Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mt. Gulugod Baboy Adventure

Sometimes, taking time away from the hustle and bustle of city life is what we need to unwind from the stress of work. So me and my officemates decided to spend the weekend to climb Mt Gulugod Baboy at Anilao Batangas. This one is an easy mountain to climb, rated by http://www.pinoymountaineers.com/ 3/9 for difficulty. The ascent is quite steep but short. An experienced mountaineer could actually trek the mountain up until the summit for 45minutes to an hour.

Of course, we weren't in a hurry, so there were plenty of rest and a halo halo in the middle of our journey. Even if Gulugod Baboy is a minor climb, the summit is still very rewarding where you get to see a 360 degrees view of Batangas. You could actually compare the summit to a Windows XP wall paper showing the hilly green grass.

The best part for me is you get the strenghtening benefits from the climb, and enjoy the journey as well. Mountain climbing is really a great experience, and keeps you in awe and amazed with God's hand when He built this wonderful shelter for us.

I also felt the training benefit of this short hike. Using my calves to speed my runs became easier. Just this morning, for an ordinary 5K run in hilly terrains of Fort Bonifacio, I logged 21 minutes and 34 seconds, and I wasn't racing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Runs for the Week

Last Sunday and Monday was an absolutely no running day. My concern though for this week is that Ill be out of town again, hiking to Gulugod Baboy Batangas this coming Saturday and Sunday. I will definitely miss my runs again. Hiking would be a good cross training, but to miss another two consecutive runs makes me feel quite uneasy.

So since I only have 4 days to build my training for this week, I've set a mixture of short and long distances with moderate to high intensity levels of training.

Yesterday, I did a short 5K run with an average pace of 4:32min/km. Just this morning, to build up my mileage for the week, I did an easy to moderate run with two of my fort striders buddy (Glen & Reggie) and logged on my Suunto watch 10.88km run around the fort area with an average pace of 4:57. Tomorrow will perhaps be a another 10K run, but with will be logging a harder pace.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Zambales Weekend Getaway Part II

Here are some of the activities we did in Zambales:

1.) Swimming Cross Training

2.) Team Building Activities

Zambales Weekend Getaway

Its summer time and this means plenty of outing and weekend getaways. Last weekend, just right after Baguio, we once again had a weekend getaway at Zambales. This time around, I was with a different family. I’m talking about my Fort Strider’s club family.
We went to Crystal Beach at San Narciso Zambales. It took us 4 and a half hours to reach the place. But it was all worth it. Contrary to what a runner would do, we practically ate so many fatty foods during this weekend getaway. We didn’t mind though since you don’t get to eat Dinakdakan (kilawing pisngi ng baboy), Inihaw na Liempo, and Kilawing Tuna that often.
The whole Sunday was practically a rest day for running. Well, almost. I did try some beach running for just around 2KM and that’s it. But we had some team building activities that are both physically and mentally challenging.

If you have time to spend your weekend, I would recommend trying out this place. If you have a tent, you could bring it to Crystal beach or you could rent a tent for 120pesos. In reality, it is actually more expensive to travel to Zambales than staying at the resort. So what are the amenities? Well, the place is designed really for team buildings, so the place has an obstacle course, rope climbing obstacle. They also provide table tennis, chess and billiards. For 400 pesos you could also avail surfing lesson for an hour.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Baguio Vacation

Its another long weekend and what a great way to spend vacation here at Baguio. Yes, I'm still here at Baguio and today is my 3rd day, and I'm having so much fun. I'm staying at a place called Atenara with my family, my wife's parents and my sister in law. I like the location of Atenara since its near Teacher's Camp Gintong Alay track and field oval. I didn't know this at first until "the bald runner" mentioned about it. So I give thanks to the Bald Runner for helping me find this track and field oval. The place in itself is cozy and honestly, I liked it better than when me and my wife stayed at Manor 3 years ago. Maybe because the place feels so homie.

First we ate at Solibao. A Filipino restaurant along Session road. The restaurant is fine, but not too fantastic. In the afternoon I had the chance to try running near where we're staying. I was planning to do a 5K tempo run, but apparently the hills are too tough for me to do a continuous run at tempo pace. I admit, the hills at Baguio scares me. But I knew I needed to do some training so I had to make use of the hill to my advantage. So I ended up doing 6x200 meter hill repeats at all out pace instead, after giving up running the hills of Baguio after 3 kilometers.

The next morning, before going to a church service at Victory, I tried to look for a good running route. Baguio's roads are really extreme! They are either uphill, or downhill. I ended up reaching session road, and It wasn't a nice place to run because of so many people walking along the place. The funny thing was, I forgot how to go back to our place so I had to ride a taxi just to go back to Atenara. After service we stopped by Camp John Hay and ate at Dencios. We also found at Camp John a place where you could do a slide for your life and rappeling. Tried it with my sister and law, and the experience really made my day. Later in the afternoon, me, my wife and daughter Meekha spent touring around the Botanical Garden, which is just beside Atenara.

Tempo running is probably my favorite workout so I asked the bald runner where I could do a decent Tempo Run at a less hilly location. It was really good to hear a quick reply from him. I was so happy to hear that there was a Track Oval at Teacher's Camp. The Bald Runner saved my day. I had the chance to run at the oval just this early morning. :) At last, at tempo run! I did a 5K tempo run and completed the distance in 21minutes 30secs, and followed by a 2KM cooldown. Later during the day, we went to so many places such as Mines View Park, Baguio SM, and Wright park. So, I would say today was really a great day. I'm looking forward to another adventure tomorrow. More on that in this blog.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Trail Running Anyone?

Who loves running? How about hiking and nature tripping? If you love both, or if you are looking for something new to do, you might want to try Trail Running. I'm not really a trail runner, and I haven't tried trail running before so I'm inviting other beginners like me to join the ROX Trail Running clinic. Here are the details of the trail running clinic which will be lead by our very own triathlete and Iron Man finisher Ige Lopez.

Running 101

It has always been a goal by many people to find the miracle drug that can cure and prevent the majority of diseases. The true miracle medicine though cannot be simply bought from a drug store and for many, the price isn’t easy to pay. The true miracle drug I am referring to is exercise. Since this blog is intended for running, most of the benefit that I’ll be mentioning would come from running, although most of these benefits can also be achieved in any form of aerobic exercise.
Here are the health benefits of running taken from “The Marathon Runner’s Handbook” by Bruce Fordyce:
1.) Cardiac Strengthening – A fit heart pumps 50% more blood than an unfit one. It has been proven that a fit heart reduces the risk of a coronary heart failure.
2.) Regular physical exercise such as running maintains a healthy inner lining to the body’s blood vessels, making artery blockages a less likely occurrence.
3.) Superior Lung Capacity - A runner’s lung capacity is vastly superior than others because it is more expansive and expel inhaled smoke, gas and foreign matter more efficiently.
4.) Strengthens the joints – Contrary to most people think, running actually helps strengthen the areas that are being stressed the most. More blood supply are being brought to the joints due to the stress on the femur, tibia and fibula bones of the legs, which also sets in motion a strengthening process which builds up the bone density.
5.) Healthier lifestyle – Yes, chicken or the egg, but true when you start to enjoy running, it is inherent that you become more health conscious.
6.) Stimulates the Brain – That’s right, exercise helps to stimulate the brain. It is no joke. It is a known fact that due to an increased blood supply to the brain through activity stimulates the thinking and creative parts of the brain.
Now, if you could just combine all these benefits and put them in a capsule, then you get a miracle drug. Unfortunately, reaping these benefits is not as easy as just drinking two tablets a day. It takes patience and effort to get into running. The good news is, the hard part is just getting started, and then it gets easier until you are hooked.
So how do you start? I’m not really an expert in running, and in fact I’m also quite new to the sport. I have just been running for a year, but I’ve gathered here some tips I got from Runner’s World and a few things that worked for me when I started running.
1.) Buy yourself a nice pair of running shoes that will work for you. If you are unsure what shoe to buy, then I’d recommend visiting http://www.runnersworld.com/ and check out their shoe finder and tips of getting the perfect shoe type for you. You’ll be surprised how complicated it is to choose the perfect running shoe. Once you’ve got that, you’ll be motivated to run and test your new shoe.
2.) Focus first on distance before timing yourself. If you are just starting, just count the distance you are running and don’t mind how long you finish that distance. Logging the distances you’ve ran for the week will also help motivate you to keep running.
3.) Remember the 10% rule. The 10% rule just means not to increase the intensity and distance you are running to more than 10% every week. This will help you avoid injuries. For example if you normally run 3 kilometer per day for week 1 then for week 2, you should only run at most 3.3 kilometers.
4.) Find a running buddy. Let’s face it, sometimes running alone is boring. So it is highly recommended to find a running partner. And please… don’t race your partner. Just enjoy the company and the run.
5.) Commit to wake up early in the morning to do your morning runs. Morning is the perfect day to run because of the cool weather. If you find it difficult to wake up, then you could actually sleep with your running attire so that getting up becomes easier since you only need to wear your socks and shoe to start doing your run. You are not limited to run only in the mornings though. Some people run in the afternoon or in the evening if their time permits it.
6.) Enjoy the view. It is easier to run when you are simply out there to enjoy the view. Try to invent your running course. Be creative in looking for new routes.
7.) If you could spend for a gadget then go ahead. Buy yourself a Heart Rate Monitor or a watch that can compute the pace and distance you are running. Nike for example offers a device that can measure the distance and speed you are running. Be careful though in relying too much with these devices. They are just tools to help you monitor your progress. Don’t be too attached to it especially in races. I only use mine to make sure I’m on track of my pace. But I still use my competitive nature direct the speed of the race.
8.) Remember that you could increase your performance with a lesser effort as long as you are consistent with your training. Always put this in mind, because this is the very reason that will keep you motivated.
9.) Join races. It’s the best venue to get to meet other runners and to break PRs. You will also be surprised that running in races becomes a lot easier than your training runs. This means you begin to run faster than your usual pace during trainings. This has always been a phenomenon, but it is true. There may be a lot of factors why this is so, but to my experience I can run 20 - 30 seconds per kilometer faster than my usual training race pace during actual races. That’s 3 to 5 minutes faster in a 10K race!
So, what are you waiting for? Put on those running shoes and hit the streets!