Thursday, December 27, 2012

Staying Healthy this Holiday Season

Christmas Season is fun and memorable for all Filipinos. We Eat. Then Eat. And Eat. Parties almost every night starting from the 3rd week of December until the first few days of January. Then comes Sinulog!!! 

But not everybody wants to attend parties. Some people (myself included) try to steer clear of overeating opportunities to avoid gaining weight during the holidays. It is really hard to control your appetite when all your favorite dishes are being served and waiting to be devoured. My weakness? Humba. I just can't stop eating our home cooked (Heart attack guaranteed) Humba. I also can't refrain from having an extra serving of any vanilla/ chocolate Ice cream. I am heavy built and gain weight easily whenever I indulge.

I created a healthy lifestyle plan to keep my weight at bay during the holidays. I hope it works well for you as well. Good Luck!!!! 

1. Whenever you are invited to a party. Arrive LATE! As long as you are not bringing food for everybody then it is acceptable to be late. Be Tardy enough that all the good and tasty food have vanished and you are left with just water and Soup. 

2. Stick/ Hang out with healthy weight-conscious Friends. Some of my team mates from Multisport Team Reborn are healthy but not weight conscious because they are blessed with bodies able to metabolize large amounts of food. I try to stick with team mates who are trying to control their food intake as well during the holidays. One for all, All for one. 

3. Make aerobic/ fat burning exercises a group activity. Organize a group bike ride or run to make the holidays more jolly as well as healthy.

4. Schedule Lunch or Dinner parties after regular training hours. This will help increase your metabolism during the party and burn some of the calories you are taking in. 

5. If its not too important, SKIP IT! Try to make an excuse for not attending the party. Be polite, not rude. 

6. Earn your food. Eat only what you have burned prior to the meal. Remind yourself that training is hard and burning 500 calories is equivalent to running at moderate intensity for an hour. Drinking one venti-sized Frappuccino (>500 calories) can be burned by running for more than an hour. 

7. Count calories. I am not a big fan of this but I just remind myself that a cup of hot Cafe Mocha is more than double the calories compared to a cup of Cafe Americano with no sugar and cream. A bottle of San Mig Light is 100 calories and a regular glass of red wine is 100-150 calories.  

8. Eat more vegetables or fiber. I eat cereal bars for breakfast while driving to work or after a workout. During parties, I try to fill my plate with veggies first before meat or carbs. 

9. Love Peanuts and Peanut butter. I never run out of peanuts in the car and peanut butter in the office. I love Jiff or Peter Pan Reduced Fat Peanut butter and Cheding's Greaseless Peanuts. These help reduce my food cravings between meals and provide me with enough protein and calories for recovery. 

10. Pick your food. It does not have to be expensive as long as it is not processed. Despite my love for Cheeseburgers, I try to refrain myself from eating fast food unless there are no other choices. I eat chips, fries and Ice cream only during "cheat days" 1-2x a week to keep myself motivated to exercise and burn the calories I have consumed. 

11. Drink water. This, for me, is the most important. A glass of water before meals and 30-60 minutes after a meal. I consume around 2-3 Liters of water on a regular day. If its really hot and humid outside or if I am training, I consume more. No beer, soda or artificial juices during parties. 

This regimen has worked well for me these past few weeks. I have not gained weight since the start of the holidays and I feel lighter. A regular and healthy diet supplemented with a consistent Aerobic exercise program (moderate intensity, at least 30 minutes/ day for 3-5 days/ week) will help you feel younger, lighter and healthier. Happy Holidays!!! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My First Chain Snap...Timex 226 and the Cobra Ironman Registration

Right when I was about to end my spin program with a heavy geared slow spin, it happened. My very first chain snap. I was not sure what was happening because my chain started jumping gears until my cranks suddenly lost tension. When I looked down. My chain was on the floor. 

For some reason I was smiling when it happened. Do I need a new one? or just have it repaired? 

More importantly, Congratulations to the finishers of the recent TIMEX 226 race in Bohol. Special mention to my team Reborn mates Tenggoy Colmenares and Jomer Lim. Good job mates! Your finish times have really improved. 

Also, I have already registered for the 2013 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines yesterday. I completed registration a few minutes after it opened to make sure I  had a slot. They are selling like hotcakes! If you have plans of joining next year's race you better get your credit card ready and complete the registration form. Waiting for a slot to open can be torture. Register Now! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The solution to Time-crunched Athletes

I am a full-time Doctor training in Adult Pulmonary Medicine and time is a luxury I do not have. Reports, lectures and patients eat away my daily hours. On top of that, I am an exercise addict and want to sweat to relieve stress and stay healthy. 

I used to train 10-15 hours a week when I trained for my first Ironman 70.3 in CamSur. This was 2 years ago and I was not doing medical training back then. Now, I have to squeeze in a few minutes to hours (if I am lucky) just to run or bike or swim in my hectic time schedule. I can only commit to 3-5 hours per week of training and need to build good quality workouts in my training program. 

In a few days, I will register for the 2013 Ironman 70.3 Philippines and have to be ready enough to finish the 1.9K swim, 90K bike and 21k run. Despite my half-ironman finish last 2010 and 2011, I am still nervous I may not be prepared for next year's race. I have committed to losing weight and be as lean as I can next year. I hope to achieve target race weight of 68 kilos by March next year. So far, I have lost more than 5 kilos in more than 2 months and still losing. I use an accurate weighing scale and a BEI measurement device to  keep track of my progress. I record my weight, body fat percent, Basal metabolic rate (BMR) and Body mass index (BMI) every week. (I will soon blog about how to properly use a BEI device)

I convinced myself to cut down on my daily calorie intake and started to choose high quality foods. No processed foods as much as possible. I eat lots of proteins, drink as much water and regularly take my daily food supplements. I still eat at least 3x/day sometimes as often as 5x depending on my daily energy expenditure. I eat small meals enough to satisfy my stomach and not feel hungry all the time. I snack on high quality foods like fruits or nuts to keep me full. Although I allow myself cheat days, this half of my training regimen has been successful. Losing weight and staying healthy is not just about cutting down on food intake. 

The other half is more difficult. I have to exercise or train with only 3-5 hours to spare a week. I have to make quality workouts on my swim, bike or run training to achieve good results. I can only do my bike training using a trainer to maximize time. Cutting down on bike preparation prior to a ride, I can start spinning and focus on my program immediately after commencing my spin program. I usually spin with Team Reborn mates Jung and Gianluca to bear the pain of spin training. I repeatedly remind myself of my mantra while suffering on the trainer. IWBMATTKYT. "I Will Beat My Ass Today To Kick Yours Tomorrow" I got from The Sufferfest website for cyclists. I keep my runs short and hard. Long runs are faster than my previous long slow distance (LSD) runs. I rate my efforts based in on a RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) scale of 1-10. Interval workouts are usually at 8-9 (sometimes 10) and recovery at 6-7 on the scale. Because of my lack of time, I follow a training principle called HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training.

HIIT principle states that workouts/ intervals need to be hard enough to cause a sharp increase in oxygen consumption (VO2 max) to maximize exercise gains followed by bouts of recovery. This method can help you build power and endurance in only a short amount of time per workout. It also improves weight loss by burning fat hours after your workout. Running HIIT will have more exercise gains compared to an ordinary run workout of the same duration. The only drawback is that you have to tolerate the suffering. It hurts to push your body harder (not longer) with only a short burst of near-maximal to maximal effort followed by a recovery phase and repeatedly doing it. Workout sessions last only 20-30 mins but are as effective as longer programs. And because sessions are shorter, It reduces risk of injury from overuse or overtraining when done properly. 

If you are a time-crunched athlete like me then maybe you should start incorporating HIIT training to fully maximize your exercise gains. Time is never an excuse to not exercise. Make time to exercise. Your body is your biggest investment. See you on the road!!! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

I am joining the 2013 Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines

I was just given the approval to join the next Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Cebu, Philippines. I can't wait to register this December 1, 2012.

I missed the 2011 edition of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines since I had already raced in the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore and will only race once a year. This year, as part of my Adult Pulmonary Medicine fellowship Medical training, I was in Palawan for our Midyear Convention while the participants raced the streets of Cebu last August 2012. Next year, despite the lack of time for serious training I will join the Ironman 70.3 Philippines to be one with my team mates (Team Reborn). I will not aim for a fast finish but will try to do my best to finish strong despite the lack of time to follow our training program. 

I am so excited to resume fitness training once again. I have been trying to lose weight to compensate for my lack of training. If I can't commit to long training hours to increase fitness power then I need to lighten up to improve performance. I hope to be 68 kilos on race day. We, Team Reborn, have been keeping track of our weight, Body mass index and body fat percentage and So far I am on track. Started with 77 kilos prior to resuming training and have lost more than 5 kilos in the past 8 weeks. I will soon blog about how I lost weight properly despite my busy schedule. I am now as healthy as I was 2 years ago when I joined my first Ironman 70.3 race. I still have to lose a few centimeters of fat in my midsection which I accumulated from not exercising and eating more than I should. This time, I am determined to lose weight and control my diet. 

I want to be an Ironman once again. With God's help, I will be successful in my Adult Pulmonary Medicine training and Ironman 70.3 training next year.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My First Race this year

My last run race was last year during the Milo Marathon in Manila. I finished the half-marathon with a painful right knee in more than 2 hours. After that race, I started focusing more on building my cycling fitness and swimming techniques. No runs.

To complete my medical training, I am now pursuing subspecialty training in Adult Pulmonology. I have not been running or training since March. Recently, I resumed training to lose weight and regain my fitness. Started running and spinning when I have the free time and have been controlling my food intake. This is easier said than done. I love to eat.

To save time, I do short hard intervals in running and cycling. This raises my heart rate high enough to promote weight loss despite the short duration. I can only run 10K and sometimes do 14-16k long runs on weekends after work. 

Last Sunday, I was invited to run the Gold's Gym race held in JCentre Mall. I planned to do an easy 16k but made a last minute decision to run race pace for the first 10K split to see if I have improved my 10K run and recover for the next 6K. Thanks to my team mate Jomer Lim who paced for me, I had completed the 10K in 49:57 minutes. My legs then started to sore and felt heavy so decided to just do a run-walk interval to complete the run. I crossed the 16K finish line in 1:24:56 minutes and completed a long cool down of stretches and walking. 

Because it suits my schedule, I prefer to train only for 10K run races. I can't wait to run my next race.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My NEWTON Shoes have had enough.

After countless kilometers and races conquered, my Newton running shoes have had enough. I think its time to let them rest. 

My afternoon run last Sunday was 15Km to Mactan Island. Ran Average 6:00 min/Km under the cold drizzling weather. God has blessed me knowing that I have not done long runs in a long time. 

After my run, brushed off the mud and dirt from my Newtons and saw this. I guess its time for a new one.   

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Need to Lose Weight...

Exercise as much as you can. 

Control your appetite. 

Drink lots of water.

Drink your supplements regularly.

Measure Weight, BMI and Body Fat Percentage. 

See you soon! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Last Training Ride

I had a Cycling vacation prior to starting my subspecialty fellowship training in Pulmonology at Perpetual Succour Hospital. I spent a few days in Dumaguete City with cyclist friends and rode with some of their best road cyclists.

Here are my ride details after my last long ride for the season.

(Training Duration)

(Training Distance)

(Average Speed)

(Maximum Speed)

(Total Distance of Cycling Base Training)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The End of my Cycling Base Training

My race season is officially over. I just started my medical subspecialty training in Pulmonology and my schedule is packed for the next 3 years.

For the past 5 months, I have focused on cycling base training to improve my overall bike performance. I cycled from Lilo-an, Cebu almost every day and had an accident during the early days of my training. I ended my program with a cycling vacation in Dumaguete City and was lucky to have trained with elite cyclists. 

This is my Badge of Honor. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Does your TIMEX GLOBAL TRAINER have a Run Cadence?

AT LAST!!!! The updated Timex Global Trainer now have a Cadence function.

Run cadence, measured according to number of footstrikes per minute, is crucial to running economy. The current recommendation is to run with a cadence at 85-90 strides per minute. 
The Timex Global Trainer just got another upgrade. You can purchase the footpod online and upgrade your software. The new firmware has many features. Check them out!
The footpod can fit in your Nike+ Shoes under the inner sole or you can use them with a footpod pouch or the footpod shoelace clip so you can transfer them to any running shoes you want to use.
Upgrade your Timex Global Trainer firmware by following the steps in the Timex Website. Upgrade also your device agent.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Need a Bike? What is your Bike Size?

With the Ironman 70.3 Philippines in a few months, excited first time triathletes prepare for their biggest race this year.

Swim training is the most difficult for many. Not many of us swam when we were younger and some just learned how to swim. The first thing we need to start our swim training is to get a swim coach. We will also need basic swim equipment to help us practice better. A good pair of training or pool goggles and open water or race goggles are a necessity. Swim trunks or tri shorts and swim caps are required for most swimming pools and a few swimmers invest in pool buoys, paddles or kick boards to enhance their training.

Runners need only a good pair of running shoes. Although local running stores can easily help you with the right pair, many still resort to trial and error.

Cycling, on the other hand, is the most complicated. Finding the right gear is a challenge as even professional cyclists experiment on their equipment. I learned to bike when I was in high school and never realized it was this complicated.

For those joining the Ironman, road or tri bikes are required. I have searched online for the most comprehensive bike measurements needed prior to buying your first bike and became more confused since most recommendations are just estimates.

Body measurements are needed to arrive at the right estimate.
1. Inseam/ Inside Leg Length. These are taken with your back against the wall and standing barefoot. Measure from the floor up to the part where your measuring tape touches your crotch.
2. Trunk Length. From the top of your inseam, measure to the top of your sternum at the point where both clavicles meet in the middle of your chest.
3. Arm Length. This is measured from the hand (clenched fist) holding a round object to your shoulder joint (bony protrusion above the shoulders).

Bike measurements or geometry estimates from the body measurements taken.
1. Frame Size. Usually provided by manufacturers measured from center of bottom bracket to either center of top tube or top of seat tube. Estimated from Inseam x 0.65.
2. Top Tube Length. Measured using traditional (non-sloping) frames. Sloping frames are provided with effective top tube measurements by manufacturers. Estimated from trunk length + 2-3cm.
3. Saddle Height. Measured from center of bottom bracket to top of central part of saddle. Estimated from Inseam x 0.885.
4. Crank Length. Normally 170mm but may vary depending on rider height and riding style. Recent data suggest using shorter cranks for Time trials or Triathlon events.
5. Handlebar Measurements. Width usually 42cm depending on shoulder width and riding style. Sprinters use wider bars while Climbers use narrow bars. Drop, reach and shape of handlebars depend on rider preference and style.
6. Head Stem Length. Depending on riding style, stem length range from 60mm to 140mm or longer. Estimated from Arm length x 0.203. A rough guide is to look at the front hubs while riding on the drops or hoods (conflicting data regarding exact riding location). The handlebars should occlude the front hubs while assuming this position.

These are just basic measurement estimates that cyclist need to consider prior to purchasing or experimenting  with new equipment. Many factors need to be considered when experimenting with bike settings like comfort and riding style. Aggressive riders prefer to be more aerodynamic while some riders prefer to be more comfortable during their rides. Materials used for each equipment are significant for the weight-conscious cyclist. Carbon and titanium parts are lighter and more expensive than aluminum or steel parts. These do not necessarily relate to better performance.

Recently, I made small changes to my road bike setup which made very significant changes in performance. I changed my stem from 110mm to 120mm with a -6 degree rise and noticed major improvements. I always train with a heart monitor to check performance and noted that my heart rate was lower by at least 5-10 percent immediately after changing stems. These findings are consistent as I regularly check my training log for heart rate changes on the same course and intensity.

These are my exact road bike specifications.
Frame: Scott Speedster S20 aluminum with Scott carbon forks (Size: Medium/ TT: 54.5)
Stem: FSA OS150 120mm +/- 6 degrees
Handlebars: Scott Road Anatomic 42mm
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 11-25
Crankset: Shimano Ultegra 53/39 170mm cranks
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
Pedals: Speedplay Zero Chromoly
Saddle: Fi’zi:k Arione Versus
Seatpost: Scott carbon/ alloy
Wheelset: Fulcrum Racing 7
Tires: Vredestein Fortezza TriComp 700x23
Bottle Cage: Lezyne cages
Computer: Cateye Strada Wireless
Cadence sensor: Garmin

Time Trial or Triathlon Bikes are a bit more complicated. No exact recommendations are published. Mountain bikes also have different recommendations.

(click to enlarge)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Vellum Cycles release the 2013 Uno Elite for Triathletes

I have been a Vellum cyclist for almost 2 years. Aubrey is a Vellum Uno of older edition but has delivered me 2 Ironman 70.3 race finishes and numerous shorter distance races. I love this bike. Aubrey also survived my major crash last December. She is fast, light and durable. 

This year, Vellum Cycles promotes cycling and Triathlon and just released the latest 2013 Vellum Uno Elite. This bike will be used by Pro Triathlete Dan Brown who is sponsored by Vellum Cycles to the Aviva Ironman 70.3 in Singapore and the Cobra Ironman 70.3 in Cebu. Check out the gorgeous design and aggressive geometry of the 2013 Vellum Uno Elite.

Vellum Frames available at THE BRICK

Monday, February 6, 2012

What was the first thing you did during the 6.9 Earthquake?

A strong earthquake hit Cebu and Negros today. 

I was in SM City Cebu when it happened. I was looking for an item in ACE Hardware when the displays suddenly shook. I stood still and concluded that it was an earthquake. Walking slowly towards the exit, I was shocked to see a few people dashing towards the door. We stood outside the mall for a few minutes and when it was all calm. I walk calmly back inside. 

After a few minutes, SM announced that everybody should vacate the mall in a calm fashion. I went up the 4th floor to get my car and drove out as relaxed as I can. 

On my way home, I got a text message saying colon is flooded. I turned on my PC when I got home and checked Facebook for any updates. I was surprised to see flooding of false information. People were saying tsunami has struck Cebu and people were running for their lives along the busy streets causing traffic jams inside the City.

I, on the other hand, prepared for the worst. I packed some stuff inside a small bag, which included some clothes, flashlights and my wallet, and placed it near the door. Knowing that there was a tsunami warning and that we are living near the shoreline, I went down and transferred Lara and Aubrey from our basement to our living room on a higher floor. My mother laughed when she saw me carry my bikes up the stairs.

As I write this article, the tsunami warning has been lifted and we are still experiencing continuous aftershocks which are slightly of lesser intensity than the first event.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What have you done for your bike lately?

Have you ever given your bike a bath? or checked the screws and bolts? 

Have you ever cleaned your bike chain? or applied chain lube? 

Many do not realize that bikes are like cars. They need constant cleaning and maintenance. They have to be tuned regularly and checked for loose (or even too tight) screws. They should also be checked for fast and proper shifting before every race. 

If you do not have time to do all these maintenance checks then THE BRICK Multisport Store have the perfect solution for you. 

Soon to open in the new J. Centre Mall is the Cebu branch of the triathlete/ multi-sport store called The Brick. The store offers a cyclist friendly shop that caters to all your multi-sport needs. The new branch, opening this month, is also Bike friendly. 

The "soon to open" Brick Multisport Store will offer a unique bike experience. The very first Bike spa. While waiting for your bike to be cleaned or tuned, cyclists can roam around the mall or sit in a comfy sofa and watch multi-sport movies. They will offer several bike spa packages that will suit your bikes' needs. From a thorough bike cleaning to a full bike maintenance check, your bike will truly appreciate the pampering. They will also offer basic bike services like repairs or parts installations. 

I can't wait to bring Aubrey or Lara to The Brick when they open. Watch our for it!!! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How was your CCM 2012 Experience?

Please share your CCM 2012 experience. All comments are welcome. For the improvement of the race. Thank you very much for the support and Congratulations!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

GOOD LUCK CCM Runners!!!

Wish I could serve you this year but priorities need to be addressed. Good Luck! Godspeed!



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