Ask Kikay Runner: How Do I Get Faster?

This is a new section on my blog where I answer questions people ask me. If you have any questions for future Ask Kikay Runner entries, contact me!

Whye said:

“Hi Ms. Noelle. I’ve always been in awe of how fast you run. I’m female, 25 years old and just started running July of last year with several 5K races until I moved to 10K to up the ante. I’ve been doing five 10K races already and I still average 1:23 on my official results. How do I improve my speed? I only stand 5’0 and I know that it isn’t the only reason but does height affect one’s speed? I can’t seem to last long when I go faster than a 7:15 pace. I always feel my lungs would burst. Is there a proper breathing technique so I won’t go running *sorry for the pun* out of breath? Thanks.”

Hi Whye! Sorry it took so long to get back to you on your questions. Speed is affected by genetics (which include height and muscle make-up) and training. Obviously we can’t do anything about our genes, which make some of us taller or shorter than others, or endow us with more or less muscle fibers. However, it’s not what you’re born with that can limit how fast you can go; it’s what you do with it that counts. The Japanese aren’t among the tallest people in the world, but they’ve produced a number of Olympic medalists in the marathon.

To increase speed, a runner must incorporate speedwork into their training. Continue reading “Ask Kikay Runner: How Do I Get Faster?”

Speedo Spring/Summer Collection 2012

When I say Speedo, what comes to mind? Is it an image of a man in skimpy trunks a la LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”? (Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah!) Okay, sorry to induce that mental image. :D The name “Speedo” is globally synonymous with swimwear and water sports. As a triathlete, I can’t miss Speedo’s involvement in the first leg of my sport when every National Age Group Triathlon in the country gives Speedo swimcaps to its participants. (Speedo even introduced its TriathElite trisuit line in the Philippines last year.)

So when OneSport Magazine invited me to attend the Speedo Spring/Summer Collection show two weeks ago at Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater, I jumped at the chance to see what new swimwear and innovations they would introduce.

Speedo Spring-Summer 2012: with national triathlete Nikko Huelgas and my teammate Z Villarin
with national triathlete Nikko Huelgas and my teammate Z Villarin

It was a humid night due to the heavy rains earlier in the day, but plenty of people stayed to watch a never-ending stream of models walk the ramp clad in the season’s upcoming swim fashions. Continue reading “Speedo Spring/Summer Collection 2012”

Your Summer Vacation Run: Skyathon Boracay Beach Run on April 21, 2012

Today’s February 28, which means that in two days’ time it’ll be the month of March and the official start of summer here in the Philippines. And for many people, that means a summer vacation at the beach is called for!

This is what I was doing two summers ago:

Skyathon Boracay Beach & Surf Run: Briefing
sleepy at the Skyathon 2010 pre-race briefing

Whenever I’m in Boracay, I try to find time to do a morning walk or run along the beach. I love taking it all in, from Station 1 to Station 3, before the tourists wake up, and running’s the perfect way to do it. I’ve gone to Boracay every year since 2006 and I’ve seen the shoreline change, for worse or for better. I’ve seen it clean and smooth, I’ve seen it strewn with litter and algae. I knew there must be some way I could do my part as a frequent tourist to the island.

I ran at Skyathon 2010 because I happened to be vacationing in Boracay on the same weekend the race would be held. I had also heard that some proceeds from the race would go toward a beach clean-up fund, and race participants would be encouraged to clean up the beach after the race. The organizers of the Skyathon kept it up with a bigger race last year, and this year they invited me to experience Skyathon 2012.

Skyathon 2012

Continue reading “Your Summer Vacation Run: Skyathon Boracay Beach Run on April 21, 2012”

3,000 Likes! Thank You (and a Contest!)

Last week, my Kikay Runner Facebook page finally hit 3,000 Likes. (Many of my blog readers find their way to my blog posts through my Facebook page.) So, as a way of saying thank you for reading my blog, I’m holding another contest!

Up for grabs is a Mizuno Prestige Card plus a P1,000 gift certificate from Mizuno.

Thank you to my sponsor, Mizuno!

A Mizuno Prestige Card allows you to accumulate the total worth of your purchases at Mizuno outlets so you can earn corresponding discounts. And, of course, a P1,000 gift certificate will go a long way toward getting you that new pair of Mizuno shoes you’ve been eyeing (or you can use it to buy other Mizuno gear as well).

Interested? Well, here are the contest mechanics:

  1. Make sure you have liked the Kikay Runner Facebook page (
  2. Comment on this post answering the question “What do you look for in a running blog?” in 200 words or less. One comment per person only. For example: “I look for information about running longer distances and getting faster. I also like reading about race experiences…”
  3. The commenter with the most thoughtful and entertaining answer wins the prize.
  4. Contest will run from February 28 (12am) to March 5 (12am). I will contact the contest winner via email.

I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

St. Luke’s Eye Run MAJOR UPDATE: Lowered Reg Fee!

Last week, I wrote about the St. Luke’s Eye Run as one of the races for causes I support. This week I have great news and a MAJOR UPDATE: due to more sponsors coming in, the registration fee for all categories (3K/6K/12K) is now at a flat rate of P500. Of course, 100% of the reg fee still goes to the beneficiary, the charity eye surgery patients of St. Luke’s.

Additionally, all 12K finishers will receive a finisher shirt from Smith Optics.

Top winners for all race categories will receive a medal, P50,000 worth of personal accident insurance from SunLife, and a gift pack from Toby’s Sports, Adidas Body Care, and Dona Maria.

Up for grabs on race day are the following raffle prizes: cellphones from MyPhone and Sun Cellular, watches from Soleus, Sun broadband kits, gift packs from Toby’s Sports, Adidas Body Care and Resorts World, and a gift certificate from F1 Hotel & Tagaytay Hotel.

Participants can also expect the following give-aways at the race venue: Purefoods hotdog, Pan De Pugon pandesal, Tang and DOLE juice, Tullys coffee and banana, Big Chill fruit shake, Nature Valley and Kelloggs fruit shake, Soyami Chips chips, FujiFilm photo booth, ON Optimum energy supplements, B&L vitamins, DKT condoms, Resorts World visor and membership card, St. Luke’s Medical Center bags and fans, and Sun Life Financial personal accident insurance.

For EARLY REGISTRANTS who paid the old reg fee, there will be a rebate booth on the event day (March 11) to claim your refunds.

I’m super thankful that there are race organizers and sponsors who have stepped up efforts so that people can still enjoy quality races at affordable prices.

Race: St. Luke’s IEI Eye Run
Date: March 11, 2012
Assembly Time: 5:00am at 34th Street BGC (near Mercato)
Reg Fee: P500 (3K/6K/12K) — 100% of reg fees goes to the cause
Registration Sites: RUNNR (BGC & Trinoma); Toby’s (SM MOA & Shangri-La); St. Luke’s Quezon City (Ophthalmology Conference Room, 2nd Floor), St. Luke’s Global City International Eye Institute (Main Hospital, 2nd Floor)

UPDATE March 7, 2012: Eye Run race venue has been moved to 34th Street, Bonifacio Global City (near Mercato) per request by BGC Management. Race routes have been adjusted accordingly. This is a larger venue and there’s lots of parking behind the Turf BGC field, so it will be more convenient for participants. Please help spread the word about the venue change!

Pilipinas Darating Ako Run: Ang Lakas ng Dating

I wasn’t able to run at all for two weeks, given an upheaval in my family life. Good thing I still have my other physical activities to keep the weight gain at bay. Still, I felt fat and heavy last week so when the race organizers of the Pilipinas Darating Ako Run informed me they had reserved a bib for me, I gladly accepted. (In return, I led the warm-up exercises for the race program.)

Since this was supposed to be a fat-burning run, I left my Gu energy gels at home and decided to drink only water for hydration even though Pocari was available. I also decided not to track my pace too strictly on my Garmin. The goal was to finish the 10K and enjoy myself.

Just like I expected, the run was tough on my legs and lungs. It felt like I was back to square one. Or is there a square zero? We only had to go up one flyover (Buendia) but I totally felt Roxas Boulevard’s false flats taking their toll on my quads. If you saw me smiling on the route, that was not a smile. That was a grimace. :P

Pilipinas Darating Ako Run
photo from Team USB

Continue reading “Pilipinas Darating Ako Run: Ang Lakas ng Dating”

Zombie Invasion on April 21, 2012: The Running Dead

OUTBREAK NOTICE: Zombie Infestation in Filinvest, Alabang

The Running Dead

What is the Current Situation?
An outbreak of unknown origin has been ongoing in Filinvest, Alabang, since November 2011. Human cases have been confirmed near Palms Country Club. Despite systematic efforts to control the infection, the outbreak is continuing, with the progressive zombification of most members of the Army-Navy South Tri team.

How is the Zombie Infection Spread?
It is almost always spread by a bite but can also be spread when a zombie’s saliva gets directly into the eyes, nose, mouth, or broken skin. The primary sources of human infection worldwide are humans who have been transformed into zombies. Read β€œHow can participants protect themselves” for more information. Continue reading “Zombie Invasion on April 21, 2012: The Running Dead”