Runs and marathons are incredibly popular nowadays. There have been a few of these competitions at the ZeroThreeTwo (if I’m not mistaken, there’s a run almost every Sunday) and we can’t seem to get enough. In fact, there are an increasing number of people who not only join this for exercise, but also compete at a high level. I happen to know a few friends who are starting to make their mark in this field. One of them is my batch mate, Vince Cabahug, we talked a bit of his own victorious story. He is a champion in the making and a champion in his own right.
Vince: There’s not much to say about me. I’m currently a 3rd yr medical student of Cebu Doctors’ University and I have been joining marathons. Aside from that, I’m practically just your average guy.
032: How did you find yourself in the world of marathons? Has this been your passion?
Vince: Running for me started as a way of exercise, just ran for the heck of losing weight. Only when I joined my 1st fun run on March 2011, I started running regularly and decided to do it competitively. And Yes, it has been a passion ever since.
032: Since you are currently studying to be a doctor, we know how busy your schedule can get. How do you find time to do all the training and preparations for the different marathons?
Vince: It all boils down on how you manage your time. I admit it does get a bit exhausting at times and you’ll just have to prioritize one from the other. Of course, my studies will always come first. Usually our exams are only held weekly on Mondays so I would always use my free time training on weekdays. I would study hard during the weekend.
032: You are also the top of your class, what’s the secret? What’s the routine that you do to excel in both fields?
Vince: For now yes, but I still need to maintain that position for my full scholarship. There is still one more year of studying before I get to Internship. I would say it takes a lot of commitment and determination to do the things you clearly want to excel in. I want to be the best that I can possibly be whether it be academically or physically. God has blessed me with this talent so I will use it to its full potential.
Vince: I agree and especially here in Cebu where you can find a race virtually every Sunday. Though Marathons are only held probably once or twice a year here in Cebu, you’d still be amazed when you realize more than a thousand individuals join. There are a lot of reasons why these runs are so common nowadays and in my opinion, people join to lose weight, for the heck of finishing long distances, or to really race competitively and win. I would find myself having all three reasons, but I’m not trying to lose weight rather maintaining it. The downside though about this weekly fun runs is that prices are starting to get high and it seems it has become a business for some race organizers.
032: Do you consider yourself an athlete? Can you share to us the benefits and challenges of being an athlete (runner)?
Vince: I guess I can proudly consider myself an athlete, specifically a triathlete. One thing is for sure, I already developed Athletic bradycardia (resting heart rate of less than 60bpm) with my lowest heart rate ever measured being 40bpm. No, it’s nothing to worry about and it’s perfectly normal for conditioned athletes. I’ve been running for about two years. I also started incorporating swimming and biking after a year of running as a part of my cross training. There are a lot of benefits to running, swimming or biking whichever type of exercise you want to do. All these exercises are all aerobic and can really help prevent you from having heart disease. So why not do all three? You also get an accomplished feeling especially if you’re able to place during a race. Aside from that, you get to meet new friends or training partners which will help encourage you during training. Of course, you will face challenges along the way. The biggest challenge is when you become injured or burnt out. It’s also important to be able to gauge your limits and rest is often underemphasized. For me, one of my biggest challenges is the fact I’m still studying Medicine which can really take some of my time as well.
Vince: For now, my greatest achievement would have to be qualifying for and finishing the 2012 Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii last October. That was an Off-road Triathlon with a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10k trail run. Before that was finishing the 2012 Cobra Ironman 70.3 triathlon which comprised of a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run. All of these things done in one school year. =)
032: Any advice for people who are into running or who are aspiring to go as far as you when it comes to marathons?
Vince: Running usually starts as an exercise or a hobby so I do encourage people to live healthy and pursue doing it. Who knows? Later on you might want to do it competitively. After all, it’s only yourself who you should truly be competing with and don’t be discouraged with other faster runners. Its all about improving oneself. Do challenge yourself and see how far you can go.
Vince: Be disciplined and do know how to manage your time WISELY, if there are other matters you are also busy at. Unless you have a stable job and pretty much have all the free time you need then I guess it’s really no problem to at least 30min or even an hour in your day to run. Do this at least 3x a week and voila! You are living healthy! Exercise is one thing, but nutrition and rest are equally important. Listen to your body and please don’t over do it. You may get injured in the process.
Vince Cabahug just came back from Maui Hawaii where he participated in the Xterra Worlds. He has also joined more than 20 marathons to date and is planning to participate in more and more marathons. We’ll see how he can do that with his internship year coming up!