My New Training Playlist on Spotify

Thanks to everyone who followed my Road to Roth playlist on Spotify! Those were the songs that helped me train for Challenge Roth and were a very important part of my journey.

But now that race is over and done with and it just didn’t feel right to keep adding new songs to that race-specific playlist. Thanks to Globe’s GoSURF data plan and the free Spotify Premium service that comes with it, I’ve been browsing all sorts of playlists and discovering songs that I love running and cycling to!

Running/Walking Workout Playlists on Spotify
Running/Walking Workout Playlists on Spotify

Because Spotify has a huge community of users who put playlists together, it’s not hard to find a playlist for any occasion. I usually hit shuffle, and when a song comes on that I like, I add it to my own playlist. Continue reading “My New Training Playlist on Spotify”

Go Fast at Challenge Camsur!

I can’t contain my excitement anymore! Challenge Family has just announced the new Challenge Camsur race. It’s really where it all began…

Challenge Camsur: where it all began

My first introduction into long-course triathlon was in Camsur back in 2011 when I joined a relay team at what was at that time the only international triathlon in the country. I had always planned to do the entire race by myself eventually, but that brand moved to another venue the following year.

Still, I have always heard of the Camsur course as lightning fast, with a two-lake swim that rarely needed sighting, smooth flat roads that were entirely closed to vehicular traffic, and a scenic run. Many of the triathlon veterans I’ve talked to still name Camsur as the place they had set their half distance PR.

The other thing they talked wistfully about was the “Olympic Village” atmosphere at the CWC (Camsur Wakepark and Convention Center), which held the start, transition area, and finish of the race. With all these athletes in one place it was ideal for making new friends and bonding with old friends — and of course the post-race festivities and awards night were something to remember.

I missed out on all that, but with Challenge Camsur happening on 14 June 2015, they’re bringing it all back and then some. Ü Continue reading “Go Fast at Challenge Camsur!”

Kikay Runner in Triathlon 220 Magazine

I somehow managed to sneak into 220 Triathlon Magazine’s feature story about Chris “Macca” McCormack and T*** Supercamp when the editor asked if I could model the stability exercises recommended by the fitness manager Chris Weeks.

Stability Exercises by Chris Weeks - Triathlon 220
uncredited appearance ;)

Thanks to Mizuno Philippines for my apparel and shoes in the impromptu shoot. I felt really comfortable moving around in the exercises! (I also used the outfit later in the “Track with Zack” run session.)

Here’s a preview of the magazine’s six-page spread:

Issue #27 of Triathlon 220 Magazine (the Australia/New Zealand edition) is available on newsstands in Aus/NZ or online soon via iTunes (US or Australia).

Also, if you haven’t listened yet, check out my podcast about Supercamp, with interviews of Caroline Steffen and Macca: Download it here or Subscribe in iTunes.

First Impressions of the Mizuno Wave Hitogami

Due to port congestion, the Mizuno Wave Hitogami only hit our stores here last week — and how excited were we! Up until that point, only fellow Mizuno athlete Coach Ige Lopez had a pair of the racing flats that were set to replace the old Wave Musha and Wave Ronin models.

The Mizuno Wave Hitogami is the shoe Javier Gomez has been winning world championships in all year.

Javier Gomez at Ironman 70.3 World Championships
Javier Gomez at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships (photo by John David Becker/

A “Hitogami” in Japanese means “human-god” and denotes the actors in traditional Kabuki theater who put on face paint to transform into gods. So, by extension, putting on a pair of Wave Hitogami should make one feel god-like when running ;)

Of course off I went at the earliest opportunity to snatch up a pair at the Mizuno flagship store.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami first impressions
But first, let me take a #selfie

Having used the Wave Sayonara for quite some time, sliding into the Mizuno Wave Hitogami felt a little strange because of the smaller heel drop (9mm heel-to-toe, versus the Sayonara’s 10mm). In the Hitogami my heels sat lower to the ground; in general I felt a little more in contact with the surface underfoot than I did with the Sayonara.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami first impressions

I took the shoes out for a spin that same weekend at the Next Step Triathlon Exceed Camp with a sharp 2-kilometer run off a 50-kilometer bike ride. I’d actually brought my Sayonara as well, but decided it was as good a time as any to test how the Hitogami would do in a race situation when my legs are tired from riding hard.

Let me tell you, they were beautifully light and responsive. There’s minimal structure in the forefoot, although the heel cup keeps your foot in place quite nicely. Because of the smaller heel drop, it aids runners who land midfoot (higher heel drops encourage heel striking…)

The Hitogami is a shoe that’s great for light runners with good mechanics, and for a guy like Ige Lopez who’s been training and racing in neutral shoes for years, the Hitogami is a godsend. He’s actually going to run the Osaka Marathon in them.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami first impressionsMizuno Wave Hitogami first impressions
the details viewed from the side look like Kabuki face paint!

However, I come from using more cushioned trainers, so if I want to run longer in the Hitogami I would need to break my body in gently on them.

One place I loved using the Hitogami is on the track.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami first impressions
the Hitogami raring to go at the ULTRA Oval

Regular training shoes always feel clunky to me on tartan track ovals. Because the tartan surface is softer than the road, my Sayonara with all its cushioning feels mushy underfoot and not very responsive. (On the road, the Sayonara is perfect.) The Hitogami is light on the feet and firm underfoot, which enables me to bang out track sets without feeling like I sink too deep into the track.

For a runner like me, I’ll be using the Sayonara during my training runs and long races, and the Hitogami on the track and potentially during very short races like sprint triathlons and 5K fun runs.

Read more about the Wave Hitogami on the Mizuno Philippines website.

Photos all taken with the Samsung Galaxy S5, available first on Globe Postpaid.

Are You the Atleta Ako Woman?

At one point or another you may have seen me tweet or post about Atleta Ako, a soon-to-be-launched online store that’s the brainchild of Pinay Ironmom Ces Hufana. They carry the following accessory and apparel brands: Headsweats caps and visors, RunningSkirts shorts, skirts, and compression socks, SOAS premium tri apparel, EZ laces, and Flipbelt.

Atleta Ako online store

With the demise of the store G-Stop where active females like myself used to shop, Atleta Ako will be my go-to online store. Shopping at their booths at TRIpalooza last year and the IM70.3 expo in July I absolutely drooled over the nyort-nyorts from RunningSkirts.

Atleta Ako is where I got this cute Headsweats visor with a unique design for Ironman 70.3 Cebu!

Ironman 70.3 Cebu
with Pinay Ironmom Ces!

Prior to the launch of the Atleta Ako online store, they are now looking for their Atleta Ako ambassador!

The Atleta Ako woman must be:

  • fit. Duh!
  • 18-60 years old. Age doesn’t matter, as long as you feel great and confident :)
  • not the usual “X-factor”. They’re not looking for model types, but rather real people, real athletes. The kind of people who walk into your gym or you see training out on the road.
  • definitely into her sport for the past 2 years. Swimming, biking, running, surfing, Crossfit, Zumba… Do you love it and live it? Then you’re perfect!
  • not a professional athlete/coach. Apparently, I don’t qualify. But I know you do ;)

Atleta Ako ambassador

To apply, please send the following to, or drop it off at the Atleta Ako office (4th Floor Aguirre Bldg. 812 Arnaiz Avenue Makati 1200, phone (02) 7529087):

  • full body photo – arms and legs visible
  • close up shot, smiling necessary
  • a brief “tell me about yourself” with information on how long you have been in your sport
  • birthdate and contact details

You may also recommend an applicant (with her permission, of course!). Deadline for submission is September 30, 2014!

Chosen Atleta Ako ambassadors will receive a token and items from Atleta Ako and be featured on the Atleta Ako website.

For more information about Atleta Ako, check out their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook Page.

Men’s Health Urbanathlon on November 16

New obstacles, new venue, same great racing experience… The Men’s Health Urbanathlon is happening on November 16 at Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna!

Mens Health Urbanathlon November 16, Nuvali

The Urbanathlon is the signature event of Men’s Health worldwide, combining running in the city with obstacles. Download the info packet here.

They expect over 3,000 participants over the 5K, 10K, and 21K distances. If you’re looking for a short quick obstacle race, choose the 5K. If you want a longer run to challenge your cardiovascular system as well as your climbing and crawling muscles, the 10K and 21K are for you.

This year’s barriers include a tire field, the scaffold maze, a container van, the low crawl, monkey bars, the military up-and-under, the network, rope shimmy, and an 8-foot wall. Whew!

Men's Health Urbanathlon 2012: Wall Climb
Me at the Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2012 (photo by LestSky)

Registration began on September 12 and will continue until November 9 at Planet Sports (BGC, Trinoma) and Gold’s Gym (Galleria, Glorietta 3, Katipunan). You can also register online until October 31 at Race fees are: P850 for 5K, P900 for 10K, and P950 for the 21K.

21K finishers will also get a labeled race shirt and a special prize for their category.

These obstacles need to be trained for! Grab a copy of the September 2014 Men’s Health for a 60-day routine to get you race ready. For further updates, log on to the Men’s Health Philippines Facebook page.

The Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2014 is co-presented by Gatorade and Avida with major sponsors Asics, Bridgestone, Gold’s Gym, Shick, Emperador light and minor sponsor, Planet Sports. Nuvali is the official venue and is the official media partner.

Race: Men’s Health Urbanathlon
Date: November 16, 2014
Venue: Nuvali
Reg Fee: P850 (5K); P900 (10K); P950 (21K)
Registration Sites: Planet Sports (BGC, Trinoma); Gold’s Gym (Galleria, Glorietta 3, Katipunan); online registration
More Info: Men’s Health Philippines