National Age Group Triathlon 2019 - Subic Leg

NAGT - Subic
Standard Distance Triathlon
1.5K - 40K - 10K 
January 27, 2019

Registration at the ballroom hall of ACEA where the swim start will happen

Testing my Giant TCR before bike check in

Transition 1... the bikes look fewer than the last time I joined NAGT

Race briefing, everyone is eager to listen to how the bike drafting rules
and a slight change in the bike course will be applied
The packed ballroom hall contradicts the number of bikes in T1 

Dinner by the seaside

With teammates who finished strong
I’m really glad I joined this event, seeing old and new faces

It’s an honor to be sandwiched by these two gentlemen
It’s always a blessing to be part of an event like this

I have a slow swim time of 33 minutes which is totally expected because of my lack of proper training prior to NAGT

Considering my conditioning, I’m really lucky to clock 1:10 on the bike

My legs aren’t up for a PR obviously; there is a bit of pain on my legs
and my usual side stitch is present. I’ve been given the opportunity to run side by side 
with Miss Kim Kilgroe at one point but she’s just way faster.
52 minutes on a course where a think I can get close to 45 minutes ;)
Total time: 2:42

Niyogyugan Triathlon 2018

August 12, 2018
Sprint Distance Triathlon
600m - 20K - 5K = 1 Hour 10 minutes
Lucena City

First wave

After the first turnaround point at the run leg

Jamming with the young guns

1 hour 10 minutes

With Wil the organizer and Trimac Team

First race of my Giant TCR Advanced 1 KOM

Bike checkout at the transition area

With No Tri Bike I Bought A....... Road Bike Again

Why did I buy a road bike and not a tri bike?

In all of my racing events I've never used a time trial bike or a tri bike. I knew that tri bikes were more aero and the rider position was best for triathlon especially the non UCI compliant bikes. Tri bikes were simply FAST, period. Contemplating on buying a new bike as a reward to myself for finishing an Ironman event, it was never a hard choice between a road bike and a tri bike. I knew that I could go faster on a tri bike in non drafting races and for that reason alone I considered it but still I wanted to have a new road bike instead of a tri bike and here's the reason: STI levers. I always ride out with my bike and the safety and comfort of having both the brakes and shifters right at my fingertips was a pure joy. 

Giant TCR Advanced 1 KOM - snappy

I bought a Giant TCR Advanced 1 KOM a week after IMPH. I replaced the wheels with Vision Metron 55, the tires with Continental GP4000s II 25c and the KOM cogs with 11-28. This bike handles really well, it looks cool, it feels fast but it actually isn't faster than my old aluminum bike. It corners predictably and brakes smoothly surprisingly better than my alloy rim Shimano Dura Ace wheelset. Giant TCR Advanced 1 KOM is a highly recommended bike in my opinion.

Shipped thru cargo

This bike is a lucky one for me; in it's first four events I finished first place twice (National Age Group and Subic Bay International), second place once (Niyogyugan Tri), and third place once (My Daily Collagen Tri). I am a slow biker but sometimes my bike split is enough to have a decent finish.

inspires me to ride

I thought I would smash the peloton at MOA... my tiny quads wouldn't allow me

bike to work

The Vision Metron 55 wheelset has a compression cap that needs to be tightened,
if you happen to own one and feels like you have a bearing problem you 
might just have to adjust the compression cap with an allen wrench

Ironman Philippines 2018

Ironman Philippines 2018
3.8K - 180K - 42.195K

This was the race I had been preparing for since January 2018. This was the reason why I was doing long runs, long swims and a couple of long rides. This race made me run long like I really needed to run, made me enjoy long hours on the saddle like a young cyclist and made me swim longish until my hands got wrinkly. As far as I can remember there were only two races where I trained with long runs and those were marathons. I like biking but was never really one to put crazy miles in a week’s ride. I can swim but I just did it for the sake of joining events. So my training for an Ironman, born out of necessity, was a bit off my comfort zone but I had the time to prepare and prepare I did.

For such a momentous race for myself it was almost unbelievable and hilarious that I almost got late to the venue. The moment I arrived at ACEA there was I think just 10 minutes before the organizers would close the transition area. Everything was a blur, running back and forth inside the transition area preparing gears and street bag.

Speedo Mariner goggles and Casio stopwatch 

The swim was a rolling start. I started in Zone 3 group with the orange colored swim cap. It was uneventful, thankfully it was over in 1:17. Everything was turning out as planned so far. After the swim I changed clothes inside a tent before going inside transition 1.

Orbea aluminum road bike, Specialized cycling shoes

After just a few kilometers on the bike, I felt I had to poop so the first portalet at around 15 kilometers was a jackpot. I spent some time there and what I remembered was it was too hot inside and looking at my watch I thought I still had a lot of time to get inside transition 2 at around 3:10 P.M. as planned. I had a multipurpose tape around my drop bar with the expected time splits for the turnaround and some aid stations. I was happily hitting the target times at almost every time check. At around 70 kilometers I saw in front of me the rain we were about to hit so I grabbed my rain jacket from my belt bag and wore it. I looked like a clown but cold is the enemy and I was prepared for it. With a flappy jacket my speed dropped by almost 5 kilometers per hour, it was a bummer but I was still hitting my time checks with ease. I did eat twice on different pit stops, sausage and Hopia never tasted that good. When you’re hungry it doubles the pleasure of eating I guess. Because I wasn’t feeling particularly warm enough after the rain I was still wearing the jacket long after the rain stopped. With almost 160 kilometers done I changed clothes again, this time it was a very loose red sleeveless running shirt. The last 20 kilometers saw me making the sign of the cross praying not to have mechanical problems. At 2:59 P.M. I arrived at transition 2 eleven minutes earlier than planned.

New Balance Vazee Rush with thick insole and black mall shorts :)

Inside transition 2 I took the time to pour water unto myself as if taking a shower. As refreshing as it may sound it was still 3 P.M., with the sun up on a clear sky. I changed attire once again, this time I wore walking shorts and an orange sleeveless shirt, I didn’t look like someone doing an Ironman but believe me this was how I dressed during training so this was nothing new to me. I love pockets on my pants and walking shorts were comfortable to me so I ran and rode with my casual walking shorts when I went out to train.

Fin :)

The run leg started with my usual routine, a trip to the nearest portalet for a second poop of the day. Looking at a very dirty portalet I would find myself venturing to a gas station. It was a success but it really took too long. I was surprised that my legs were holding up just fine throughout the run. I changed clothes again on Special Needs station wearing a red New Balance T shirt and again for the Nth time on my last trip to the Special Needs station wearing a red Nike T shirt. I still have a fresh shirt inside my rear pocket just in case I would change shirt again. The provided nutrition on aid stations EVERY ONE KILOMETER saved my day... and night. I drank cola, Gatorade and ate bananas. The last four kilometers were the longest 4 kilometers of my running life. At 40K everyone would pass by the finishing venue with still 2K to go. I had 2K left to run, some 12 minutes to cherish what I am about to accomplish and a lot of time to change clothes again for my finishing photo but all sorts of things kept coming inside my head that I forgot to wear my fitted muscle shirt. It was 8:21 PM when I crossed the finish line, 13 hours and 46 minutes to glory. If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for dropping by.


Ironman Philippines was a huge success for the organizers. They brought in the full distance triathlon with so much care for the participants. The aid stations for the run leg alone were eleven on a 2 loop course which gave us approximately one station for every kilometer. And to top that off, every aid station was manned by triathlon teams who volunteered to help and cheer us. Amazing.

Still fresh at this point... red belt bag contains rain jacket and extra shirt

I think this was my 6th shirt of the day

At transition 1 with my rain jacket

Transition 2 inside Remy Field running oval

 2 loop swim course because they added a 70.3 event coinciding with IMPH

The bike course mostly inside the tollway

A very safe run course even at night... look at all those aid stations

Century Tuna Underpants Run Subic 2018

Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center
3K Fun Run

Once upon a time in Hawaii, three triathletes had a jog as a sort of lighthearted protest to decrease the number of triathletes who unknowingly offend the sensibilities of the islanders by wearing Speedos - skimpy old style Speedo trunks yey hahaha.
For the inaugural 2018 Ironman Philippines we had 3K Underpants Run presented by Century Tuna.
Aside from running in only my red underpants, I got to meet my long lost cousin based in the USA. A few participants wore costumes, some wore underpants and many wore shorts.
We gathered just outside the convention center for a few minutes before they signaled us to run. There was a prize for the first finisher and everybody owned a nice black finisher shirt after the short and fast jog. It was no surprise that every runner looked very fit and fast unlike any other fun runs I joined.
I was glad I did this, it was both fun and liberating. The experience and the freebies were good enough reasons to try this race a day before the Big Race.

Ironman Philippines
Fools or Bold ;)

For lack of photos pardon my selfie

My long lost cousin from US - he's legit fast
As much as I would like to share my leg's tan lines... I'm shy

Subic Bay International Triathlon 2018

Subic Bay International Triathlon 2018
April 22, 2018 Sunday Morning
1.5K - 40K - 10K

This race was part of my road to Ironman Philippines 2018. I got to swim in open water and had a look at my progress in cycling and running. By this time the color of my skin was pretty dark, a sign of training perhaps? I couldn't remember a time when I was more prepared than this race, I just didn't know if I can execute properly on race day.

I had a horrible swim but I didn't know how I had a poor swim, I thought with my effort in the sea I'd be somewhere in front. Maybe because of poor sighting.
The bike leg was awesome. I was flying by my own standard. Not super fast but definitely well above my past experiences on a course like that. Stickman was all smiles with the way the cycling went.
The run course was flat and I think it really helped with the time result. 
Total time was 2:39. My legs felt fine even after I pushed it on the bike. Suddenly after years of joining races, it seemed I was learning how to bike ;) .
There was one thing I observed during the event; participants seemed fewer than the last few times I joined this. Maybe I was wrong but it just felt that way to me.

Race packet pick up at Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center

Mini Expo

Transition 1 bike check in around 3pm Saturday 

View of swim starting line from the hotel walkway

Race map

With Puro Tri Ironcouple Nino and Nero

You can't win on the swim but you can lose a race at the swim leg

2 hours 39 minutes
Orbea aluminum bike with box type wheels, New Balance Vazee

My Training For Ironman Philippines 2018

The first thing I knew about Ironman training is that TIME is most essential. Time to train, time to recover, time for family and friends, time to work. For the 2018 Ironman Philippines I knew that I can schedule my workouts, particularly the long ones, and still be able to handle everything else comfortably. I simply had the luxury of time.

Brompton time at Mall Of Asia


IMPH was slated on June 3, 2018 and starting on January 2018 I had on my hands some 4 plus months to get myself ready to swim 3.8K, bike 180K and run 42K in Subic Bay Freeport Zone come race day.

I divided my training into 4 main phases.

My usual swim venue

1.  General Conditioning
My last swim was some 6 months ago during a 5150 Event hence swimming is the first order of business in preparation for my upcoming National Age Group Triathlon on the last Sunday of January 2018. For 2 weeks I swam and swam and swam, biked a little, and ran a little. When NAGT 2018 arrived, surprisingly I did well on the swim leg but suffered on the bike and run. I was more than 20 minutes off of my usual finish time. It was a revelation of my current fitness form and a good barometer in planning my succeeding training going forward to IMPH.
After NAGT I had to rest my aching body. My Achilles tendon was so sore and calves were aching. I had to rest, and rest for 10 days I did. I resumed my general body conditioning with light workouts on the swim and run, and some short but serious hammering on the bike. I thought speed workouts on my bike would give me better speed early and worry with my endurance later on.

Happy feet at Subic Waterfront Road

2.  Run Phase
In the middle of February 2018 I committed to improve my running endurance. For someone who never runs long during training this was probably the hardest part for me. I ran 3 times a week and all of them LONG. I discovered myself running long and not breaking apart. I was determined to have my running legs as early as Subic Bay International Triathlon 2018 which was about 6 weeks before IMPH. My bike training was also gathering serious weekly mileage going into SuBIT 2018 but never reached a hundred kilometers in a single ride. By the time SuBIT 2018 came on April 22, with still 6 weeks to go before IMPH, my running legs felt ready for a marathon. No aches were felt after the race but the thing that really pleased me was my speed on the bike. I was and still am a slow biker but a slight bump up on my average speed was an unexpected outcome of my training. I averaged 33 kilometers per hour. This may not be fast to a lot of triathletes but it surely was above my past records.

Leisure stroll at BGC

3.  Bike Phase
With my running legs seemingly ready, I shifted my focus on my time on the saddle. I had 4 rides that went north of 100 kilometers including a 150K ride with just 12 days to go. I heard a lot of advice about getting as much as 6 rides of 150K or more before the race but never listened anyway. It might surprise anyone to know that there was not a single brick workout all throughout my training as in Nada, Zip, Wala. Leg strength workouts such as leg raise supplemented my muscle endurance training. I firmly believed that when the race comes nearer I would eventually concentrate on bike and swim workouts out of panic; this was my underlying reason behind building strong running legs earlier than most training plans would offer.

Ironman Philippines training
#notoswimming lalalalala

4.  Taper
I had 12 days of taper after a test ride of 150 kilometers on a Tuesday morning. Had massages, lots of sleep, short fast runs, long swim, short swims, short rides, and most importantly night runs to condition my body for those hours when I’ll most likely run if ever I’d be lucky enough to still be on the course at night. My final workout was a 1.2K swim at 6pm on a Thursday night before packing my gears for travel.

Solo ride on a remote barangay - rice field view from this place is refreshing

Bits and Pieces – there was a time when I was sidelined for 10 days in the middle of training due to stiff neck, and when I came back I had to use my Brompton folding bike for the rides so I’d be sitting upright. The reason for the stiff neck was my wrong use of dumbbells, talking about dumbbells and being dumb right.

This place is currently the 'Weekly Bente Bente Road Race' starting line for 2019

In hindsight, would I do it again this way? Well, if it would work on race day chances are I'd stick to it. The simplicity of the plan which beckoned to run more early on and bike more as the event nears is probably more comfortable on my fragile body. It may not suit most IM aspirants but I would definitely recommend running endurance to be at the top of the list because on race day we would all be exercising caution on the bike leg anyway no matter how fit we are on the bike.

Orbea Aqua 10 speed aluminum road bike with Dura Ace SL wheelset

On my way to Subic Bay Freeport Zone, the venue of IMPH, I can't help but feel grateful for the journey I traveled and thankful for the the people who supported me. The memories of the hills I climbed, the seas I swam, the wind I sliced, the heat I endured were all etched in my mind. It was a long one but every step taken brought me nearer to my goal. To the many, I suggest you to take up a fitness routine... to the few, I encourage you to sign up for an Ironman. 'PROMISE'... you'll love it every step of the way.

MTB on a hanging bridge near my local bike shop

Race day, June 3, 2018 is a story for another time… thank you for reading ;0

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...