Next Step Triathlon Series: Pinnacle Camp on June 7-8

Are you in the best shape you can be for your upcoming triathlons? I love attending camps — the social aspect of training alongside fellow athletes and friends, the competitive aspect of pushing each other further and faster, and the athletic benefit of knowing where you are in terms of fitness and readiness.

The Next Step Triathlon Series Pinnacle Camp is on June 7-8.

The Next Step Triathlon Pinnacle Camp on June 7-8
The Next Step Triathlon Pinnacle Camp on June 7-8

The Pinnacle Camp is perfect prep work for those racing in a few months’ time at Tri United 2 and Cobra Ironman 70.3. Led by coaches Dan and Ani Brown, lay down some quality mileage, consult with experts, and experience some bonding with your fellow participants in Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast.

For me, I’ll take any help I can get in my build-up to Challenge Roth. Coach Ani is also doing that race so it would be nice to pick her brains about nutrition, further training, and race-day strategy.

Camp registration fee is P1,000, which includes the support vehicle, Gatorade and Enervon HP drinks, and a bike mechanic. This is exclusive of accommodations, but you can easily book at the Pico Sands Hotel. To register, please email abrahamerbel@yahoo.com or nextsteptri@gmail.com.

For more information about all the Next Step Triathlon camps, please visit The Next Step Triathlon Facebook page.

Next Step Tri Camp: after running
See you there!

The Digital Lifestyle with Globe GoUNLI20

If you follow my social media accounts you’d think I probably can’t take a step without tweeting it. LOL! I’m kidding, but there’s a grain of truth there; I’m always on the move and rely on my smartphone to keep me in touch with everything else I have going on. It’s a mobile digital lifestyle and I love having a postpaid Globe line on GoSURF + Unlimited Calls and Text so I can surf, call, and text to my heart’s content.

Globe’s prepaid allows people to tailor their phone expenses on a day-to-day basis, though, so my friends who are on prepaid are able to save a lot, especially when they are out and about only a few times a month.

Take the new Globe GoUNLI20 promo, for instance. This is the market’s first-ever voice and surf combo and is the only prepaid promo that offers unlimited calls with all-day surfing. GoUNLI20 offers unlimited calls to Globe and Touch Mobile numbers, 15MB of data for mobile surfing, and 20 SMS to all networks — all for P20 valid for 1 day.

Globe GoUNLI20 for prepaid

Unlike previous promos, you don’t even need to dial a prefix to take advantage of the unlimited calls. Just register for the promo by dialling *143# and select GoUNLI from the GoSakto menu, or text GOUNLI20 and send to 8888.

To know more about GoUNLI20, visit www.globe.com.ph/gounli20.

Where Can You Do Run, Bike, and Swim Training in Manila?

Being based out of Metro Manila has its perks. My work is here at the various gyms I teach classes at, all the good sports stores are within reach, and it’s where plenty of runs are held almost every weekend.

Unfortunately, training in the city is another matter entirely. Metro Manila the mega-city was cobbled together from different cities and municipalities that spread out and merged into each other, so there wasn’t any city planning to give us proper sidewalks, bike paths, parks, and sports complexes. It is also a highly-congested city with more than its fair share of vehicular traffic and pollution. These are not the ideal training grounds at all.

I sometimes find myself envying my buddy Joel who relocated to Cagayan de Oro City some years ago; he tells me he can ride from his doorstep out onto long stretches of road where he can train undisturbed for hours. He’s got access to a track and a pool as well, and I think he’s made the biggest leaps in his athletic fitness since he moved there. (The fresh air also has something to do with it, I think…)

But we’ve got to do the best with what we’ve got, and this blog post is an attempt at identifying the places in this city that most athletes I know train at.

Xpert.PH shoot
Where can you train in Metro Manila?

Continue reading “Where Can You Do Run, Bike, and Swim Training in Manila?”

Bintan Triathlon 2014

Barely three weeks after doing the Subic Bay International Triathlon (Olympic distance), I found myself on the starting line of another race, the Bintan Triathlon. But this time, it was on unfamiliar territory in a different country against unknown competitors I’d never raced before.

A few hours later, I was partying onstage with fellow podium finishers and the lone pro who showed up, Chris “Macca” McCormack. To say race week was epic would be an understatement.

Bintan Triathlon + SG trip
Baby, you’re a firework, come and show them what you’re worth…

But first, let’s backtrack to how I got into this race in the first place. The Bintan Triathlon Continue reading “Bintan Triathlon 2014”

Road to Roth Training Diary: 8 Weeks to Go!

It’s crunch time for my Challenge Roth training, and many of you I’ve had the privilege to train with over the last few weeks know I’ve really been cramming in the miles.

Cycling
the #RoadtoRoth continues…

Since in an iron-distance triathlon it’s the bike leg that’s the longest, I’ve been working hard in that discipline, doing the long rides on weekends to increase endurance and delay the onset of fatigue and also working on speed and strength on the indoor trainer during the week.

I’ve been a little less consistent in running, but that’s just because I’ve had a swim and bike focus in the past few weeks. This weekend I started bumping up my long run mileage and plan my peak long run at around some time at the end of June or I may even run it on my birthday in July. ;)

The swimming is really what’s been killing me lately; I’ve had to swim my endurance sets in hot noonday water (early mornings at my pool are reserved for kids’ swimming classes) and always come out cooked. It’s a 25-meter pool, so swimming 4000 meters in it makes me feel like a water hamster. The good thing about all this is that when I attend squad in the nighttime, the water feels relatively cooler and I’m able to work hard in the sets my swim coach assigns me.

This coming weekend I was supposed to race the Challenge Barcelona half because I would be there as the global camp ambassador for a MaccaX camp. The camp was canceled in early March though, due to some behind-the-scenes reasons which only made sense when in April the race was taken over and turned into an Ironman 70.3.

May is still a good month for a test race though, just to keep me on my toes and see where the training is at. When my Barcelona trip was canceled, I gratefully accepted an invitation to join a contingent of Filipinos racing the Bintan Triathlon, which is happening this weekend. It’s an Olympic-distance triathlon in hot and hilly Bintan, Indonesia. We fly out on Wednesday to Singapore and then it’s just a short ferry ride over.

With the amount of training I’ve been putting in lately, I do feel like I could do a half-ironman at this point. However, from past experience I either get sick or feel stale after a half-ironman. After Ironman 70.3 Cebu I really didn’t want to do any structured training, and it took a month before I pulled myself together to do Tri United 3. While I did great in an aquathlon and a half-marathon the two weeks after Challenge Philippines, that was a fitness peak from which I fell hard, because I was sick for two weeks after that.

Challenge Roth is only eight weeks away, and each of those weeks are precious time I can’t lose to illness or injury. So, Bintan is perfect! I can easily train through an Olympic-distance race (I won’t taper for the race). The hills will be a nice challenge after the fast and flat SuBIT course. We also stay on for three more days after the race and I’ve been told Bintan is good training grounds. I’m looking forward to logging a lot of miles this coming week with no work distractions.

With eight weeks to go, it’s time to put my head down and get through the training. Thanks for reading! Next time you hear from me, it’ll be from Bintan.

OK, now off to get my bike packed for travel, the first of many overseas trips this year. I love it!

Spotify!

I’m not the type of person to wake up in the morning and immediately start playing music. I love my peace and quiet; you’ll usually find me driving in silence on my way to work instead of listening to chatty DJ’s (who incidentally play more commercials than songs nowadays). But music is a huge part of what I do every day. I don’t play music aimlessly; it always has a purpose, from the group exercise classes I teach at the gym to the indoor workouts I do as part of my training. I listen to my iPod to pump myself up before a race. And on long swims, rides, and runs I usually have a song playing in my head or I sing it to myself to keep my rhythm.

I recently switched to a Samsung Galaxy S5 and updated to Globe’s new GoSurf plan. I found out that subscribing to GoSurf gives me access to Spotify, the world’s biggest music streaming service. I’ve had Spotify on my laptop for a while now, but this gave me a reason to download Spotify on my S5. I don’t keep a lot of music on my phone, but now thanks to Spotify I can stream my favorite songs and create playlists anytime, anywhere.

Spotify

I particularly like the Browse tab in the app, which shows me Continue reading “Spotify!”

Heat Training in the Philippine Summer

Last Saturday, I was out cycling with some friends and we got off the road at 11:30am because the sun was beating down hard. (Contrast this to three weeks ago, when I was out cycling until 2pm.) Swimmers, like swimjunkie Betsy, have been complaining about the soup-like conditions in our outdoor pools. Then yesterday, I started a long run at 6:30am and it was already hot and sticky.

I don’t recall it being this hot around this time last year — and we hit some record temperature highs late in the summer back then. So more likely than not it’s just going to keep getting warmer through the month of May. How are we athletes expected to keep training in these conditions?

Untitled
It just makes you want to kick back and chill.

It turns out there’s big benefit in this automatic “heat training” we have in the Philippine summer. Continue reading “Heat Training in the Philippine Summer”