Me: Coach, unsa’y next sa imong speedwork? Daang: Mag speedwork pa ko padung. Me: Di pa diay to speedwork? Daang: Dili pa. Tempo run pa ‘to. Robert Daang is a familiar name on weekend fun runs, a consistent podium finisher. But this time he was running laps around Abellana, this training is for the upcoming Milo. He’s very main goal this coming Milo is to get a 1:14hours finish time so as not only to qualify him for the Milo Finals, but also to qualify for the free fare and accommodation. This will be his 1st time to aim for a qualifier in Milo. Last year, he only joined the 10K category as he was still new in his job, he did not much have time to train for it. So finally, work schedule got better this year, he finally has time to really train for Milo. So what does it take to be a 1:15 Milo qualifier? According to Robert, the ideal length for training in this kind of race is 6 months. But since he got side-way with his try at ultramarathon race, Labor Day 65K, in which he emerged as the champion, it took a cut some time for his training for Milo. So for Milo, he’s only able to dedicate 4 months to it. He considered himself more of a club athlete, than a professional athlete, as he is not full-time in his running. His training starts when the work ends. After getting off from work in the afternoon, his Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are dedicated for his “endurance” runs, in which he run based on time. It can be up to 4 hours. His usual route is going up to Malubog to Busay. Then Tuesdays and Thursdays are dedicated to “speedwork.” Tuesdays are dedicated for tempo and sprint, and Thursdays are for what he call, “speed endurance.” Not to be so technical about it, this is how Robert explained the different terms: endurance is basically for “pagahiay,” to make you last in a race. The sprint is best for the start and finish of the race, while the tempo and speed endurance are what you will use in between the sprints. But he does not consider his self as a professional athlete. For him, he is more of a club athlete, as he is
not full time in his running. Late Bloomer But he was a late bloomer in running. He was not the typical grade school dasher, or university varsity runner. Though, he wished he knew running back in college as it could probably help him finish his college degree, criminology. It was only in 2007 when he started running, but not to become a runner at first. But it was part of his workout routine to become better in martial arts. Red Cross Fun Run 2007: Believe His Self to Be Fast Then as fun runs became popular, he joined races. His first race was 10K category of a race organized by Red Cross. To prepare for his first race, he just did his usual jogging, not keeping track of mileage or pace. But nevertheless, he believed that he was already fast. He just knew it that he was a fast runner. Of course, he was indeed fast. He was leading the race in the first few stretches, until he got burned out, and faded away. The eventual champion of their category was Ruth Banzon, known to be a Boston Marathon finisher and one of the best running coaches in Cebu. While, Robert finished with a time of more than an hour. And, the Universe Connive for him to be a Fast Runner But after discovering that he was not exactly fast, he did not stop. Since, he did not have a coach nor he had fast running friends back then, he resorted to eavesdrop from the elite runners back then. When he overheard that they would be training in Abellana. He looked for it, and then he became a frequent “stayer” there. To learn more, he eavesdropped more when university runners and other fast runners would be discussing about their training. It was then he learned about following programs. Since he was living in Lapu-lapu, he was also frequent in Hoops Dome, where Coach Loloy got noticed him, and took him under his wings. But a podium finish was still out of his hands. He may landed in top 10 from time to time, but he never yet became a podium finisher. Red Cross 2009: Not until 2009, in the same race that he got burned out, and faded away, after 2 years in his comeback, he finally landed as 3rd placer, after John Philip Duenas and Simon Losiaboi, a Kenyan. Crisis into Opportunity Until unemployment opportunity came, which pushed him, with his family, to stay in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, for the mean time. His wife is from Malaybalay. Since, he was off from work, they decided to stay in Malaybalay. The unemployment instead became a good luck, aside from landing in a perfect place for training, Malaybalay, because of its high elevation, he found his self to be training side-by-side with one of the best runner in the Philippines, Jonel Laguindo, who was the champion of the Milo Cebu Leg 2012. The Comeback: 1st Championship He had 1st championship title in a 5k race organized by SWU race, in which he race against Adonis Signson, Philip Duenas, and the likes, the runners who used to beat him and also the runners he looked up to. He credit it to his training back in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, plus the rest he had from racing. 2007: Late Bloomer 2009: 1st podium 2012: 1st champion
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