Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Training Log - March 2009

(Click on image to enlarge view)

For the month of March 2009 I have the following accomplished figures to update to my Training Log;

Distance = 336.04 km
Duration = 43.7766 hours
Average Speed = 7.68 km / hr
Average Pace = 7.82 mins / km
Calories Burn = 29,214 kcal

Total distance covered since April 27, 2007 = 5,614.69 km

Monday, March 30, 2009

Race Walking - Hip Drills

“If racewalking is not popular in the Philippines it’s your job to make it so! By walking in the local running races you are a visible ambassador of racewalking. Don’t be afraid to be vocal” exerts from an email to Amado Castro by DAVE McGOVERN a globe-trotting racewalking coach and a member of the US National Racewalk Team with a master’s degree in sport science from the United States Sports Academy. For his complete details visit his website http://www.racewalking.org

To follow Dave’s advice I thought of presenting a series of video drills that would guide interested individual to take up the sport. Having thought of the above, it was then my task to tap a resource person who should be well knowledgeable on Race Walking. Coach SATURINO A. SALAZAR is one of the only two Filipino IAAF Level 4 coaches (the other being Coach Ferdinand Espejo). Furthermore, Coach Salazar is a bronze medallist in the 16th SEA Games in Jakarta Indonesia for 50km Race Walking. Coach Salazar is as well dedicated to the sport offering his knowledge and experience to beginners so should you be interested to learn systematically do not hesitate to approach him at Ultra Oval or you could contact me and I can provide you his mobile number.

For us to proceed, we need first to define what is Race Walking;

- Race walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to human eye) loss of contact occurs.

- The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e., not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until in the vertical upright position.

Race Walking Demo

Using your legs properly get you moving, but to go really fast you must learn to use your hips correctly. The hips are the body’s primary source of locomotion. When we rotate the hips forward, the swinging leg is pulled off the ground. As we repeatedly pivot the hips forward, they act as the body’s motor, propelling it forward one step at a time. Knowing then the importance of the proper hip motion, it is but of utmost importance that we remember the following drills to develop the flexibility, elasticity and increase range of motion.

I herewith present 7 drills that would get your hips in the proper motion;
Drill No. 1
Drill No. 2
Drill No. 3
Drill No. 4a
Drill No. 4b
Drill No. 5
Drill No. 6
Drill No.7

With the lack of proper hip motion immediate consequence is it slows a walker down;
Wrong Hip Motion

With proper hip motion by actively swinging the hip forward lengthens the stride from the top of the legs while increasing stride length behind the body.
Proper Hip Motion

Lastly, improving technique takes more than just knowing what to do. Walkers must develop and maintain flexibility to gain the full benefit of hip motion.

Again, to quote Dave McGovern's email "By the way, there were three walkers from the Philippines at the 2001 World Cup Racewalking in Turino, so you're not alone!" I recently found out that two of the three Dave McGovern was refering to are personally known to me MICHAEL EMBUEDO and SATURNIO SALAZAR small world!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tagaytay Highlands - The Brokeback Mountain Run

For so many years now whenever we go to Tagaytay Highlands for a weekend rest, the family has devoted most of its free time either for a golf game, bowling games, a leisure swim with the grandchildren or just doing nothing. However, since October of 2008, I started to incorporate running in my own schedule starting from a simple evening run to lung bursting descent and ascent in the mountain between the highlands and the midlands and traversing the road leading to the Batino exit gate. This however was prior to my angioplasty last January and that all of my previous runs were alone and without a running buddy.

This weekend I was able to convince my son Dax and wife Pamela to join me in the run giving them an alibi that I need a back-up runner particularly this will be my first killer run after the angioplasty. I guess they did not have any option but to join me.

Starting from the Woodridge compound which is our 0 km the altitude is 1945 ft and the first 400 meters run is a stiff 108 ft ascent to the highest point of the route which is 2050ft above sea level located near the Highlands Spa. From thereon it was a continuous 3.5km of descent to an altitude of 850ft which is a descent of 1200ft. Going down the mountain is not as easy as you might expect it would be as you need put on your brakes so that your weight does not propel you downwards whereby you need to maintain almost a 140 degree angle with the road to counter the pull of gravity.

Reaching the bottom of the mountain slope we proceeded to the Batino gate and back to the foot of the mountain which is a run on a rolling hill terrain with a plus and minus 50 feet of descent and ascent for a distance of 2.5km.

Then the killer run starts from km 6.5 all the way to the gate between Highlands and Midlands for a distance 2.2km of a very stiff ascent of 800 ft to altitude 1650ft. I use to do this run easily last year, but, found the same a big challenge this time after the angioplasty. The total distance was 8.64km of 1200ft descent and 800ft ascent for a time of 01h14m10s.

My daughter-in-law Pamela was strong for I could barely match her pace. She did finish the run and stayed with me. As for dear son Dax, after 2km on the run he called it quits and designated himself driver to pick-up me and Pam at the finish line. A great Sunday run with the family, a “Brokeback Mountain Run”.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Food As Medicine

My sister Malou Tinsay who is residing in Davao City recently sent me an email and with it was a slide presentation on the subject "FOOD AS MEDICINE". I find the same very interesting in as much it opened up my eyes on the simplicity and significance of FOOD in its medicinal value.

In today's modern world we tend to forget that food in its simplified form is not only a nutrient but is a medicine in itself.

Please go play the slide show presentation by clicking on the appropriate button. There are 19 slides all in all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Official - The Heat Is On

With the advent of April, we shall again experience a series of long holidays. April 4,5,6,9,10,11, and 12, seven (7) golden days of no office work and time for relaxation and vacation with the family.

For runners this will also be an excellent opportunity to take active run/walk on the beach, mountain areas, trails, remote villages, resorts or just even within the city limits should there be no out of town plan in the pipeline. The common denominator wherever we might be is the “Heat of Summer is ON” and comes along the “High Humidity” associated with it which we shall be experiencing during these forthcoming days.

With the expected temperature rise, an early morning run at 5-7am will be from 27-30 degrees C, an early evening run at 6-8pm will be from 30-32 degrees C and a late evening run at 8-10pm will be from 28-30 degrees C. A mid-day temperature of 33-35 degrees C should not even be considered unless you have an ultramarathon event entered which definitely you will have an unvoidable daytime run. My best wishes to the participants of the Bataan 102 Ultramarathon scheduled on April 5,2009.

Livestrong.com has given four (4) ways for runners to stay cool.

1. Dress For Success – No cottons. Use synthetic fabrics of latest technology to help pull sweat away from skin surface, thus cooling the body.

2. Time Your Runs Wisely – depending on where you are, you may have to alter your training schedule significantly to ensure that you are not training in the heat. You may be better of waking up early before the sun rises up or running late at night . Another option is to plan your route along shaded paths (like UP Diliman) or set a route where you could leave bottled water at regularly spaced interval (like Ultra Oval).

3. Drink Often – staying cool means to take plenty of fluid with you. Often runners underestimate the heat and find themselves feeling dehydrated midway into their runs. Bring a hydration bottle or a hydration backpack, while it may add extra weight it is a small price to pay for suffering heat related illness during workout.

4. Cross Train – when heat is too much for you to take and risk of engaging in the heat far outweighs the benefit of a 5-10K run, then “cross training” is an excellent option to get a great workout and beat the heat. Swimming is an excellent way to give your legs a break from impact of running and beat the heat. Cross train on a sport and/or activity that you will also find enjoyment.

Jeff Galloway on an article for Active.com gave the following tips for running workouts during summer heat;

1. Run before the sun gets above the horizon.
2. If you must run when the sun is up, pick a shady course.
3. Run during the evening and night.
4. Have an indoor facility available.
5. Don’t wear a hat! You lose most of your body heat through the top of your head. Covering the head will cause a quicker internal build-up of heat.
6. Wear light clothing, but not cotton.
7. Pour water over your head.
8. Do your short runs in instalments.
9. Take a pool break or a shower chill-down.
10. Sun screen- a mixed review.
11. Drink six to eight ounces of a sport drink

Symptoms of Heat Diseases:-

- Intense heat build-up in the head
- General overheating of the body
- Significant headache
- Significant nausea
- General Confusion and loss of concentration
- Loss of muscle control
- Excessive sweating and then cessation of sweating
- Clammy skin
- Excessive rapid breathing
- Muscle cramps
- Feeling faint
- Unusual heart beat or rhythm

Who are with the Risk Factors;

- If you have viral or bacterial infection
- If you suffer from dehydration (especially due to alcohol)
- If you are overweight
- If you have severe sunburn
- If you lack of heat training
- If you exercise more than what you are used to
- If you experienced heat disease in the past
- If you if experienced two or more nights of extreme sleep deprivation
- If you have certain medical conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, extreme stress, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, smoking or general lack of fitness.

We want to enjoy our summer and continue with our running/walk training and knowing the preventive measures far outweigh the medical methods and consequences we will be faced should we fall victim to our own unsafe running practices.

Stay Cool and Run Cool this summer.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rx Runner's "Hangover","Postpartum" and "Depression"

For the past two months a great majority of the runners in Metro Manila had been busy in their own preparation for the Condura Run09 either as individuals or as a group. There have been training plans for the 21K, Long Slow Distance (LSD) runs to built up stamina and even Carbo Loading Party which has kept so many of us focused and with a definite purpose and plan until March 22, 2009. But now that everything is all over we need to reassess matters and set new goals and plans, otherwise, we shall easily fall with a sickness called “runner’s hangover”, “ runner’s postpartum” and/or a “runner’s depression”.

What is the prescription to avoid these pitfalls? We need to have new goals, new plans and the execution of these goals and plans either as a group or individual. A "support group" will be highly advantageous rather than being alone. For it is only with new objectives that our running/walking efforts can fuel and sustain our drive to attain each and everyone’s ultimate goal of good health either in the aesthetic body form and weight, controlled sugar, cardio health or overall health condition. For the goals and plans are not necessarily to land a podium finish as its only an added reward, but, rather for motivation and health reasons.

Monday 23Mar09, I have gone back to my usual early morning speed race walk training at the Ultra Ovals with an immediate goal set at “AIRSPEED” 10K organized by Coach Rio to be held at the Mall of Asia grounds on April 5, 2009. Another immediate goal is the “Greenfield City Run” 21K for April 19, 2009. However, I still have to registered although I know that this will be a good event and what is holding me now is the travel time from Metro Manila to Santa Rosa Laguna.

For my long term goal, I have the 15K Riverside California USATF Masters Race Walking scheduled for May 17, 2009 and the Los Angeles Marathon (Race Walking Division) scheduled on May 25, 2009 both of which I have already registered.

Keep those legs moving, set new goals and plan of action. Plan the Run and Run the Plan. See you on the road!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Condura Run09 - Skwalker on Skyway Audit Report

What makes CONDURA RUN differ from other running events that we have locally in the Philippines? Is the difference on the plus side? What did the sponsors and organizers promised? Where they able to deliver?

The Event is an “advocacy” (key word) by the Concepcion family, Ton Concepcion the President of Condura and Patrick Concepcion Vice President for Services Concepcion Industries. An event created by runners for runners inspired by international marathon.There were 10 promises that the organizers openly made for the event and I will to list them item for item so that we all could provide our assessment;

1. The Route
This is one of the best if not the very best route. Katipunan overpass and making use of the Skyway passing to Buendia. The organizer did their very best that the route be free from vehicular traffic which I would say was 95% fulfilled. The 5% is attributed to reckless driver who still insist to do their thing even with traffic marshals manning their post.

2. 4 Races : 1 Event
A great come-on to all runners of different level of skills. Maybe next year we could expect a full marathon distance?

3. Fun Events
Great costumes and attires for those that participated. I was just too involved in the 21K that I think most of those who joined entered the lower distance category.

4. The Condura Expo
I did not personally participated/visited the booths but they where there. I liked when all the delivery trucks of Condura was positioned at the gathering area and their headlights were switched on. Great theatrical effect.

5. Cool Giveaways and Raffles
There were a lot and the distribution was not a hassle to the runners which was great. Personally, I have used the Nike 10% discount three times so that was great and the best thing again it was facilitated as the Nike sore without too much ado.

6. Feel like an Olympian for a day
The crowd and the atmosphere was just perfect and the organizers were able to maintain orderliness in the starting/finish chutes. Minor thing to mention is that maybe the organizers were as well overwhelmed by the great number of participants on each race event that they were a little bit conservative in space provided at the starting chute, however, they kept on expanding the area as they see that congestion was being experienced. As for the finishing line, very well organized and the handling of giveaways as you come-in was perfect.

7. Run with the Stars
I did see a handful of “stars” as you might say, but, for me the “STARS” in capital letters for the event were the participants. The different sectors of the running community that supported the event and individuals were overwhelming. You could easily feel the positive energy at the starting line as well as the finishing line.

8. The Champions Circle
The elite runners not only were motivated by the prizes, but, I think they want the name Condura Run in their collections of trophies. What with all the excitement the run has generated.

9. Finishers Medals for Half Marathon Finishers
For ordinary runners the finishers medal for the 21K and certificates for all the other race events where a thing that ordinal people remember and keep for a long time.

10 Running for the Whale SharksGreat “cause” to run. With the first year for “Tubbataha Reef” and the second year for the “Whale Shark” what would the 3rd year be?

The Condura Run although only on its 2nd year has definite carved a name in the Running Events in the country. The organizers say they are the “premier running event”, I would say that if they are not there yet definitely they are going that way no questions asked! Lastly, maybe it is about time to expand the horizon, a full marathon for 2010! What do you say Mr. Ton and Patrick Concepcion? Congratulations to all those who were in one way or another involved in bringing this great event for the running community.

My personal audit to myself, I am now a full pledge “SKYWALKER” having completed the 21K with a time of 02h40m30s a target goal fulfilled which was set after my simulated Condura Run as posted on my previous blog. To CHRISTIAN DALIDA thank you for joining me in walking the sky. To all finishers, I hope you got fulfilment in your own individual run. As they say, life goes on and let us prepare for the next event!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Check List - "Condura Run 09"

With 3 days more before the much awaited Condura Run 09 “Skyway Run For The Whale Sharks” training period for the event is at end and time to taper on physical activities and concentrate on carbo loading till Sunday. From today, will also be the best time to check and double check our equipments to be used during the race may we be running the 21K or any distance at that.

Running Shoes:
Your running shoes are perhaps the most critical piece of equipment on the race day it can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. If your running shoes are of poor quality or do not fit properly then the implication can be a result of either blisters or common running injuries.

You should ensure for a shoe that offers comfort and support. Your running shoe should also be light enough for your needs. There are no hard and fast rules as to the best type of shoe because it depends from athlete to athlete. Cardinal rule is never to use a brand new shoes on a race day make sure whatever running shoes you have decided to use it has passed its break-in stage.

Apart from having a fitting running shoes, your socks are the main piece of equipment that is going to stop you from developing blisters. The most common reason for getting blisters is from wearing cotton socks. The reason for this is that cotton socks keep moisture close to your skin. It is this wet skin that then is most prone to blisters due to the additional friction that is built up. The ideal way to prevent this blistering from occurring is to use acrylic fibre socks that wick the sweat and moisture away from your feet. The reason being is that your skin develops less friction when it is dry.

The best clothing to wear is both light-weight, loose and does not rub. The best on the market are either light nylon, Coolmax or Polypro. Avoid cotton clothing because not only does it stay wet but is also prone to cause excessive rubbing and skin rash.

No matter just how good your clothing is, it is inevitable that at somestage you will experience either chaffing or blistering during the race. Assuming you have put time in training for the race, you should have by now known the areas that continuously chaff and blister, such as under your arms or your inner thighs. Once you know which areas regularly chaff then you can apply some cream to these parts. Test to find which creams work best for you. The best creams on the market are Vaseline, Runners Lube and Body Glide. If you already have chaffing, the diaper rash ointment A+D Ointment works wonders, as it soothes burning and promotes rapid healing.

So as not to forget anything, an ideal CHECKLIST would have the following;

Race shoes
Race clothing . shorts, singlet, underwear, socks
Bib/race number
Sun Glass
Sun cream
Safety pins
Toilet paper
Sports drinks
Foods . gels, raisons, power bars etc.

My best wishes to all! See you at the starting line on Sunday. Skyway here we are.....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Audit Report - "Run For Their Lives!"

In a Quality Management System (QMS) an integral part of the system is an internal/external quality audit report wherein findings either as an observations or non-conformity are issue to audited party for the continued improvement of the system in place. In this post I would like to log a race walkers audit findings for the 10K “Run For Their Lives!” as hosted by Rotary Club of Makati West which was held today March 15, 2009 at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

I arrived at the venue at 5:30am there were already a lot of participants and gallery at hand. I tried to look for familiar faces and saw that the mobile “donate a shoe” booth of Bald Runner was already positioned prominently about 100 meters from the starting line. Ghie, the daughter of Major Espejo was manning the station. Afterwards, met Major Espejo whom I have not seen for a about a week, which is quite a long time considering I use to see him daily a month before. Coach Salazar was also at the starting area who was awaiting the arrival of Jonie to give her bib and registration.

The first and immediate impression you will have of the race is that this is definitely a “well funded” race event. What with Rotary Club Makati West as its sponsor definitely there will be a lot of donors particularly of a very worthy cause the “Gift Of Life Project” that saves lives of children born with congenital heart defects. A touching moment was the “ceremonial run” of children beneficiaries of the program. When I saw the faces of the children, I told myself whatever be my audit findings of the race itself I would like already to congratulate Rotary Club of Makati West for the continued success of this project which they have now link to a “Charity Run”.

The starting area, ushers and marshals, sound system, mc, timing system, starting chute were all perfect and ideal. Only a minor comment is when a representative from Extribe or Rotary (I am not sure exactly) initially mentioned that the event is a non-competitive event and that participants should take matters easily. However, this was later corrected by the same speaker that the event is a competitive run with prizes at stake and what he meant was run safely. This is a very minor “observation” as any race event is a competitive event, otherwise, you do not call it a race.

Countdown and starting gun was on norms. Having decided again to do a runners race event by race walking mode, I would like to shift now to my audit findings on the runners rather than the race event (except km 9 remarks)

0 Kilometres = positioned myself at the near end of the starting chute to give way to runners.

1 Kilometres = noticed “occasional” and “beginner” runners all out. As a race walker this part of the race is difficult as you feel that you are being left behind by all.

2 Kilometres= as a race walker you now have warmed up and begin to pick up pace at the same time this is where you start to see “non-runners” start to lose ground and overwhelmed by their initial pace.

3 Kilometres= started to gain ground with other “casual runners”. At this part of the race (prior entry to Libingan ng mga Bayani) experienced to compete road access with insistent vehicles/traffic.

4 Kilometres= I was joined at this stage by a certain Rudy (I hope I got the name correctly) whom I met on my previous runs at Bonifacio high street and same joined me on race walk mode.

5 Kilometres= at the McKinley Hills with the down slope contour lost ground to runners as race walkers have difficulty on down slopes.

6 Kilometres= was fascinated to see that there was a “drum team” with majorettes to push runners to continue and give their best. This was a welcome sight a very minute scale of road entertainment.

7 Kilometres= this is the strength of race walker against casual runners as it was mostly uphill climb and at this stage Rudy and I overtook 23 runners.

8 Kilometres= course stabled to flat again and one thirds of those we overtook earlier started to reverse ground again.

9 Kilometres= this was the biggest surprise of the race and my only major non-conformity issued to the race organizers (Extribe) the distance from 8 to 9 kilometers was only about 450 meters no more than 500 meters the most. I later called the attention of an organizer’s representative at the finish line. Maybe the marker was not adjusted as the route was adjusted just prior to the race, omitting the Bayani Road section.

10 Kilometres= this is where the other one third of those we earlier overtook also gained grounds on race walking. I crossed the finish line with a time of 01h09m31s for an average speed of 8.63km/hr and pace of 6.95min/km. Safely, I could say that there were more than 50 runners at my back.

Crossing the finish line was smooth and hassle free with orderly time keeper and the best was just before you exit you are given a FINISHERS MEDAL. See below;

There were many things going on after the race, a lot Binibining Pilipinas beauties floating around and a number of give-aways, hydration and even food. My Congratulations to Rotary Club of Makati West for a great and worthy race event and hope you continue the same next year. To the organizers (Extribe), congratulations as well for well managed race event other than 8-9 distance marker.

Lastly I do also wish to share photos of the distribution of “Donated Shoes” to Bald Runner (Gen.Jovie Narcise) by different individual and groups. I wish also to call those who have “not so old shoes” or “retired shoes” to donate the same to the advocacy of Bald Runner.

In this running community, there are many individuals/groups that I have met which possesses big hearts to run as well as big hearts for their charity/service work in the community. I shall continue to walk in your race steps guys!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kamote Juice - care for some?

Yesterday 12Mar09 was the last session for the 1st batch of Takbo.ph “Health and Nutrition Seminar” held at the Paseo Parkview Suites in Makati City.

Again, I shall not touch on the subject matters that were taken up during the session. I do not like to pre-empt or influence whatever benefits and/or views the participants for the 2nd batch of the same seminar will personally have. The 2nd batch will be held on the same venue on 19th and 26th March 2009. Rather, I would like to share my practical application of what interested me a lot during our dinner last night.

As with the 1st session a light dinner was provided for free during the seminar. For the 2nd session some of what I could remember that was served were unpolished steamed rice, vegi-meat, some pasta, a “buko sana” instead of a buko salad, others that I could not remember at this time and the subject of this post which is the “KAMOTE JUICE.”

Wanting to put what I’ve learned into practise, I today bought two (2) bundles of “talbos ng kamote” costing P5.00/bundle and ¼ kilo of Kalamansi costing P25.00 for a total cost of P30.00

Step 1- wash the “talbos ng kamote” and remove the leaves from the stem.
Step 2- place 2 liters of water on pot and dip the Kamote leaves and allow to boil for 15-20 minutes.

Step 3- while boiling the kamote leaves, extract the juice from the kalamansi and place in a clean glass.
Step 4 – remove the kamote leaves and strain the kamote juice to a clean pitcher. Do not throw away the kamote leaves as you can eat the same with your meal. “NO WASTAGE” and lots of fiber.

Step 5 – Mix the kalamansi extract with the kamote juice and immediately the liquid turns into violet reddish color from a blackish color. Experience first-hand the wonders of oxidation.

Step 6 – Add sugar/artificial sugar to taste and allow to cool.
Step 7 – served with ice on a presentable goblet or the like.

For my tasters, I served the drink to my office staffs who gave their thumbs up for taste and double thumbs up for the appearance. Now I can say at least I got to make my very own kamote juice, very tasty and nutritious at that. I am just wondering if it gives the same gas content as an ordinary kamote?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Carbo Loading - "to be or not to be"

With the Condura Run 09 getting nearer each day, a great number of the running community are at present at their final stage of physical preparation for the 21K run each with their own individual goals to conquer.

As the last week of preparation approaches, a subject matter that is in the air is “Should I Carbo Load before the event? Is carbo loading just a myth? Will eating more carbohydrates the day before the event help my endurance?

In the website “It’s About.com” a good write-up on the issue has been written which I would like to share herewith-

Answer: The expert physical panel at the 2005 Marathon Directors College said carbohydrate loading has been dropped by most serious marathoners. You should eat a normal diet with 60-70% carbohydrates the week before the marathon, but do not increase your total calories.

The Old Carbo-Loading Theory
The older regimen had endurance athletes go on low carb diet for 3 days, followed by a 70% carb diet for 3 days. This supposedly increased the glycogen in the muscles. However, it was found that eating a moderate 50% carb diet followed by 3 days of a 70% carb diet increased the glycogen just as much. And simply staying on a 50% carb diet all week still increased the glycogen, although not as much. There was NO performance difference between any of these groups.

Dangers of Carbo-Loading Pasta Party
The worst thing you can do for your marathon comfort is to load up huge plates of pasta and salad and high-fat salad dressing the night before the marathon. As one expert commented, “Constipation is unknown among marathon participants.” You don’t want the extra weight in your digestive tract the next morning. You don’t want any roughage, such as from the salad. You don’t want the extra weight, period. If you have been eating a balanced diet the week before the marathon, you have already loaded your muscles with glycogen.

How to Eat the Week Before the Marathon
As you taper your activity in the week before the marathon, you should eat a balanced diet with 60-60% carbohydrates and not overeat or under eat. If you have been on weight loss diet, increase your calories to match your basal metabolic rate.

Two Days Before the Marathon
If you want a traditional pasta party, the time to do it is 2 nights before the marathon. Do not overeat. Reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption. Drink plenty of water. A giant bowl of pasta and a huge salad with lots of roughage are not recommended – you need moderation.

One Day Before the Marathon
Eliminate any high fiber foods and foods that cause gas, such as beans, broccoli, bran cereals, etc. If you are lactose intolerant, eliminate milk products. If spicy foods speed up your gut, eliminate them. Stick with low-residue foods and eat only enough to satisfy your basal metabolism. Eliminate alcohol and reduce caffeine to the bare minimum.

Morning of the Marathon
Many marathoners can’t eat anything before the starting gun. Whatever you choose for breakfast should be bland and high in carbohydrates and easy to digest. If you must have some coffee, have as little as possible. Drink a large glass of water 1-2 hours before the start and have nothing more to drink until the starting gun. That starts you off well-hydrated but gives you enough time to eliminate any extra.

The above article was by WENDY BUMGARDNER November 13, 2008. I find the same full of wisdom. Bottom line –Yes Carbo Load, but, do it correctly.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Mama Mia, Mama Mia

Wikipedia in its website defines a MOTHER as “a biological and/or social female parent of an offspring. Because of the complexity and differences of the social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to define a mother in a universally accepted definition.”

March is the month that my mother was born. I am blessed not only is she well and alive to this day but am thankful to the Lord for all the things she has done to me and my brothers and sisters. She has never stopped to be a mother to us throughout all these years. No matter how old we already are, she still has the same concern and love as when we were just newly born ages ago. Only death in this life will stop her to be a mother to us.

Born and named Lea Bosch Lacson in Murcia Negros Occidental on March 22, 1929 to Judge Serafin Villanueva Lacson (+)and Caridad Bosch(+). Her siblings were Miguel(+) Consuelo(+)Serafin Jr.(+) Milagros(+) Gloria and Charito both still alive and now residing at the USA.

My mother completed her studies at La Consolacion College in Bacolod City and on April 30, 1949 married my father Amado Castro Sr. of San Carlos Pangasinan. They had seven children namely, Ricardito(+), Amado Jr., Mike, Malou, Jorge, Christopher and Marili.

On March 15, 1980 my father Amado Sr. died of heart ailment. On March 22, 1983 my mother remarried to Keith Whelan an Australian national. They are now living in Sydney Australia and with God’s blessing both of them are healthy and mobile considering they are in their 80’s.

This coming May 2009, I and my family with my mother and step-father will spend our vacation at Moreno Valley California which will be hosted by my daughter Dawn and her husband.

If I will define a mother in one word its none other than “LOVE”, also a word that is challenging to define but I can safety say all of you out there will do agree that your mother can only be equated to the word LOVE.

Happy 80th Birthday Mommy! We love you. Mama mia, mama mia!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"SkyWalker" - Simulated 21Km Condura Run

The Condura Run 09 – “Skyway Run For the Whale Shark” is just a fortnight away. To be able to benchmark my race walk performance for the said event, I decided to have a simulated 21 km distance run today starting at the Fort Bonifacio High Street all the way to Bayani Road and turning back after reaching Heritage Park thence to McKinley Hill complex and back to High Street then to International School and back for a last lap at the High Street circle. This was a perfect 22.3km run with the ups, downs, twist and turn to put pressure and challenge to the distance.

Surprisingly, it was a bit cool at 26C when I started at 4:45am considering it is already summer time. There were already a number of runners on the road doing their own weekend run and when I was just entering McKinley Hills I met the group of Takbo.ph with Jinoe and Queenie (they were quite a number) whom I assume were also doing their own preparation for the Condura Run 09.

By 7:00am the sun was already high and temperature reading has already risen to 30C. What a sudden change of weather! I was wondering then what would be the running condition on the actual race day considering the start of the race will only be at 5:30am (I hope they consider moving the starting time 30 minutes earlier) and for sure I will be on the road by 8:00am. I just hope that it would be cloudy/overcast that day.

I completed in a race walk style the distance of 22.3 km in 2hrs54m22s for an average speed of 7.67km/hr and a pace of 7.82min/km. It was not the figures that I was hoping for maybe because of the hills that I have to cover in the route as well as the need for hydration which was practically none during the whole 22.3km.

Hopefully, I should be able to make the Condura Run in 2hrs40min00s. Then the skyway run will be conquered by a “skywalker”.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Ang Malunggay" - take a bow

When takbo.ph posted in their website that they shall be conducting a Health and Nutrition Seminar I signed up with no hesitation to gain whatever knowledge that I could learn to enhance the physical strength and endurance in my race walking/running passion. The resource speaker for the seminar was BLECENDA MIRANDA-VARONA DrPH, MPH, RND.

The speaker touched on various subject matters with respect to health and nutrition and interrelation to running. I will not touched on the specifics of each topic, however, I wish to share one subject matter that has gotten much of my attention for the night which was the “MALUNGGAY” known scientifically as Moringa oleifera Lamk. I just could not believe that this plant that I do not care much of has great wonders and value.

One hundred grams or 1 cup of cooked malunggay leaves contain 3.1 g. protein, 0.6 g. fiber, 96 mg calcium, 29 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 2,820 mg ß-carotene, 0.07 mg thiamin, 0.14 mg riboflavin, 1.1 mg niacin, and 53 mg ascorbic acid or vitamin C. The antioxidant activity of malunggay is about 71%, with µ-tocopherol (vitamin E) equivalent of 45.

Malunggay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A and B, and minerals such as calcium and iron. It is even an excellent source of protein, being higher than the amino acid pattern of Food and Agriculture Organization-reference protein, yet contains very low fat and carbohydrates. The leaves are incomparable as a source of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, often the natural minerals humans lack.

But my basic knowledge and application of Malunggay is limited to vegetable add-on with chicken as tinola, or with fish and other vegetables, mongo soup dishes, and blanched as salads.

The speaker promised to cook on our next meeting a pancake with malunggay this should be interesting.

Congratulations to Jinoe and the staff of Takbo.ph for this Health and Nutrition seminar who conceptualized and offered this seminar of two sessions for free to the running community. Carbo loading will be tackled in the next session and should be of great interest to all runners.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Race Walk?

For about eight months now I shifted my passion in running to RACE WALKING so much so that people have been asking me the question, Why Race walk? What better answer to provide than quoting herewith an article written by DAVE McGOVERN who is a member of the U.S. National Racewalking Team and the author of The Complete Guide to Racewalking and The Complete Guide to Marathon Walking. 

RacWalk! Magazine Coach's Corner Spring 2005: Why Racewalk?

Racewalking has a long and varied history, both as a sport and as a recreational activity. Of course the same could be said for cliff diving, elephant polo and competitive hot-dog eating, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that you engage in any those pursuits. I would, however, suggest you give racewalking a try, especially if you’re already walking for fitness. Why? Because racewalking can give you a much better workout than "regular" walking. Not exactly fast walking, and certainly not just slow running, racewalking offers some of the best elements of both pursuits.

Like running, racewalking can give you a great heart-pounding cardiovascular workout—probably much better than you could ever hope to achieve through regular walking. Don’t get me wrong, walking is a great calorie burning exercise that almost anyone can do. But to burn a lot of calories, you need to walk for a long time. (And who has a lot of time to exercise?!) The low intensity of regular walking makes it a great activity for beginning exercisers, but not for people who are looking for a higher-intensity cardio workout. It’s almost impossible for most walkers to get their heart rates up beyond a very light aerobic effort no matter how hard they pump their arms and stomp their feet. Walking is a terrific way to go long distances at a relatively pedestrian pace, but the technique puts a real damper on your high-end speed. If you’ve ever tried to fitness walk really fast you know what I’m talking about. You’ve probably discovered that normal walking technique breaks down and becomes pretty awkward once you get beyond about a 12-minute mile pace. In fact, most people can’t walk any faster than that 12-minute mile pace no matter how hard they try.

Racewalking removes the technique barrier and allows you to spin your wheels much faster. With racewalking you can achieve much higher heart rates and burn many more calories per hour than you can with regular walking. In fact, racewalkers burn as many calories as runners, and achieve comparable working heart rates.Where racewalking differs from running is in the greatly reduced risk of injury. Because the rules of the sport require that racewalkers keep one foot on the ground at all times, they impact the ground with 1/3 the force of runners who leap into the air with each stride. Since racewalkers stay so low to the ground, they’re much less likely to suffer the high-impact injuries so common in other fitness activities.

The other rule to racewalking says that walkers must keep their knees straight from the moment the heel of the advancing leg hits the ground until that leg passes directly under the body. That may sound a little strange, but the straight leg not only provides the leverage that propels racewalkers forward so quickly, it also keeps the knee safe from many of the injuries that befall so many runners.

To get an idea of what racewalking feels like, simply stand in place with your feet together and your arms held by your sides with the elbows bent at 90 degrees. Now pump your knees forward and back while keeping your weight on your heels and your feet flat on the ground. Each time you pull your knee back, your leg will straighten under your body just as it will when you’re racewalking. Now all you need to do is add some stride length by stepping forward a bit each time you pump your knee forward. Just be sure to land on your heels. If you land too flat-footed your knees will probably bend when your foot hits the ground. Concentrate on taking short, quick steps rather than long, slow strides. If you do that, you’ll have an easier time keeping your knees straight, and you’ll expend much less energy. As you get stronger, your stride should get longer. Try to make sure the extra stride length is behind your body; keep it short in front.

Most people can pick up the technique the way I just outlined it, but if you feel that you’re not getting the hang of the straight knee, you may have to try "Frankenstein walking" until you get your knees sorted out.

Start out by walking on your heels with your toes held up. Take short steps and maintain good posture. (Full disclosure: You will look like a dork.) After you get the hang of that, allow your foot to flatten out as your body passes over it, but keep your legs stiff. Continue landing on the heels, and keep your weight on your heels throughout the stride. Now just take quicker and quicker steps. Your knees will start to bend as you step forward, but that’s OK. Just make sure you keep landing on your heels so the knee stays straight. [Include photo of Frankenstein walk. I will send a .jpg.] Once you’ve got the feel of Frankenstein walking with straight knees, you can gradually make it feel more like racewalking by bending the advancing knee more and more as it drives forward.

Doing either the knee pumps or the Frankenstein walk on a very gradual (3 to 5 percent) hill will make it even easier to pick up the technique. And once you have it, you can get faster by pumping your arms and driving your knees more vigorously to give yourself a longer, more powerful stride.

Once you’ve mastered the technique, you can move beyond using racewalking to pump up your walking workouts. Not just a great form of exercise, racewalking is also a competitive sport that has been in the Olympics since 1908. Elite racewalkers can walk a 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) race in less than 20 minutes and a 26.2-mile marathon in just over 3 hours. It may take a while for you to get up to those speeds, but if you’re ready to mix it up with some local racewalkers, many running races include competitive walk divisions.

To find out about races in your area, call your local running store or running club. To find out more about racewalking go to http://www.racewalking.org/, or to find other racewalkers in your area, go to http://racewalking.org/contacts.htm.

I wish to share my communication with Dave McGovern sometime in February 20, 2009;

Dave - In my part of the world (Philippines) Race Walking is not that popular so much so that I have to join 15k and 21K weekend running races to motivate myself of crowd/race scenario. During these races I do not run but instead race walk. I am now training for the LA Marathon Race Walking Division scheduled on May 25, 2009.

Feb 20, 2009 5:26 AM Reply rayzwocker in response to: Amado L. Castro, Jr.

Amado, If racewalking is not popular in the Philippines it's your job to make it so! By walking in the local running races you are a visible ambassador of racewalking. Don't be afraid to be vocal. Let people know about the health benefits of racewalking, that there are fewer injuries and that you can get your heart rate as high racewalking as you can running. Also that it has been in the Olympics for over 100 years, etc., etc., etc. You could also start a weekly group workout in your area, even if the "group" is just you for now. But by having a consistent location where you will be every week you can have someplace to send people when you meet them during races. ("We meet at the ____ High School track every Wednesday at 6:30 pm for lessons and a workout...") If you get enough people walking maybe I'll be in Manila for a clinic in the not-so-distant future! By the way, there were three walkers from the Philippines at the 2001 World Cup of Racewalking in Turino, so you're not completely alone! Walk on!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

DocFit - "Takbo Para Sa Puso"

DocFit Run – “Tabko Alay Sa Puso” The event was held today 01Mar09 at UP Diliman. The race route covered mainly the arterial roads within the UP campus which is basically flat, shady and very ideal for beginners. My primary interest in joining the race was to see if Coach Rio will be able to replicate his manner of race organization as what he has done a week before with the RUNew which received a high approval rating.

Bottom line.... not only was the race well organized, but, has improved on whatever flaw there was on the delayed start of RUNew (this time it started exactly at 6am as scheduled). DocFit is again an example of how a race should be organized. The sound, mc, start/finish chute, distance markers, water stations, marshals, singlets, distribution of giveaways were all in place and to satisfaction of any racer. The best of all, race result is posted within the day of the race. Check it at http://runrio.com/ it is already posted.

I intentionally would like to make special mention of the PORTALETS that were provided. On all of the road races I have joined in the past, I have never had any experience in using the said facility locally as I have made sure always to prepare myself not to be in need of such. Although, I have used such facility abroad in Kuala Lumpur during the 12 Hour Walk I joined last December 2008, it was basically just a something, somewhere to relieve yourself which rocks as you move inside, the door slams and bangs as you close and with an unavoidable smell. However, today I got a “first hand report” from an actual user whom I will not name as I promised him/her who made used of the facility provided and was surprised to see that the portalets have “tissue” and “deodorizers” in them. The facility did came handy. It was a lesson to learn for him/her to always TRY to do your thing prior to any race. Maybe this is easily said than done, but, there is no way to run with a rumbling stomach. Portalets used today according to my “informant” was perfect! It almost became a "takbo para sa cr" for him/her.

To Coach Rio and your staff CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN for a well organized race. Now, other race organizers have something to match and/or even target to exceed.