09 July 2009


Some of us have been running for years and most likely, have observed the phenomenal popularity of running now. We can vividly recall how it was several years back. Races were not held every week. And if there was one, few runners did join them. In fact, we almost knew each other. Now, some races are even held almost every week and two of them at the same time! Amazing. Runners joining today's races even reach by the thousands. While still working in Ortigas and doing my after-office runs in formerly called Ultra (hmm, what a literal metaphor of things to come), there were few runners using the track. Now, you have to jostle your way in and say excuse or "runner passing" just to avoid a mishap.

So what do all these things tell us? Well, Filipinos have certainly caught the running bug and I think it is here to stay. We now even have ultras!

That is all good but the eagerness of a new runner in his/her newly found passion makes him susceptible to, shall we call it, "the eager beaver syndrome" or overtraining. The dreaded case of too much too soon. Even veteran runners do experience overtraining one time or another. Nancy Shura, an ultrarunner once said: "When a runner gets injured... you never hear them say ‘And I have been running so poorly!’... it's usually... ‘Damn, I was running so well, then this’. It happens to the best".

We have read and heard sad stories of people who stopped running because they thought injury is a natural by-product of running. Far from it. Running is the most natural activity in the world. Free and inexpensive, um, well until we start buying all these modern gadgets, latest technical clothing, etc., etc. That is another story. Or until race organizers start charging us exorbitant race fees. Let me digress here for a while. Did you know that the entry fee for Badwater - the World's Toughest Foot Race is US$795?! Very expensive and difficult to get in too. Oh well. By the way, it will be held on July 13-15, 2009.

So going back to overtraining, check this link http://www.rrca.org/resources/articles/sum99ots.htm and learn something about it. While you are at it, feel free to browse the other articles in there as well. Very informative.

Happy reading!


  1. Great post. Many people go out and do too much too soon. Booo on Badwater. As a trail runner I can't for the life of me understand why someone wants to run on asphalt for 135 miles! To each his own I guess. My friend Jon G. loves this race and is going back for his fourth time. He's asked me to pace him, I've turned him down twice. This year I get a reprieve because I choose going to his wedding over a race, I need an excuse for next year. I like how you guys have "Running Aid" such a resource for new runners and people can learn the dangers of over training there too.

  2. Rick - Yup, to each his own. Who knows you might change your mind and do the Badwater or Spartathlon or any other ultra road race in the future. I think you are far more capable than the rest of us mere mortals :)

  3. Hi Jon, it was a surprise. I didn't know you have a blog until last night, well, my congratulations. I'm speechless here as all I am reading is more on ultras, you're really beyond reach Bro. Anyway, with the way you write and the clarity of your posts, marami ako matututuhan dito. More power and my best regards. BTW, I already added you (in case you didn't know).

    Re the post above, I make sure I am not overtraining, mahirap na. Thanks for this, I'll be in check.

  4. Vener - You're a veteran runner and so the likelihood of overtraining is almost nil. With years of running behind you, I'm sure you'll keep yourself in check. Thanks for dropping by!

  5. The popularity of running is sweeping all over the country, thanks to Milo races done in the provinces. Way back in 2006, only a month old in running, I tried to run in Naic Cavite my hometown, only to hear some not 'nice' words from those bystanders. Two months ago,as I celebrated my 3rd year in running, I ran again in the same area, and I have seen tremendous improvements and acceptance in that particular place. There were many joggers now and no more 'unpleasant' words.

    How weird thing too that I used to go to Ultra before to watch PBA, only to find out that Ultra will be mine to keep.
    Thanks for sharing.
    God bless.

  6. Ronnie - Running in our country has come a long way. Let's keep the flame burning.

  7. Very nice and well written post Atty. Jon. As one of those who took a leap of faith with an initial foray into ultra running several weeks ago, I can only learn from your insights. Thank you and we will be waiting on youe next post!


  8. Very nice post AJ. As a "masters" runner who hasn't mastered the art of running yet, this is a timely reminder for me to train smartly and conservatively as i prepare for the marathon race in October. My body, now at over 40, responds differntly to training stimuli, unlike those at 20 or 30.