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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.