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After spending the past 5 weeks building up a good foundation with hills, trails and trackwork in the east, west, north-east, the Kingfishers were all ready to have a crack at running the full 21.1km at target HM pace on parts of the actual race route.
It was some sort of a full-dress rehearsal where the trainees all don their bright yellow race day tops, along with the running shoes and equipment of choice which would be used on the race morning of Sep 9. Because of a number of races (Tri-Factor series, CSC Reservoir Run, Vertical Marathon) this morning, we could not have more of the Kingfishers to do the time-trials; but still we had a reasonable turnout with a few dropping by after their respective races for the post-run debrief and race-day meet-up instructions.
Each Kingfisher trainee were given 2 packs of Shotz gels and electrolytes, courtesy of the sponsor, for this trial and use on race morning. As with a full ‘race simulation’, we would want to try out all the equipment, nutrition and hydration to ensure smooth operations before using them for the race. The 21km route was made more challenging this morning with the modifications of having it run the course in 3 loops, partly to avoid the crowd after Cable Ski area, and partly to provide a good intermediate hydration support.
We started off together as a team and soon settled into our respective pace groupings for 1:45h, 2:00h, 2:15h, 2:30h, 2:45h. With the uniformed blue (training crew) and yellow (trainees) tops running together, it was rather easy to identify and pace along for most part of the course. The first lap of 7.5km was covered in good time, after we had settled down into a sustainable average pace.
With each passing of the start/hydration point, it became more ‘mental’ as there was a tendency to want to stop and have a longer rest that usual. Still, many of the Kingfishers had sufficient resolve to complete lap 2 within target pace, and even had reserves to finish off the final and most challenging lap.
A good portion of the Kingfishers finished 21-22km with the remaining doing at least 18km, all at target race pace; some slightly faster, others a tad below the line. Many were happy to complete what was their longest, sustained pace run, with another week to tweak and make adjustments to their final race plan.
The gels were used to good effect for many, and as an encouragement, the Kingfishers were given another pack for use in their final test-run and race day. The paces were kept sustainable with the help of the trainers and running guides,bringing the respective groups to completion of a successful time-trial.
We are happy to note that with 2 weeks to race day, 90% of the Kingfishers are ready to rock the Bay! With the remaining week of training, we will hone in on their sustainable race speed, and those who have not had a good morning at the office are tasked to do a second trial run in ‘full-dress’ mode. Running The Bay? Kingfishers Will Pave & Pace Their Way! Picasa Photo Gallery @ CK Chin Facebook Photos @ Kim Lai
The track intervals is one of the special element in the PowerFLIGHT segment of Ops Kingfisher, the other being hills of course. Most of the trainees await such track sessions in anticipation yet with a certain amount of positive anxiety…much like preparing for a track meet or race, something that brings back fond memories of their school and college sports meets.
As such, the track program is always well attended by the Kingfishers, and poses a little challenge in terms of coordinating the big group of runners on that track which is shared with other runners and exercise pundits – still, we had a very productive, effective and fun-filled evening of mile trials, 800m intervals, floats with room for stretches pre and post workout.
After claiming their appetizer mile time trial and getting the proper 800m coordinates from the Interval Pace Chart, the Kingfishers along with their respective pacers and trainers were dished the main menu of 800m sets (with reduced rest time from the first session), with a ‘float’ served in between to spice things up a little.
As we watched and kept time by the sidelines, we were impressed by the good training attitudes and passion that these Kingfishers have for track….something challenging and hard, yet the feeling and sense of accomplishment after each hard set of 800m produced many satisfying smiles as the runners cross the set finish and getting their timings shouted out. With a good sense of what pace they should be training at (SpeedyBird effort), the majority kept good paces with the ringing reminder of ‘sustainability is key’ in their heads. To their pleasant surprise, they did better timings without rushing in the early sets, and achieving their targets over the prescribed number of 800m sets served.
The trainees by now are using lap-timers from their running watches to keep personal timings, which when uploaded to the computer/log, serve as good information for improvements as training progresses. After the delicious main menu of 800m sets and float, there was no special dessert (much to the relief of some) as they cool off with a good round of static stretches to round off a great night at the track.
With 2 weeks to the Army Half Marathon, the Kingfishers have secured a reasonably strong base of strength and speed as they progress to put them into pace training, requiring them to run at sustained HM race pace over progressive distances. Train Smart, Race Easy – that will be the mantra for all the Kingfishers as we ‘fly’ towards race day on 9 Sep 2012.
Team FatBird was featured as one of the running groups with weekly runs in the CBD, leading the highly popular 100 Plus i-Run (organized by HPB) on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings, and the new Brooks Run Happy on Fridays @ Marina Square (organized by KeyPower International).
These free-to-join group runs covering 3km, 5km, 7km, 10km allow the busy officer workers in the CBD area to have easy access to workout and exercise sessions, including opportunities to socialize with like-minded individuals. Post-run drinks and baggage drops are provided as additional encouragement for participation.
CLICK HERE for more information of Team FatBird’s weekday group runs and weekenders.
To celebrate National Day 2012, Team FatBird planned a scenic run into the tourist resort of Sentosa – an idyllic resort with sun, sea and sand. Two weeks into registration, we had already hit capacity reservations of 130 runners, many whom were looking for a chance to have a holiday run in Sentosa, as well as visit some of the attractions they have heard so much about.
As part of Singapore’s 47th Birthday Celebrations, all of us were decked in red and white, carrying flags and whistles to display our love and affection for the beautiful island nation of ours. After a symbolic group photo right in front of the SAFRA MF Clubhouse, we proceeded down to the Sentosa Gateway, where we ‘married up’ with another group of runners who had gone in from Harbourfront, not before breaking into wishes of peace, prosperity and progress for Singapore with some hearty ‘Happy Birdthday’ singing.
With a $1 entrance fee contribution, we were determined to make the most of our visit into Sentosa with photos from the Universal Studios, Hard Rock Hotel, and all the way to Silosa Beach, the start of the rather long beach front dotted with holiday chalets fronting the beautiful beach front full of beach goers and holiday makers.
There was a hive of excitement and enthusiasm from the FatBird flock as we soaked in the holiday atmosphere and admired the sandy beaches and attractions like the Luge, Songs Of The Sea, Pirate Ships. When we saw the rope bridge across the lagoon, we just had to line up for some fantastic group photos, all the while screaming and shouting ourselves hoarse with greetings of ‘Happy Birthday, Singapore!’
After touring Siloso and Palawan beaches, the majority were game to explore the central portions of Sentosa – Satellite Hill and Sentosa Cove attractions. More group photos and great memories were captured, making the rather hilly journey worth all the effort. After about 13km of frolicking, some were game to stretch to Tanjong Beach, while others were content to tour the beach area and sip coffee and cold drinks, lazing around under the cool shade of coconut trees.
On the way back, we jumped onto the trams in high spirits, egging our friends to pace along with the buses as we gave shouts and cheers of encouragement. It was good fun as all were laughing heartily, cracking jokes and teasing one another as all the groups made our way to the final meeting point at 7-11. There we enjoyed the special National Day offer of 1-1 Magnum ice-cream and ice-cool blueberry Gatorade. With the mood still high, we did an off-road exploration of the Jungle Trail before making our way back along the Sentosa Boardwalk back to MF Clubhouse.
As we approached from Telok Blangah Way, we were motivated by the cheers of the earlier group who were holding out the National Flag and blowing whistles with loud applause to encourage our final finish. As we crossed the line, we were congratulated on accomplishing a great run to celebrate the nation’s birthday, and given a pat on our backs. By then, it was near noon – time passes real fast when we are having fun and not in a real rush to go anywhere.
As the FatBirds chill out in airconditioned comfort inside the ClubHouse, the various groups shared their morning’s adventures and the places that they have visited. For many of us, most of the places were new to us, at least not on foot. It was yet another happening FatBird Weekender for all, and there were already proposals of new locations for the next Holiday Weekender 🙂 Here’s wishing one and all a Happy National Day. Happy 47th Birthday, Singapore!