The running tips and tricks that deliver—plus, how to buy your first pair

By Eric Nicole Salta | Photos courtesy of Saucony

Everyone could use a little advice. These seasoned elites and age-group triathletes sure know how to take one and use it well. At a recent gathering for Saucony’s Freedom ISO launch, 11 of the fittest athletes dole out the best running advice they’ve ever received and dish out their own as well as important tips on how to buy your first running pair so you don’t have to suffer from bruises and blisters (I swear, one of them did). Every runner is different but we can vouch for these personal guidelines. After all, don’t think actual coaches, national athletes, and Norseman and Ironman podium finishers would give bogus advice, right?

Edward Macalalad

“The best running advice I’ve received is when my coach told me to just enjoy running. Don’t feel so stressed whenever you run. Run like you’re doing it for fun. You’re doing it because you like it.”

“When you’re buying shoes, look for a pair that you want and will suit you. Make sure you’ll use those shoes for a long time. Don’t just buy shoes because you want to but because you love to.”

Ryan Laurino

“It’s from a friend of mine and he said to always keep pushing yourself. Don’t settle. If you achieve one thing like setting a personal record, try to beat that because you’re always trying to improve. But still keep smiling and enjoy what you’re doing.”

“It needs to be comfortable, because it’s going to hurt you if it doesn’t fit well. And if the quality isn’t there, it’s going to wear out fast. Another thing is it needs to look good since ipapakita mo ‘yan sa lahat ng tao. Kahit nag-podium ka ‘yung sapatos na ‘yun ‘yung susuotin mo. Of course it needs to look good.”

Anton Cu

“Take it slowly. Don’t overdo it. Don’t rush. If you rush too much, you’ll get injured and it will hamper your progress.”

“You should be comfortable. It should have good fit. Consider durability. If you’re not comfortable, you’ll have a hard time. How can you run fast?”

Laarni Paredes

“It’s all about consistency. A lot of runners would think ‘Okay I’m preparing for a race’ but they would miss certain workouts. They would work out hard and then rest for a long time. Mas importante you do, kahit konti lang, every day basta consistent over a long time. It produces a lot of results.”

“Choose the right shoes for you. Huwag lang masyado magpapadala sa magandang kulay. Kailangan malaman nila ‘yung running form and running gait nila before they choose the right shoes. That’s one of the root causes of injuries, wearing the wrong type of shoes.”

Omar Paredes

“Do it progressively. Maraming mga newbies who want to improve a lot in a short period of time, which sometimes results in injury. Form is important. There are two kinds of runners: a glider and a gazelle. Gliding focuses more on cadence. When I teach, I make sure my students are aware of their cadence (around 180 per minute).”

“If you’re starting out, find stability. In my case, malaki ako, I prefer maganda ‘yung cushion. Pero kapag naging fit na sila, they can invest in racing flats if they want to have a good PR. It will help a lot.”

Jayline Balatibat

Basta kung sino ‘yung nasa harap mo, habulin mo lang. Whoever it is. Nauna man ‘yan. lalaki, babae, a friend, or an acquaintance, basta kung sino nasa harap mo, targetin mo ‘yan. Every time I run, until now, basta kung sino ‘yung nasa harap I’ll try to pace him or her and then ‘pag nakita ko na kaya ko siyang unahan, I’ll overtake. [Once I overtake them] then I move to the next target.”

Basta kung sino ‘yung nasa harap mo, habulin mo lang. Whoever it is. Nauna man ‘yan. lalaki, babae, a friend, or an acquaintance, basta kung sino nasa harap mo, targetin mo ‘yan

“My experience was kung ano lang makita kong gusto ko ‘yung itsura. I didn’t know there’s a specific shoe that should fit your running form, foot strike or arch. I always get injured before or nagkakasugat ‘yung paa ko whenever I run because I didn’t know that my shoe didn’t fit me. So if they’re buying a pair, better get advice from a running guru or professional to avoid injury. Running enthusiasts right now can avail of those services. Years ago, we didn’t have that.”

Tricia Espino

“To enjoy every single kilometer. Do not count it by how long you’re supposed to go but count each and every step because each step counts. It contributes to the entire experience. Personally when I run, it’s not a chore. It’s something I look forward to because it helps me de-stress, too. One of my first running coaches would always say, just take every step and don’t count the distance. Up to this day, that’s what I tell people.”

“My advice is try each and every pair because each one will give a different feel and comfort. Now when choosing your shoe, you have to be confident because you will be spending hours with it. So it’s like a relationship you’re building. Take your time. Don’t be influenced by price, design, or friends that influence you.”

Ralph Du

“I should go out there and run, not just to think about the problems or the weather. Just go out there and start walking and eventually running. Then do it consistently. I still use that advice until now.”

“You should look for a pair that’s really comfortable in everything you and not just running. It always starts with walking in the mall or in parks, before you even start thinking if it’s the one for you when you run. You really have to test it.”

PJ Rivera

“It’s really bad advice but it’s one that I would remember. I was running the 400-meter track and they’re saying, ‘This is your pace.’ The 400-meter dash is one of the toughest events. It’s grueling so knowing how to pace is paramount. My coach [Subido from UP] then said this is what you’re going to do: first 100 meters, mabilis; second 100 meters, mas mabilis; third 100 meters, bilisan mo pa; and fourth, bilis! That’s the one that stuck with us. Being a sprinter, that’s all we did. All out, every single day, every single rep. As a result, the difference between a track and an outside runner is very far. But the advice I’ll give to other runners is to start fast and when you get older and slower, you’ll still be faster than most.”

“Just go to the store, put on a shoe that feels good, and run around. Don’t worry about if you’re a pronator or supinator or if you need cushioning, just run with it. If it feels good, that’s the shoe for you.”

Jake Cuenca

“Running wasn’t my favorite in the beginning but Victor [Basa] just told me ‘Don’t be scared, bro.’ We were in Osaka, Japan in December last year and I said ‘Dude, let’s just go to the gym’ and he said ‘Don’t be scared, bro. Let’s just do the run. It’s fast.’ So there’s this insecurity that you might not make it to the finish line but you will. No matter. You’ll will yourself to. You’ll muscle through. That’s one of the best… well not really advice, but more along the lines of a threat.”

“My advice for people buying their first running shoe. If you’re going to go the distance, get the Kinvaras. But my favorite shoe that helps me go faster is the Freedom. If you’re trying to work on your time and be faster, more energy return, it’s the Freedom.”

Victor Basa

“The best advice I’ve received is from coach Ani de Leon-Brown. She said, do it right, do it fast, and do it long. Do it right, you do it with the right form. You do it fast with the speed. And then long with the distance.”

“My advice for newbie runners is make sure your stride is correct and you invest in the right shoe because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your shoes. So you should get one which you’ll be happy with. I use a Kinvara because my feet are a little wider so I get a little more room.”