Omron Blood Pressure Monitors

Yesterday, a great article on Kuya Kim Atienza came out in the Philippine Daily Inquirer: “From Stroke Survivor to Triathlete“. I’ve featured Kuya Kim in this year’s anniversary article; amazingly even with his busy schedule, he’s able to live a very healthy and active lifestyle.

Running with Kim

As a stroke survivor, Kim takes extra care of his health by eating right, exercising, and monitoring his blood pressure. He endorses Omron blood pressure monitors, which he uses daily to take his blood pressure at home.

Omron Blood Pressure Monitors
the range of Omron Blood Pressure Monitors

Omron recently sent me their automatic blood pressure monitor (the leftmost gadget in the photo above) to try out. Now, while I know I’m in the pink of health, my dad suffers from hypertension Continue reading “Omron Blood Pressure Monitors”

Pinarello Grand Fondo on August 31

I dropped by Primo Cycles yesterday to get Loki lubed and looked at; I’d been having problems with my cadence sensor ever since Cebu, and since I bought that from Primo I decided to take it there.

What I like about going to Primo is how much the shop personnel make me feel at home when I’m there, and how even if they’re in the business of selling bikes and bike equipment, they don’t make me feel my Loki (a GTS) is less important than the Cervelos and Pinarellos also being serviced.

Glenn Colendrino, Primo’s GM and the Retul master, happened to be at the shop and told me about the Pinarello Grand Fondo, an organized long group ride happening this weekend. It’s Primo Cycles’s anniversary ride, and everyone’s invited!

Pinarello Grand Fondo
Pinarello Grand Fondo on August 31

A “gran fondo” is an event (most widely done in Italy) in which thousands of cyclists participate in a group ride that has support vehicles, feed zones, and closed roads. The term itself means “long distance” or “great endurance” and the experience is akin to riding a stage in one of the legendary bike races in Europe, like the Giro d’Italia.

Usually a gran fondo is 160 or more kilometers long, but the Grand Fondo happening on Saturday is about 90 kilometers from Sherwood Golf & Country Club to Caylabne. (Primo and Pinarello are planning a much longer and grander ride for next year.) All brands of bikes are allowed, and you don’t have to complete the whole distance, as the support vehicles can seat tired riders and their bikes. There will be pace groups of different fitness levels, too, so you can take the course as fast or as leisurely as you want. Just make sure you get back to Sherwood in time for some Jamba Juice and refreshments. Ü

The Pinarello-sponsored Team LBC Cycling will be in attendance. They did the country proud in the past few weeks at the Tour of Borneo. Ronald Oranza topped the intermediate sprint of stage 1. Ronald Lomotos took second place at stage 2. Junrey Navarra ruled the second King of the Mountain lap in stage 1 and started stage 2 wearing the red KOM jersey; he eventually finished the Tour in 14th place. I talked shop with LBC Cycling coach Chris Allison a few times, and it’s really interesting how he’s developing these guys long-term. We’ve got some great grassroots talent in cycling, so it would be great if the country could eventually produce a team that could qualify for Le Tour.

Hope to see you this Saturday at the Pinarello Grand Fondo. Loki and I will definitely be there!

Ask Kikay Runner: Half-Marathon Training

This is a section on my blog where I answer questions people ask me. If you have any questions for future Ask Kikay Runner entries,Β email me or leave me a message on the Kikay Runner Facebook page.

Today I’m pleased to be answering two questions about half-marathon training. The 21K or half-marathon is a challenging distance in itself. When I did my first 21K, it was the first time I had to start being smart and specific about my run sessions. I couldn’t expect to do well at a half-marathon with unstructured training.

Athena All-Women's Run: On and On
Be smart about half-marathon training.

Kathrina writes:

I am very much inspired on your motivation and determination on working out and being healthy. I would like to ask your advice as to how many KM I should be regularly running if I am going to join a half-marathon on Oct. 6? I run 3x a week only. Should I be adding more days to these prior to Oct. 6? For the past month i was running 9KM minimum – 11KM max.

Karen writes:

What would be the best training to meet the Milo cut-off and have a medal. Its my 2nd attempt this coming September and hoping to beat the cut off time of 2.5hrs 21k.

21K PR – normally between 2:50 to 3:00 depending on my pace
10k – normally 1 hour to 1:15
5K – normally 30 minutes

I am only running 5k twice a week then long run on weekend.

Karen‘s PR’s show that she has a big drop-off in speed from 10K to 21K. Based on her 5K and 10K times, she should be able to run a 21K in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes (the Milo Marathon 21K cut-off), so I think her issue here is building the ability to maintain the same pace (about 6 minutes/km) for longer than 10K.

Kathrina‘s run scheduling is good. What she needs to do is increase the distance of her long run to prepare her for the distance on October 6 (Run United Philippine Marathon). It’s about six weeks away and she needs to increase her long run by 10% every week until she peaks at 17K at the least. So from 11K, she should increase to 12K this week, then 13K, then 15K, then 17K, then 19K. After this, she can taper for two weeks so she can be fresh to run that 21K. Of course, if she starts feeling pain in her knees or feet, it could signal that the mileage increase is too rapid, so she needs to assess the increase on a weekly basis.

I usually just run 3x a week as well — 1 intervals/hills, 1 tempo, and 1 long run. I take my cue from triathlon training, which needs to be time-efficient (since we juggle training in three sports instead of just one) so these three runs are quality must-do sessions.

The speedwork run can be quite short as long as I’m really pushing the pace to slightly faster than current race pace. Hill repeats build strength (it’s like doing squats, only with your body weight!) and speed; I don’t have the patience to run around a 400-meter track, so doing hills is less mentally fatiguing. Runners’ World has a great interval workout.

A tempo run is one that’s done at a “comfortably hard” pace, slightly below the pace you feel your legs starting to burn or get heavy. According to this Runners’ World article, tempo runs improve the body’s ability to use oxygen for metabolism more efficently by increasing lactate threshold, or the point the body fatigues at a certain pace. This means you can run faster, longer. My tempo runs for a half-marathon race are usually 10-12 kilometers in length, and I like doing these with a group that runs at the same pace or slightly faster.

The long run should be easy, but I try to incorporate some race-pace efforts near the end of the long run so my body knows how it feels to run at target pace even when tired.

Karen and Kathrina, thanks for asking your questions. You’re being smart about your half-marathon training. Wishing you well on your upcoming races!

Challenge Philippines is Here!

With the growth of triathlon in the country, it was only a matter of time before another major international player made its debut here. Challenge Family counts among its races the oldest and biggest long-distance triathlons in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific. Its banner race, Challenge Roth in Germany, attracts over 5,000 triathletes every year, and registration for the 2014 edition closed in minutes!

Now, Challenge Family arrives in the Philippines with the inaugural Challenge Philippines happening on February 22, 2014 at Subic Bay. This half-ironman distance triathlon, composed of a 1.9-kilometer swim, 90-kilometer bike, and 21-kilometer run, will be Challenge Family’s third event in Asia (after Taiwan and Phuket).

Challenge Philippines on February 22, 2014
Challenge Philippines on February 22, 2014 at Subic Bay

“We deliberately looked on how to bring an iconic Challenge Philippines event to the area with the best economic impacts, but without the negative effects of closed city central roads or extra traffic. From first contact to finishing line, we wanted a unique and completely new course designed by athletes for athletes and the best possible race experience,” said Dave Voth, CEO of Endurance Entertainment Asia (the local franchise holder for Challenge), at the Challenge Philippines launch last week, where the official website was launched and registration declared open.

I first broke news of Challenge Philippines during the Subic Fitness Festival launch in July. Continue reading “Challenge Philippines is Here!”

Vote for me as GAMEPLAN Host!

Who among us didn’t grow up watching Gameplan, the coolest sports and active lifestyle show on television? (EVER. Nothing came close to it!)

So when Paolo Abrera announced that Gameplan was coming back and that they were looking for its next male and female hosts, I jumped on the opportunity. It’s a dream job of mine and something I’ve been trying to work toward, if you caught my hosting stints on RunnerSpeak and Alagang Kapatid.

We were asked to make a 1-minute video answering the questions “What is your gameplan in life?” and “Why should you be the next Gameplan host?” I tried to answer as honestly and from-the-heart as I could, and I think that’s what’s important!

Please help me get to the next step of auditions! Watch my audition video and click the “Like” button below it. Total number of Likes plays a role in who gets asked to the live auditions in front of the Gameplan producers.

Watch Noelle's Gameplan audition video
Watch Noelle’s Gameplan audition video

Sante DomiNation Run on November 24

So I said in a previous post that in the “-ber” months, the athletic calendar was winding down. Not so! The Sante DomiNation Run on November 24, 2013 at Aseana City serves all kinds of runners with its 3K, 5K, 10K, and 21K distances.

Sante DomiNation Run on November 24
Sante DomiNation Run on November 24

DomiNation is a prelude to an even bigger Sante Domination Series in 2014 as part of Sante Barley’s thrust to provide a holistic approach to wellness through proper nutrition and supplementation, work-life balance, and physical and mental activity. I always spot the Sante Barley tri team doing well at major races. One of Sante Barley’s ambassadors is Kim Atienza, who drinks barley after his workouts (I’ve seen this personally) and says it improves his energy and ability to recover. Interesting!

The Sante DomiNation Run will be held for the benefit of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, which is dedicated to the conservation and protection of the endangered Philippine Eagle. (Bagay kay Matanglawin Kuya Kim!)

Registration began on August 9 online at The reg fees are: P400 (3K), P500 (5K), P600 (10K), and P700 (21K). This is exclusive of P150 delivery fee. Delivery of race kits starts on September 15.

In-store registration starts on September 1 at selected branches of Sante Barley (9F Galleria Corporate Center, Las Pinas; Starmall, Muntinlupa City) and Chris Sports (SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North Annex, Glorietta 3, Fitness & Athletics BGC)

Each race kit includes a singlet, race bib, and timing chip. Finisher medals will be given for the 5K, 10K, and 21K categories, and 21K finishers also get a finisher shirt.

Race: Sante DomiNation Run
Date: November 24, 2013
Venue: Aseana City, Paranaque
Reg Fee: P400 (3K), P500 (5K), P600 (10K), P700 (21K)
Registration Sites: online; Sante Barley (9F Galleria Corporate Center, Las Pinas; Starmall, Muntinlupa City); Chris Sports (SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North Annex, Glorietta 3, Fitness & Athletics BGC)
Registration Dates: starts August 9 (online), September 1 (in-store)
More Information: Sante Domination Run official website

Subic Invitational Triathlon on November 17

In a month’s time it’ll be the “-ber” months. This is usually time for most triathletes to wind down and enjoy some kind of offseason. For runners, most of the major local marathons are done by October. It’s the time of year people start asking themselves, “What’s next?”

Subic Invitational Triathlon on November 17
Subic Invitational Triathlon

Of course, now that we have Challenge Philippines coming up in February, the offseason is shortened and triathletes will be looking for an event to wake up the tri muscles as they start building up again. For runners thinking about venturing into triathlon, a sprint triathlon is a great way to start.

As part of the Subic Fitness Festival weekend, the Subic Invitational Triathlon (Si3) will be held on November 17, 2013 at the Camayan Beach Resort and Ocean Adventure, Subic Bay.

There are two categories that will cater to experienced triathletes (coming out of offseason) and newbies alike.

The Individual Sprint will have a 1-kilometer open-water swim, 30-kilometer ride, and 6-kilometer run. This is priced at P2,950 per participant.

The Buddy Sprint involves forming a team of two who will go through the course (same as individual sprint) side-by-side and finish together. This is priced at P4,950 per team.

  1. At least one partner must be a newbie (coach+athlete; athlete+new teammate; newbie+newbie)
  2. Category: a. all male, b. all female, c.mixed
  3. Must cross finish line together
  4. Drafting allowed but no pushing on uphill
  5. No cut-off time
  6. Same bib number; two separate finisher medal
  7. The TOP 3 Finishers will be awarded.

To register, log on to Slots are limited. For more information, you may contact the Subic Fitness FestivalΒ Marketing Secretariat (0917) 8441735 , 02-9665115 or email at