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Lessons From Camp Amihan

Posted by on 24. September 2019

Camp Amihan was an intimate trail talk and trail run session last September 22, 2019 at Camp John Hay. It’s nice to see fresh legs on the trails and impart a little bit of knowledge to the next generation of trail runners.

Previously on Trail Academy

We started Trail Academy last year and had two sessions in John Hay and 1 in Timberland. For 2019, we had the first session in Timberland last May 2019. Camp Amihan marks the return of Trail Academy to Camp John Hay Yellow Trails. While Trail Academy is now on its 5th staging over the past two years, we retained the intimate feel of the event with each pace group (Walkers, Moderate and Fast) being led by pacers.

Camp Amihan

Trail Academy returned to its roots at Baguio City for Camp Amihan with a Camp Out last September 21, 2019 and the regular trail talk and run on September 22, 2019. The event started at 6:30 am with the opening remarks and trail sessions led by Don Santillan on the following:

  • Avoiding Common Running Mistakes
  • All Weather Running
  • Training Secrets and Racing Hacks
  • Power of Positive Thinking on Races

Camp Amihan is presented by Trail Academy with Amihan Sports Gear as the title sponsor and supported by Amego, Lightwater, Vitamin Boost, Gu, Brooks, Drymax, Pinoy Trails, Coros and Active Pinas with John Hay Management Corporation and CJH Development Corporation as venue partner. For the price of P450, each runner had an Amihan Shirt, Cap and a Jade Belt. The event also launched Amihan’s new vest, The Samat and Amihan’s Flagship Race Amihan 50 Trail Ultra.

And The Lessons

I opened the event on behalf of Pinoy Trails and was also the lead pacer for the walkers wave. We had an easy time on the pace but we also had to insert several pit stops for talks in between.

The Trail is for All!

This is the very foundation of trail academy. Everyone, young and old and at whatever fitness level can hit the trails. To some extent, it has lower impact on the body yet can be a challenge especially on the inclines.

Surface Management

As we were starting our run, one of the participants, Rox said that since they were new that they were spending more time looking at the surface than the views. This leads us the importance of familiarity and trail time. The longer we are in the trails, the faster we react to the changing surface and terrains. It’s similar to how mountaineers can develop into good runners because they react faster on the trails. It’s one fun part of trail running, a huge part. Think of it as a chess game, where you have to plan your moves several moves ahead.


Up next is how to manage the inclines. There are inclines that’s run-able and there are steeper ones, we’d rather power hike to conserve energy. We can use poles. We can lean forward a bit on the climbs to open up the lungs. We can even use our quads on the climbs to activate the upper body. We can also divide the climb into manageable sets. The key is to keep moving.


Pacing is also another important part of the run. It helps that you are familiar with the course so you can conserve your energy on the climbs and attack on the descents. Think of it as having your own power meter you have to manage during the duration of the run as we you bonk, it would be harder to recover.

Course Familiarity

Familiarity is also important so it helps to get the GPX settings of a course especially when it involves time management. I made an example of our previous day hike at Mount Ulap, where I advanced every time people were taking photos and would rest on the next hot spot. By the time, they came I am fresh for the next climb. That helped me look strong on the climb but it was more on taking advantage of the knowledge of the course. GPS Watches like Coros and Apps like Amego can also help you on the navigation part.


Of course, I can’t give an experts view on nutrition but share some of my experiences on nutrition and injuries. Nutrition has been more of by feel for me as I don’t load up too much before a race but I use gels, bars and electrolytes to balance it up during the race. It’s best to try it when you train. I also use Lightwater as part of my daily drinks as its electrolyte component can help improve water absorption in the system.


We met up with the rest on the red fire hydrant at the upper part of the trails with the moderate group so it was a joint session. For descent, balance is key so it helps to use your arms to keep your balance. It also helps to remain aware of your surroundings if there are branches, twigs or rocks you can hang on to for support.


We all proceeded back to the event area and Scout Hill for drinks provided by Lightwater and Vitamin boost and some snacks. We also had some raffle items as an added treat to the runners. Til the next sessions of Trail Academy.

Photos From Nathan Modales and Cesar Leona Lesena jr of Active Pinas

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