The gun shot at midnight to herald the start of the Condura Skyway marathon had extra significance for all of the 5000 plus marathon runners that morning. The gun shot was symbolic of the loss of the 44 Fallen PNP-SAF members. They are heroes who died for freedom and peace. May you all Rest in Peace and your families gain strength from your sacrifice. We all salute and respect you.
Running for a Cause – Congratulations Raul Concepcion aka RunningShield
Thanks to the vision and integrity of Raul Concepcion we had an event to honor our heroes. The fallen 44 and the current serving and retired armed forces were at the forefront of our minds and hearts.
Like the thousands of others I ran with a heavy heart as I thought of them. I also reflected on my other heroes and was thinking of my Dad, my hero, Charles Davis. He adopted and adored my brother and I and was a great man. I ran that morning wearing his ring. It was quite prophetic that at the 28km mark I was joined by a guy called Charles, the only person whom I ran with for a few kilometers as he kept my steady pace of 4:58 for the entire marathon. I took it as symbolic that my Dad was with me for the race and I knew in my heart that I would finish the race strongly.
This was my 17th marathon (with 3 of those as part of Ironman events) and my personal best time whilst running in the Philippines. My previous best was 3:30:02 at the Milo Eliminations last July 2014. I smashed my time by 1 second. Haha. I also beat my Condura Marathon best time that I set in 2010 of 3:30:38. Thanks for guiding me Dad. I also did my Condura 2015 marathon after biking 91 kilometers that morning as part of our Melbourne Ironman 2015 preparations. So it made by pb a little more special. See other runner’s results here.
Glad I Ran the Extra 1.8km with Kim Atienza to Make it 44km in Total
Lucky for me I was at the finish line when Kim Atienza was there in his personal best of 3:53:52. We did a post 42.2km cool down of 1.8km to honor the #44 Fallen PNP-SAF Members. Well done Kim and thanks.
Other Sources of Inspiration Right On Course
All athletes have their own journey’s, stories to tell and reasons to run. It is wonderful to run with old friends, meet new ones and be inspired by the feats of others.
There Were Many Triathletes at the 2015 Condura Skyway Marathon – Thanks to Race Day for the great pictures
Century Tri-Hards Vanj and Elaine. — with Vanj Endaya and Elaine Andaya at Skyway
Sante Barley teammates Florito G. Roque Jr, Jonah Rivera and Nomar Alferos at Skyway.
Pogi Chef Cyrille Soenen with the equally attractive and engaging Tessa Valdez.
Getting Stronger and Faster Despite Getting Older!
Here is a snap shot of how my Primed Lifestyle helped me achieve my personal best marathon time in the Philippines.
Run Better, Not More
The last time I ran Condura Skyway Marathon was for the Dolphins in 2010. Back then I averaged more than 70km per week for the 10 weeks prior to the marathon. That’s a lot of time, energy and potential injury involved in those 70kms.
Now I am older, smarter and use my time more wisely. I ran/walked just an average of 41kms per week for the 10 weeks prior to Condura 2015. Here I incorporated more sprint work (not too much and only when feeling great). I added more slower speed runs and also included walking into my kilometers for the first time. Hence, I “ran” even less than the 41km average.
I was well rested, not over-trained, and ready physically and mentally for the marathon.
I Greased the Groove
This saying of a top US triathlete relates to using your time wisely and not running yourself into the ground. Hence, even though I ran less I stood more (thanks to Lauren’s beautiful stand up desk) and walked more. I kept myself practically and functionally fit and didn’t over-train and adversely affect my hormone functions.
I work out just 20 minutes a week and have never been more toned in my life. Again, quality over quantity with respect to the vitally important weight training.
You Burn What You Eat As Fuel
I will post on this topic more at a later date but I have made myself into a Primed fat burner despite once being a sugar burner. See picture below comparing the two. I now train a lot less, eat more and have improved metabolic functioning and my metabolic results.
For sporting endeavors (and life in general) you can either burn sugar, fat or both. If you can eliminate the non-essential sugars and starches (cheap processed carbs) out of your diet your body will burn fat. It has no other option. So, during exercise your body looks for energy and uses the fat stored in your body. We have fat stores of up to 40,000 calories at our disposal. It is like having your own battery pack and this fat is a powerhouse source of energy.
Did you know that you don’t need carbo/sugar as an energy source? The fuel source available for carb/sugar burners is around 2,000 calories give or take a thousand. That’s why you need to constantly top up.
From the 26km mark I passed around 24 runners and not a single person overtook me. This is an indication that my fat fuel was working as my sugar/carb burning buddies were running out of their fuel as they hit the dreaded wall. I saw my first casualty quietly swearing to himself at the 28km mark.
A good analogy is to say they were similar to a fuel tanker running out of fuel. They could have utilized the 40,000 calories stored as fat, but being sugar burners they were not adapted to that. Luckily for me I am now a fat burning “machine” who didn’t run out of fuel. Picture from here. Coincidentally, fat is the best source of fuel for your brain too (not just muscles) as your brain is 60% fat. Better cognitive function and less brain fog and potential Alzheimer’s are but a few of the rewards.
See this excellent article as a nice explanation comparing fat burners to sugar/carbo loaded ones. Also, please refer to our Primed article about the plethora of athletes and teams going Low Carb and High Fat. Novak Djokovic, who just won the Australian Open, is also a proponent of using high fat (low carbs) for optimal performance.
On Saturday evening before the race I fat loaded with excellent quality saturated fat like avocado, cream cheese and chorizo sausage. I also had a shot of Virgin Coconut Oil and coconut water. I then had another shot of Coconut Oil one hour before the midnight start. In the morning before and after my 90km bike I had bananas, eggs, nuts, beef jerky and dried fruits.
No Bad Fuel
I still eat my carbohydrates in the form of green vegetables, squash and fruits. I simply avoid refined, man-made GMO variants quite often found in grains and the like. I will never carbo-load again on noodles, bread, pasta and highly processed “foods” like them.
Your body metabolizes them exactly as it does sugar so as to spike your blood sugar levels. The Primed Lifestyle aims to minimize sugars and 100% avoid vegetable oils so as to maximize your nutrition and minimize inflammation. Beer is made from Grains and I have successfully avoided beer since February 24th, 2014. Cheers to that.
As mentioned, I have adapted to become a fat burner (it takes time and is advisable to have a Wellness Coach guide you) and only consumed one small container of Primed Home-made Gel during the marathon. I had around 1.5 cups of water only and no sports drink which would spike my blood sugar levels. The rule for water consumption is to drink to thirst only. Refer to the wonderful book of Professor Tim Noakes called Water Logged. I started the race at 63 kilos, finished at around 60 kilos and equalized to 62 kilos by Monday morning. Kenyans can quite often lose up to 10% body weight during their marathons with no ill effects.
No Music but Listen To Your Body
I love my Aussie hip hop music and like nothing better than listening to my favorite Joelistics, Hilltop Hoods or Briggs while I run. However, for a personal best you must be only listening to your body. Listen to your breathing, your foot falling and listen to and feel the energy around you. If I had my music on I would not have been able to draw inspiration from my running pal Charles.
Post Race Recovery
We use Inversion therapy to help our muscles and bones realign. You can use the park equipment if you don’t own a specific table for the inversion.
We also swam in a cold pool for a while post race to help with muscle recovery. Ice baths are also a good idea if you can.
A lot athletes think the end of their race is a time to “pig out”. Of course you can enjoy your food but for recovery your body prefers protein to re-build the damaged muscles and good quality fats. Don’t undo your good work by eating fast foods and sugary drinks. Definitely stay clear of artery clogging deep fried “food” that could seriously compromise your hard worked heart.
With the Primed Lifestyle you recover faster and better from hard training sets and races. You are not eating inflammatory foods but foods that actively aid your recovery. Let food be your medicines and medicine be your food.
The Final Word
The Condura Skyway Marathon was a wonderful race to honor our heroes in the form of the 44 fallen PNP-SAF, current and retired armed services personnel.
Let’s take time to reflect on how fortunate we are to have our health so we can enter such events. We owe it to ourselves and our families to do all we can to be healthier, stronger, happier and better.