Attacking a 15K Hilly Route in Run for the Aspins (Camp Aguinaldo, QC)

The majestic Camp Aguinaldo Grandstand

Take the first step of running a 15K race by signing up for the Run for the Aspins, at Camp Aguinaldo, on October 18, 2015. This distance is arguably no longer “fun run” material and might even require some degree of training. Some even consider 15K as longrun distance. I can agree with that, knowing the route for Run for the Aspins involves two loops of 7.5km inside the camp. As promised, take heart as I bring you some survival tips in tackling a challenging 15K hilly course.

  1. Time to practice NEGATIVE SPLITS strategy.  The “built-in” 7 to 7.5K route inside the camp has been used by many runners to graduate from 5K to longer distances. Doing a slower first-half may not be your idea of performing but you may consider this a course-preview (i.e., unknown route) and therefore an overall advantage to the race results. By keeping tab of turns, loops, change of terrains and even hydration stations, the second round benefits on anticipated moves and ultimately a faster pace.
  2. Do speedwork at the Parade Grounds.  There is a 600m squarish track inside the Grandstand. For marathon training, one can do a baseline 400m fast-paced run and 200m rest, in 6-8 intervals – that will leave you extremely fuel-depleted but this sharpening tool could just give you the edge in the race.  Just make sure your feet can handle the concrete surface, which is less forgiving than real track usually made of padded rubber or polyurethane material.lbp5
  3. If speedwork is not your thing (who in his right mortal mind likes speedwork?) then go where the hills are alive. The entire stretch of Daza Road showcases rolling hills where you can practice not only changing stride-gears but also watching out for your breathing patterns that can help you sustain more challenging altitudes. Another really long hill worth preparing for is the long stretch of road equivalent to one kilometer, along Capinpin Avenue, towards Gate 2. Many go for lung-busting speeds downhill but end up seeking for air relief on the uphill back on course. This is certainly not recommended for newbies as the body may trick you into bonking out of the race.

    longrun with nephew Jonathan Viray
  4. Enjoy the clean, fresh air by doing deep inhalations to adequately supply oxygen into your lungs. Find the rhythm that jives with your arm swing and stride and one that helps you recover from more taxing times while running. Runnersworld always gives us the lowdown on proper breathing techniques on the run.
  5. The big bonus in having a run at Camp Aguinaldo is the RUNNER-friendly atmosphere — you can’t get this from any other venue in Metro Manila.  Except for those who cannot read signs, speed limit for vehicles is set at 30kph and road courtesy is bestowed on runners and bikers any given day.

Well, then, there’s nothing left to do but lace up and prove me right! See you break your 15K PR in Run for the Aspins, October 18, 2015.


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