Posts Tagged ‘Long Runs


Product Review: Unilab Active Health Sports Gel

(Update: This product has been discontinued) To those running long distances (usually half marathons or longer) energy gels serve as a very convenient source of nutrition: they don’t spoil easily, comes in a minimal packaging, and provide an energy boost without needing to chew.  All brands available in the local market is imported, until now, as Unilab introduced the first Philippine-made energy gel simply known as Active Health Sports Gel.

Continue reading ‘Product Review: Unilab Active Health Sports Gel’



Don’t you just love it when you break the monotony of your everyday routine?  Well, yesterday wasn’t too far fetched from the usual, but it definitely was unconventional.

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2010 in Pictures

2010 was the year running took a backseat from my list of activities, but in between my great hiatus there were some interesting events that transpired.  Here’s a look back at how 2010 was for me:


The highlight for the first month of 2010 was my return to running with a 50K test run of the Bataan Death March (BDM) Ultramarathon (first 50K of the actual route).

With our support crew (courtesy Gail Consolacion)

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2009 Favorite Running Moments: In Pictures

Running has taken me to places I never imagined I’ll go to and for my first full year of running the year broke all previous records not only in terms of distance covered, and pictures taken!  2009 toll: about 20 gigabytes worth of pictures and videos, around 11,500 files.  Among these, here are some of my favorites:


Transition: from Bench Pedometer watch to Garmin Forerunner 405

TNF Thrill of the Trail: my first trail run and magazine appearance, Side Trip Magazine April-June 2009 edition

Happy Run: First 15K



LSD with

First winter run (Ohio, USA)


Condura Run: First 21K


Trail run at Montalban with

May goes climbing to Mt. Maculot

TNF100: First ultramarathon (100K)


Debut climb of the RunHikers at Pico de Loro

Back on trails with Men’s Health All Terrain

Back at ultra via Botak100 (as a pacer)


First Marathon via Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations


Repeat of Manila-Tagaytay ultramarathon long run (56K)

Ninoy Aquino Day Run


Mommy Milkshake


Reaching out through Angel Brigade

Pacer duty at QCIM

First sundown marathon via SIM


Chillax pacing during Timex Run

Running in Ilocos


Running in Singapore

2009 was a splendid year indeed for me, and hopefully yours as well.  Let us make 2010 a better year for everyone and be the change we want to be.  Happy New Year everyone!


Quasi Course of an International Marathon (QCIM)

Despite the threat that Parma (“Pepeng”) imposes upon the Metro several days of ruined runs made runners more enthusiastic about completing a long run that partially simulates the race route of the forthcoming Quezon City International Marathon (QCIM). This long run (LSD for some) started 4:30AM within the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Campus unlike the actual race that starts in front of Quezon City Hall.

runningpinoy’s Perspective

The lack of mileage for the past few weeks really made it difficult for me to get out of bed so early on a Sunday, but the idea of finally breaking the vicious cycle and finally increase my miles for the month eventually snapped me back to reality. Since the long run route passes several hundred meters away from home I decided to simply meet the other runners along the route saving me money and time for travel (at the expense of distance of course). I was supposed to meet the group near St. Peter Parish but due to early morning sluggishness I was actually able to meet them at the pedestrian overpass near Sandiganbayan.

First “Pic-stop” across Fairview Market

Entering La Mesa EcoPark

Entering La Mesa EcoPark

This way please

This way please

At that time I was unaware how big the group was—it wasn’t exclusively made of runners. Eventually as we meet other group I realized that we were also with runners from Runnex and Fairview Running Club which really made the run more interesting. We were all able to meet at La Mesa EcoPark where we all got stuck—we weren’t allowed to pass through the water processing area of La Mesa so we had to revert back to Commonwealth Ave.

As we merge with the other runners

As we merge with the other runners

Can you count how many we were?

Can you count how many we were?



Very high water level at La Mesa Dam

Very high water level at La Mesa Dam

Going back to Commonwealth Ave.

Going back to Commonwealth Ave.

Back at the hills

Back at the hills

We headed towards SM Fairview via Regalado Ave. after leaving La Mesa EcoPark. As we got near SM Fairview strong rains poured down on us but nobody was deterred. This was where many of us went our own ways, but for the runners it’s back to UP!

Running around SM Fairview compound

Running around SM Fairview compound

Did I mention that running on the road IS dangerous?

Did I mention that running on the road IS dangerous?

After some time we were back on Commonwealth Ave. (approaching Litex area)

After some time we were back on Commonwealth Ave. (approaching Litex area)

By the time we were heading back the sun was high in the sky which was peeping through the clouds. It was cloudy but at the same time it was very hot. To avoid sunburns, dehydration, or any heat-related illness we had to change routes once again and redirect the course back to UP via Ylanan Gate. From there we headed towards the Academic Oval, ending in front of the Runnex office where Arroz Caldo and Tofu and Pork were served.

Since I had less mileage than I planned I did another loop around the Academic Oval to end at 28.8K. I wanted to do more but my rumbling stomach was telling me to do otherwise and in the end, it prevailed so I joined what remained of the group for some “emergency carbo loading.”

Academic Oval is always pleasant to run onto even late in the morning

Academic Oval is always pleasant to run onto even late in the morning

I would like to thank first and foremost Sir Rene (Jazzrunner) for making this long run possible. Thank you as well to James for the banana, Running Diva for the “taho,” Runnex for the food, all the runners that I ran beside with , and all the running groups that joined us during this run (I hope I didn’t left out anyone). To the people that I met for the first time, it was nice meeting you all and hope to see you in more runs!


A Year Into Running: The Secret to an Ultramarathon

When it comes to running, the last thing on my mind was an ultramarathon—I had an idea how far a marathon is by looking at the route taken by the Milo Marathon which is “just” about 42K, but an ultra, especially 100K, was unimaginable.  In fact the first time I’ve heard of the term “ultramarathon” was when I heard the stories of the Pinoy Ultra Runners—I was like a child being told a fairy tale that I didn’t know for the first time—my eyes were probably gleaming while a dream was being shaped—a dream I didn’t realize I can accomplish before my first running anniversary.  How was it possible for a mere mortal to go from zero to an ultramarathon in less than a year?  Endurance.

Everyone has their own endurance level.  Unless you’ve won the genetic lottery a normal person should train himself to be able to endure very long distances.  Of course improving your endurance doesn’t come overnight—it is built one day at a time, like races are completed one step at a time.  The best way to achieve this endurance believe it or not is really simple—long runs.  Endurance training doesn’t really focus much on the speed but more on the time you give to your run.  Long Slow Distance (LSD) runs are best because for starters it is slow so anyone can do it at their own pace, but the key here is the long part—normally it is long distance but of course the distance you cover is also relative to how long the time you give for each run.  Like I’ve mentioned earlier the focus here is not speed so naturally the longer (time-wise) you run regardless of your speed, the longer the distance you cover.

Best Time to Start

I was very lucky when I started doing my long runs because I started during the one of the coolest months of the year, February (2009).  The later sunrises and earlier sunsets plus the much lower temperature mean more opportunity to run (although less sunlight).  I started doing my long runs (LSDs) not really to train for an ultra since I had no plans to do one then, but instead to improve my endurance to be able to run longer.  By the end of 2008 my longest run was at 16K (10mi) and I was aiming for my first half-marathon which is anything but short.  LSDs, how seemingly less effort you put into it, when done regularly would benefit everyone regardless of the distance you want to train for.  Best of all you don’t have to do it several times a week—an LSD a week is enough so better dedicate good amount of time for each.  If you train from December to February you may start as late as 7AM but in any case you should avoid running beyond 9AM outdoors.  During other months it’s better have the least exposure time with the sun so you must start as early as possible, and if the absence of sunlight isn’t an issue for you running at night also works.


Like I mentioned earlier the LSDs I had were not originally intended for ultramarathon training.  These routes were made because I really find it boring to run at the same place many times, add a sense of adventure to my runs, and seek new places.  Admittedly I wouldn’t have been encouraged to do these without my Garmin Forerunner 405 to track my time and distance (among others).  Tracking the distance you covered and time is important in doing LSDs because you need to track your progress and you may use many sites on the web to measure the distances of the routes you want to cover.  I encourage you to measure the distance of your route first so that you may approximate how long you’d take to finish it (and adjust your course accordingly).

Without further adieu here are some of my notable LSDs:

February 01, 2009: North Ave. to SM Mall of Asia via EDSA

North Ave. - SM Mall of Asia

Also known as my “MRT Tour” this one started from the Northern tip of the MRT, running along EDSA, until reaching the SM Mall of Asia compound and includes the bayside path to complete the target distance of at least 21K.

Actual distance: 21.11K.

February 08, 2009: Boni Ave. to Global City

More or less a simulation of typical 21K route within Global City that includes a pass through McKinley Hill and Heritage and finishing at Bonifacio High Street (BHS).

Actual distance: 21.70K.

March 15, 2009: Commonwealth Run

After about a month of being away from the Philippines I returned to doing LSDs and that time closer to home: Commonwealth Market to Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) returning back and ending in Regalado Ave.—the northernmost route I’ve done to date.  Who would’ve known that I covered half of the route of the Quezon City International Marathon with this route? This also served as my last run before completing my first 21K later on, the Condura Run.

Actual distance: 22.32K.

April 09, 2009: Commonwealth Ave. to BHS via Kalayaan Ave. and C5

With the excitement I got from LSDs it’s almost automatic for me to have one whenever I am not running any races.  With the thought of doing my first ultra looming I also had to gradually step up my LSDs.

Actual distance: 23.03K.

April 12, 2009: Commonwealth Ave. to MoA via Quezon Ave., España Blvd., and Roxas Blvd.

One of the most picturesque routes and easily one of my favorites, it passes through the historic city of Manila.  Don’t take this route if you don’t have your camera and is not willing to stop to enjoy the sights.

Actual distance: 27.50K.

May 03, 2009: Manila to Tagaytay

To date my longest non-race run—so long I had my marathon and ultramarathon distance debut with this run!  With about 20 days to go before my first ultramarathon race, TNF100, it’s a must that I do a serious LSD to prepare my body for the grueling 100K.  I highly recommend this route to those planning to do their first ultramarathon.

Actual distance: 56.60K.

I actually had a repeat of this route last August 02, 2009 (but was a few meters shorter at 56.00K) with more friends adding to the community of ultra-runners.  I encourage ultra-runners-to-be to take this route because of its challenge (generally uphill) and distance which is even longer than some ultramarathon races.

Metro Manila routes for my first year of running

Metro Manila routes for my first year of running

For the past year I did a lot of LSDs covering nice distances and interesting routes both within and outside Metro Manila.  Recently though I’ve yet done a 20K+ route but despite that I still benefit from the endurance I gained with these LSDs (click here to see the complete list of my runs) and was even able to complete my first marathon, still within my first year of running.  As you may notice I wasn’t as consistent with my LSDs as I’ve wanted but it still works!  What’s important is the honest dedication and effort to practice, and in the end you reap what you sow.  You may not be planning for an ultramarathon but this “secret” is proven to help anyone willing to improve themselves.  As you can see training need not be imposing—all you need are some sense of adventure, an open mind, and a willing body.  Better yet grab along some crazy buddies with you to share the fun!  Just don’t forget to bring along your common sense on your exploit!

See you on the road, and have a safe run!


Yet Another 56K Ultra Weekend: Manila To Tagaytay Sequel (Continued)

Special thanks to Dr. Christopher “Ultra Doc T” Montaos, for the pictures

Part 2: Dasmariñas to TagayTay from a Different Perspective

Around 6:00AM somewhere between KM 31 and 32 the KM 0 group was joined by “fresh legs” for the journey to Tagaytay.  This was the real challenge to the runabout as the elevation and gradient begins to rise.

More picture-taking before heading off

Doing some last minute routines*

6:30AM off we go for Tagaytay (clustered by pace)

Doc T capturing the middle of the action

About 10K later… it does get a little boring. By this time it was just Doc T, McCoy, and I in our group.

Together with McCoy… I can almost smell Tagaytay from here (around Km 45)

Snoozed a little…

The long rising road to Tagaytay

More roads… just before Km 50 (are we there yet?)

Then came the laborious counting down of the kilometers, one at a time, surely but surely we’d get there.  By about Km 53 we we’re finally greeted by a welcoming sign…

Finally! (Photo from my previous pass through here)

Finally just before noon our 56K ultra adventure ended.  Same route for me, but with different company.  It may not have been a very fast runabout but it managed to give birth to two new ultra-runners Doc T and McCoy.  Later on I found out that they were actually the only two “newbies” that completed the entire 56K journey—I was expecting that more Km 0 runners completed it as well (as they were mostly ahead of us) and knowing this fact made me more proud of what these guys did.

Thanks Doc T for this great souvenir photo!

Doing an ultra is not an easy task and I’m glad that we who already had experience with it got a chance to share the experience.  Congratulations Doc T and McCoy for finishing your first ultra!   I’m proud to be with your company and am honored to have shared the experience of your first marathon distance, and later your first ultramarathon runabout.   It may not be an official race but now you’re both officially ultra-runners!  Congratulations as well to the “fresh legs” whom all completed their 20K++ runabout!  Talk about a bunch of dedicated runners!

Doc T and I arriving at Doc Eire’s place*

The end of an ultra-runabout… thank you Doc Eire for being the generous host for the end of this adventure (and the tasty champorado)

The toll of running outside—tan lines and sun burn!*

Together with some of the “fresh legs”*

* Courtesy of Carina “The Flying Boar”

Calorie-wise I noticed that I took in a lot more fluids and food during this runabout than my previous one. Aside from this time being more humid than the previous, it seems that the longer you run (time-wise) the more calories you burn (as expected) thus wanting more food. It was good that we had support vehicles for this trip (thanks to James and Doc Art) so we didn’t have to haul our supplies ourselves and it’s a good fallback for those who can’t continue the run.

As for my GF405 I knew it wouldn’t last the journey with GPS on so I stopped tracking from Dasmariñas (since the kilometer markers were pretty accurate anyway) so I still had batteries to spare when we got to Tagaytay—a first!

It was a long and difficult weekend but it was fun and very much worthwhile. New ultra-runners were born and new bonds were formed. Until our next adventures guys!

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