First stop was Subic on Saturday afternoon. I picked up Jerome and his son Joshua at Marikina Riverbanks and proceeded to the North expressway, hoping to catch the talk by legendary tri coach Brett Sutton, which was part of the activities for TBB’s Subic branch opening at the Grand Season Hotel. Too bad we only caught the last 30 minutes of his 3-hour talk, but it was well worth it. We could see everyone hanging on to his every word. It was an intimate gathering, maybe around 30 people, with the Team TBB pros, the national team triathletes, and the age-groupers.
We got a load of acronyms from the coach. First he told us to be TUF, or hold our Technique Under Fatigue. This basically means to train such that we maintain our rhythm or cadence even after fatigue sets in.
He also told us to mind the 3Ms – Medium, Moderate, Mad. These are the three training efforts, which roughly translate to Comfortable (Medium), Uncomfortably Uncomfortable (Moderate), Uncomfortable (Mad). Basically train at higher than Medium, preferably at Moderate, and once in a while go Mad.
We were fortunate enough to get invited to the dinner, which took care of our carbo loading requirements for the next day’s race. Going by looks, we were positively obese next to the pros! We had the chance to chat with Rebecca Preston. We had no idea who she was at first but luckily a quick browse of a Triathlon magazine lying around at the hotel lobby revealed she was no. 5 at Kona last year, and we heard from the talk that she was most recently Powerman Malaysia 2008 Female Champion (Monica Torres came in 3rd).
The TBB shop, just at the front of the hotel, has a well-selected array of items for sale, at a reasonable price, judging by the cost of the Rocket Science race belt (350 pesos compared to 500 in Cartimar), which Jerome immediately snapped up.
This is probably a breakthrough in the local biking scene as for the first time, an international biking shop opened here. According to Melvin the store manager/national triathlon team coach, the prices are the same as in Singapore. What we saw was just a fraction of what they intend to sell, so we should be seeing a wide and fresh array of bike equipment and accessories, adequately stocked. If it’s not there, items can be shipped in very quickly from Singapore, coupled with the fact that it has Duty-Free status in Subic. We saw compression socks, Gu holders, Park tools, Adamo saddles, etc. As we left, we saw Caloy having his brand-new Cervelo P2C being serviced by Team TBB’s mechanic, flown in from Malaysia.
It was already 9pm, so we went off to Clark to check in Jerome’s favorite hotel, for the next day’s 25K New Balance race. We dozed off as soon as we got to the hotel. The next morning, we left early enough for the race site on to get our timing chips, chat with some racers, and get herded to the starting line. The race started just before 6am. It was a fun race as there were a lot of runners. We started as a noisy crowd of runners up to the first couple of kilometers, slowly transforming into a silent gritty run.
Fashion-wise I saw not a few people wearing compression socks, mostly tri people, so next year seems to be the breakthrough year for compressions socks. I guess we have to get used to the retro Back to the 80’s look with knee-high socks 🙂
Remembering Brett’s talk, I was trying to be TUF all the way, but after the 12.5K turn-around, I ended up being Totally and Utterly Fatigued, and had to slow down, even walking at some point. I was aiming for a sub-3 run, but ended up doing 3:06. Still trying to burn off those Belgian fries! I felt pretty good at the end, except that I had to endure 3 hours of painful chafing from the rough New Balance jersey. It was a fun race seeing all the people, kudos to extribe for a well-organized race.