How a Once Fat Guy Fought His Way to Becoming Fit and Fab: An Interview with John Michael Sagcal

“What defines us is how well we rise after falling.”

I always love reading/hearing stories of people rising from adversities. It doesn’t just remind me of my past struggles and my personal story, but it also fuels that desire in me to live my life well.

'fit' John Michael Sagcal

John Michael Sagcal’s story is no exception. His story was once featured in

He used to have a battle against himself and his unhealthy habits.

Weighing about 270 pounds 2 years ago (at such a young age of 22), he has never paid much attention to himself. He remembered having to eat 5 cups of rice in every single meal, not to mention snacking on chocolates and junk food.

A random check-up to the doctor revealed how his unhealthy habits took its toll on him. He was told that he was hypertensive and was even given a lifespan of not more than 20 years if he doesn’t change his unhealthy habits.

That’s when he decided to embark on a new journey to making himself fit.

Running played a vital role in helping him achieve a healthy lifestyle. He has never looked back since.

To date, he has already joined a lot of running events and committed to continue dedicating a good part of his life to this sport.

It’s a great  honor and privilege to have him featured in this blog.

Be truly blessed as we learn from John Michael Sagcal’s interview .

1. Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself?

The name’s John Michael Sagcal, I work as an appointment setter for a british-based foreign exchange workshop provider. During my free time, I play with my son, go out on dates with my wife, visit my parents and basically just do anything to relax and get my mind off of work. My hobbies include drawing, painting, online gaming (fps, turn-based, rpg, fighting, tower defense), reading (fantasy or sci -fi. I’m a hudge LOTR fan) etc. I started running last October, 2013.Sky Sagcal

2. Can you share with us your journey as a runner? What urged you to run? How long have you been running?

I started running last October 2013 primarily to loose weight as I was severely obese back then with a steady BP of 150/90.

John Michael Sagcal

Nobody but myself urged me to run as I knew that this was the fastest and most efficient way to become physically fit.

3. Have you encountered any struggles and difficulties when you were starting out? How did you overcome them?

The only difficulty/struggle was when my shin splints during my first few months of running. Obviously my legs were adjusting to the new stress that I was putting them on thus, even with the correct type of running shoes, I still got the injury. What I did was to rest for about two weeks and slowly started running and slowly increased my mileage every week.

4. How was your first marathon (of half marathon) experience?

I almost cried when I finished my first half marathon. I never thought that I could do such an incredible feat! My pace was all over the place, no proper training and whatnot but I still managed to finish with a time of 2:55 I think (I know, that was a slow finish). But nevertheless, I was so happy!!

The "fit" John Michael Sagcal

The feeling was surreal. During my first marathon, I decided to play it safe and did not go all out to avoid the wall. I ran at a consistent pace and was able to finish it with only a hint of fatigue. What made it more memorable was that It was the 2015 Condura Skyway Marathon which was by far the best running event in the country to date and the fact that I was doing it to send the children of fallen soldiers to school made it that more special for me!

5. What was your most memorable experience as regards running?

My most memorable experience would have to be the one when I ran in the rain because I didn’t want to miss my training schedule. I was the only one out in the road and it was raining cats and dogs. I know, that was dangerous and I would probably not do it again. But the feeling of bliss and peace of running in the rain really gives me that “runner’s high”. I actually lost track of time and ran 26kms that afternoon when it was only supposed to be 15K.

6. How do you prepare for your runs? Do you have any special preparations especially when running marathons? Rituals?

Nothing really special. I just say a quick prayer bofore the run to ask for God’s protection.

7. What does your training look like?

Monday – regular run / maintenance run (10-15K)

Wed – Tempo run (10K at 4:30 / 5:00 per K)

Fri – Hill repeats, 10×100 meter sprints

sunday – Long run averaging 21K

8. What was the longest run you’ve conquered so far?

A full Marathon (42.195K)

The "fit"" Sky Sagcal's marathon experience

9. What advice can you give those who want to start to run and to all the runners in general?

Do your research, buy the right type of running shoes for your gait. Gradually increase mileage by not more than 10% every week to avoid injuries. NEVER OUTRUN YOUR LOVE FOR RUNNING.

The "Fit" John Michael Sagcal

10. Any key takeaways?

-Strenghten your core with abdominal excercise.

– proper form, don’t slouch!

Pray, pray pray. Through tough and easy runs, never forget to thank the Lord.

The "Fit" John Michael Sagcal

John Michael has since ran the Milo Marathon (10K category), Energen Healthy run (10K), Artistakbo (21K), Candy Rush (21K), Gold Rush (21K), Run United 3rd Leg (21K) and the PINOY FITNESS 21K CHALLENGE (CHALLENGER WAVE) wherein he finished with an official time of 02:06:28 and ranked 146/904.

He also just ran his first full marathon(Condura Skyway Marathon 2015) last February 1, 2015.

Truly, everything is possible if you just put your heart and mind into it.

John Michael Sagcal is the epitome of grit and determination!

Thank you for inspiring us through the quality of your life.

Have you always loved running but don’t know where to begin? Don’t wait for the perfect condition before you start.

“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”- Napoleon Hill

Commit to be fit. 😉

See you at the finish line!

March Nacino



Signup today and receive free updates straight in your inbox.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )


Views All Time
Views All Time
Views Today
Views Today
Follow me

March Nacino

March Nacino is known as “The Radical Runner” in the running community. He basically loves to join marathons. When he’s not training for his next big race, he works as a freelance Digital Marketing Specialist helping his clients with their Digital Marketing needs. Follow March at
March Nacino
Follow me

Latest posts by March Nacino (see all)

Leave a Comment