Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Balance Minimus. The ROAD after the TRAIL

There was a marketing video that came out in YouTube.  It teaches proper running form similar to Chi and Pose.  What made the video more interesting was not the topic being discussed but the shoes the person was wearing.  It belonged to the New Balanace Minimus collection

You've now seen the Minimus Trail.  Now, get ready for Minimus Road

Here's a design rendering
And here's the actual shoe

My thoughts?   It feels light and form-fitting.  There's still some heel lift and doesn't look flat however it is lower than the regular running shoes that we are aware of.  I hope that that toe-heel difference is the same as the racing flats we see in the market.  For me, I find the Minimus Trail to be better looking.  In addition, the blue and green combination is better than the ones in the video.  The white and blue looks lame to me

Now we know what Trail and Road looks like.  I wish the Minimus Wellness will be as good looking as the first two.  It will be best if they can make it as mean-looking as possible

'Til now I am still drooling over the Trail version.  Move aside ROAD, I want TRAIL ... NOW!
(image: hark events)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thought Bubbles: Adidas King of the Road 2010

Disclaimer: This review is coming from a 21k runner and some friends who participated.  It does not necessarily reflect/represent how things went to the rest of the participants.  This was my first time to join KOTR.  Finally, this is going to be a long read


Registration.  My running buddies and I went out to Shangri-la on the first day day of registration.  We were supposedly to register some of our friends as well.  Surprisingly, they ran out of race packets in the first 3 hours.  We only managed to get the last three 21k race kits and the last 10k packet.  It seems that the "first come, first served basis" wasn't true.  It was more like "is it your lucky day today then go and register" basis.  We weren't able to register five of our friends.  The registration personnel told us that the race kits were being distributed to each store on a limited supply per day

Finisher's Medal.  I've already posted here that Adidas announced that all distances will have their chance to get a medal.  This made a lot of runners even more eager to register.  But I guess they had to swallow their own words as they retracted their original statement and limited the medals to 21k finishers only

Buffet.  I guess taking back their words was a fad and did not end with the finisher's medal.  Perhaps they've realized how chaotic it will be if Adidas will prepare a buffet for everyone.  Would have been a logistical nightmare.  Also the possibility of the 21k participants running out of food.  It was later changed to a packed breakfast.

October 24.  Race Day

Parking.  No advisory was given.  Or were they assuming that the participants can take care of themselves?  When I arrived at BHS (a few minutes after 5am), cars were already lining up just to be able to park.  It was crazy!  Parking was so scarce and difficult to get a spot that there was even 3 to 4 vehicles that was caught up on the road by the 21k runners

Baggage Area.  I have no personal experience.  But when I saw Rolly in the assembly area, a running buddy, he uttered "parang hindi organized, ang gulo dun sa baggage area".  Later in the day, I learned that there were only a few people manning the baggage station thus causing the long line.  Also some bags were lost because they allowed runners to go inside to pick up their stuff

Assembly Area.  The 21k runners are now inside the assembly area while I was still scrambling to locate the entrance.  When I got there, the 10k runners were now occupying the back area.  Question in my mind was, how do I swim through these people?  I had to resort to saying 'excuse me' and 'sorry' every 3 seconds so that they'll let me pass, a similar situation I had in Globe Fun Run.  They should have placed a lane where latecomers can easily pass through or do not allow the other distances to pile up at the back like what Nature Valley Run did.

Minutes per kilometer.  Noticed that the assembly area was divided into four sections depending on how fast you can run.  And there were designated pacers (5 min/km, 6 min/km, 7 min/km, 8 min/km) assigned.  Those were the guys (or gals) that had the blue balloons attached on their shirts.  A pacer's role is to be able to cover a distance (1 kilometer) on a pre-determined number of minutes.  Example: a 5 min/km pacer will need to run a kilometer in 5 minutes

For me, the pacers was a nice touch to the event.  Especially when the partial road closure was only good for 3 hours

Sad part is, most runners doesn't seem to understand their purpose.  Or some just care about crossing the finish line on a specific time and failed to understand their average running time per kilometer.  Moving up near to the starting line doesn't really help in any way and just impedes the faster runners in the process and may cause unforeseen accidents

Here's a quick and dirty guide for everyone's perusal
Pace 5 km 10 km21 km
5 min/km finish in 25 mins 50 mins1 hr 45 mins
6 min/km finish in 30 mins 1 hour2 hrs 06 mins
7 min/km finish in 35 mins 1 hr 10 min2 hrs 27 mins
8 min/km finish in 40 mins 1 hr 20 min2 hrs 48 mins

So if you are aiming for a sub-2 (crossing the finish line in less than 2 hours) on your next 21 km race, better put yourself somewhere in between the 5 min/km and 6 min/km pacers.  I hope (and pray) that this table will help most, if not all, runners where to position themselves in the assembly area

Assembly Time and Gun Start.  For 21k runners, assembly time is 5 o'clock in the morning wherein gun start commences after 30 minutes (5:30am).  My only wish was for it to start a bit earlier, say move the gun start to 5 am.  Why?  We don't want to be exposed  to be under the sun for too long.  Usually sun gets too hot by 7am and the glare is unbearable

My Agenda.  I really wanted to cover the distance in less than two hours but I have been under the weather for the past week.  A bit scared if my body will be able to cope up with the long distance.  So to be safe, I positioned myself between the 6km/min and 7km/min pacers.  Adidas KOTR was actually my 3rd 21k run but the 2nd race was short by around 800 meters so I couldn't count it under my belt.

And Off We Go!

When we were set off, right then and there I've decided to run along with the 6min/km pacer.  My intention was to run side by side for the first 3 kilometers then run a notch higher for the rest of the distance.

The first kilometer was a breeze until we ran into the "trail" part.  Potholes were everywhere in Meritt Rd.  What made it worse was rain showers occurred that night and filled those holes with water.  Making it a bit difficult to maintain my established pace.  After a few strides, I got through safely and continued running for the next 2 kilometers

Sea of black.  I was back in 11th Ave when I saw the lead pack of the 10k runners and some familiar faces was among them.  The 21k and 10k runners shared the small, and water-filled pot holes, Meritt Rd.  Some of the 10k runners couldn't care less even if they were occupying the limited space.  It didn't end there, after turning right to 34th St from Meritt Rd, the rest of the 10k runners was occupying the WHOLE road.  We were forced to a halt.  The rest of the 21k runners just formed a single file and we were trying to fight some space for ourselves and squirm our way out.  I was able to run again after walking for 200 meters

Kalayaan flyover.  It was nice running again in Kalayaan flyover.  It offers a good challenge to any runner.  Also I noticed that its becoming rare to see races that covers this structure.  My last run here was at the Robinson's 3rd Buddy Run. The descent from the flyover was a bit of a challenge because there was lots of stones scattered.  As a barefoot/minimalist runner, this requires a gentler foot landing and consciously avoiding the bigger rocks

Turnabout.  The second turnabout was in University of Makati.  I noticed that no one was handing out nylon cords to the participants to mark that we've reached to the correct turning point.  Same thing also happened in Bonifacio triangle, first turnabout.  No marshall was present to give us the cords.  I begun to ponder how easy it would be for any runner to cheat on this race.  Does Adidas expect that all runners are honest?  I had personal experiences where I've seen some runners cutting corners and sharing loop cords.  Also, no mats was placed to record your split times. 

Kilometer markers.  I noticed for the first 9 kilometers that Adidas was kind enough to place some kilometer markers.  Not every kilometer but every two kilometers, still better than having none at all.  This plays an important role so that I can properly pace myself throughout the route and make sure that I'd still hit every kilometer on my expected time

I was now traversing on Gil Puyat Ave and on my way back to Fort Bonifacio.  I noticed that the 11th and 13th-km markers were placed erroneously along the route.  I realized this because my split time between 9km and 11 km marker was just over 6 minutes.  Also had a similar split time between 11 km and 13 km marker.  It would have been impossible for me to cover the distance in such a short time.  This was confirmed when a fellow runner, who was sporting a GPS-enabled watch, uttered that the 13 km marker was placed when it only registered 11.5km on his timepiece

Traffic management.  Was about 600 meters away from Kalayaan flyover and saw the huge number of runners that filled up the entire bridge.  The 2nd turnabout of the 10k runners was placed at Paseo de Roxas.  So, again, the 21k runners had to run a single file again.  Once more, I had to decrease my pace.  Reminiscent of what had happened on Meritt Rd.  The organizers (eXtribe and Primetime) should have managed the flow of the runners, in order to minimize any possible traffic it may cause.  I mean, no matter how you look at it a total of 5,400+ participants (10k and 21k runners combined) sharing the road will be chaotic

Two hydrogen atoms chemically bonded to an oxygen atom.  Water is the most abundant compound on Earth.  Unfortunately, this statement was false during the Adidas KOTR event.  I was still able to grab a cup of water at the hydration station near Paseo de Roxas.  I was looking forward for another shot of water near 32nd Ave and Rizal Dr.  Unfortunately, the cup that I grabbed from the table was empty

Even though my last drink was only 12 minutes ago, my reserves was running low.  And just thinking that I had to run 2 more kilometers made me even more frustrated, more tired and more thirsty.

Temptation.  This was the first time that I got really tempted to pick up some half-full sports drink, that was left by the other runners, on the curb.  I even entertained the thought of asking a fellow runner if s/he can spare me a drink out from his/her hydration flask.  I guess my survival instincts kicked in.  For me, it was the hardest, mentally challenging, and longest 2 kilometers that I've ran.  And like a mirage in the dessert, i saw the next water station near Essensa.  My thirst has been finally quenched!

Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.  I continued running to conquer the remaining kilometers.  Thankfully there was another water station at the last turnabout inside Bayani Rd, and at that point there's 3.5 kilometers more in the race.  Pretty aware that I lost my steam already.  Getting the sniffles somehow took its toll on my body and on top of that, my stomach has been acting up even before the race has started.  But there's no point in quitting now

On my way back, the Essensa hydration station ran out of water.  I just grabbed some water from the drum and poured it onto myself.  And with the remaining energy I had in me, I ran with all my might and managed to cross the finish line safely and with a smile on my face, and with a finisher's medal on my neck

Packed breakfast.  One banana.  One jumbo hotdog.  Two pieces of bread.  'Nuf said

Loot bag.  Never mind

Beneficiary.  HOPE worldwide Philippines, Inc. has established a model child welfare and protection system for Filipino Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances (CEDC). For more than a decade, it has provided essential medicines, supplies, professional services and most importantly caring full-time staff and volunteers who work directly with poor children.  Adidas generously awarded the institution with P150,000

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Terra Plana. Vivo Barefoot. Evo. VFF Alternative

You find VFF a bit weird?  You don't want to have gorilla feet on steroids?  Hate the awkward stare?  Looking for a pair of shoes suitable for barefoot running?  EVO might be the one for you

I'd have to be honest.  I like these better than Five Fingers.  With these, I can still wear my current socks.  While in VFF, I'd have to buy some toe socks (Injinji).  Also, I don't have to worry being stared at while wearing one.  Its kinda like wearing your regular shoes while having the benefits of barefoot running.  Nothing's cooler than that

Like I said, its all about ground feel.  There should be very minimal material putting your feet away from the ground.  A regular running shoe will usually give you at least 30mm of cushioning.  Racing flats is somewhere between 10-14mm

Now let's see what VFF offers.  Bikila offers 7mm of numbness, Speed gives 6mm, and KSO is at 5.5mm.  Quite impressive right?  Its there but not quite, in my opinion.  The EVO line delivers 4mm of puncture resistant sole.  Now, that's something!  And that is, ladies and gentlemen, the number one reason why I prefer Terra Plana over Vibram

Now ask yourselves, how can you feel the earth if there's as much as 7mm of footbed and rubber outsole interfering with your senses?  Am I a purist?  Is 7mm not thin enough?  Not for me.  In my minimalist shoe, my feet is only 2mm away from the pavement

If you are in Manila, you can grab a pair at Barefoot Store in MOA or at The Brick in McKinley.  Try it.  You might end up owning one

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Running Shirt. PH Flag inspired

Days after I registered for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, I've thought of wearing a singlet that was inspired by our national flag.  Being my first international race, I want to proudly shout that I am Pinoy while crossing the finish line.  This idea was actually inspired by Collezione's flag shirt

While browsing Jonel's blog, I saw an entry about the 4th issue of frontRUNNER* magazine. What actually caught my eye was the picture of a runner whose wearing a Philippine flag or should I say a singlet which was designed after our flag.  I like it.

However, recalling to what happened to Adidas' Philippine flag jacket.  T'was banned.  Said it violated section 34 of RA 8491 (Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines) which states that "It shall be prohibited to wear the flag in whole or in part as a costume or uniform"

I want to be patriotic.  But I don't want to get in trouble.  Luckily I was able to find a short sleeve running tee the last time I visited Singapore.  Got me excited the first time I saw it.  I instantly knew it was the one that I was looking for

I've been wearing it on all of my races since then

I also learned that early this year Adidas launched the Philippine Range collection.  The collection featured the iconic colors of the Philippine flag.  Thinking if I should get the jacket.  Hmmm...

*frontRUNNER is a runner's magazine that contains tons of articles about training tips, nutrition, supplements, preventing injuries, and a lot more.  The magazine is being published every two months and one can own a copy for only P120.  You can grab one at National Bookstore, Booksale, Fully Booked, ROX (BHS), and SecondWind (Ortigas)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

List of Races - November 2010

Do you still remember Marco Sison?  Or do you know him at all?  Nope he is not a marathoner nor an elite athlete like Usain Bolt.  He is, in fact a local balladeer from the 80's.  If you still don't know, go ask you mom and dad or perhaps your Kuya or Ate may have heard of him

And when one speak about Marco Sison, we would always remember his hit song “Si Aida, Si Lorna, O Si Fe”.  Its a story about a guy needing for some advice for a dilemma he is in.  That is to choose among three equally beautiful girls as to which one he will have a genuine relationship.  Now that's one problem we all want to have ... or probably just me

Similar dilemma will occur to us especially when November is just around the corner.  Why?  Because there are so many fun runs to choose from and personally there are days where two or more good events will be held simultaneously.  If only we can split our bodies and have another copies of ourselves then life would be easy

November 06 - Millenium Run for Women’s Health 2/5/10K (MOA)
   a fun run for the benefit of Philippine OB-Gyne Society
November 06 - HSBC 135 Fun Run 100m/3/5/10K (The Fort)
   for the benefit of Hands on Manila’s ‘Galing Mo Kid!’ program
November 07 - Men's Health Urbanathlon 2010 5/10K (Fort)
November 07 - Ateneo Law Blue Race 3/5/7.5K (ADMU-Loyola)
   proceeds will go to the Ateneo Central Bar-Operations and the Ateneo Human Rights Center
November 13 - Race For Life 2010 3/5/10K (The Fort)
   about providing a better future for underprivileged Filipinos
November 14 - Sugar Rush 3/5/10K (MOA)
   for the benefit of people with diabetes
November 14 - Kick the Habit Fun Run 1.5/3/5K (Newport)
   advocacy run to quit smoking
November 14 - Anson's Rhythm and Run 3/5/10K (McKinley)
   aims to promote a healthy lifestyle with the use of gadgets
November 20/21 - The RunRio Trilogy Leg 3: Unilab Run United 3/5/10/32K (Fort)
   for the benefit of Gawad Kalusugan and Hero Foundation
November 21 - 8th Animo! Run 5/10K (MOA)
   for the benefit of One La Salle Scholarship Fund, Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Br. Andrew Gonzales Technical School
November 21 - Big Blue Katipunan Run 3/5/10K (ADMU)
   beneficiary is Missions and charities of the Society of Jesus
November 21 - Million Hectare Challenge 3/5/10K (McKinley)
   for the benefit of the ROAD to 2020 campaign, to restore 1M Hectares of Philippine Forests
November 27 - Fun Run for Better Education 2010 3/5/10K (McKinley)
   proceeds will go to the Lord’s Potter’s Fields Foundation, Inc.
November 28 - Greenovation Run 3/5/10/15K (MOA)
   proceeds will go to One Million Trees and Beyond
November 28 - Knowledge Channel KaRUNungan 2010 3/5/10/15K (Meralco)
   a fundraiser to give children better access to education and help them sprint towards a better future
November 28 - Takbo Laban Sa Droga 2/6/8K (UP Diliman)
November 28 - Run BGC 3/5/10/21K (The Fort)
   for the benefit of Fort Bonifacio Development Foundation, Inc
November 28 - Resorts World Manila Fiesta Run 1/3/5/10K (Pasay) 
November 28 - McDonald’s McHappy Day Fun Run 500m/3/5/10K (McKinley)
   to raise P1M for the benefit of the Ronald McDonald House Charities and its banner program, Bright Minds Read

You think that's many?  These are only the races (listed above) being held in the metro.  Here's what remains to cover the rest

November 06 - HSBC 135 Run (Davao)
November 07 - 34th National MILO® Marathon (Tarlac)
November 07 - Casino Femme The Empowered Run Series 1.5/3/5/10K (Davao)
November 13 - Salomon - Suunto X-Trail Run Pilipinas 2010 12/24K (Subic)
November 14 - Bottle School Run (Cebu)
November 14 - 34th National MILO® Marathon (Olongapo)
November 14 - J.O.G (Joy of Giving) 3/5/10K (Alabang)
November 14 - ASMSI Fun Run for A Cause 3/5KM (Cavite)
November 14 - Vete-RUN 1.8/3/5KM
November 14 - RunClub-New Balance Challenge 2010 (Davao)
November 14 - 4th PAU 50K Run - Tagaytay to Nasugbu (T2N) 50K (Tagaytay)
November 14 - RunClub-New Balance Challenge 2010 5/10K (Davao)
November 14 - 2010 TRIAD President's Triathlon Cup (Davao)
November 20 - Christ the King of Run 3/10K (Ilocos Sur)
November 21 - 34th National MILO® Marathon (Butuan)
November 21 - 5K FTW! Fun Run 5K (Alabang)
November 21 - Dumaguete Adventure Marathon 3/5/10.5/31.5KM (Dumaguete)
November 21 - 21 DCHS 87 Fun Run Takbo na Para sa Kalusugan (Davao)
November 27 - 1st Cebu Ultramarathon 50K (Cebu)
November 28 - 34th National MILO® Marathon (CDO)
November 28 - Run 4 Ur Rice: Save Rice. Save Lives (Laguna)
November 28 - 3rd Takbulakan:Takbo Para Sa Nagkakaisang Lalawigaan 3/5/10K (Bulacan)
November 28 - Powerade Fun Run 3/5/10K (Davao)
November 28 - 3rd Takbulakan: Takbo Para Sa Nagkakaisang Lalawigaan 3/5/10KM (Bulacan)
November 28 - Takbo Para sa Karapatan ng mga Bata (Davao)
November 30 - RunUrdaneta 3/5/10/21K (Pangasinan)

Is your event here?  Please let me know

(image: little compton road race)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

RunRio Trilogy Leg 3: Unilab Run United 2 Finisher Kit

 There has been a lot of question among runners on what one will get upon crossing the finish line.  There are even tons more regarding the finisher's medal.  Or will there be a finisher's shirt to all distances.  Some information has cluttered up already and there's confusion among participants

In an attempt to clear things out, here's what each runner are entitled to (finisher's kit) --

Race Category Race Analysis (download) Photovendo (download) Unilab ActiveHealth
Sports Items
500mnone none YES
Race Category Unilab ActiveHealth
Finisher’s Shirt
Finisher’s Shirt
Finisher’s Medal
500m none none none
3km YES NOnone
5km YES NOnone
10km YES NOnone
15kmYES NOnone
21km YES NO
32km NO YES!

Still confused? 

There's more!  About the singlet sizing.  Its larger compared to RunRio Leg 2: Nature Valley Run.  I got an XL size on Leg 2 however on this leg (3) got myself a M(edium) size

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Running Barefoot? Say "No!" To Transition Footwear

Still remember what I said on my VFF entry?  Let me refresh your memory.  It is not because you don a VFF or a minimalist footwear, you can now go out and declare yourself a barefoot(-style) runner.  Why do you think you purchased a minimalist shoes?  So you can run harder and faster?  So you'd stop heel striking?  Because a famous person wears one?  What was your rationale shelling out thousands of Pesos for a pair?

Think again.  Running barefoot isn't a fad.  Its a lifestyle

Going shodless teaches us to correct our running form and biomechanics.  It changes us.  We learn how to run without getting hurt.  We learn how to take each stride lightly.  Remember that, experience is always the best teacher.  If you are running or learning to run barefoot-style, then why wear shoes?  It just defeats the purpose as it nullifies your senses

"But this is Manila, are you seriously telling me run barefoot?"  There are many places to run safely.  Go and run around the track.  There's Pasig (PhilSports) and Marikina (Sports Park) oval track.  Some schools have a track and field oval.  University of Makati has a world-class oval open to both residents and non-residents.  You can also try on a treadmill unless your gym necessitates you to wear shoes

Be creative.  The possibilities are endless.  There's a reason why we were given billions of neurons inside our head

I bumped into an article written a year ago by Barefoot Ken Bob on his thoughts on wearing transition footwear.  A bit long but its worth of your time.  Here it is --

The Problem
Think of trying to sing a song while wearing earplugs deaf. Sure, you can sing, and sure, it doesn’t hurt your ears, but that doesn’t mean you’re singing on-key… If you were singing on-key, it won’t hurt when you sing, and can hear what you’re singing.

Likewise with footwear… You’ll be able to learn how to run “on-key” much sooner, when you don’t block your soles from feeling the terrain… If it hurts, that’s because you’re running off-key. If you block that feeling of pain, you’re blocking the message your body is trying to tell you, that you should be changing your tune. Therefore, you are ignoring the best advice you would have received today … outside of this post 

The point is, the purpose of so-called “transition” footwear, is not to help you learn how to run barefoot. It is to protect you from the pain of becoming aware that you have not, yet, learned how to run barefoot – essentially, it is protecting you from, your goal, of actually learning how to run barefoot!

If this was no danger, I wouldn’t mind so much. But, if you have been wearing shoes most of your life, depending on them for support and protection, then your feet are going to be weak. That might not be so bad, in and of itself. But, now, let’s put those weakened feet under a whole lot of stress, by running without the support of your normal shoes – the support you have grown dependent on, and with only a fraction of the feedback that would tell you to change the way you are running.

“Oh”, you say, “I can feel the ground, while wearing my transitional footwear, just as if I were barefoot.”

If that were true, then why did you just spend any amount of money for your “transitional” footwear? Isn’t it because it hurt to run barefoot? Or, at least it hurts to run barefoot, the way you are trying to run barefoot. If so, then you are blocking the message from your soles that wants to emphasize to you, that you need to change the way you run, BEFORE you start running greater distances, or faster speeds. It is the pain, that is the message! It is the pain, that is the teacher! It is the pain, that emphasizes the importance of changing. It is the purpose of the “transitional” footwear to allow you to run further and faster than you are ready to run!

Without the pain, without this emphasis of this message, you could go out and run several miles, without realizing that you are not ready to run several miles – and that’s probably exactly why you bought those brand new, expensive, “transitional” shoes. And that’s exactly why I get dozens of comments from folks whose feet are injured as a result of trying to learn how to run “barefoot” in transitional footwear!

If you want the full benefit of Running Barefoot, not just the foot strengthening, but the immediate feedback, which emphasizes, with each and every step, how urgent it is to change your running technique, and how important it is, NOT to start running several miles, until you have, at least, somewhat mastered a much gentler technique – even gentler than what the transitional footwear will allow, go BARE foot, literally – not “barefoot” as the term is used to sell footwear.

When you can run barefoot, comfortably over gentle surfaces, and not uncomfortably over most every kind of surface which you hope to run on, then, and only then, are you ready to attempt to run, with MINIMALIST footwear, blocking a large portion of the message your soles are trying to send to your brain. But, then, you won’t really need minimalist, or any other kind of footwear, except in extreme cases, like if you want to run hundreds of miles over very harsh terrain!

In addition to taking off the minimalist footwear, listen to the pain from your injury. Most likely you are pushing your foot, or more specifically, the ball of your foot into the ground. If it hurts, try changing the way you walk, or run, so as to not aggravate the injury. Then you will probably have eliminated the cause of the injury (pushing your foot into the ground).

A hint, it has to do with lifting your foot, your whole foot, and while your foot is on the ground, try to keep the entire sole of the foot on the ground, to distribute your weight over a larger area. This will be extremely helpful when you start walking or running BARE foot on rough surfaces.

HINT: that is an excellent place to start learning – but there is no need to run miles and miles on a rough surface when you first start out. Just stand and practice relaxing your feet, and feeling the difference between pushing your feet into the ground, and simply resting your feet on the ground.

How do you keep your whole foot on the ground? RELAX your calves, Bend your knees. If your calves are still tensing, you’re probably not bending your knees enough. If your knees are bent enough, then it’s almost impossible to tense up the calves without straightening the knee – keep the knees bent – more bent than you probably think. I’ve seen multitudes of folks running with their legs too straight, But I’ve never seen anyone run with their knees too bent!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Unilab Active Health Bloggers Meet

United Laboratories Inc sent out an invitation for a blogger's meet/night.  It was to share the great and cool stuff in store for us with their 3 upcoming health and fitness events namely Bike United, Run United 2, and TRI United.  I was very lucky for having the invitation extended to me and this was all through a very good friend/blogger/runner (Thanks Jeff!)

So, how did it go?  Hope I can answer that question.  I was NOT able to attend.  I forgot about it.  Major, major boo!  That night I found myself doing my usual speedwork at UP Academic Oval and thinking the opportunity that I missed.

The following day, I asked Jeff for a quick run down

Unilab talked about their event lineup (Bike United, Run United 2, Tri United) also the Active Health Village where every family member get to enjoy.  I remember lining up on each booth during the 1st leg of Run United (my 1st official race) as there was tons of items being given away.  The most memorable of all was that their photo booth was enclosed and air-conditioned.  Imagine sitting on a cushioned chair while waiting for your turn and at the same time protected from the hot sun.  Priceless.

Besides the great food, all of the 30+ attendees got the chance to sign up for FREE and that came with a loot bag as well.  Wondering if we'll get the same stuff once we crossed the finish line on November.  More reason I hate myself now.  All of the bloggers were asked to hold a READERS PROMO.  Staff of Unilab will be checking out the comments until Friday (Oct 22) and choose ONE winner per site.  Best entry gets a special gift pack

How to join?  Simply answer the question “Why is it important to be healthy and active?” or “What do you do to stay healthy and active?”  Its that simple

And before I forgot, big thanks to Rochelle and the rest of the Corporate Affair Division for inviting me and so sorry for not showing up.  Next time I will tie a string to my pinky so I won't forget.  Also, I just have a small favor to ask, will you choose my entry to the promo so I can get a gift pack?  Please?

Despite the technical issues with the automated (iPad) registration and the non-availability of the singlets, we can all rest assure that this event is going to be not simply the biggest but the best.  And I will expect no less than their first installment.  Now ask yourselves, which event in the past showcased a finish line arc that displays your name upon completing the race?

With Coach Rio and United Laboratories working together.  Its going to be a blast.  Unilab, yan!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Running Barefoot? Try Vibram Five Fingers

Some say its ugly.  Some say its weird.  Some says its hideous.  Some says its too expensive.  But if you want to run barefoot in Manila, this is the way to go.  There are just too many things going on on our road that you'd need to be careful on where you are running into

Vibram Five Fingers offers a bunch of products to choose from.  And they are kind enough to let us know which type is for what kind of sport

From these, I guess its pretty obvious which one to get especially if you are into barefoot running.  I won't be discussing and making a point why this one is better over the other.  So let's get straight to the core.  If you are into barefoot running, go with either Bikila or Speed.  Period.

If you want these babies, go and visit PowerPlant Mall.  They have a store there.  Its hard to miss.  During their media launch (at Metropolitan Club), they mentioned that they will open two more branches before the end of the year.  One would be in Trinoma and another in SM.  But they didn't told us which one.  I suspect that it will be in Megamall

Their product line has both men's and women's styles.  You may refer to the graph below for proper sizing
Or simply drop by at their store and get measured thru their "big red foot", a VFF-specific shoe sizing tool

If you are thinking that you can get 'em cheaper in Singapore.  Think again.   Barefootwear Inc sells them at a lower price

Do I own a pair?  No.  Why?  Because running barefoot is all about ground feel.  In my opinion, Bikila and Speed doesn't deliver.  The sole is too thick for me.  The only thing it provides is the ZERO drop of heel and toe.  I suspect the reason why it has thicker soles (compared to its predecessor) is for it to last a bit longer especially if you are going to use them in competitive runs

Or unless Mr Carlos Abad (The Big Toe) would be so kind enough to throw me a pair for FREE.  I'd proudly wear them.  I love VFF MOC *wink*

Right now I am looking forward to the 2011 collection (Speed LS, Komodo Sport, Jaya LR, KSO for Boys, and KSO for Girls)

Final words.  Boys and girls, don't get the wrong idea here.  I did not tell you that if you want to run barefoot, you go and buy a pair of VFF.  Nope.  It doesn't work that way

It's not because you run in them, that you can already proclaim you are a barefoot runner.  Huge mistake.  Run and walk barefoot FIRST so that your form and foot strike change.  Then wear a VFF to be able to run in the streets safely

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1st Annual New York City Barefoot Run

While 120,000 runners last Sunday (October 10, 2010) was congregating at the Mall of Asia, there's another notable event taking place on the other side of world  -- the largest official barefoot and minimalist shoe run on Governor's Island!

NYC Barefoot Run Press Release --
The first-of-its-kind event is more than just a run – a weekend of educational, social, and athletic happenings to support the growing recognition that going barefoot, or as close to it as possible, is the healthiest way to be

Event founder John Durant said, “This grassroots movement is part of a larger trend that is seeing people edging toward a more natural way of life. Vivobarefoot supports education on the benefits of barefoot and believes in building community, which is why they saw the promise in this new event.”
This year, both the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Harvard University released studies to support that barefoot running encourages a forefoot or mid-foot strike that reduces impact with the ground and is more efficient. Increasing numbers of runners are trying for themselves by “freeing their feet” of traditional running shoes (and conventional wisdom).

Galahad Clark, owner of Terra Plana and creator of Vivobarefoot, states, “This is a growing community of people who are questioning conventions and are passionate about rediscovering the right way to run. We are proud to support a weekend of events based around education and building the movement.”

Lester Wasserman, co-owner of Tip Top Shoes, comments, “Tip Top Shoes was one of the first independent retailers to stock Vivobarefoot, and the first store in New York City to carry Vibram FiveFingers, which is why we want to be the first to support this distinctive event in its inaugural year.”
About The Run
The 1st Annual New York City Barefoot Run ... more than just a race.  It was a weekend of educational and social events for the growing barefoot and minimalist community – beginners as well as experts

What is Barefoot Running
Barefoot Running is a growing movement where runners use a minimalist shoe…or no shoe at all.   More runners are finding that modern running shoes can cause an unnatural stride, and that they can run better by freeing their feet

When and where?
Sunday, October 10th at 8:30am on historic Governors Island in New York Harbor
Saturday, October 9th there were clinics in Central Park, as well as party at the Terra Plana store

The Course
The run was held at historic Governors Island in New York Harbor.  Governors Island is just a five minute ferry ride from lower Manhattan, with stunning views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Jersey City, and Brooklyn

Format of the run?
The format was “run your distance.”  Everyone starts at the same time, then run as many loops of the island as you can (2.1 miles each).  This forces runners to listen to their body to decide when they should stop, encouraging runners to avoid injury and have fun.  Beginners can run a short distance, and more experienced runners can crank out more miles
  • Everyone starts at the same time (8:30am)
  • Each loop of the island is 2.1 miles
  • Run as many loops as you can (stop at any time – though must be off the course by 10am)
  • We’ll time people against other people who ran the same number of loops (note: no timing chips)
Note: No one is going to tell you when to stop.  You are responsible for listening to your body and feet and making that decision yourself

Notable “barefooters” was present
Dan Lieberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and leading researcher of Biomechanics of Foot Strike and Applications to Running Barefoot or in Minimal Footwear
Barefoot Ted, Larger-than-life barefoot runner from best-seller Born To Run and Founder of the Luna Sandal Company
Erwan Le Corre, Founder of MovNat (education system to help you “explore your true nature” and live strong, happy, healthy, and free)
Jason Robillard, Author of The Barefoot Running Book, founder of Barefoot Running University, and co-founder of the Barefoot Runners Society
Daniel Howell, Author of The Barefoot Book and Professor of Anatomy at Liberty University
John Durant, Founder of Barefoot Runners NYC and

How I'd wish we can have our very own version here.  Now, that's a dream that hopefully gets fulfilled ... very soon.  Calling out all big-brand names!
As of now, Barefootwearinc has been organizing fun runs and they are already on their 3rd run, but it is exclusive only for VFF Fans Club members or VFF enthusiasts.  That means I'm off the list.  Boo!

For now, I'll drool over these pictures
Barefoot Ted, the guy on the right

That's John Durant.  Love his shirt

And, here's Jason Robillard

(event pictures taken from facebook)

Monday, October 11, 2010

KaRUNungan Manila 2010 Race Maps [Update]

Last week I posted the registration details and race map of KaRUNungan Manila 2010.  Some readers got somewhat confused with the route.  Me too!  So, here's an updated race map (3k, 5k, 10k, and 15k) for your reference

New Balance Minimus Trail. A Closer Look

The marriage between Vibram and New Balance gave birth to the Minimus collection.  We expect that by next year there will be at least 3 products will come out: Minimus Wellness, Minimus Road, and Minimus Trail

You've seen the teaser photos.  Do you wanna see it in action?

A marketing video about New Balance Minimus Trail came out.  It featured ultramarathon runner Anton Krupicka and his thoughts about minimalist running.  Here are some snapshots taken from the video

Here you can see where New Balance got their inspiration for the Minimus product line.  Anton shaves off the heel of one of his shoes in order to make his running form natural

I can't wait to get my hands on one of these.  I hope that New Balance will bring the Minimus collection in our local stores.  Will keep my fingers crossed

Friday, October 8, 2010

UNILAB Run United 2 Race Map

Last time, I looked into the crystal ball in order to take a peek into the future.  It was a hit and miss.  Finally, the good news has arrived.  The wait is over.  No need to guess what will be the route for the RunRio Trilogy Leg 3.  I give you the official race maps (3k, 5k, 10k, 15k, 21k, and 32k) of Unilab Run United 2

(Note: click on the image for a bigger resolution)
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