in the film.
  • It was filmed in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

All-Set for A-Race #1: Active Health Duathlon 2014

So I'm less than 12 hours from gun time before the Unilab Active Health Duathlon starts at Porac, Pampanga. The 6-60-4k race will be a tough one, especially with the elevation on the bike leg that's displayed in the event website.

In terms of my TrainingPeaks CTL and TSB stats, it looks good if I compare it to my last duathlon (May, was it?) so the "taper" that I did this week should help. My TSB should be somewhere between 10-13 by tomorrow morning ---a good sign.

Further, that 6-50-4 simulation I did in Camp Aguinaldo last Sunday was a big moral booster so I'm not worried on the distance. Add to that my regular Sufferfest sessions and runs.

Target time is 3:30-3:40.

Let's do this!

Friday, August 22, 2014

2014 Philippine Duathlon Schedule (as of Aug 22, 2014)

Updated table based on website sources as below:

I'm assessing if my fitness would be ready in time for DuamanX2, two weeks after one of my A-races (Unilab Dua). It could also be a good conditioning race for Phil Dua Leg4, which is the same distance as my ultimate A-race: National Dua Championships.

Hmmm, decisions decisions...

I'll be driving to Baguio this weekend with the family so no chance of me racing this Sunday. Anyway, the hilly roads and thin air of Baguio awaits for my Sunday long run. ;-)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Race Review: White Flower Run (10k)


  1. Accurate distance
  2. Adequate water supply
  3. Good marshal work
  4. Nice route that took the 10k runners to the Buendia flyover (pleasant surprise)
  5. Loot bag
  6. P100.00 refund for the reg fee was given
  7. Small crowd which is what I liked since many may have been at MoA for the Sofitel run
  1. 5am gunstart was moved to 5:30am
  2. No energy drink at the aid stations, especially for the 21k runners

My 10k race time was at 1:01+, confirming that I have lots to go in terms of getting back into good running shape. I was focused at most parts of the run but my body was obviously not well tuned to maintain sub-6:00/km pace. There were lots of climbs along the BGC race route which was challenging enough, with my HRM reporting 155-160 on these climbs. Average HR for the race was at 153, showing that I really gave a good effort in this tune-up race. An upside for me here was that I managed not to take in any gel for the race so all that energy was from the chicken inasal last night, hehehe.

Well, no excuses. I lack the training so I didn't deserve to get a sub-60 time. 

Back to training...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Aug 04-10, 2014 Training Log

Last week:
  • Mon - rest
  • Tues - rest
  • Wed - Bike + BodyCombat Class
  • Thu - basketball
  • Fri - 10k run
  • Sat - 97k bike
  • Sun - rest

I overestimated my capabilities last week as I should’ve rested last Friday morning after the Thursday night basketball. The result was over fatigue and I still pursued that long Saturday ride, leading up to getting sick since Sunday.

Btw, I think I did well in that Saturday ride as I rode solo from Home to Pisong Kape via Antipolo, then rode back via Cardona-Ortigas route. It took me almost 5 hours, mostly due to the Saturday traffic that I had to go thru, especially in Ortigas from Tikling. There were lots of hills and I’m quite amazed at myself as how I now prefer to have them rather than mostly flats. Challenging, yes.
927m total elevation gain

It’s already Tuesday and I still feel like crap. Training still can’t be done, moving into great uncertainty if I’ll be in 100% shape by Sunday’s 10k race. Yup, I signed up for the Whiteflower 10k at BGC this Sunday to sort of get me into race-mode again. A warm-up race in preparation for next month’s SCTEX Duathlon (6-60-4).

See you there….or not.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Sufferfest Running Video Review: Revolver

I have been using The Sufferfest's cycling videos for almost 6 months now, as prescribed by my Coach to aid me in training. They are as challenging as they can be, leaving your living room floor with a pool of sweat after an hour's ride on the indoor trainer for the glory of Sufferlandria. These workouts will push you to ride harder, and better, as they are structured to, well, beat the living crap outta you. It is always a punishing experience, but you get that sense of fulfillment (and relief) after your workout is done. I love it so much that I prefer to do these video workouts vs riding out on weekdays.

When I read that the makers of The Sufferfest are coming out with videos for running I said to myself, "Now THIS is something worth a try!" Fortunately, I was privileged by the Sufferlandrian  government to review one of their latest work: Revolver. Now there is also a cycling version with the same title so I had a good idea what this 30 minute video will be like.

So I put on a copy on my Note3, went to the gym, hopped onto the treadmill, and prayed for dear life as I clicked Play with my earphones plugged in.

Compared to the cycling version, there's a huge improvement in terms of video and info quality on this one. It looks a lot better, basically, with the intention of telling the runner the change of effort and grade as clear as possible. The video excerpts from the Milan Marathon and Diamond League Track and Field were good as well. However, for this particular workout wherein you need to concentrate on your (full) effort for several times, you have little chance to look at these videos (as my Note3 was below chest height laying down on the treadmill dashboard) as I hanged on at ridiculously fast paces (why was I doing that to myself?). Nevertheless, I really appreciated the new screen graphics.

The taunting to push you during the heavy intervals are coupled with famous quotes on pain and suffering, as if hoping that they could help while your mentally screaming "please let it stop let it stop!!!" when you know that it is all up to you to get this workout done. I like it when the trainer(?) part of the workout tells you to push more of the effort on the hard intervals, which I gladly did. At the latter intervals I was at 13+kph, which was the FASTEST that I've ever ran on a treadmill (or on the road for that matter). The treadmill even displayed a warning that I may have exceeded the recommended pace (to avoid injury). Of course, being a Sufferlandrian has taught me NOT to adhere to the tradmill's warning, even if it meant certain death by treadmill catapult.

At the end of the (short) workout, I felt great (of the effort I put in and the relief that it's all over). All I can say to myself as I walked away from the treadmill was, "THAT. WAS. FUCKING. AMAZING!"

Yup, running on the treadmill will NEVER be the same. Thank you The Sufferfest!

Here are some more details mentioned by the people of The Sufferfest:
  • Our videos feature Officially Licensed footage from Diamond League Track & Field and prestigious marathons from around the world 
  • Workouts were designed by elite coach Neal Henderson of Apex Coaching. He also designed several of our most popular cycling workouts. 
  • Videos will be released on 31st July 2014 at - The Machine (38 minutes) will cost $10.99. The other two videos are Steamroller (45 minutes and $11.99) and Revolver (30 minutes and $9.99). They will be available as a bundle for $28 for a limited time. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thank You, Alpha Training Systems!

For the past 6 months I’ve benefited greatly from Coach Andy Leuterio, head of Alpha Training Systems, which specializes in triathlon coaching but was kind enough to put me under his wing for duathlon specific training. As mentioned in my past posts, I got a coach months after my miserable 2013 National Dua Championships performance. 6 months later after signing up, I’m glad I did.

The Alpha way of training is not for the weak, as the 6-day workout a week will surely put any normal age-grouper (such as myself) into a whole new level of looking at training. The scientific approach, using Andy’s vast coaching experience combined with and (TP),  helped me get a visual on how I am improving (or not) in terms of the output from the workouts that Andy provides regularly.

The use of training cycles (micro, macro, and mesocycles) are well considered in the Alpha Training Systems coaching method. Thus, like the only way to mold steel into a sword is by fire, Andy’s coaching technique will require subjecting the athlete into medium to high volume and intense workouts, including some surprises that you will only find out once you enroll. ;-) This level of intensity and volume FURTHER INCREASES if he sees the athlete’s TP performance not improving from his current level of fitness. Yup, you're not allowed to sit on your laurels for long.

The result? I’m running 10k on weekdays like it was nobody’s business. I’ve ridden 100km thrice. 400 situps (even if my tummy doesn’t show it) is done with ease. I feel more fit than ever, even though my race times don’t show it (yet). Progress is slowly but surely getting better.

Sadly, after 6 months, I’ve decided to part ways (for the meantime?) with Coach Andy. Reason being is that life gets in the way of training most of the time that I can’t seem to get the full benefit of the 6-day a week workout. Workouts had to be cut short at times, since family and work needs to be prioritized. Family time has taken a backseat, specifically on Saturdays when I need to ride long. Waking up very early in the morning is not possible for me at this point, as I often sleep late and I need all the sleep I can get to get me by the next day, especially at work.

So, starting August I’m back to self-coaching but this time armed with the right tools from my short experience under Coach Andy. My A and B races are coming up soon (I’ve already signed up for my B-race, the SCTEX Duathlon for September 7th), so I hope to put into practice what I’ve learned from now until then, with careful consideration to balance it with my family and work priorities.

Do I recommend the Alpha Training Systems? A resounding “YES!” as it helped me a lot. It pushed me further from where I was 6 months ago. If there was a chance for my Jan2014 self to race against my July2014 version, the former will lose….immensely. Be prepared to suck it up, for the phrase “I cannot do this workout” is not in Coach Andy’s dictionary. I guarantee that you'll benefit from it greatly.

If you’re interested, you may contact Alpha Training Systems via FB (search for “Alpha Training Systems”) or Twitter (@alpha_tri).

Monday, July 14, 2014

A pleasant Strava surprise at Raceway, Subic

So I spent the weekend at Subic, one of many destinations that my family and I like to be whenever short weekend getaways come to mind. There's Baguio, Nasugbu, Tagaytay, and Rizal among the rotation, but Subic is special for me as I get to train in the bike/run course of the National Dua Championships ---my A-race.

Last year's race performance was forgettable that at the start of this year I decided to hire a coach. The workouts are very intense as I've never reached such weekly training volumes before (6 days a week!?!!!).

So yesterday (Sunday), I geared up and rode the bike course that is from Remy Field all the way to Raceway and back....several times.

I was pleasantly surprised when I uploaded my ride to Strava and was able to compare yesterday's ride vs my past recorded rides on the Raceway segment, including the 2013 Natl Dua C'ships (brown box below):

A 51 second PR achieved, on a training day at that.

I rode the same bike (2012 Argon Radon) with the same setup (CNC 50mm wheels, Ultegra 6800) and same gear (Bontrager road bike helmet). Exceptions would be the aero bars that I removed yesterday vs 2013 (which should mean that last year should've been faster aero-wise) and that my weight is even heavier than last year. I have not been using the aero bars since I started being coached.

I guess that coaching thing is really working for me alright.

51 seconds may not be enough now but that will count a lot on race day. The 2014 version of this race is 4 months away. Hopefully I'll be in top shape by then.

And yeah, I really need to do something about my fluctuating weight which I can't seem to bring down to my normal BMI.

No rice? Hmmm, let me think about that.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Training Update: Some Progress Made

For the past two Sundays, I was able to run 15km. This is considered a big feat for me lately since I've never ran that long for quite a looooong while, the last one probably being the Rexona 21km last November(?) 2013. 

My dashboard is showing good progress. CTL, Elevation gain per week, TSS per week, and peak HR for 60mins have shown some improvement.

This is definitely better after that training slump last May. 

Volume-wise I'm starting to get better on taking the load but I'm not sure pace-wise.

Hmmm, I need a race.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 Philippine Duathlon Races (as of June 24, 2014)

Slight changes on the schedule, specifically for PhilDua Leg3:

Just unfortunate that I won't be able to race on August as my family and I are already booked for Baguio for the long weekend.

But there's Marcos Highway for my bike to climb anyway.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TrainingPeaks PMC Review

Looking at my TP Performance Manager Chart (PMC), it only confirms that I've plateaued in terms of training since late April. There are a number of reasons/excuses as to why this happened but I'll spare you the details. The main thing is that I am becoming concerned of the 6-day workout a week routine vs my body's capability of handling the continuously increasing training volume.

I am learning a lot from my coach, but at times it seems that this 40-yr old body isn't what it used to be 10 or 20 years ago. I may need to throttle down on the training to have enough time for my body to recover, possibly a 2-day rest per week will be sufficient for recovery and changing the routine.

In the meantime, my A-races are coming up in September and November, so I think there's still enough time to suck it up and follow the training plan being sent by my coach. Hopefully my PM chart improves by then.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Race Recap: Phil. Dua Series - Leg 2 (Nuvali)

Arrived at the race venue with 30mins to spare. After placing my bike in the transition area I realized that I forgot to bring my bike shoes. This was a big bummer for me not just because my pace could slow down because of the reduced grip on the pedals, but also on the race photos (hihi). As things turn out later, this was not the only mishap that'll happen on the bike leg.

Race started promptly at 6am and the 6-30-3 duathlon was on its way. 

Run1 went by smoothly with me clocking at 35:50 or 6:00/km (Garmin time). This was a little better than my target (6:15/km) as I wanted to conserve for the bike and Run2. T1 was quick as I had no need to change shoes.

All that skipping of many of Coach's prescribed bike training workouts finally got back at me during the bike leg. I had a terrible (terrible!) time managing the long climbs up to the U-turn. I was pedaling but not on the pace and power that I wanted it to be. What added to the frustration was that I had to do this route twice to complete the prescribed 30kms (actual distance at 32km). I was regretting as well not focusing on tackling long low-grade climbs such as this one in Nuvali. To add further to my dismay, my chain fell off twice while was tackling two separate inclines. Had to stop and spend time to put the chain back on. It was a bike leg that I wanted to forget.

Grimacing my way up the incline. Just look at the those red running shoes! Totally unsynchronized! Hehehe...

Total bike time at 1:18 (approx. 24kmh average). Very poor.

Things turned for the better when I started Run2 (3km). I found good pace and, IMHO, I was KILLING IT in Run2. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY was able to overtake me during that leg. Instead, I was overtaking left and right, even out-sprinting a fellow racer 10meters from the finish line. THAT was truly memorable. Total Run2 time = 18:34 (or 6:07/km average).

Total race time: 2:16.

Next race will be on August and yes, I will concentrate on improving my cycling until then.

Nuvali anyone?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Phil. Dua Series Leg 2: I'm all set!

Well, it's my 2nd duathlon for 2014 on Sunday at the Philippine Duathlon Series - Leg 2, in Nuvali, Laguna. Glad to see that the race organizers have added a wrist band in the racekit, a preventive step from would-be bike thieves which unfortunately took one of the bikes in Leg 1.

Training has been stagnant in terms of volume in the past weeks, attributed mainly to either my laziness to finish the workout, or by daddy duties that should be prioritized. With 4 months into tapping the services of Coach Andy, my performance this Sunday will determine how far this coaching has improved me.

Training-wise, I've improved a lot. When before I only do 5-7km runs on weekdays, I can nowrun 10k easy runs with ease ---on a weekday. The bike volume (and intensity) has increased a lot since I went under Coach Andy's intense training regimen. No pressure for me to perform well this Sunday as I will just put in what I've done during training. Whatever happens, happens.

Hope to post a good result of this race by next week.

Here we go....

Friday, May 23, 2014

Post-Race: Alaska Cycle Philippines

The good:

  1. Accurate distance (40km)
  2. Good work on controlling the traffic
  3. Lots of freebies
For improvement:

  1. Wished the FinisherPix photos were free

I had a good time racing this one, improving my average speed from 28kph last year to about 30+kph here (1:17:40 chip time). I was able to hang on for most of the peloton groups that I encountered, ending the race with the one led by Alaska head huncho Fred Uytengsu. This was a good gauge to check if I'm improving on my bike.

Yup, I'm already excited for the next installment of this BGC race which happens this November.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 Philippine Duathlon Schedule

I managed to come up with the table below based on different website updates. The schedule is accurate as of this writing (and as per the websites I checked).

As per, they plan to move DuamanX2 either to 1st or 2nd week of September. This might conflict training schedules since the much awaited Unilab Duathlon is scheduled on Sept 7. Hopefully the different race organizers will discuss schedules to pose no conflict and, more importantly, allow us to join all the races without conflict of training or risk of injury.

Happy hunting!

Monday, May 12, 2014

My 1st Bugarin-Jalajala Ride

After endless invites by @roadiemanila, I finally gave in and rode the famous Bugarin-Jalajala loop last Saturday.

To summarize, the route had an 8km 4% climb followed by a -4% descent of the same length. The rest was flatland around the Jalajala road, which ends in a 400m teasing climb as you finish back to Pisong Kape.

It was, as expected, a good route for cyclists as there were few vehicles, the air was clean, and a picturesque view. I will definitely go there again.

On my ride effort, my weekly ULTRA/StPaul Pasig climbs have paid off, as I managed the initial 8km climb with ease, i.e. no concerns of tapping out to walk. Thanks as well to my weekday Sufferfest sessions, particularly the Hunted Individual which boasts of a 20min continous climb which trained my legs to suffer.

Yup, I'll definitely take that loop (or two! ) again.

Start of the ride (8km climb)

Food break at the top of climb

Just had to stop and take this photo

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ran in Japan

I was in Tokyo with the wife last week and I have to say that I enjoyed our stay there. The food, the cool weather, the food....have I said food already? Hehehe...

All that eating had to be burned so good thing I brought my running gear. By Saturday morning I took a mid-morning run from the hotel to Imperial palace, which had a 5k loop. Incidentally, the 5k/10k Tell race was being held on that day so I had the chance to run alongside the registered runners. As I was just on pasyal pace, I was being overtaken left and right by the race participants. I pushed the pace after a while, up to HM effort. Although I noticed my HR increasing, overall effort seemed comfortable so much so that I went for another loop even when my hydration bottles were already empty. Total kms for that day: 12km (13km if you add the cooldown walk from Imperial Palace back to the hotel).

I'll definitely run there again should we get a chance to spend another vacation in Japan.

Love you Tokyo!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lackluster Training

As per my weekly training logs, for the past 3-4 weeks I've been completing only 50% of the week's scheduled workouts, with the other half completed by about 50-70% of the required volume. I will probably have the same result this week as my wife and I are set for a vacation in Japan. Sigh...

This is not good, especially that I'm less than a month away from my next duathlon in Nuvali (June 1).

Hopefully I do better in the coming weeks so I'm prepared come race day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Race Recap: Pro Earth Run 10k

I didn't prepare specifically for this one since I registered for it at a request of a friend coming from Japan to race locally. Good thing there was a race conveniently scheduled here in BGC at the time of his vacation.

The 10k distance was just right since I was supposed to run a 12k tempo as per my training program. The strategy for this one was to run hard, targeting a sub-60 finish (although I wasn't really praying for one as I just wanted to get these legs a good workout).

The race started promptly at 5:30am with a good crowd joining the 10k leg. As I started from the end, I had to zigzag my way as I looked for space to run on. Eventually, the crowd thinned out by the 2nd km. The route is all too familiar of my past 10k races: 1st half downhill while the 2nd half would be a hard charge of climbs to the finish. I reminded myself of this as I past by 5th avenue, running towards the Kalayaan flyover.

The Kalayaan flyover, as always, welcomed me with open arms as I went up towards Buendia but wanted to spit me out as I came back from the turnaround point. That climb back to the finish was very HARD. But fortunately I was able to cope with the steep long incline, albeit not at a pace that I wanted. There was another long climb at the 2nd half of Rizal Avenue, then that looooong climb at 26th. Ran very hard at the last 300-400 meters, finishing at 58:54 (Garmin time).

The celebration of finishing sub-60 may be half-hearted, as the total distance logged by my Garmin was only at 9.74km, giving me an average pace of 6:03/km ---not a sub-60 10k. The result overall, was ok for me as I only registered for this race on a whim, without really training for it. Nevertheless, it's a good checkpoint for me to remind myself that I still have lots to go, training-wise.

Back to training...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Then suddenly.....a 10k race!

A friend is coming to Manila this week and is raring to race. Good thing there's one scheduled in BGC this weekend:

Quite cheap at P500.00 for a 10k racekit although it doesn't have RF-timing nor a finisher's medal. Well, I guess that's the reg fee pricing nowadays. No biggie as my friends and I will still try to have a good time. See how us 40 year olds can run this one.

And yeah, a secret goal of a sub-60 is playing in my head. Let's see if I'm up to it this Saturday morning.

See ya!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Race Recap: 2014 Philippine Duathlon Series (Leg 1)

I arrived at the race venue with 10 minutes to spare before the start time (whew!). I immediately put on my running shoes, locked the front wheel on my bike, and hurried to the transition area to rack my bike and other stuff.

Found myself near the end of the starting corral as 6am, gun time, arrived. Like any other dua, the pace was fast and furious for the racers as we started Run1. I saw my pace hovering at 5:15/km (too fast!!!!) so I tried to control the pace as originally intended it to be between 6:00-6:30/km. Eventually, Run1 ended at slightly below 6:00/km average.

On the bike, I was surprised with the lack of bike pace as I left the transition. I even thought that I had a flat tire so I kept looking at my rear wheel (the usual culprit). As it turned out, I was traversing a false flat (similar to how I started last year's Unilab Dua). The bike route was going to be a 50% uphill and 50% downhill loop done 4 times. I managed to keep my effort at around 6-7/10 on the uphills, then compensated on the downhills. Bike pace averaged 26.5kph based on my Cateye.

On Run2, it was a struggle starting it off as I thought that I won't be able to keep my pace on target, a result of my adrenalin rush of pace in Run1. Fortunately, I was still able to keep the pace good, this time a little ABOVE 6:00/km.

I remembered my Coach's tip, "on the last 2-3km, run on empty." Believe me, I ran my heart out on the last 2km. Red-lining on my heart rate, if I wore it that day.

Finished the race at 1:44 and change as per my Garmin. I think my RPE on Run1 and 2 was at 8 to 8.5 of 10. Bike was probably at 6-7 on the uphills and then 7-8.5 on the downhills. I may have been too conservative on the bike as I trudged the uphill section of the loop.

Having been coached since start of Feb, this race result may not be indicative of the new training method that I'm in ---yet. Too early to confirm. But it would be interesting to know how I ranked in my age group, hmmm.

I will probably get a better gauge on how this coaching has improved once the duathlon season comes into full bloom by May, with special focus on my A-races (Unilab Dua in Sept, and Nat'l Dua in Nov).

Yup, Leg2 is on end of May. A lot of time to improve my race plan, and to continually train.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Mar10-16 Training Log

152 kms.

9 hours and 8 minutes.

Last week was another breakthrough week in terms of training volume for me. On the weekend, I went up again the ULTRA hill twice, a 300m 7% climb. My aim is to get comfortable (i.e. learn to love) hills, especially on the bike.

My climb there is at a pedestrian 5-6 kmh, a pace Contandor will not be proud of. I hope to do better climbing it towards the end of the year. Yeah, that long to be in at least 5% of Contador's climbing skills (I think).

I'm itching to race again so thankfully I'm scheduled for one next Sunday (March 30th). It's a short 4-25-4 duathlon in General Trias, Cavite, so it's a good place to see how conditioned I am (or not) since I've hired a coach last Feb.

Let's see.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Committing To Weekend Training (Or The Lack Thereof)

By now, my coach is realizing that I'm starting to come up short in meeting the required training volume ---especially on weekends. Check the past 3 weekends and how I fared:

Except for that 100km ride (my first century btw, hehe), all else is not good as I am expected to train better now that I hired a coach.

I have various excuses for the above stats. The Feb22-23 was due to a family outing in Talisay which, on retrospect, I should've brought my bike for a ride then. Mar2 was missed as my legs were too tired/trashed after completing my first century ride. Mar8 I ran out of gas (and motivation) to complete that 75k. Today, a supposed 50-5 brick was canceled due to tire interior tube problems.



Problem is, is that I have my first duathlon on March 30th, a 4-25-4 affair in General Trias, Cavite. Distance wise, I know I can finish this race comfortably. But with an ideal pace to match, especially on the run? That will be a miracle to pull off.

I HAVE TO stick with the program, darn it!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Armstrong Lie

For the past few days I've been scouring the 'net for sports documentaries to watch. For me, it helps motivate me in training, especially when I feel that I'm headed downward mentally.

I've watched 3 films so far this week, with the first one being The Armstrong Lie.

It's a good film on a director's narrative of his 2009 documentary of Lance's return to the Tour de France, and the different interviews relating the cyclist's doping allegations and eventual confession.

My fav part was the ascend on Mt. Ventoux ("that fucking mountain" as Lance would put it). I don't want to give details but I totally agreed with Bill Strickland and Alex Gibney when they commented on that stage of the 2009 tour and how Lance performed.

The film motivated me not to dope (of course!), but to train all the more since doping makes winning artificial. It's better to stand on the podium knowing that you did it cleanly.

Yes, I hope to stand on a race podium after all the training that I'm doing now.

Anyone can dream, right? :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Feb17-23 Training Log: Lazy Weekend

Trained for only 6:21 out of the required 10 hrs last week. Reason being was the weekend family getaway at Talisay, Batangas which prevented me from riding 100k on Sat and run 15k on Sunday. Doing only 50k last Sat was reasonable for me as I needed to drive. It was the laziness on Sunday morning which prevented me from running the alloted 15k.

The run before that, a required 12k last Friday, bummed me out as I bonked on the 2nd half of that run. First time to be taking walk breaks as I didn't feel good that day, which contributed greatly to not starting my Sunday run. I felt that it would be best to take a break from running that day.

Hopefully I get back on the horse this week, where the workouts are exactly the same as last week's. Yup, aiming for a 100k ride on Saturday in Nuvali. If you're there, do let me know as I might need company during the ride.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Feb10-16 Training Log: Some Improvement

129km in 7:34 total.

On a taper week.

I happily accepted the reduction in training volume last week, which I think is part of a periodic cycle wherein there are 2 weeks hard training and 1 week off. The body (and mind) needs to recover, especially for the preparations of the coming hard week (this week).

Without proper feedback one can never know if he/she's improving. Good thing that Coach is able to lay this out for me by staging regular bike/run time trial workouts to assess if I've improved or not. Last week, after beginning my training under him, the 20-minute bike time trial result comparison showed what could be the start of something great:

Jan25 - 20min Bike TT. Distance covered: 9.57km (28.7kmh)

Feb15 - 20min Bike TT. Distance covered: 10.10km (30.1kmh)!!!!

In 3 weeks I was able to improve my bike TT time by 530 meters! That means a lot, especially during races. I hope to see similar improvement in my run TT which could be scheduled next month. Of course, better results would mean that I will continue to follow the workouts being sent by Coach. The challenging part, aside from waking up early (hehe), is the high probability that training volume/intensity will continue to increase (gulp!).

Hopefully I'm up to the task.

Back to training....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Feb 3-9 Training Log: More

169kms and almost 9hours of running and biking last week. Scored a breakthrough as I was able to log my longest ride ever (so far) at 68.4km. Further, I ran a good 10k although the time was not PR breaking (1:04). Still, it was my best 10k in months and I'm expecting it to get even better in the months to come.

Looking at this week's schedule, it'll be a rest week as total training time moved back to 7 hours. Next week, I'll be back on the grind as the weekend will require me to ride 4 hours, or 100kms(!!!!).

The only downside is my weight, as food has served as my "reward" after workouts. Last Tuesday after an evening 10k run, I decided to go to Charlie's for a wagyu burger. I should stop doing that and just control my hunger pangs and eat at or below my total daily calorie limit (1,500).


Here's hoping for a lower weight by my Sunday morning weigh-in.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Jan27-Feb2 Training Log: Isn't It Amazing?!?!

124 kilometers in one week.

7 hours in one week.


That could be the highest kms/hours per week of training that I've ever logged. What a difference having a coach makes.

And what makes this more amazing and err...scary? Coach says the hours per week could increase to as high as 10 to 12 hours as we go along. Hopefully I will be able to find a way to squeeze it between my work and family schedule. That could mean waking up a little earlier than usual, like what most of Coach's wards have done.

Of note would be last Wed's 10k wherein it comprised of 4 x 2.5km at easy pace with quite a unique interval wherein not rest, but exercises were done in between. Quite challenging I might say. The dreaded part is that it's going to be found regularly in my weekly program (yikes!).

This week's another gruelling set of training days, with Saturday planned to be my longest bike ride yet: 75 kms!!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


In the course of a year and 3 months, I have managed to upgrade my road bike part by part:

- seat upgrade from stock Selle Italia to a Fizik Antares 00
- wheelset upgrade from stock Fulcrum 7 racing to a Generic Carbon 50mm
- groupset upgrade from Shimano Tiagra to Shimano Ultegra 6800
- and several bar tape changes

The overall cost of the bike, less the money earned from selling the "old" parts, could be almost twice the price I bought for the bike when I first got it. The itch, a.k.a. upgraditis, is so much to blame. Interestingly, upgraditis appears in the urban dictionary (see Urban Dictionary: upgraditis).

Grabbed from bikewar.files.wordpress

It's addictive really, especially for someone as OC as me. I would look at my bike for 5-10 minutes and almost every time I would think that it'll look/perform better if this part or that part is upgraded. Once I get that part replaced, then I would see another part of the bike to upgrade, sometimes just for cosmetic reasons. Thus, an endless cycle ensues.

The peak of my upgraditis may have been late last month, after I got the company bonus. With the money I got, I thought that it was time to either upgrade the bike frame or buy a tri bike for my duathlons. Both options were pricey, right up there in the "how can I spend this much money?!" range. Should I take the tri bike route, I will get it with stock parts and that'll lead to another round of upgrades again. That'll mean more money coming out of my pocket.

I decided to wait and wait further until the itch subsided, and opted to look into getting a coach. I thought that I should upgrade myself first, bike second. A new frame or tri bike will have no effect if the way I train/race remains the same. I feel that this 40-yr old body still has much left in the endurance/speed tank and I just need someone, a coach, to tell me how to do it properly.

In my first meet up with my coach, I asked him if I should get a tri bike. I thought that if he says yes, then that's a good enough reason for me to buy one (and thus scratching my itch to ugprade). He paused for a few seconds and said NO. What he said was like an antibiotic that virtually erased my upgraditis. He simply said that I should just train hard and make it a motivation to beat those in good looking aero/tri bikes during races.

It was like I was doused with cold water. True, I would often get dropped by older looking bikes, just like that 64-yr old cyclist that I encountered in the Valle Verde Loop. His bike could've been used during Eddie Mercxx's or Greg Lemond's hey days, when carbon, Di2, or even aero was still something that was never thought of. The last time I rode along side him (or tried to ride alongside him), he wasn't able to set up his gearing so he rode in one gear combination. He was pacing at probably 110+ cadence as he flew ahead of me...with his old looking bike....again.

I'm not saying that I won't upgrade ever. But I would like to "earn" that next upgrade, be it just a bar tape, my next pair of pedals, or that N+1 "requirement" of having a second/tri bike. Hopefully what I've just started will take me there: an upgrade that I truly deserve to get, not just because I want to.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Jan20-25 Training Log

Mon - rest
Tue - 6k tempo run
Wed - rest
Thu - indoor trainer
Fri - 5.2k run
Sat - Bike TT
Sun - Run TT

Overall condition getting better last week as I reduced the rest days to 2. The week started off well with a good tempo run (4k in between warmup and cooldown) on Tuesday, then followed by the maiden ride of the indoor trainer that I bought second hand on Thursday. My body will be tested fully by it this week, as the program requires 2 indoor workouts featuring Sufferfest videos that I need to follow.

Last weekend was getting my baseline ride and run TT performance which I hope to improve on monthly. The program is slowly coming into bloom now, with this week having only one rest day.

Hopefully all the waking up early despite the biting cold will be worth it by the time racing season begins.

Oh, btw, Popo Nagtalon emailed us past participants the 2014 race calendar:

LEG 1: 5km/25km/3km
March 30, Eagle Ridge, Cavite

LEG 2: 6km/30km/3km
May 31, Nuvali, Laguna

LEG 3: 8km/35km/4km
August 17, TBA

LEG 4: 10km/40km/5km
October 26, Clark, Pampanga

December 14, Clark, Pampanga

With the Unilab and Natl Dua races not yet in the list, an exciting racing season awaits!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Training Log: Jan 13-19

Mon - Rest
Tues - Football
Wed - Rest
Thu - Bike-Run brick (20k bike, 4k run)
Fri - Rest
Sat - Ride (40k)
Sun - Maffetone Run (7k)

Too many rest days last week. I'll probably back out from the company football team as it is disrupting my morning run/bike workouts. Further, I need to wake up earlier than usual since I'll be working in our Makati office most of the time as this requires an additional 30mins driving time.

That Maf run last Sunday felt good, as average pace improved to 7:32/km. Recorded my 3rd best time in the ULTRA hill on that Saturday ride so things are getting better, albeit slowly, in the cycling department.

I have added in my daily logging as this is a requirement of my coach.

Yes, I hired a coach last Sunday to help improve my race times. I expect training volume to increase by next month, i.e. from 4-5 hrs a week to a daunting 10-12hrs a week(!). Hopefully I'm up for it. He says we'll build on my cycling volume/strength for the first 2 months, targeting to probably complete my first century ride before the 1st half of 2014 ends (!). By the time the SCTEX Dua and Nat'l Dua C'ships arrive, I hope to be in my best racing shape ever. The key, according to coach, is to follow the program that he'll provide.

Yup, I'm all set to suffer (gulp!).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Training Log: Jan6-12

Mon - Easy ride (17km)
Tue - Football (PM)
Wed - Rest
Thu - 5k easy (AM); Football (PM)
Fri - Rest
Sat - Long ride (56km); Strength training afternoon
Sun - Maffetone Run (9km); Ave HR 134

The company football club tryouts started last week so no quality run/bike workouts last week (except for the long ride). I wanted to be in the team but I also wanted out as I hoped to concentrate on duathlons. The muscle pains that I experienced the morning after the football practices showed that this 40-yr old body may not be suitable for contact sports anymore. Although I passed the tryout's 1st cut, there will be another one in several weeks. I'll probably get cut off by then anyway so I'll just enjoy the crossfit-like training that I'm getting every Tues and Thurs evenings.

Of note last week would be last Sunday's Maffetone run wherein average pace improved from 8:19/km the previous week to 7:40/km. Average HR (134) was somewhat the same so this was a good result in terms of aerobic improvement.

This week will be interesting as I might hire a coach to improve my run/bike pace. Yup, after several years of being self-coached, I may surrender to hiring someone to get a better look at how I train. Self-coaching is good but it could get you only up to a certain level that only you see. It may be better to get an extra pair of eyes to check if what I'm doing is right. I'll meet up with him this Thurs evening so let's see how that turns out.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Training Log: Dec30-Jan4

Mon: Rest
Tue: Rest
Wed: Bike-Run (31km ride, 5km run)
Thu: Rest
Fri: 8km Maffetone Run (134 HR ave)
Sat: 55km bike
Sun: 10km (1k warmup, 8k tempo, 1k cool)

Sunday morning weight: 166.6lbs (digital scale)

Mon and Tues were rest days as I was in KL at the time vacationing with the family. By Wed morning in Manila, I was back into training mode kicking things off with a bike-run brick. What a way to start the year ey? Good to note that I was able to focus on the run, refusing to walk on that final km climb. The pain threshold needs to be extended further in order to get better pace results.

Bringing back my Maffetone runs now as seen in the 8k run last Friday. Just need to trust the HRM and keep the HR below 140 as recommended by Maffetone. The 8:19/km average pace for that run showed how I lack aerobic fitness. More Maffetone runs needed for this Duadaddy.

Saturday morning was a long ride from Home to Valle Verde loop, my new playground. Just loved how that 2km+ loop is long and continuous with a handful of riders trying to keep up with the peloton. Met a 64 yr old cyclist as I rode and got good tips from the aged warrior who can still make good pace (and outride me!) just before I decided to cap the ride with one climb at that dreaded ULTRA hill. Now THAT'S a hill!

I ended the week with a long tempo in BGC last Sunday. As I would always do a long slow run in BGC in the past, it was good to shift pace as I set off that workout. Pace was wanting by the end so a lot needs to be improved there as well.

Need to cutoff on the food binging as my weight is REALLY way way up from my record of 155lbs from 2012. Calorie counting should be back in the program this week.

All in all, a good week to start 2014!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Mindset

The morning of January 1, 2014 was similar to previous years. The air was still filled with firecracker smoke/residue from the evening revelry. It was a bit chilly and it was quiet with cars on a street you can only count with fingers in one hand.

In the midst of the quiet, smoky background, there I was huffing and puffing on the last kilometer of my first workout for 2014. It was a bike-run brick. Already done with a 31km ride around the metro, I was fighting the urge to stop 3/4 way at that 5km run. It wasn't race pace as I was just a tad below 7:00/km. That 5km is on my regular route, with the last km a continuous long climb to the finish.

The temptation to stop was all too familiar. It's alright to walk since there'll be more workouts coming, I said to myself. But then I recalled how I slowed to a walk in my last duathlon in Subic, succumbing to a slow 38mins on that 5km run2. This thought changed the plan to drop this morning's run.

I became determined to finish the 5k run without walking. I concentrated on my breathing, inhaling as much oxygen from the mouth and exhaling thru my nose while I kept my stride in check, however slow my pace was (6:55/km).

At the end of 34+ minutes, the 5k run of the brick ended. It wasn't a PR obviously, but what I took from that workout is that I STILL have the will to fight off walking if I set my mind to it.

It was a good workout to kick start 2014.

Lose the unwanted pounds.

Build a solid base.

Don't register for races unless you're absolutely ready.

And, lastly, race like my life dependent on it.

Here we go...