The pressures and the pitfalls of his first Los Angeles Marathon

By Eric Nicole Salta | Photos courtesy of Skechers Performance

gerald anderson

Like most celebrities, fitness is a form of investment for Gerald Anderson. This veteran actor of 27 years has been a patron of sports and health, playing basketball throughout his life, impressing at celebrity sports festivals, and, more recently, taking up the grueling lure of triathlon. His credentials to date include finishing his first race at the 2015 ASTC Asian Triathlon Cup and ranking fourth and sixth at the Powerman Duathlon Invitational and Powerman Duathlon Pilipinas World Series in the 24-29 age group, respectively. Yet the daunting task of facing the Los Angeles Marathon’s 42K street assault and 31-year history has the charming Anderson a little bit on edge. “Lagi akong sumasali sa mga runs but hanggang 10K lang.” But while the pressures are high, the payoffs are higher. “Nung nag-start ako mag-training, naramdaman ko na parang kaya ko ‘to, so sobrang excited ako.”

How long have you been training?

Well, before the campaign even started I’ve already been training (with coach George Vilog since November last year) and I was also doing triathlon and basketball of course. I work out every day so when the campaign came in, there was extra motivation. Twice-a-day workouts even if I’m taping. I just want to show to people that hindi dahilan ang busy schedule para pabayaan ang sarili mo. If you’re very passionate about one thing in your life, it’s going to spread in everything you do. Working out is my coffee. It wakes me up and gets me going.

Do you still get to sleep?

Wala na pong tulog! [laughs] I’m not a morning person but at the same time I think sleeping is overrated, nanghihinayang ako sa oras. Kung pwede nga wala nang tulog but it’s very important to train hard but train smart.

What’s your target time?

Ayoko muna magsabi ng time but isa sa mga goals and motivations ko isn’t just to finish the race but also have a good time. Ayoko na nandun lang ako para magpa-cool lang. Everything I do in life I don’t do just for the sake of doing it. You always want to be the best at what you do. So let’s wait in March! [laugh]

How do you feel about preparing for a huge marathon with around 25,000 international runners in the field?

I’m excited and nervous. At the end of the day, I’m not going there to just show off and fulfill my commitment with Skechers. I really wanted to go. I’m actually a little scared kasi kapag hindi ako nag-train ng maayos and pagdating ko sa race, iniisip ko ayoko magpatalo, so lahat hahabulin ko! Mamaya mahimatay ako sa race! [laughs] And that’s how I am so ngayon pa lang because of my experience in the races I’ve joined, I really have to prepare for this.

Can you give us an idea of your routine or regimen?

Sometimes when I finish taping at 2am, I’d wake up at 8am and work out from 8:45 to 10am. After that I would swim for about 45 minutes and then bike before lunch. I biked before coming here. If I don’t have a schedule, I’d rest for about an hour, watch Netflix, and chill. Then go back to taping. That’s every day sana even with taping. Ang hirap kasi kapag may na-skip ka.

What do you think is crucial for you to have a good performance at the marathon? Do you have a set strategy already?

Pacing of course. I’ll pace myself. My biggest competitor is myself really especially kapag nakikita ko ‘yung ibang mabilis tumakbo [hahabulin ko]. And I’ve done that at a race and sumunod ako sa kanya [random runner] and around 10K, halos hindi ko na natapos ‘yung race.

What’s the goal after Los Angeles Marathon?

Tuluy-tuloy pa rin ang training. Like I said I have a show about triathletes (“Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin”) and it’s better to stay prepared and ready kasi ang hirap kapag nagpabaya ka tapos kailangan ulit. Trust me I’ve seen it. It’s hard. It’s something I don’t want to happen. After the 42K in LA, I’ll join another one, more triathlons and more marathons and runs.