Kikay Reviews: The Sufferfest “Steamroller” Run Training Video

Last week I received this tweet from @TheSufferfest.

After my positive experience reviewing their brick training video “Chrysalis”, I was willing to try anything The Sufferfest would throw at me. After all, IWBMATTKYT…

The Sufferfest Steamroller
“Steamroller” from The Sufferfest

“Steamroller” is The Sufferfest‘s first foray into run training videos. It’s designed by Neal Henderson, MS CSCS of Apex Coaching (@apexcoaching on Twitter), so you know it’s not just some random workout thrown together by a bunch of monkeys; there’s method behind the madness.

The Sufferfest "Steamroller"
Pain, misery, and agony. Mmm my favorite!

This session is designed for use on a treadmill to help you build speed, using recommended perceived effort to dictate your pacing. The Suffer Scale is from 1 to 10 — 1 being Couchlandria, the antithetical neighboring country to Sufferlandria, and 10 being the kind of effort you would put in if you were being chased by a monster out to eat you. Rawr!

The Suffer Scale
show them how a Sufferlandrian runs
the Sufferlandrian scares the competition

Sounds simple enough, right? But I know the most straightforward workouts are often the most painful yet the most rewarding. So, when do we start? Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: The Sufferfest “Steamroller” Run Training Video”

Yurbuds Inspire Limited Edition Wireless Earphones

As an age-group triathlete living and working in Manila, I have to do indoor sessions a lot more than I would like. There’s just not enough time to get to and from my cycling and running training grounds during the weekdays before the heavy rush-hour traffic hits (let alone actually put in some quality mileage), so it’s more time- and cost-efficient to get on a bike trainer or a treadmill.

Listening to music makes up for the boredom of staring at blank walls during these indoor sessions, but I’ve snagged my earphone cords and pulled my phone or iPod out of its cradle more times than I can remember. Not only is it bad for the electronics (*sob*), but it also throws me off the momentum I’ve been building in the session.

Yurbuds Inspire Limited Edition wireless earphones
yurbuds Inspire Limited Edition wireless earphones

The yurbuds Inspire Limited Edition wireless earphones eliminate the hassle of earphone cords that get tangled and pulled during tough workouts. They are the first ever stereo Bluetooth wireless sport earphones guaranteed never to hurt or fall out due to yurbuds’ patented TwistLock technology and FlexSoft comfort fit.

I’ve been salivating over these earphones since the beginning of the year, so when Cascos, Inc. the exclusive distributor of yurbuds in the Philippines sent me my own pair last week, I couldn’t wait to try them out!

Yurbuds Inspire Limited Edition Wireless sport earphones
no more tangled cords!

During this particular session, my iPod Touch was running low on power so I had to plug it into a wall outlet. Because the yurbuds are wireless and can link to your music player via Bluetooth, I wasn’t chained to the iPod Touch and didn’t have to position my bike trainer near it (which would make my workout even more confining and claustrophobia-inducing). Continue reading “Yurbuds Inspire Limited Edition Wireless Earphones”

38th Milo Marathon Launch

It’s a big year for the Milo Marathon. Now in its 38th year, it promises to be a great party on the road for those who love running (yours truly included).

38th Milo Marathon press launch
Headed to the top, baby.

The biggest news for me is the adjustment of the marathon finals qualifying times. Back in 2010 when I qualified for the Milo Marathon finals, I had no other choice but to run a full marathon in 4 hours 20 minutes or less during the Manila eliminations. The half-marathon time that would have qualified me for the final was about 10 minutes faster than my PR back then.

That year, 2010, was the first year Milo implemented a staggered qualifying times system, cut-offs for which were more lenient for older age brackets. That was the beginning of a study that culminated in this year’s adjustment, which makes qualifying with a half-marathon more possible. I’m not saying it’s easy! It’s just tantalizingly within the reach of many good runners, with just a little extra training push. I know my male friends who were discouraged by the previous qualifying time now believe they can run the fastest half-marathon of their lives and get to the Holy Grail, the Milo finals.

38th Milo Marathon press launch
the Holy Grail? LOL

Continue reading “38th Milo Marathon Launch”

Just Running Around on Independence Day

(This is a rambling post about just running. FREEDOM!)

The Philippines celebrated its Independence Day last Thursday, June 12.

philippine flag photo: Philippine flag
photo credit: Jasmin Abad

Since it was a holiday I decided to give myself a break from my usual run session of 1-mile fartleks (check out the Accordion from the online triathlon coaching system I use — MaccaX).

Instead, I decided to run as far as I wanted, going only as fast as I wanted. I would have my GPS watch on, but wouldn’t check it for pace. I’d leave my other gadgets, such as my Globe Samsung Galaxy S5, in the car. It would be a run just for the heck of it with no other distractions.

I usually run around the flattish sections of Bonifacio Global City, but that day I decided to take a more scenic route through Lawton Avenue and Bayani Road — the real Fort Bonifacio, where the military grandstand and facilities are located.

I thought I’d see more runners out on the road, but I probably came upon less than 20 on my meandering route — counting the casual joggers as well as the more dedicated ones training for Milo Marathon. It’s probably because most people took the liberty of sleeping in that morning instead! :)

When I’m running like this with no set time or pace or intervals, I have so much more time to observe everything around me and let my brain run as well. I watch the world go past me, notice the race singlets and tech shirts runners are wearing, think about the route they possibly took and will take, wonder about what races or events they’re preparing for… I’ve missed this. At this point in my training, running’s been about trying to get faster or go for longer. I haven’t run in a long time just for the enjoyment of getting my body to move, or to see where my feet can take me.

Independence Day run
Mizuno tank top and shorts, Mizuno Wave Precision 12 shoes, Cobra Ironman 70.3 Camsur visor

I headed down McKinley Hill, eager to run back up the hill again. I ran past the new commercial establishments at Tuscany, taking note of the restaurants there I want to try. I was salivating at the thought when I realized two men were running on the other side of the road. It was almost like they were chasing me down. We were going downhill and they hit the bottom of the hill earlier than I did, because I was coasting and preparing myself for a really hard return slog up that 4% incline. The competitor’s instinct in me clicked on and I charged back up the hill hard. I got on their heels. But I didn’t really want to get into a pissing contest, so I peeled away and turned to go another direction, while they continued onward.

My feet took me to Emperador Stadium in the McKinley Hill complex. I had never been there before, but it’s an artificial turf stadium with a seating capacity of 2,000 (!!!). Who knew futbol would be that big? Emperador stadium is home to the United Football League Philippines and is also used by futbol and Ultimate teams for games and practice sessions. It’s pretty impressive. I would have taken a selfie if I hadn’t left my Samsung Galaxy S5, but this run was a great exercise in just experiencing and remembering. You don’t always need to take a photo to prove you were there. :)

As I ran out of McKinley Hill back onto Lawton Avenue, I saw that soldiers had lined the sidewalks near the grandstand. It was about 7am and I realized that they would probably have a grand flag-raising ceremony and commemorate Independence Day in grand style. I didn’t want to be in the way, so I quickly ran past them and down Bayani Road, where I encountered some more runners including my friend Bong, whose shoe had suddenly given out on him on his run. The sole had nearly come off completely, so he was walking slowly back to where he had left his car. He must really have been putting a solid number of miles into those shoes for them to fall apart that way! After checking to see if he needed any help, I decided to head back as well.

In the end, I ran 12 kilometers at a 6-minute/km average pace, so it was a symmetric 6/12 on 6/12. There’s a beautiful simplicity to running just because you want to, and not because you have to. That’s freedom.

What did you do on Independence Day? :)

Good News in Pinoy Sports (a round-up)

There’s not much exciting stuff happening to me right now; training for ironman is monotonous and it’s really just more of the same.

But I do get excited when it comes to good things happening for Philippine sports. Allow me to highlight some of the good news I’ve come across this week.

Pinoy triathlete qualifies for Youth Olympic Games

Victorija Deldio will be the first-ever triathlete from the Philippines to qualify in Olympic triathlon, whether in the Summer Games or in the YOG. Continue reading “Good News in Pinoy Sports (a round-up)”

The Next Step Triathlon Pinnacle Camp

While the rest of the world (or so it seemed) was out racing hard this weekend, I was secluded with a group of fellow athletes at Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club for some fun group training sessions at Pinnacle Camp. This is the second of the Next Step Triathlon Camp Series this year and was meant as a build weekend for those heading to Tri United 2 or Ironman 70.3 Philippines.

Pinnacle Camp
Pinnacle Camp 2014 *

I felt very much the veteran at camp with so many new faces around doing their first long course triathlons in a few months’ time whether as an individual or as part of a relay. I’m still preparing for Challenge Roth; with Coach Ani doing the race this year and Coach Dan having done it twice before, I was Continue reading “The Next Step Triathlon Pinnacle Camp”

ULTRA Track Oval is Open!

Last year, many in the running community lost their frequent stomping grounds when the track oval at the Philsports Arena (ULTRA) was closed for renovation. And that renovation went on for a really long time…

ULTRA track oval (before reopening)
ULTRA track oval (before reopening)
ULTRA track oval in April, still under construction

Now I’m not particularly fond of going around in circles, but I do know the benefit of using a track for workouts instead of our hard concrete and asphalt roads. The surface is softer and quite forgiving, so it’s great for speedwork when you want to bang out fast sets. (Treadmills might work similarly, but… TREADMILLS :O)

The last time I ran on an oval was Continue reading “ULTRA Track Oval is Open!”