• Just recently, I did something that I usually advise against:  I joined 2 races in one weekend.

    Normally, doing back-to-back races on the same weekend isn't a good idea.   But sometimes, the races are just too cool to pass up.

    This is exactly what happened a few weeks ago when I agreed to participate in two team events:  The Bull Runner Dream Team Run and X-Terra Putik Pare.  I was part of a team in both events and while my training was lacking, we still managed to put in decent performances in both.

    Doing back-to-back races is possible as long as you keep a few things in mind.

    Choose an A race. Treat one race as a training race and the second one as "the big one."  The twin efforts put so much strain on the body, it's near impossible to treat each race as an "A race".  In my case, I was transitioning to off-road races so I chose to race X-Terra and treat the Dream Team Run as my training run.  That meant running slower than my usual race pace on the run so I could save my legs for the

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  • The Cure?

    In the years that I've been into all sorts of  endurance sports, I've also had run-ins with the numerous sports-related injuries and conditions that come with the territory.

    Plantar fasciitis. Pulled muscles. Sprains. Torn ligaments. Cramps.

    The list goes on and on.

    Luckily, I've managed to get through each bout of injuries with minimal fuss.  While I've learned how to prevent them from happening again, there is one condition that keeps coming back.  The bug hits me every year, sometimes up to twice or thrice in one season.  I am not alone, though.

    Thousands of athletes suffer (although I'm not sure if "suffer" is the right word) from a common affliction called "upgraditis".  It has nothing to do with muscles, soft tissue, bones or other physical injuries.  But it does affect that part of the athlete that matters most--the wallet.

    Upgraditis is the uncontrollable urge to upgrade (hence the name) every piece of race equipment in an athlete's arsenal:  bike, bike parts, shoes, apparel,

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  • Where’s Cesar?

    A few months back, I reported on the exploits of ultrarunner Cesar Guarin, who was on a mission halfway around the world.  Dubbed The Global Run: Alay sa Pilipino at Sa Buong Mundo, it is Cesar's quest to run around the world as a personal tribute to Filipino OFW's around the world.

    Cesar beginning Stage 6 of the Global Run.

    The sixth stage of his global run took place from May to July 2012.  He covered 1,820 kilometers from Finland to England, their arrival in London coinciding with the opening week of the 2012 Olympic Games.

    Kababayans gather to meet Cesar as he runs through Norway.

    He spent hundreds of hours on the road in solitude, except for a back-up vehicle driven by his son and handler, Gati Guarin along with his one-man PR and project head, Joon Malicse.

    Cesar's goal is to run 42,000 kilometers across 47 countries and visit Filipino communities along the way.  His stop at the end of each leg culminates with a gathering of Filipinos that is half meet-and-greet and half social event.  Throughout the Europe leg of the Global Run, Cesar had this to say, "Without the

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  • Everyone remembers their first time at anything.

    First time on a plane, first time on a roller coaster and yes, that first time, too.  The anxiety leading up to those moments can make you wet your pants or throw up.

    It's no different for runners and triathletes.  I remember the first 5K, marathon and triathlon I ever joined.  Standing at the starting line of each one, I was a bag of nerves, but was just good at hiding it.  It didn't matter that I had spent months preparing for a race.  Nothing prepares you for pre-race jitters.  Nothing.

    My very first marathon was the Subic International Marathon or SIM.  The year I joined was the first (and last) time the marathon would be held on the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).  The reason I chose that race was because of the course, plus the gun start was at 4PM.  This meant most of the run would be at night, not under the scorching sun.

    I began my training program 6 months before the race.  Prior to Subic, I had only done several 21km

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  • "Don't try anything new on race day."  I've been a keen follower of this piece of advice since I began racing more than a decade ago.  It holds true for just about everything on race day--nutrition, equipment and apparel--and any sport.

    So on this particular Sunday, I woke up at 4 a.m. and went about my race day routine:  I had a peanut butter sandwich, a glass of soy milk and a banana for breakfast, prepped my pre-race drink and nutrition, and finally got my gear loaded in the car.  This time, however, there was one thing new to my morning ritual--I had to wake my daughter and help her get ready.  She wasn't racing but it was her first time to join me this early in the morning to watch a race.  With everything ready, we hopped into the car for the 10 minute drive to the starting line.

    The race was the Unilab Active Health Duathlon held last September 9 at Clark, Pampanga.  It was one of a handful of races held on the endless stretches of SCTEX, which was why I signed up for it. 

    Read More »from FAST & FURIOUS: Unilab Active Health Duathlon Race Report
  • It's been 3 weeks since Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines (make that 4).

    The local triathlon season begins in February and kicks into high gear in the summer once the major races are underway:  Subic International Triathlon in May, 5150 Triathlon in June and Ironman 70.3 in August.   Being the most prestigious race on the local race scene, everyone wanted to be at Ironman 70.3, myself included.  We trained, ached and bled for that one race.  It was the "graduation" from months of training and sacrifice.  For many, it also marked the final race of their racing season.

    The off-season is looked forward to just as much as the major races because it means we all get our license to drink and eat whatever we want and stay up late on weekends.  Stuff we would normally avoid while we train for our A-race.

    Cebu was my A-race so after that, my weeks began to take on some semblance of normalcy.  I didn't have to worry about getting up at 5:30 every morning to do a swim, bike or run.  I

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  • The sun hadn't even risen yet but the parking lot of the Mactan Shangri-La Resort was busier than Baclaran on a Wednesday.  Athletes were scrambling to make last minute adjustments to their bikes--pumping tires, tightening bolts, filling water bottles.  The frenzied atmosphere was a sign of things to come on the fourth running of Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

    After three successful years in Cam Sur, this year's race took place in Cebu. A new race course meant new challenges for all.  Cebuano triathletes aside, no one knew what lay in store on the new 70.3 mile course.  Unlike CWC in Cam Sur, the Cebu swim leg was an open water swim.  The bike course took athletes from Lapu-Lapu City to Talisay City on the main island and back.  The run course would be 2 loops of an unforgiving 10 kilometer course to Punta Engaño on the north end of Mactan.

    Shangrila Mactan Resort, this year's host of Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

    After a heavy breakfast at 4 a.m., my teammates and I headed down to the transition area for our own pre-race preps--double-check tire pressure, make

    Read More »from THE TOUGH GETS TOUGHER: 2012 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines Race Report
  • Treading in water as we wait for the start. (Photo courtesy of Alex Cenzon)

    Last June 24th, the inaugural Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon was held at Subic Bay Freeport Zone to much fanfare in the multisport community.  Created by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), the same company behind the Ironman brand, 5150 is the WTC's standard distance triathlon (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run for a combined distance of 51.50 kilometers, hence the name).  The lure of participating in this inaugural event was too strong to resist so I signed up with barely a month to go before race day.

    Century Tuna 5150 Philippines was organized by Sunrise Events, which also brought Ironman 70.3 and X-Terra to Philippine shores. The race isn't the first triathlon to be held in Subic Bay but this one definitely raised the bar for standard distance racing.

    While I can't say that this was the perfect race (there never is one anyway), it stood out as the best triathlon race for me to date.  The race itself as well as the pre and post-race experience all together made for an

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  • Runner Spotting

    Runners come in different forms. Which one are you? (Getty Images)

    Last Father's Day, I left the comfort of my bed at 3:30 a.m. to join Run United 2, the second installment of Run Rio's trilogy.  I signed up for the 21k race which started at Bonifacio Global City and ended at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.

    It was dark, rainy and the start chute was already crowded with 4,999 other runners so I decided to hang back with a few friends and start with the last wave of runners.  Being one of the last persons to leave the start was interesting, to say the least, because it gave me a chance to observe the multitude of runners heading for the finish line 21 kilometers away.

    There were dozens of them but these are my favorites.  Chances are, you've spotted at least one of them in your past races, too.

    The Social Media Addicted Tourist. It's easy to spot this runner.  He is the one running with smartphone in hand.  This runner is so addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and pretty much any other social networking platform in existence that he has perfected

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  • Following Cesar

    Cesar Guarin running in Finland. (Photo courtesy of Global Run)

    A few days ago, I received an email about Filipino runner Cesar Guarin.  The name may ring a bell, especially among old-school runners.  Cesar is the man behind the original Filipino running brand, Botak.  As a kid growing up in Baguio, I used to frequent the Pugad Lawin shop on Kisad Road as it was here that I got my first taste of proper running gear (singlets, side slit shorts and Saucony's were the norm back then).

    While I didn't meet the man himself, he left a lasting impression on me through his cool running gear.

    Nowadays, Cesar Guarin is out to make a lasting impression on millions of Overseas Filipino Workers by embarking on an enormous project: Global Run, Alay sa Pilipino.  Part tribute to OFW's, part tourism campaign for the Philippines, the run will cover 43,000 kilometers in 15 stages, 42 countries and will take at least 4 more years to finish.  Cesar started this epic run in 1983 by completing the Trans Pilipinas Run in 1983 after his dream of making it to the

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Pagination

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