At 36 years old, triathlete Arland Macasieb has never satiated his passion for learning. He started his love affair with sports as early as the age of 13, when he played tennis, then went on to play basketball and baseball. Born with a need for speed, he was always seen zipping by fellow players in the court and in the field, which prompted him to try out track in high school.

He soon found himself competing in cross country running, and in 1995, he tried out triathlons. Despite lacking a good background in swimming, he emerged third in his age group. He vowed to learn more about the sport and he's kept his promises: he became a Natural Running Coach for Newton Running, gained a Bikefit Level 2 certification, and worked with four-time US Olympian Sheila Taormina to improve his swim technique. At present, he's preparing himself for a bigger challenge.

“The goal, ultimately, is to break nine hours in the Ironman distance,” he shares with Runner's World. “If we break the nine-hour mark, we bring Philippine endurance sports on the world stage. That’s my goal, really, to race in the world scene.” At present, he's the only Filipino who finished under the 10-hour mark at an Ironman event. He aims to put the Philippines on the world map, and he's going to do whatever it takes to attain it.

While he has outlined specific plans on how to attain his goal, he remains open to another option--to help other Pinoy triathletes make his dream a reality through coaching. “I’ve never been one of those guys who don’t share ideas,” he shares. “There’s this quote, ‘What happens to a match that lights another match?’ You still have your flame, you just share it, and now you both have a flame. Ideas are free. I have no problem sharing them, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. If I can help other coaches and work with those who are doing good things here, I will. Improvements are happening here. If I can be part of those movements somehow, all the better.” These sentiments are evident in Arland's dedication to coaching, which he has been doing for more than a decade. For Arland, the learning never ends--may it be as a an athlete and as a mentor.

Arland advises athletes to look for these 4 things in a coach:

1. CHEMISTRY

"You have to go beyond heart rate zones and training plans," Arland says. "It's about getting deep inside what motivates an athlete and how that flame can be stoked."

2. EMPHASIS ON TECHNIQUE

Arland shares that technique is the biggest thing in training, so your coach should be able to spot little details that can cost you in the long run.

3. TOUGH LOVE

"Sometimes, the number one purpose of a coach is to light that spark and provide that motivation," Arland says.

4. EXPERIENCE, NOT CERTIFICATIONS

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"Certifications help, but at the same time, you have Sutton [his triathlon coach, Brett Sutton] who doesn't have anything, and he's the best in the world because he sees things objectively, things other coaches don't see," says Arland.

To read the full story on Arland Macasieb, pick up a copy of the July-September 2012 issue of
Runner’s World, retailing at just P150 from leading supermarkets, bookstores, and magazine stands. You can also subscribe to the magazine's digital edition.

Also in this issue:

Fitter, Leaner, Faster: 28+ Moves to Build Speed, Power, Strength, Stamina
Too Old? No Way! Why Runners Get Better With Age
Ultrarunning 101: All You Need To Know For Your First 50, 80, 100k
RW Exclusive: Whatever Happened to Lydia de Vega?

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