Category Archives: Reviews

Blog Reviews

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? read more »

Blog Reviews

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). read more »

Blog Reviews Training Triathlon

Kikay Reviews: Sufferfest “Chrysalis” Brick Training Video

For the time-crunched triathlete with no easily accessible cycling routes — most of us, actually — bike trainer workouts are a necessary evil. You plop yourself down on a stationary bike (or your racing bike locked onto a trainer) and spin away either staring at a wall or at a TV while wishing you were outdoors instead. I’ve learned to love the MX Plus workouts by blasting music into my ears with my Yurbuds and turning each interval into a mental game: “I just need to hold on until this interval ends…”

Then @thesufferfest on Twitter sent out a call for triathlon bloggers to try out their upcoming offering: “Chrysalis”, their first bike-and-run training video.

I took a deep breath and sent a reply. A few days later, the preview video was mine.

The Sufferfest
The Sufferfest

I’ve heard about Sufferfest videos a lot from my tri buddies. They are downloadable training videos using licensed footage from big cycling races like the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, the Road World Championships, and more. These videos, at around $13 a pop, have gained a reputation for being the toughest cycling training videos. EVER. read more »

Blog Reviews

Kikay Went Boxing at Elorde Marcos Highway

The last quarter of the year is offseason for most athletes. For me it’s traditionally been the time I’ve tried different workouts to give myself a break from my usual training. Not only is it a physical shake-up due to new movement patterns, but it’s also mentally refreshing to think about something other than running.

Elorde Marcos Highway
Knocking myself out

Last week, after Christmas, I went to check out the Elorde Boxing Gym on Marcos Highway in Marikina. (NOT Baguio, as some people on my Facebook wall wondered. Hahaha!) It’s owned by my friend Chris Tan, who I met four years ago shooting a web series called Weekend Warriors. That was shortly before I started running, and you know the story from there…

Chris got into boxing a while back and then invested in the Elorde boxing gym on Julia Vargas in Ortigas. Now they’ve opened a new branch and he wanted me to try a boxing lesson or two.

Elorde Marcos Highway
Elorde Marcos Highway
Elorde Marcos Highway

Elorde is one of the established boxing gyms in the Philippines and their trainers actually do compete in professional matches, so I was assured the training and coaching would be excellent.

I knew my fitness was great, but my technique was non-existent. How would I fare?

read more »

Blog Reviews

Mizuno Wave Sayonara

Everyone knows I have a not-so-secret preference for pink. Right before Ironman 70.3 Philippines this year, when Mizuno gave me the first pair of Wave Sayonara in the Philippines — and it happened to be pink. I fell in love!

Mizuno Wave Sayonara
Mizuno Wave Sayonara

The Mizuno Wave Sayonara is one of the newest models introduced to the market. It’s meant to be a transition shoe between a training shoe like the Wave Rider and a racing flat like the Wave Universe or Wave Musha. It’s marked as a neutral shoe, but can still give some support to people like myself with a slight ankle roll on just one foot. It’s got a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm, has a new midsole material called U4ic that offers cushioning at a lighter weight (women’s model weighs 7.1 ounces), and has a relatively flat sole which keeps the shoe from picking up too much mud or loose stones when running on less than ideally paved roads.

Mizuno Wave Sayonara
the Wave Sayonara is sturdy enough for long runs and light enough for fast races

I’ve been moving away from heavy support in shoes like the Wave Inspire and have been using the Wave Elixir for the past two racing seasons. This year, I tried using the Wave Rider, a neutral shoe. It worked very well for me in both training runs and races, and I didn’t feel any aches and pains I have associated with not getting enough support. However, the Rider still feels a bit chunky for race day, so I decided to test if the Sayonara could get me through races faster.

I initially was hesitant to use the Sayonara as race shoe because of one thing: breathability. Whenever I did a tempo run wearing them, my feet would be drenched by the time I finished. This is probably due to its finer mesh upper, which doesn’t allow as much ventilation or drainage as the Elixir with its more open mesh material. But then after a few more training runs in them, I discovered that the secret to not having drenched feet is to keep them moving, not allowing sweat to trickle down my legs into the shoe (which happened whenever I just stood around).

The roomy toebox makes the shoe comfortable to wear even during longer sessions when feet tend to expand. It also allows toes to spread out, which is healthier for the feet. Lacing is a bit off-center on purpose to allow the shoe to hug the top of the foot better. The shoe itself is very plush to run in (despite there not being too much cushioning in the forefoot), giving a very smooth ride. However, I still get a lot of feel for the ground beneath my feet.

I love my Sayonaras because they makes me feel like I can run forever. They are my favorite pair for long runs, but now that I’ve started using them for races it just feels wrong to subject them to too much mileage before I’ve gotten a season or two out of them.

Avon Run Against Breast Cancer
2nd place finish at the Avon Run

Subic Invitational Triathlon
1st place at the Subic Invitational Triathlon

I wore my Sayonaras at the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, and there was a grassy field we had to run through at the start of each of the two loops of the run course. Because it had rained so much in the days before the race, that field was a muddy, soppy mess. The amazing thing is whenever I’d get back on paved road, the mud fell off the shoe easily and didn’t cake on the soles.

I love my Sayonaras and will probably pick up a second pair before the year ends. Still debating with myself whether to get the pink version again, or go with a white-and-blue one.

No, I’m definitely going with the pink again. :)

Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX
Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX

Online Triathlon Coaching - MaccaX

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