How to be a cycling champ
(Second of two series)

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

ALLOW me to describe here the cycling training I did which I believe enabled me to reach the cycling apex, winning the runner-up plums twice in1965 and 1967 during my heydays, then the fabled 1973 Tour of Luzon, my first of three championships.

For starters, let me state that my teammates and I managed not only to survive but succeeded in our search for honor and glory through tough, taxing and punishing training that I orchestrated for us – six days a week!  It was so tough that I remember two of my Pangasinan co-cyclists gave up on it

Here was our training schedule:

MONDAY: Biked from my place Barrio Buenlag, Mangaldan to Baguio City and back which majority of our journeys took the Kennon Road and sometimes via Naguilian Road in La Union with approximate distance of 145 kilometers (Kennon) and 178 kilometers (Naguilian), respectively.

TUESDAY: Lift barbell or dumbbell purposely to enhance the strength of our upper body particularly my arms believing that this can give us some little helps in our mountain climbing capability by pulling the handlebar of our bikes synchronized the pushing of the pedals of our bikes.

WEDNESDAY: Biked from my place Barrio Buenlag, Mangaldan to Alaminos via barrio Soconi and back with an approximate distance of 140 kilometers.

THURSDAY: Do a Jogging run early in the morning (between 4:30 to 5:00 a.m.) with a maximum of four kilometers and a minimum of two kilometers including a 150-meter sprint. Sometimes on this day, we also do swimming and sunbathing at San Fabian Center Beach purposely to climatically immune our body skins against the scorching heat during summer time (March, April, May), the usual race months of the big race (Tour).

FRIDAY: Biked to Bolinao and back via Alaminos with an approximate distance of 205 kilometers. (Sometimes, we also biked up to Nichols Air Base in Pasay City with an approximate distance of 228 kilometers and take a rest for two days (Saturday and Sunday) and biked back to Mangaldan on Monday)

SATURDAY: Biked from Mangaldan to Mangaldan via San Fabian, Damortis and Rosario, La Union, Sison, Pozorrubio, Manaoag, San Jacinto, then Mangaldan. Distance – 72 kilometers approximately. Sometimes we did from Mangaldan to Mangaldan via San Fabian, Damortis and Rosario, La Union, Sison, Pozorrubio, Binalonan, Urdaneta, Sta. Barbara, then Mangaldan. Distance – 105 kilometers approximately.

SUNDAY: Rest day and time to go to church and pray.

NUTRITION: We in the team have different favorite dishes so we quartered ourselves separately. My favorite food then (and until now) were mongo, black and green beans mixed with beef, bulalo, tinolang manok, fried tapa and inihaw na bangus.

As the skipper of our Pangasinan squad, I directed my tram to meet at my place regularly 8:00 a.m. before taking off at 6:30 a.m. as we expected to do more than 200 kilometers.

Yes, our Pangasinan Team did all that unfailingly and religiously, and without a doubt, it was the training that made us dominate the 1973 Tour of Luzon team championship.

The rigid training may appear simple but imagine the physical and emotional hardships that went with it . “No pain, no gain,” as the adage says and this applies to anyone in sport.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” GENESIS 1: 26

 

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