By Joanne Raquel

My favorite multisport combination

I’ve just completed my third aquathlon event and I must say I am enjoying the combination of these two sports: swimming and running.  Let me share my journey with you.

Step 1: Be a runner

My sporty lifestyle began 4 years ago when I joined my first 10km run.  I finished it in slightly less than two hours, therefore, I was not really running but walking.  Even after joining a few more races I still did not consider myself a runner because I could not even sustain not stopping for a kilometer.

Fortunately for me, I started to join the 5km Thursday “Fun Run” of A Runner’s Circle.  I learned how to improve my skills and uplift my spirits from other runners. They encouraged me to do better and accept that I too deserve to be called a “runner.”

After crossing out ‘finishing a marathon’ off my bucket list, I wanted to try something different. So I started swimming.

Step 2: Be a swimmer

I am the type of swimmer who can get from point A to point B, but that’s about it.  My breathing was off, I had zero endurance, and my strokes were terrible.  I knew that if I wanted to be a “swimmer” I had to get proper training.   Therefore, I joined the Makati Skipjacks Swim Club where the coaches provided me with customized programs to slowly correct my swim technique.  After completing the 7km open water swim challenge, that’s when I considered myself a “swimmer.”

Step 3: Be an aquathlete

Okay so all I have to do is combine the two sports right? Well, it was not as easy as I thought it would be.  Here are some lessons I learned based on the 3 aquathlon races I joined:

  1. Have a pacer, if possible. Unlike running events, multisport events are strict when it comes to having a pacer. You should inquire from the organizers beforehand if they’ll allow it.  However, always be your personal timekeeper and do not rely on your pacer to technically guide you.
  1. Train for both sports effectively. During one of my races, I concentrated too much on swimming during my preparation, that I was struggling to complete the run course on race day.
  1. Brick training. The event is swim then run not vice versa, therefore your brick training should be the same. I had been running then swimming during training, ergo during one race after running 500m my legs cramped up. You have to prepare your body to adjust from one sport to the next.


These lessons will truly be a great reminder to help me improve as I continue to join these aquathlon events.  Now even though I have to improve on transitioning, I respect these two sports and love that it is combined into one race.

I am an “aquathlete.”

Here’s a short video of my favorite moments during this journey:


Joanne Raquel is a runner who shifted her focus to swimming due to her spine injury.  Even if she is not participating in a race, she tags along and passionately cheers for her friends during their events, along with her logistical support and documentation, fondly known to her lucky friends as  the “J-Support.”  Joanne is a human resource practitioner in an academic institution who ensures she has a work-life balance by making an effort to remain healthy both mentally and physically.