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12/23/2023

Foundation Sneak Peek

FOUNDATION will be the first printed Track and Record volume. A zine that captures the myth, history and culture of Rome through the lens of running.

12/26/2023

Foundation

A few weeks ago, I started the training block for the Rome Marathon, which will be held on the 17th of March.
This time, as I log the miles, I'll track the myth and foundation of La Cittá Eterna, running beyond history and time to unlock and explore the ruins of this ancient realm.

FOUNDATION begins.

12/22/2023

Spine

Things start to get serious when the first half marathon occurs within the marathon segment. Despite the mere 3km difference from my previous long run, there's something about the number 21 that makes me think, 'Okay, from now on, things are just going to get spicy.'

It took me really, really long to leave the house, something that is quite common during long runs that I want to work on, as it’s just me wasting my time messing around and pretending I’m going to find an excuse not to do the hard work.

As I was in Spain at my parents' house, which is located in a small village in the middle of nowhere, instead of taking the main road and looping back the same way, I decided to go one way towards the town, as I knew it would be mentally more fun and pleasant.

I took my phone with me to call my mum once I finish, and as much as I refused to, she convinced me to take one of those little hip bags not to carry the phone in my hand (which I ended up appreciating). Also, to cope with the jitters, I decided to bring music with me again, and I think it actually helped.

The first half of the track was completely downhill, and I was absolutely jamming and experiencing that runner's high... the last 5-6 kilometers were the opposite, though. My hometown, as old as it is, is all about hills, and the last sections of the run, I could feel my legs getting heavier and heavier.

However, when I finished, I felt in pretty good condition, and I recovered better than other days (I suppose all the food I had during Christmas fueled me properly).

Back in London again, I already miss the feeling of fresh air and the various textures my soles experienced back at home; that’s why when I’m there, I try to make the most out of the nature and purity I’m surrounded by.

I haven’t run with music these last days, but I have to recommend the latest Black Keys single ‘Beautiful People.’

12/21/2023

Brain Freeze

This has been the second run since I got home. The change in altitude has been challenging for me since the first run: maintaining pace becomes harder, and the fact that everywhere is hilly makes it almost impossible to maintain consistency with each split, but it also makes the runs more fun.

The air is dry, and the sky is a clear blue, but the ice from the previous night clings to the road and plants like magic crystals, dazzling me when exposed to the sunlight.


Even though I go slower than I would in London, I feel stronger and more capable, sensing my lungs and breath more intimately. Stopping the habit of listening to music during my runs in the last couple of weeks has also helped me connect more deeply with the physical experience itself.

I completed my usual 10k loop, navigating through the dense morning fog. I could feel from the very beginning how the hair on my arms and my forehead were getting frozen, creating that thin crystal crust, like a symbiosis with all the space around.I’m not sure why, but I always loved the feeling of the ice, whether it's against my skin, cracking it with my teeth, or sensing my brain freezing while eating ice cream.

Despite having nothing in my ears but the sounds of birds around, I thought about this Sa Pa album I've been enjoying while working. It transports me to a place like this: ice-cold, dry, quiet, and precious.

12/20/2023

Solstice

I look at the moon, and I understand everything now. The cold has rushed its way in, freezing my face and awakening my desire for speed.

I think about the flat fields in Spain where I belong, where everything started and everything will die.

I think about the bull. I think about the symbol it has become through the myths of our ancestors. Its horns point to the sky with their lunar shape, announcing an eternal cycle of death and resurrection every 3 days.

I think about the bull and the moon, and now I understand the words of Lorca.

I think about the bull, and something awakens, the relics from a past I haven’t lived now appear vividly in the touch of my skin, in the sense of my spirit.


A call for silence, a call for solitude, a call for running

This time there is no music, but Joseph Campbell's first book on mythology, for those who want to transcend the physical and historical.

12/3/2023

Bandida

I recalled this image Belén took a year ago while we were in Kazakhstan; meditating in the mountains, with no signal, no watch telling me how many calories I’ve burned or steps I’ve done. It perfectly encapsulates how I felt during this run, the duality of the wild and the silent, the inside and the outside, united now as one.

On the outside I felt like a horse that can’t be tamed, galloping from Peckham to Camberwell to Dulwich and back, recklessly, passing through the red lights, squeezing in between the distracted kids that wait for the bus. I had Paco de Lucía on the background taking me somewhere else; a green field as open as my consciousness right now, a field where horses run wild over the gently swaying grass, a field no one belongs to, a field of freedom and peace.

On the inside I felt like a monk meditating on the top of a temple — silent, eyes closed, standing still, enlightened by the detachment and the emptiness of the self. It’s all experience right now; there is no subject or object to distinguish from — it’s all matter made in the moment, raw and pure.

11/15/2023

Corrosive

After 10 days in Vietnam with no exercising at all, and almost two weeks without running I guess we can consider this a comeback (not to say the fact that I haven’t posted much as I’ve been working on the website itself)

I did the classic loop around Peckham Rye and Dulwich Cars, and yes, I tried to sped up as much as I could. It felt good, and somehow the pain in the knee seems to be milder now, although I’m trying to start doing again some rehab exercises to prevent the ITB to start hurting again.

Even though I’m focusing more now in CrossFit to be ready for a couple competitions I have ahead, I’m missing running more than once during the week, as well as doing some long distance runs.

I’m already thinking what the next race will be, but for now, let’s let the running virus spread through my veins, I like the high.

I’ve been listening a lot lately to a bespoke playlist Spotify has done for me called ‘High energy workout’ it’s a weird mix, one of the songs that includes is ‘PURE/HONEY’ by Beyoncé, who I don’t usually listen to, but man… somehow this song makes me push hard.

10/3/2023

Easy Tiger

I gave myself a couple of weeks without running at all to let my knee rest after feeling pain during my last few runs.

After the marathon, I thought I would experience the 'runner blues' Murakami talks about in his book. It has happened to me before – that boredom you feel after training for a while, the repetitiveness, what the French describe as 'ennui.' I guess that's why I started doing more CrossFit instead of running again. Nonetheless, the truth is that since I got injured and the weather has been getting better, I've really missed running during these past couple of weeks when I had to stop.


As I was concerned about my knee, I went to the physiotherapist and received the same answer I got the first time I got injured: my calves and butt are too weak compared to my quads.

When it comes to lifting, gymnastics, or any sport other than running, I care about technique. However, when it comes to running, something I've always done and naturally enjoyed, I've refused to focus on metrics.
That said, I'm not going to ignore the physiotherapist's words and recommendations, but I don't want to force what comes as effortless movement.

He recommended going for a light run at an easy pace to see how I'd feel. Of course, I ended up going faster than he wanted me to, but I couldn't help myself.

The feeling of my feet hopping on the ground, my hair flowing freely, the speed...
Running connects me with something primitive that has always been inside me.

5/11/2023

Strummer

In 1983, The Clash' Joe Strummer ran unofficially the London Marathon in 4 hours and 13 minutes after drinking 10 pints the night before.

Photography by Steve Rapport

5/14/2023

RRR

I could be more captivated by the tiny droplet hanging over the surface of one of the leaves of my banana tree plant — the first I’ve ever owned and also the only one.

I got it when I moved into my new house to bring some life to the vast room I know have, but also to test myself whether if I could or not to take care of something else.
After a couple of months I completely forgot about it and almost letting it sit near the window knowing its leaves were turning brown and dry.

I ignored it because it didn’t mean much, until one day that I realised how brutal that was.Borrowing my flatmate's scissors, I trimmed away all the dry parts, watered it, and gave it the name 'Marisa’.

When I returned home last Saturday after my run, which felt terribly difficult, I noticed a tiny droplet hanging from one of its leaves, perfectly suspended, portraying pure beauty and life.I found myself identifying with the plant—sweaty, slightly melancholic due to my recurring knee pain, recalling Bernini's 'The Rape of Proserpina' and its incredible human detail.

How beautiful pain can turn to be when contained and captured in time, like the droplet on the leaf, like marble coursing with blood, like the defeat after the effort, like the constant desire of victory and life.

5/23/2023

Murakami

In the summer of 1983, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami ran the original marathon track in 3 hours and 51 minutes. However, instead of finishing in Athens, he completed it the other way around.

After receiving a proposal from a Greek Tourism Magazine to visit and review must-see places in Greece, he decided that covering the mythical track could be more interesting. And so, he did.

With no audience, no finish line, just him, the Greek sun, and a photographer following him to document the beginning of his marathon journey.

Photography by Masao Kageyama

8/25/2023

Mango Seco

My dad always keeps a packet of dried mangoes in the glovebox of the car. I had never been interested in it until a couple of weeks ago when, feeling a little nostalgic, I decided to try some.

Now, I have developed a liking for its weird chewy texture that I used to dislike, and it has become my go-to sugar boost before going for a run or workout.Just like that snack brings me back home, this run has somehow become my own 'running comeback.'

Although I had gone for a few runs in the weeks before, this time I felt not only physically strong and fit but also happy and motivated to be back on the road again.I have on repeat ‘VOLVER’, love how unexpected this combination of Tainy, Skrillex, Four Tet and Rauw Alejandro has came out.

7/9/2023

Splendid Sun

In the last couple of weeks, I got back into my running routine. While my knee still doesn't feel at its best, I don't struggle as I used to. However, I've been very cautious about my pace and the length of the sessions… until now.

Running a 5k or a 10k feels nice, but the fact that these runs just become little loops around the same routes bores me a little bit, and that's why I've been missing marathon training and long-distance runs.

I miss getting out of my house and not knowing where I will go or when I'll come back. I miss getting lost in London; I miss knowing that I can go as far as I want.So on Saturday, I was committed to do it, no matter what.


I woke up, and all of a sudden, it started to rain, but surprisingly it was just a 10-minute shower that cleared up the sky afterward. As it happens with every Apple Watch OS update, I wasted a ridiculous amount of time trying to set up my music, ending up deciding to grab my phone because this time I really wanted to have some tunes.


I crossed quickly from Burgess Park to Elephant and Castle without even noticing, and in a quick flick, I was already zigzagging through tourists across London Bridge. The sun was resting gently and splendidly on my skin. Shadows through St. Paul's, where I thought about my mum. Loneliness through the bridges, where I remembered when I used to cycle towards Whitechapel through the superhighway. I got to Westminster and stepped down by the river to get to Vauxhall and back down south.


Logged 18km without even thinking about a single mile, not letting the numbers become a distraction from the joy of just being out there, moving, going somewhere and nowhere at the same time, just pushed by the light of the splendid sun.

I have on loop the new Night Beats' album 'Rajan'

8/4/2023

Metamorph

To honor life is to embrace its transitions, the stages in between. It’s the daily practice, the occasional setback, the grey days.

Evolution happens slowly, hidden within the cocoon where the chrysalid remains invisible to the sight.
But to evolve, to metamorphose, one has to dare to show up every day, to be patient, and to trust that there will be another stage; to live life as many and multiple, and not just one.

To desire to go beyond a straight line. To have the certainty of death and yet the desire to forever be alive.

I have back on repeat “History of the future” by The Black Angels

7/24/2023