Friday, October 23, 2009

FUEL FOR THE FIRE: Some of the Little Things That Keep Me Running

Let's face it. Running CAN get boring sometimes. This is especially true for someone like me who almost always hits the streets alone. You see, I come from a group that lives and breathes basketball. When my friends first learned that I've started taking running a bit more seriously, none of them seemed to understand how I could turn my back on the one sport that we played growing up and that we swore we'd be playing until we grow old. I've been trying my darndest best to sell to my buddies the merits of running, in the hope that, somehow, I'd be able to convince even just one of them to join me on the road. However, up to this day, I've never had the pleasure of running alongside any of my closest friends.

I've also launched countless spirited attempts to get wifey to lace up a pair of running shoes. Oh well. No success there, either. The chances of that happening are probably as bright as that of me topping the Boston Marathon.

And so, here I am -- a lone wolf. El Lobo Solo. For runners like me, motivation is crucial because it is so easy to fall prey to laziness and give up on runs. You go runless for one day, and then another, and then another, and before you know it, running is already out of your system. I intend to keep on running for as long as my body would allow me to, that's why I'm always on the look-out for little "carrots" that will keep me hooked.

What are the little things that keep me heading back out on the road? Here a few that always do the trick for me:

1. The Soundtrack of the Road

I've always been a big music buff, and music has always been my source of inspiration for a lot of things. I have songs that make me want to drive ("1979" by the Smashing Pumpkins), play basketball ("All Out" by Tupac Shakur), and party ("Fade" by SOLU Music). Heck, when I was in law school, I even had a song that made me want to study ("I Don't Dance" by Frank Sinatra). It's therefore inevitable that I have a song that makes me want to run. Right now, if I'd have to name just one song that almost always makes me feel like hitting the road, its "#41" by Dave Matthews Band.

2. Looking the Part

It never fails. Everytime I purchase new running gear, gadgets, or accessories, I always hit the road to take it for a "test drive." Whether it be a new pair of running shoes, shorts, a shirt, a hydration belt, a cap, sports earphones, or base layer apparel, new running gear always get me going. Nothing beats looking like a runner to get yourself pounding the roads like one. Here are some of the gear that keep me heading for the road:

3. Information is Key

Next to my running shoes, my most indispensible running accessory is my iPod Nano. When equipped with the Nike+ sports kit, my Nano becomes more than just an MP3 player. All I have to do is plug the receiver into my Nano and plant the transmitter in my Nike+ ready running shoes, and I'll get real-time info on the distance I've covered, my pace (in mins/km), the number of calories that I've burned, and how long it took me to finish my run. The data is fairly accurate. With this combination, I'm in no hurry to get a Garmin GPS watch (yet).

4. "Seeing" My Run

This is another benefit of having an iPod that is equipped with a Nike+ sports kit. After each run, I "sync" my run by hooking my Nano onto my laptop, and iTunes automatically sends my run data to The site then "graphs" my run, shows my splits, logs all my runs in a chart, and gives me other options to play around with.

5. The Grub

I always look forward to having my pre-race meal at the break of dawn, while the city is still fast asleep. For me, the usual fare consists of a triple-decker Skippy peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread, two Cavendish bananas, a 500 ml bottle of Gatorade Tiger sports drink, and two glasses of water. If the race would go on for more than 10k, I also thrown in a pack of GU Chomps for good measure. I also take Schiff Move Free Advanced glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM supplements and One-A-Day multi-vitamins everyday. Breakfast of champions hahaha!

Of course, what works for me might not for work for others. If you're really passionate about the sport, it's very likely that you won't even need any motivation or incentive to lace up those running shoes. Every runner is different, and, at the end of the day, you stick to whatever floats your boat. Cool runnings, boys and girls!


  1. Develop a passion and everything will follow. My favorite is "Run" by Collective Soul and my skippy really fuels the fun. I enjoy your nike+mini, sayang my nikerunning is not working anymore. See you at the races.

  2. Thanks, Vener. Skippy is the way hahaha! And you're right, "Run" by Collective Soul is an excellent running song. See you around, bud.