Coros Vertix Unlocked

I remember the days of me rushing to finish my first marathon within 6 hours just to make sure my watch makes it to the finish line in 2014. 2 years later with an upgraded watch, my watch barely managed to cross me to the finish line in 14 hours for the 50K distance. Chasing times because of watch battery is now a thing of the past with Coros Vertix battery life of 60 hours at full GPX.

Coros Vertix

Let me start first stating the the Coros Vertix is a test unit and the views here are based on my personal thoughts and experience on the product.

It’s been a long way how sports watches has evolved. I just had a stop watch when I was doing 5 kilometers. I upgraded then to an entry level GPS watch when I was chasing sub 1 10K several years ago. After that, I switched to GPS watches with multisport capabilities after doing a few duathlons and chasing my first marathon. I then switched to watch with 14 hours battery life chasing my first and only ultra distance race and international hikes. The thing is, I had different watches at different phases of my running and multisport life over the past decade and it did help me in my athletic goals. I’m a numbers guy by profession and I can be as geeky as I can get when it comes to watches.

I did settle with a full range GPS watch focusing on battery life over the fancier, lighter and higher powered ones because I had all what I needed. Then came, Coros APEX, which I got at a good price and a longer battery life of 35 hours at full GPS. So that’s the selling point of a Coros, it’s a lot cost-effective being new in the market yet its packed with the same features of higher end watches.

Full Review of Coros Apex here: A Closer Look at Coros Apex

Getting Started

I never get to read manuals on how to use GPS watches because that’s my way of testing how user friendly watches are. Coros has its own Coros App I downloaded for my Iphone and it’s easy customizing the watch. Here’s my views and why I choose to set it up that way.

  • Page 1: I try to view as much as I can on a single screen with distance, pace, work out time and time of day as my regular. I also usually check on my heart rate for need to manage my efforts and the elevation for climbs.
  • Page 2: This is for situations that the distance is crawling slowly because of the technical nature of the trail. I would usually shift to focusing on elevation with me counting down the remaining meters of elevation needed rather than distance. Climbs can keep that heart beat pumping faster so I keep the heart rate to manage my efforts.
  • Page 3: This is if I want to focus one lap at a time.
  • Page 4: This is when I just want to watch my heart rate.
  • Page 5: I usually checked on the gradients on steeper climbs and slow down on steeper section. This is how I manage climbs be conserving energy on steeper parts to be fresher when the gradients are lower.

Coros App

The Coros App is your link between your watch and your phone. It’s where you can customize your views and training plan. You can also upload routes of your run into your watch, which you could use as a navigation feature. I’ve tried preloading maps into my watch and it will really tell you when you are off the course and how many meters you are away. The Coros App also allows you to send your data (automatically or manually) to Strava or other GPS apps. It’s fast to transfer data as you can send it via bluetooth to your computer.

The only drawback I can see is that it does not have a platform for Coros users to upload data online. Other watch brands have their own community platform where there are leaderboards, route maps or even a chance to create routes. To offset this shortcomings, I do my maps with plotaroute or strava and track my progress on challenges in strava. Well, Coros is a new player but this is something that they can really improve especially with a growing community of Coros Users.

Coros Apex vs Coros Vertix

As you can see, Vertix is a muscular version of the Apex with a bigger built and has a Titanium Bezel and Cover. Both watches uses Sapphire Glass. While Vertix is a lot more durable, Apex is a is lighter by about 20 grams though both watches are lightweight with Vertix at 76 grams. Of course, the biggest deviation would be in battery life with Vertix having a 60 hours at Full GPS vs 35 hours for Apex. I haven’t charged my Vertix since I got it 3 weeks ago and that’s about 70-80 kilometers of distance over that stretch already.

Vertix has an altitude acclimatization index, which I hope to test when I go on hikes above 2000-3000 meters of elevation. Basically, once you’re that high, you need some time to acclimatize and be familiar with the thinner air; else, you can have altitude sickness. I’ve been to several summits above 3000 meters and fortunately, I never encountered altitude sickness

Coros Vertix is Your Ultimate Adventure Watch

Why does battery life matter? I’ve been in multi day hikes. I remember I had to bring my powerbanks before just to charge between hikes. Mount Fuji and Kota Kinabalu were 2-3 days hike and I was charging everyday. Last year at Snow Mountain in Taiwan, I didn’t even bring a charger the whole 6 days I was in Taiwan with 4 of those days I’ve been hiking. It’s a perfect watch for major hikes or those who are into the longer ultra marathon distance.

When it comes to my runs, trails or hikes, it’s always experiential. I love going back to the elevation profiles of each adventure, thinking of ways how to strategize each climb. I’m never a fast runner but I’m always a strategic one. I actually have a motto, “pag di handa, daanin sa math.” True enough, I have the elevation profile and target pace for each section of each of my race. You can have that pre-loaded in the watch.

It’s your everyday watch that can keep track of your workouts, your steps and even your sleep. I’m just glad that even during these times, I was able to somehow rediscover my passion for running and as such you can see a recap of my training for the past few months. I usually run around Zapote, South Ave up until The Rise Makati and Buendia. Coros also gives you a peek at your training load and gives suggestions on spacing your workouts for full recovery as part of the daily recap at Coros App.

It uses a digital knob to start, pause and end an activity and it’s not touch screen. You have to press it a few seconds to activate the digital knob, I guess this is so you won’t accidentally pause or end a workout. It has fast GPS detection. Once you start your activity, it detects GPS and heart rate before you can proceed. This takes just a few seconds. Post run, I usually compare the map generated by Coros with the actual maps and there are no significant deviations. I have a set 5K and 3K maps and it’s practically the same measurement each work out. I’m saying this because Makati sometimes have glitches in the GPS because of the high-rise buildings. So far so good.

I don’t usually do long runs. I actually completed a 75K virtual challenge by just doing 5 kilometers everyday. I’m glad I did it that way because it became a habit. It’s also safer to keep runs short at this time for less exposure outdoors to the virus. I did do a longer 10K and 21K distance this month just to establish longer-term endurance. It’s nice to have Coros to measure that progress as even if I started at an easy pace, I’ve been able to improve pace at the latter part of the challenge.

Coros Vertix has an SRP of P34,000, while Coros Apex has an SRP of P20,250 for 46mm and P17,500 for 42mm at ActivGears.Com. Personally, I’m high on Coros brand being a user for over a year now. It’s not cheap but it’s not as pricey as other brands and you get most of the features you’ll need on your run, hike, bike or adventure. Coros Vertix is perfect for endurance athletes or hikers on multi day hike and those who want would login a lot of mileage. Coros Apex can be a perfect watch for both recreational and experienced runners engaged in both long and short distances.

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Incoming: My Daily Collagen Virtual Triathlon

Even if we’re living in a world of COVID 19, Fitness does not have to take a back seat. My Daily Collagen, which is another essential source of nutrients, brings its own Virtual Triathlon, a first-of-its-kind, on September 25-27, 2020. #bepartofhistory #mydailycollagentriathlon

My Daily Collagen Triathlon

If we rewind things a bit last March before our racing calendars have been turned upside down by COVID19, My Daily Collagen was all set to have its traithlon event at Subic. The rest as we all know is history as the Global Pandemic gave everybody and all events a pause button. We may have to hit the play button once again as My Daily Collagen goes Virtual on September 25-27, 2020.

In a new normal world, a virtual triathlon might just what we need to keep our body and mind healthy. Fitness has always been key towards keeping us away from sickness and also helping us in our mental health. My Daily Collagen is also a perfect ally during the pandemic with its Vitamin C to boost immune system, protein for healthy and radiant skin and collagen for muscle and bone health.

All participants of My Daily Collagen Triathlon is automatically entered in a first-of-its-kind, virtual triathlon with 5150 distance (1.5K Swim, 40K Bike and 10K Run) and a Sprint Distance (750 meters swim, 20K Bike and 5K Run). It also a Virtual Duathlon with a long distance of 5K Run, 40K Bike and 10K Run and a sprint distance of 3K Run, 20K Bike and 5K Run. As this is a competitive event, GPS trackers must be set in Triathlon or Duathlon mode and the run and bike legs are to done outdoors.

The event is also open for those who just want to have fun with the 5150 format in Triathlon and the Long distance format in duathlon. These events can both be done indoors or outdoors. In short, it’s for everybody of all fitness level.

Follow My Daily Collagen Triathlon

For My Daily Collagen Triathlon Participants, you will receive an email notification on your registration.

For those who want to inquire about the event, please send a message to their Facebook Page: My Daily Collagen Triathlon.

Be part of history and virtual challenge and fun for My Daily Collagen Virtual Triathlon. This is the pioneer in virtual triathlon races in the country.

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5 Challenging Trail Racing Moments

After finishing my 2nd full marathon in 2015, it was mostly trail runs for me. The trail never goes old as each time you step in the mud, it’s bound to be a whole new experience. Here’s a collection of those challenging moments that tested my will on the trail.

The Trail is My Playground

A sequel to my post: 5 Most Memorable Racing Moments in 2015

The Trail has been my playground, my passion, my therapy and my advocacy. From being a runner, a media and even a race organizer, I’ve gone a long way in appreciating and promoting the trails. I’ve gone from short distances to long distances. I was able to surpass a lot of challenging times of digging deep and finding a lot of “It’s a Trap” moments. But, great rewards comes with great challenges. In fact, it’s those challenging moments that still lingers to this day. Here’s a collection of some of the challenging racing moments on the trails.

Salomon XTrail 2015

Read about: Salomon XTrail 2015

I was now on the final leg at the beach front of Anvaya Cove on a scorching hot day with each step sinking in the white sands. I also almost picked up a floating jelly fish by the shore thinking it was Ice. I must have been too exhausted after surpassing the long-climb to Mount Natib. The soft sand was heavy on the feet and a really challenge with clock ticking chasing the tough cut-off that Salomon XTrail has been known for.

Salomon XTrail has always been a race I love to hate but still do it for the love of the trails. That’s what makes Salomon Xtrail special. It’s a character building race that will have you feeling accomplished once you’ve reached the finish line. The 2015 version was in Anvaya Cove and had us climbing to a magnificent Mount Natib viewpoint on a scorching hot day. It was a steady effort throughout managing my time all race. It was good that I had enough time to go over the beachfront stretch and was able to finish the cut-off for the 24K. I also was able to finish the race again within the dreaded cut-off the year after.

Mount Marami Silyang Bato 21K FKT Challenge 2015

Read About: Mount Marami Silyang Bato 21K FKT Challenge

In 2015, Mount Marami was a total mudfest so after the drag that came of the first 8 kilometers on rolling terrains, we were on the ascent. Well, this was not an ordinary ascent as it was raining. Midway during the climb, we had the option to go back as it was raining real hard already but as my adventurous would say, “Laban.” The next was finding twigs, trunks, rocks and leaves to hang on as each step also was a slide down before the rocky ascent to the summit.

Mount Marami was probably the craziest thing I have done especially with the typhoon ongoing. Months before the race, we did the full course recon on a hot day and ended up short on hydration on the descent. The race was a totally different challenge with the mud being a drag on the rain and the climb being a slidefest. We’ve reached the summit and being among the part who were allowed to summit for safety reasons. The descent was even tougher as we were on steep ravines. We had to figure a way of descending without slipping on the ravines. Slowly but surely, we’ve made our descent and hitting the lower end was such a relief. We’ve managed to reach the finish line in 10 hours (Yes, 10 hours, that’s not a typo). It was a total adventure.

Mount Sembrano Mountain Run 2016

Read About: Mount Sembrano Mountain Run 2016

Whenever I’m in a tough spot, I always try to go back to a difficult trail memory I’ve overcame and drain strength from there. Mount Sembrano may have reset that threshold as the first 5K was a combination of a steep, technical and long climb with 750 meters worth of climbing for that stretch. It was a struggle and a new mental test. That’s where we coined the, “It’s a Trap” phrase.

I’ve done Mount Sembrano several times and that first 5K stretch never felt easy especially during the first time. The distance was slowly advancing on the ascent so I switched my watch to the altitude portion. I ended up counting down the climbing altitude left. Slowly but surely I made my way forgetting that this was a 15K race, I just need to get past the first 5K. As I was able to go to the open areas of the trail, I felt that the end of the long climb is near and got refreshed. The view at the top was majestic with a view of Laguna Bay along the ridges. Since the first 5K was so difficult, the next 10K felt really easy and the view was really rewarding.

Miyamit Falls 26K 2016

Read About: Miyamit Falls Trail Marathon

I was running with a sprained ankle and it was fully taped already. I tested if I could run on the flat soft lahar surface at the start of the race and I still felt some pain on the ankle. It was time to switch to a different strategy. I had to be consistent and do a lot of brisk walk while reducing the impact of each stride with the trekking pole. Miyamit Falls is a tough man’s race with over 1,000 meters of elevation gain. I had to admit I wasn’t prepared for this one and I had a heavily taped sprained ankle so I promised myself that I just need to find a way to survive this race and I’ll give my body a rest.

The first 10K was purely ascent so I went on a consistent brisk walking pace on the climb. The trekking pole was a big help and the first few kilometers climbing was on paved roads. On the upper part of the climb was muddy surfaces until the intersection heading to the falls. The falls was a technical descent and I still went on cautious and consistent. I’ve reached the falls and took a sustained effort on climbing the 3 kilometers of technical ascent to the intersection. It was purely downhill from there. It also rained at this time. I started picking up the pace but still made sure to protect the ankle. It was a steady effort until the finish line to finish with a lot to spare within the cutoff.

Cordillera Mountain Ultra 2017

Read About: Cordillera Mountain Ultra 2017

Around Kilometer 14 at 3:30 into the race, I had to decide If I have to go on in the town of Oling. That’s still within 30 minutes within the cutoff for that stretch. Once I go past this point, I have to finish the race or else I would have to be bailed out in another town with no daily means of transportation. Should I go or not?

Cordillera Mountain Ultra was a journey doing 11K in Mount Pulag in 2015, 21K at Itogon in 2016 and this time I’m in the 50K distance for the first time ever. Every year, I would conquer my distance and ending up outside looking in other people’s ultra journey through the whole course. So might as well, try it out. The thing was, of all the 3 race, this was the time I was least prepared. It was also my busy season at work with my longest run just being 17K. Being on km 14, quitting was really an option but I was stubborn and decided to go. Up next was a steady 10 kilometer climb to Mount Ugo. It was a scenic delight all throughout the climb. I still was able to hit the summit within my target time. The thing is my legs felt exhausted already on the descent and with my quads cramping on the last 10K. I went on to finish the race at 14 hours but unfortunately this was the year that the cut-off was reduced to 13 hours. Going back, the goal was always to fully experienced the race and I was glad to complete 50 freakin’ kilometers and live to tell about it on my birthday coming the next 2 days.

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On Virtual Runs and Covid19

Trying to be fit in the times of COVID19 has been a riddle. Gone are the usual weekly races and outdoor adventures. Then there’s the next best thing, Virtual Races.

The World Before COVID19

This was pretty much how I ended 2019. Taking a back seat from event organization and focusing on my personal goals. The thing is, while I’ve been advocating fitness, I wasn’t at my fittest. Races has been purely recreational for the past few years. The plan was to pursue my own A-Race with adequate training, preparation and mindset. That was the plan until COVID19 turned the whole world upside down. From the planned out-of-the-country hikes and races to being stuck at home. Funny, how you wanted to take a breather and the whole world joins you on the sidelines.

Virtual Races

There’s always another way. For the first parts of the ECQ, it was stairs workout as we’re not allowed outdoors. While not part of the initial plan, I joined STAR WARS Virtual Run SEA 2020 just because their trophy looked so cool and it’s STAR WARS. When running outdoors was allowed, it was a trial and error process from the finding a comfortable pace with mask to finding a mask that I am comfortable with. By mid-June, I started logging in the miles.

At the same time, I was registered at World Vision Run for the 50K distance. World Vision is another advocacy I supported being a sponsor for several years now. I would usually go one to two runs a week on weekdays and a longer run on weekend. Before the month was over, I’m about done with my virtual runs. I had to keep runs short and slow as I was adjusting to running with masks and I still am, to this date.

STAR WARS and World Vision Virtual Runs were my way for a little bit of normalcy amid the stresses of the pandemic. It was a struggle to get started but slowly but surely I was logging in the mileage for the virtual runs.

3K and 5K were the norm and whenever I felt tired, I would walked it off or take a breather. It was just me trying to log in the mileage as much as I can. I was doing the same 1K loop around the neighborhood or try BGC or nearby areas wherein I could add in some elevation. I think one thing the community quarantine gave us is mental toughness. I could do the small loop all over again, which was already a luxury compared to doing 5 kilometers on purely stairs before.

I started enjoying the process of doing virtual runs. I always had this notion for anything to be sustainable, we should appreciate and enjoy the process. Then I had to look for new races going forward. I stumbled upon UTMB Run for the Planet that’s 50 kilometers with 2500 meters of elevation gain from the last week of July to the end of August.

50K would be doable in the time frame but 2500 meters is very difficult to complete on the flatter routes. So the plan was to do five 10 kilometer runs with about 500 meters of gain on weekends. I was able to log in the first 10K with elevation and then MECQ happened.

I was about to give up on the challenge as I still have to meet an additional 2000 meters of elevation gain. I then went back to the rules. As it turns out, when you can’t meet the elevation gain, you just have to add 1 kilometer of distance for every 100 meters of elevation. If I could complete around 70-75K, I can still meet the challenge.

Entering the month of August, I would have to cover around 60 kilometers of distance. My personal preference was to keep my runs within the 5 kilometer limit per run, which is within my comfort zone. In hindsight, it does look like a sound plan as it’s faster to recover on short distance runs and could easily fit in the schedule.

It’s also at this time that I was in my half-year result rush preparing for my board meeting mid-August. No matter how busy I get, I would reserve 5 pm as my run time doing the same loop all over again. I’m trying to get back to my no shit, no excuses-blue-collar mentality when it comes to running. I barely even noticed that I was already running 5 kilometers everyday.

From the initial plan of completing the challenge by the end of the month, I was in range to finishing it on the 15th of August with less than 9 kilometers left. It was raining that day so the plan was just to run the around 4 kilometers and leave the 5 kilometers for the next day. It was so fun running in the rain that after I hit the kilometer 4 distance, I wanted to run more and eventually finished more than 9 kilometers of distance to wrap up the challenge.

While I started the virtual runs as just a way to pass the time and for the loot, I rediscovered my love and passion for running. I also saw some progress as the start of the challenge had me just walking some of the distance and I had more solid runs on the latter part of the challenge. I’m still a work in progress but I’d like to say, Progress is PROGRESS.

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Incoming: World Vision Virtual Run 2020

I’ve been a World Vision sponsor since 2013. You can be part of that advocacy too by sponsoring a child or joining World Vision Virtual Run which is open from June 15 – July 31, 2020.

World Vision Virtual Run

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this pandemic is that one good deed can go a long way. World Vision provides an advocacy that supports kids for their education and needs through various sponsors and fund-raising events. There’s so many ways to help like sponsoring a child, donating or even just joining the World Vision Virtual Run.

That support goes along way in giving less privileged kids a better tomorrow. Get that warm feel good feeling in being able to help make a difference while getting a healthy and fit lifestyle that’s gonna keep us more resilient with the times.

Run an accumulated distance of 21K, 50K, 100K and 200K from June 15-July 31, 2020 and earn your medal and finisher shirt along the way of uplifting someone’s life through supporting the advocacy.

Registration is extended until June 30, 2020.

Race Details

Date: June 15 – July 31, 2020

Distances: 21K, 50K, 100K, 200K (accumulated distance)

Fees and Inclusions

  • I RUN FOR EDUCATION (STANDARD – 1,050): Microfiber Polyester (Drifit) Fabric and Finisher’s Medal, e-Certificate, inclusive of delivery within the Philippines
  • I RUN FOR HEALTH & NUTRITION (PREMIUM (1,350): Closed Mesh Full-Sublimation Shirt with Fine Details and Stitch, Finisher’s Medal, e-Certificate, inclusive of delivery within the Philippines
  • BUNDLE PACK (1,650): I Run for Education Shirt + I Run for Health & Nutrition Shirt, Finisher’s Medal, e-Certificate, inclusive of delivery within the Philippines


  • Online: Takbo.Ph
  • Registration Procedure:
    • Login to create an account via Takbo.PH
    • Pay for the registration fee
      • BDO Savings Account
        • Account Name: Runningpeak Events Management & Services
        • Account Number: 0024-7801-7914
      • BPI Savings Account
        • Account Name: Takboph Web Marketing Services
        • Account Number: 3740-0036-57
      • Via Paypal
    • Upload payment slip and update profile via Takbo.Ph
      • Full Name
      • Shipping Address
      • Mobile Number
      • Race details: Category | Shirt size | Payment method
    • Track and Record your run sessions
    • Upload your run sessions

Race Updates:

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Health in a Cup with D2X Coffee

There’s nothing like starting a day with a healthy cup of coffee. D2X Coffee is packed with 5 natural boosters in an easy to mix pack with a natural Stevia sweetener.

D2X Coffee

I came to know of D2X coffee a few months ago and it’s been a part of my daily routine. There are actually two variants of their coffee, which is Coffee Mangosteen and Coffee Kreme with Mangosteen. The former is a bolder flavor designed to perk you up to start your day while the latter is a much more feel good flavor with a tinge of cream in each cup. I feel a lot sharper starting my day with D2X coffee.

The Coffee Mangosteen is perfect to start up your day with its stronger flavor. It’s a great way to jump start your system for a long day ahead. Coffee Kreme Mangosteen is for those who prefer a richer creamy taste in coffee. This for me is my perfect post meal coffee as I usually like to have that rich taste as a counter to my regular meal and it also helps starts the process of lightening up after a heavy meal.

Compared to other coffee, I feel a lot lighter (not bloated) after each cup. That’s probably because of the Mangosteen in their coffee and a natural sweetener in Stevia. Mangosteen is low in calories and rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibers. At the same time, it’s also an anti-oxidant that helps cleanse your body. I had a better digestion process with D2X coffee and helps in easing toxins in the system.

It also helps that it goes with a Stevia Natural Sweetener with much lower calories than regular sugar. Stevia has also been known to help people manage the sugar in their system.

Mangosteen and a lot more

D2X is an excellent alternative especially at times like this as it does not stop just being your regular dose of caffeine but it also helps boost immune system with its nutrients and the anti-oxidant properties.

Follow D2X Coffee

Check them out at

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“Keep Calm and Carry On” Making the Most of the Covid-19 Quarantine

The world has been turned upside down because of the Novel Corona Virus (Covid-19). With almost 3 million confirmed cases worldwide, the safest place to be is home.  The virus is so contagious that some of the recommended ways to avoid infection (and not infect others) are to wear face mask, practice social distancing, and staying home.

Many countries are either in quarantine or in full lockdown, all in the hopes that the pandemic will soon be contained, and life can go back to normal.

When the outdoors is your playground and your comfort zone, it’s hard to shift to just staying inside the house.  When busy is your norm, how do you cope with a life indoors?  Life will surprise us! There are so many things to do and learn just by staying home. 

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

1) Work From Home

If there’s one thing to be thankful for, it’s that I’m still able to work during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.  The day before the effectivity of the quarantine, I was setting up our line groups so I can monitor my department.  It was not easy at first, but we’re now operating smoothly on a work from home arrangement. 

2) Online Courses

The first week of the quarantine, I enrolled in two online courses at Shaw Academy and it’s free for the first month.  I took up Social Media Marketing and Phone Photography and have finished both courses.  It took two hours per week for each course for four weeks, and I spent a few hours on weekends to do the assignments and quizzes. I enjoyed it so much that I took up another module of Social Media Marketing, and a new Psychology of Sales course.

3) Do The Chores

When you’re living on a pad on your own, it is nice to relearn doing daily chores.  It’s empowering to know that you can live on your own with minimal dependence from the outside world.  I started cooking (make that using the microwave), doing my laundry, cleaning up my room and a lot more.

4) Keeping Myself Entertained

I also spend time reading books, watching Netflix and YouTube, and catching up online with friends.  The world does not stop with the quarantine, you just have to learn new ways to adapt. It’s both a boon and a bane having the internet, but I’ll take the chance of being able to catch up with friends over news that makes people paranoid.

5) Working Out

Working out during the first few days of quarantine was not among my list of to-dos as I was trying to figure out how to go about it without the usual tools at my disposal.  Then I realized that I stay on the fourth floor of a building with five floors.  I started doing stair repeats whenever I get at least 30 minutes of free time. It’s a good cardiovascular workout, develops the quads and improves my climbing threshold.  

Working Out During a Pandemic

  1. Stair repeats (Basic) – Climb up and go down for 30 minutes or more
    • Improves Cardiovascular System
    • Engages Quads
    • Improves Climbing Threshold
  2. Stair Repeats with Core Workouts – Climb up and go down for 1 set and insert a 2-minute core workout (30 seconds knee rolls or crunches, 30 second leg lifts, 30 seconds plank and 30 seconds mountain climbers) and repeat the process.  You can shift the core workouts for variety.
    • Improves Cardiovascular System
    • Engages Quads and Core Muscles
    • Improves Climbing Threshold and Endurance
  3. Stair Repeats with Weights – Climb up and go down for 30 minutes or more this time with weights. I carry a 5-pound dumbbell on each hand.
    • Improves Cardiovascular System
    • Engages Quads
    • Improves Climbing Threshold and Endurance
    • Strength Training
  4. Core or dynamic strengthening workouts (e.g. burpees, jumping jacks, push-ups, etc.)- Easy to do with mats and a space.
    • Strengthening workouts

Nutrition in a Time of Covid 19

I started the quarantine with little regard to what I eat, but I’ve been better at that lately. Mindful eating can help strengthen the body, especially during a pandemic. I’ve been recommending potatoes as an excellent part of an athlete’s diet, but they are also packed with healthy benefits that enhance our immune system.

Potatoes provide our body with key nutrients like carbohydrates, potassium, protein and vitamin C, among others, that fuel our body for our daily and athletic activities. Keep in mind that well-balanced diet and exercise help our body fight viruses and infections.

What’s more, potatoes can also be a part of a weight management regimen with just 110 calories (for every 5.3 oz skin-on). With 2 grams of fiber per serving, potatoes also help us feel fuller, longer.

Potatoes are light on the budget, too. They are affordable and easily available, with a relatively long shelf-life. You can find them in the grocery store, wet market, and at times, even at your neighborhood sari-sari store. You can get them fresh, frozen and dehydrated.

Finally, potatoes are easy to prepare and goes well with just about any meal. Think mashed potatoes, fried potato wedges (pictured above), boiled or roasted potatoes, potato salad, the list goes on and on.

With the ECQ extended for a few more weeks, we must remain vigilant. Let’s make the most out of this quarantine. Let’s stay healthy, keep fit, learn new things, and most of all, be responsible citizens. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, my friends.

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A Day in My Life (Plus How I Fuel Up For My Activities)

Every single day of my life is special. The only constant thing about my day is that it’s always hectic and busy.  This requires me to have a lot of energy and that’s where U.S. potatoes come into play.  When you’re always on the go with myriads of to-dos and passions, proper nutrition is crucial.

My Routine

On regular days, I usually start with a hearty breakfast and potatoes remain a staple on my meals.  That’s my Carbohydrate, Potassium and Energy Source for the whole day.   I enjoy simple potato recipes, especially in the morning. Sometimes I munch on hash browns, other times I just quickly stir-fry potatoes with eggs and other veggies.

After consuming the needed energy from my potato-packed meal, I go to the gym for an hour of work outs just for maintenance.  I then go to work, which is extra stressful at this time of the year.  After work, I usually have meetings for upcoming events we’re planning or just meeting friends to catch up. Of course, I still get my average of 6-8 hours of sleep.  Every day is really tough for me but I’m glad I get to be properly nourished by the right vitamins and minerals from nutritious foods.

My Day

My weekends get even tougher as that’s my time I spend training outdoors and push myself further.  Over the weekend, I went to my hometown in Baguio to attend a wedding.  A weekend in Baguio is even more active as I take advantage of the cooler weather to enjoy a good run and just walk around the city in between errands.

27,535 steps and 17.4 kilometers.  This is pretty much an ordinary day for me in Baguio City.  Let’s restart the day from the first step.  I got a really good sleep and woke up at around 8 am owing to the cooler weather of Baguio City.  This is one thing I enjoy about the city; I don’t have to wake up early to train as it remains cool even at mid-day.

I started with breakfast.  That’s corned beef packed with Potatoes.  In about an hour, I was ready to hit the trails of Camp John Hay.  My house to John Hay is about 3 kilometers but I decided to take a cab since I wanted to be fresh when I hit the trails.  John Hay has been my home trail.  The trails of John Hay have been always scenic with rich pine-forested view that made the 8-9 kilometer run such a visual delight.

Starting at the Forest Bathing Trail, I made my way to the upper part of the yellow trail.  This is relatively a flat to rolling stretch, so this is the speedier section of the trail and has several glimpses of the mountains of Itogon.  The second half of the trail was a descent from the embassy area to the lower part of the trail.  For me, this is the more scenic part with the rich pine reserve giving a green setting for the run.  It then ends on a challenging note with a climb back to the horseback riding area to wrap up the run.

Since I had a really good breakfast with Potatoes in it, I had energy to sustain me during the run.  I also had sufficient electrolyte to improve cardiovascular and nervous system function.  That’s one of the advantages of having potatoes in your meals.

Well, the day isn’t over yet as I had several errands to do.  I had to walk my way from John Hay to the terminal to get my return ticket to Manila.  I also had to go to the Orchidarium to buy some plants for a friend.  That’s probably another 4-5 kilometers of walking.  After that, I rewarded myself with a good meal.  Steak with mashed potatoes on the side.  Then I walked home to rest.

Home was really inviting with the cool breezy weather; I was back in my bed in no time.  Then, I got a message from my friend that there’s a post wedding gathering so I had to go again.  I still had energy to go and might as well make the most of my time here.   I had my dinner there then went home to prepare my things for my trip.  I had my trip back to Manila at around midnight.

Potato Powered Days

From busy weekdays to busy weekends, I get to appreciate the importance of rest and nutrition.  I don’t only have to power myself up for my trainings but my everyday life as well.  I highly recommend potatoes. They provide the carbohydrate, potassium, and energy you need to perform at your best.

For more information on U.S. potatoes, and how it can power up physical and mental performance, visit the Potato Goodness website or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook.

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Incoming: 11th TCS Clark Animo International Marathon

All roads lead to Clark for the 11th staging of the TCS Clark Animo International Marathon on March 8, 2020.

Clark Animo Marathon

Following the exhilarating 2019 race that saw 10,000 runners participating, the De La Salle Alumni Association Pampanga (DLSAA-P) Chapter will hold the TCS Clark Animo International Marathon 2020 on March 8. This year’s event will have exciting new features that will complement the internationally certified courses and special activities.

This race is presented by Clark Global City, a UDENNA company, and a state-of-the-art central business district development in Mabalacat Pampanga.

The TCS Clark Animo International Marathon 2020 features Boston Marathon qualifying IAAF-AIMS measured race routes, a 42.2-kilometer marathon, a half-marathon, as well as 10-kilometer, 5-kilometer, and 2.5-kilometer courses. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is launching a new mobile application for the race.

With the marathon on its eleventh year, the courses in the Animo run will be given international certification by the International Association of Athletic Federations and the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.

“Because we aim to give the best race experience to the participants, all races are IAAF-AIMS Certified Courses,” said Jumbo Tayag, race director. “This guarantees that participants run the correct distance, with a valid recorded time recognized internationally for qualifying and rankings purposes.”

Tayag likewise asserts that “Animo Run participants who aim to join international races such as the Boston Marathon will definitely have an advantage.”

First held in 2009 as a fun run in Clark Field, the TCS Clark Animo International Marathon initially had 600 participants, with numbers increasing every year. Organized by DLSAA-P and partnered with TCS, a leading technology company, the event aims to raise funds to support its various community projects on the environment and education.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third placers of the 5-kilometer, 10-kilometer, 21-kilometer, and 42-kilometer distances in the men’s and women’s categories. Likewise, one runner each from the Adult category (18 years old and above) and Kiddie category (17 years old and below) will receive cash incentives.

A special award will also be given to the runner with the best costume.

This year is TCS’ fifth year as title sponsor. The company is set to once again have the largest contingent of runners at the TCS Clark Animo International Marathon, with over 1,000 employee, client and partner runners joining the race. TCS is also staging a first-time global employee contest, set to bring 10 runners to Clark from the company’s locations around the world.

The IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization of 450,000 employees worldwide has extensive operations in the Philippines, servicing global companies from Manila and Clark. TCS is also the world’s largest corporate sponsor of distance running events, including TCS New York City Marathon, TCS Amsterdam Marathon, Tata Mumbai Marathon, as well as partnerships in Boston, Chicago, London, Singapore and multiple other marquee races.

Gun start for the 42-kilometer distance will be at 2 a.m.; 4:30 a.m. for the 21-kilometer; 5:30 a.m. for the 10-kilometer; 5:45 a.m. for the 2.5-kilometer; and 6 a.m. for the 2.5 km. Runners are expected to be at the venue 30 minutes before their gun start.

Made possible by Tata Consultancy Services, Clark Global City, Clark Development Corporation, CONVERGE, New Balance, SMART, Nepo Center, Pocari Sweat, Cherifer Premium, CMCS Inc, Kenny Rogers, and Genesis Transport, TCS Clark Animo International Marathon 2020’s other sponsors include Garmin, Alpha Aviation, Bale Capampangan, Inbox, Cenmidis, Ederm Centers, Public Figure Photography, Royce Hotel and Clark Water, with CLTV36 and UFM 105.5 as media partners.

Registration in Metro Manila is set on February 14 to 16.

Race Updates

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Decade of the Franc (YOF14)

Snow Mountain was my Highest Peak in 2019

Saying goodbye to 2019 is a bit different now since, it’s not a year that we are leaving behind. It’s a whole new decade that’s coming in and safe to say, I’m a totally different person this decade compared to the last.

Decade of the Franc / Year of the Franc X14

10 years and another lifetime ago

10 years ago, I’m such a corporate hotshot and modesty aside, I was ahead beyond my time. When you’ve reached the upper echelons of your finance job portfolio, somehow you get bored. You tend to get lost in the mix of your achievements and the drama that goes in the corporate world. Yet, you just have to get lost to find a better way.

Something New in 2019

My greatest strength was not that I was good in words or numbers. It was being creative and being able to think outside the box in whatever I do. Reaching you max doesn’t mean you have to stop learning and developing new skills. It was time to transform the corporate Franc to a more well-rounded (pun intended) individual.

A little bit of international hikes, races and trips

For this decade, I’ve learned in a lot of new things and make things matter. I’ve evolved from an employee to an influencer to a game changer. So just to mix things up with usual format of my Year of The Franc post, here’s 10 things I’ve done or learned in this decade.

Trails Unlimited
  1. Started and this blog has grown leaps and bounds. It has over a million hits and has won certain accolades including best personal blog and citations in travel blogs. It was also my key to opening a lot of channels in the fitness world.
  2. Started Running. I started running in 2010 as my way to move forward and I’m tens of thousands of kilometers ahead from my 2010 self. I’ve had 2 marathons, 1 trail ultra, several duathlons and over two hundred road and trail races. While my blog was my access pass to where I am, it was running that created me a niche.
  3. Started Francramon Enterprises Inc. Well, this is a work in progress and safe to say, I’m not good at managing my own business yet. I’ve counted my losses as my tuition fee in learning the ropes of business. In just 3 years, I’ve expanded my brand and product range and learned new things since the day I started.
  4. Started climbing peaks and running trails. There’s the non-competitive part of the mountains and trails that taught me to enjoy nature and getting dirty each weekend has been a norm now. With #TaleOfTheTrail preceding Pinoy Trails, I’m glad to be all over the country and the world climbing peaks and running trails. I even have my version of the Asian Trilogy.
  5. Started PinoyTrails.Com. Pinoy Trails was meant to be a community portal for trail running and a database for trails but it grew much bigger than that. We were able to expand the site and create a community and developed our own brand of races.
  6. Started organizing races via PT Events. This is probably a source of my greatest heartbreaks and greatest victory. We started really raw and inexperienced but I’m an open book when it comes to absorbing new skills. We started the STAR brand and had a trilogy of races including the biggest one in 2018. We also did the Hoka Trailogy and created a premium branded racing environment. It’s extremely satisfying organizing races but it’s also extremely exhausting.
  7. Started Trail Academy. Along the way, I’ve done talks to inspire people to try out running in the trails but Trail Academy is just a lot of steps further. Started a FREE trail talk and run segment by partnering with brands and developers.
  8. Started to incorporate brand strategy into my list of to dos. It just helps that I’ve been part of the consumer and also working closely with brands that I have a good read of the market. I’m just glad to utilize marketing and brand management skills in MBA as I’m sure it will come in handy as an added skill to my portfolio.
  9. The last decade too was my greatest struggle both financially and emotionally. It’s the decade where my mom was fighting the big C and that’s really draining in financial resources. I’m not complaining cause no amount of money would amount to be equivalent to good health.
  10. This decade is also probably the most exhausting of all due to all of the above. Sometimes, I just get too tired to appreciate how much I’ve gained through the years. That’s also the lesson I’m taking in to the next decade: “Just since you can do it all does not mean I should do it all.”
Races and Events

On to the Next

On to the next

Measuring a year or a decade has always been tough because everything comes at a cost. The cost of success is time, hard work and consistency. I’m such a different person 10 years ago and I’ll be a different one in the next 10 years. Here’s what I’m taking in for the next decade.

PT Dirt Squad
  1. Change is good. If the past few months is any indication, a lot has already changed and I’ve started redeveloping old habits and set absolutely new goals.
  2. Prioritize. I’m realigning my priorities and I don’t want the next decade to be as busy or as demanding as the last one. It was not an easy decision but I’m stepping away from some of the stresses I do. I’m not getting any younger.
  3. Appreciate the now. I’m in the age range of my dad when he passed away and if history does repeat itself, I would want to spend those times doing the things I love. Live in the moment and make each moment count.
  4. Value people who value me. Life is too short to be bothered with what people say or do. Take the hit, grab those lessons but the story-teller of your life is only you, and you alone.
  5. Be content. Life will never be perfect. Learn to adopt. If things are tough, learn to be thrift. If life gets generous learn to appreciate and enjoy it.

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