Bull Session 4: Learning From Others

After running for 24 kilometers on the hills of Nuvali, with the very hard steel-enforced concrete roads, I just wanted to curl up in a fetal position and sleep the whole afternoon.

Yesterday I, together with my brother Sam and my sister Jehan drove down to Nuvali for the 4th Bull Session.  There was a big turn-out of runners: TBRDM 2013 batch and other alumni.  We were divided into different groups: 4 minute run-1 minute walk sequence, 3-1 fast, 3-1 slow, and 2-1.  I joined the 2-1 group.

We started from Solenad at 4:50 a.m.  It was a quiet morning and the silence was only interrupted by Mike, our pacer when he called out “Run!” or “Walk!”  When we reached Avida Estates, we made a U-turn and ran back to Solenad.  Then I made a quick detour to the bathroom but when I went out, my group was gone.

Good thing I saw Jehan, so I joined her.  We used the 3-1 sequence.  At one point we saw the 3-1 group with Coach Lit.  We joined them.  I thought it was the 3-1 slow group but they were fast!  Once in a while Coach Lit would say some motivating words like “Focus!” “Good!” We did more walk breaks (30 sec. run-30 sec. walk) during the uphill run towards Miriam College but we ran all the way down after the U-turn.  I absolutely loved the downhill run.  It was my favorite part.

Jehan had an issue with her hip after running downhill.  She said she felt like her lower body has separated from her upper body.  I think she got tired because we were already running for more than two hours and she only brought raisins for her nutrition which were not enough.  We decided to walk.  Coach Lit and his group were no longer in sight.  They had sped away.

After a few minutes, the 4-1 group led by Craig Logan (TBRDM 2010) passed us.  Jehan signaled me to go ahead, that she was going to be fine.  So I joined the group.  I ran behind Craig, followed his cadence and watched his posture.  The group ran with a steady, even pacing.  I could hear our feet landing at the same time.  I liked it.  I ran with them for forty minutes until we reached the last hydration station.  There, I saw Monching of Team PH.  We said our hellos and then I purposely ran behind him all the way back to Solenad.  Hey, he’s an Ironman 70.3 finisher!  I wanted to see how he ran.  I could tell that he enjoyed his run.  He waved at passing Nuvali shuttles as if hitching for a ride. 🙂  That morning I was like a sponge trying to imbibe the techniques of these seasoned runners.

It was already 8:20 a.m. and it was uncomfortably hot! I never liked running under the heat of the sun.  I melt.  Joseph (TBRDM 2012) advised me to train my body to run in that temperature.  Good advise.  Thanks Joseph! 🙂

I think there’s nothing wrong with learning from others how to do things better, and in this case, in running.  I benefited a lot from joining the different groups.  If only I could run with them every week, I know I will learn a lot.  They can help me progress and improve in my training.

Someone said “The biggest room in the world, is the room for improvement.”  Oh yeah. 🙂

As a summary, here are the things I learned:

  • Start slow.

“Whatever energy saved in the first half will be available to you during the last five miles.” – Jeff Galloway

  • Even just a word of encouragement can help especially on tough uphill runs.
  • Even efforts means effort is distributed evenly along the course, and not dictated by time per kilometer.  When running the hills we slow down, maintaining the same effort.
  • Bring adequate nutrition – raisins and candies are not enough.  Sport gels are a good source of easily digestible carbohydrate.
  • A little humor on the course won’t hurt.
  • Running under the sweltering heat of the sun is difficult.  Heat training can help.

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