After a energy-sapping but fulfilling trails run at MR in Ops Sunbird Week #2, the Sunbirds were looking forward all week to the hills session at Mt. Faber this morning. The heavy rains at dawn could not dampen our spirits, and when we reached the training venue at 6:45am, it was a nice surprise to see quite a good turnout in spite of the weather.
Knowing that Team FatBird training runs are rarely canceled, and with the advisory given that we will proceed with training when rain is lighter, many were happy they showed up when the rain diminished and stopped by 7:15am.
Keeping the briefing short, the respective training groups were able to be dispatched towards the hill slopes of Labrador Park @ Basebuild Pace. The cool post-rain weather made for a pleasant journey along the 4.5km to the heart of Labrador Figure-8 start point for the 2.2km rolling hills repeat.
Those who have not been to this training area were enjoying the flora and fauna of the surroundings, and with the seaside breeze blowing in the faces, made everyone run at least 15sec ahead of their intended training paces.
Learning to work the uphills, keeping to good running form fundamentals, and tackling the downhills kept the motivation of the runners high, making the training so enjoyable that time passed quickly.
Before we had a chance to feel drained, the main segment of the hills workout was completed and that left the respective groups with 8km of a rolling slopes run back to the SAFRA Clubhouse. There were lots of chit-chats and sharing of knowledge and experiences amongst the trainers and trainees, keeping all engaged throughout the entire training session.
With the distances and challenges progressively more intense, the reports of tight muscles and aches are starting to flow in – time to include comprehensive stretching, myofascial massages with foam rollers and introduction of deep-tissue massages to keep those muscular groups and engines well-oiled and sufficiently supple for the continued marathon preparation journey.
In spite of the pre-run wet weather, this was one of the more enjoyable and fruitful training sessions we have had – just goes to show that we should always have a positive attitude and keep our hopes up (in the face of unexpected weather or situations) and all will fall in place for a good outcome.
We look forward to more intense base building with hills and trails in the next few weeks, and with the foundation of the first 3 weeks under our trainees’ belts, we are confident that we can only get stronger to enjoy the training ahead and most importantly, build up our experiences and friendships as a team.
The Thrill-Seeking Sunbirds Thrashed The Hills in Week #3
It was the first time for many of the Operation Sunbird trainees at MacRitchie Reservoir Park, the favourite place for Ops Sunbird’s trail and slopes Basebuild training. A number of Sunbirds who were not able to join the inaugural session managed to come down for this 14km and 23km challenge, which many felt a sense of accomplishment after completion of the entire training run.
After the honeymoon first session at ‘flattish’ ECP, the Sunbirds were given a treat which they will remember for quite a while, and yet will be thankful for, as it gave all a boost to both physical and mental resilience.
The respective pace groups were flagged off at timed intervals to avoid congestion in the Northern Trail. We had a better force of trainers and pacers this morning to help guide the runners through the trails and at various turning points, including setting attainable paces which the trainees could sustain through the entire duration.
It was a treat to watch the trainees run in close-knit groups, led by the reliable Sunbird trainers and guides, working in mini teams with mutual encouragement and support, all for a common goal of meeting the morning’s training requirements.
And by the end of the 2.5hrs, this Sunbird cohort have shown their mettle by overcoming the trail and slopes challenge with not much of a complaint, and some even going on about how they were pleasantly surprised they have conquered the rather difficult course.
The post training debriefs were well conducted by the respective Group ICs, which was beneficial in keeping the large group of participants informed and updated with the latest schedules and training tips. Thanks to the logistics and support team for the post-run hydration and bananas which went a good way towards replenishing the spent bodies.
All Sunbird participants went away happy and satisfied, looking forward to a good rest and pampering for the legs, to get them in good shape for next week’s hill training run.
the distance between dreams and reality is in the Discipline! Sunbirds Rocked The Trails…Sunbirds Loved The Slopes!
Operation Sunbird 2013, Team FatBird’s 12-week marathon training for SCMS, got off to a smooth start at The Playground @ Big Splash, ECP. Because of the myriad of races and the major Ultra Marathons happening in the same weekend, quite a number of trainees were unable to show up…still, it was a reasonable turnout, with a good mix of returning trainees as well as a very new group of trainees, with some going for 10K races for the first time.
There was a hive of activity as the trainees registered themselves, did fitting of their training and finisher tees, as well as catching up with familiar faces and chatting up with new friends.
Because of the size of the group, it was a challenge to fit all of the participants into a comfortable space by the beach for a welcome briefing, but we managed well in the end.
Armed with some initial reading material and tips before the Sunbirds started this first session, it was a lot quicker for us to dive into the key aspects like FlightZONES and Pace targets – we managed to get the endurance training run by 7:30am.
The respective Groups [T]ANGO, [F]OXTROT, [B]RAVO, [H]OTEL and [V]ICTOR led by experienced trainers and pacers cranked up their instruments, set their coordinates, and soon were coasting the Eastern Runway at a comfortable BaseBuild effort. Group Bravo seemed the largest group with close to 70 runners, showing yet again the popularity of the 2:30h HM and 5:00h FM targets at the Singapore Marathon.
The many smiling faces were encouraging one another as we passed at sections of Fort Road, before settling into steady but ‘conversational’ paces towards F2 carpark and NSRCC. The FatBird official photographers were armed with their large lenses, all set to capture picture-scapes of the enthusiastic Sunbird trainees.
As with past marathon training operations, the first few sessions provided good opportunities to get acquainted among fellow trainees as well as with trainers who will be sharing useful information and guidance with the trainees over the the next 11 weeks.
The weather was rather cool in the first part of the morning, which made for much easier running till the return leg when the sun began to rear itself. The 10K trainees which completed their run much earlier were given some stretching routines to work with by their trainers, before having a debrief and then calling to a good wrap by 9:30am. The HM group which did 13km finished their run by 10:00am, which was then followed by the FM trainees a while later.
There were a few briefings conducted for the various groups to discuss issues about proper rest and recovery, relieving of tightening muscles and some aspects of proper running form as well. Questions were fast flowing, evident of the thirst for understanding and knowledge from the participants. The entire workout was completed by 10:40am, which was according to plan…pretty smooth for a kickoff session, and more so considering the slower start in the morning.
All the participants enjoyed their Sunbird kickoff session thoroughly, with a number of marathoners-to-be already learning lots about their own bodies, running form as well as ability to keep to a sustainable pace. It was a fruitful morning for all who came and participated, setting the tone for a good second session at the trails next week.
We look forward to a great Sunbird journey with all, and do follow us on the Ops Sunbird website to track our marathon journey all the way to SCMS race day. You may still register for the remaining training packages HERE. Ops Sunbird – Follow Our Pace, Win Your Race! Facebook Photo Album (c) FatBird Chin
After a great weekend of races including the Singapore Bay Run & AHM, are you already looking forward to prepare for the large year-end marathons? Flight OSB13 is all geared up for takeoff on Sep 14. Secure your limited ticket to a smooth and fruitful marathon voyage NOW! Follow Our Pace & Win Your Race!
Team FatBird FlightZONESTM Structured Marathon Training Program 2013
• A 12-week program comprising of weekday tempo/strength/fartlek workouts and one weekend long run, weekly.
• Workout sessions will focus on building strength and endurance for the 21km and 42km distances, with a good mix of tempos, hills, repeats, coupled with weekend LSD and pace runs.
• Experienced Marathoners and Pacers leading and guiding the runs
• The FlightZONESTM Training System, incorporating heart-rate measurements and progressive paced running
• The PowerFLIGHTTM Training System, incorporating hill repeats and trails/rolling hills
• Two levels of training – beginners and experienced runners
• Regular EDMs and online postings of the weekly training plan and tips on running techniques, form and pace
• A NB “OPERATION SUNBIRD’ TRAINING tee to all trainees on package. • A NB “OPERATION SUNBIRD’ FINISHER singlet to trainees who meet attendance criteria • A one-time 50% Equipping Discount on Main Sponsor (New Balance) apparel, shoes, products
• Equipping Discounts and Special Promotions on other Sponsors/Partner products
• eCertificates Of Completion/Achievement
Click HERE Training Dates/Schedules for your planning purposes. Click HERE for Program Information and FAQs! Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org for any clarifications or enquiries.
We gathered at ‘No Signboard’ near to the Esplanade outdoor Amphitheatre at 4am for warm-ups and group photo taking, before making a beeline for the toilets and heading into the Start Line Corrals 30min before race start. There was already a large the crowd, and we were lucky to move to within 10m from the start line – very important for a good race.
The race was flagged off at 5:15am without too much fanfare (due to the need to lower the volume around the Bay area) and in the midst of the crowd, the Team FatBird runners were able to ease into their Optimal paces as planned.
The front was cleared after about 1km of running, and soon we settled into our comfortable paces and greeting fellow runners and friends, wishing them all the best. It was pretty dark at the Gardens By The Bay area, and with insufficient lighting, there were quite a number of trips and falls – just hoping that nobody DNF due to any falls/injuries.
The infamous 7km mark at the end of Gardens By The Bay East leading into the Canal PCN took the wind out of many runners, with standstills of 3min-30min. Fortunately for our Optimal Pace strategy, the trainees were able to use some of their buffer to recover from the ‘lost time’ sufficiently to get back on track for their target timings.
It was pretty smooth thereafter, and the next challenge came with the series of rolling slopes after Nicholl Highway. Most of us would have popped a gel to recharge our energy stores for that remaining 8-9km of sustainable pacing. Still, the slopes proved a challenge for many…our many hill repeats and runs during training have certainly helped us to coast through that stretch both mentally and physically.
The final 3km was sheer mental resolve as we pushed harder to sustain, as the paces started to drift downwards – backed by our training, it was still manageable as long as we did not slow down by too much since a 10-15sec/km drift was already factored into the Optimal Pace Plan.
As we crossed the finish line, there were many jubilant Kingfishers as most have scored Personal Best timings for their 10km and 21km races, with a good number smashing their records by good 5-10min, which is massive for a 10km or even 21km distance.
Photo Collage Credit FatBird Jayson Javier
Congratulations to all Kingfishers for doing extremely well at the AHM, and a special mention to our trainer Fowler Tey for scoring a top 5 podium for 10km in 38min. The 3 pace groups did very well to go below their targets, and celebrations and congratulations went round till 9am at the Tan Kim Seng fountain (where we gathered post-race).
Photo Collage Credit FatBird Jayson Javier
As we take stock of the Kingfisher training, and look back at the tremendous progress these trainees made in a relatively short 6 weeks, below are some of the encouraging responses from the Kingfisher cohort of 2013:
Kelly Ho, Group 2 Army Half Marathon 2013 official results. Extremely happy with my PB! In one year I manage to improve my time by 23 mins. Thanks to TeamFatbird Running for the structure training and excellent training gourmet! Thanks to all TFB pacers and friends for being part of this journey with me!
Jas Gill, Group 1 Kudos to TFB training! Achieved my target of 1hr 45mins.
Ruby Lui, Group 1 A BIG thank you for the Team Fatbird provided a great training – Operations Kingfisher for us. Thanks to all trainers & trainees from others group as well, the guidance, pacing and efforts you had done for us. I had a good run at the AHM. I am back! Adelene Ho, Group 2 Army Half Marathon 2013: I completed army half marathon with a gun time of 2:04. My sweet sweet PB. Thank you Operation Kingfisher! I’m happy to be able to do a negative split. Feels really good and satisfying. Teamfatbird’s training regime really works !
Ullas N., Group 1 1h 24m 18s army half marathon ..thanks TeamFatbird Running for the great training sessions and company.
Cheryl Chia, Group 3 Today my alarm ring at 2:30am. Never regrets getting up early meeting my group of running friends, that joy of running together. Thanks Suriyati for bringing me to Team FatBird and I must thanks Team FatBird: Operation Kingfisher for six weeks of structured training. Today I m ahead of the blue balloons and did my PB at 2:23 : )
Justin Too, Group 1 This is how much a difference a year can make. AHM 2012 vs. AHM 2013. Hit a better than expected PB of 1:35. Enjoyed every moment of this year’s run! Glad that I have trained with TeamFatbird Running. Glad that I have made so many friends from TFB! Trainings are never boring because you guys rockzz! Colin Chua, Group 1 Eternally grateful to TeamFatbird Running for training an ex fatty (me) to a 1hr25mins half marathon PB at AHM today n enjoy seeing fellow TFB runners out there!!
Elaine Wong, Group 2 AHM : I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the clock at 2:14 when I crossed the finishing line. Exceeded my own expectations at my first HM. Thanks TeamFatbird Running and Operation Kingfisher for all the training. Thanks Joel Tong for the free bib and for pacing me the 1st half! The blue balloons never caught up….
Jason Wong, Group 2 It never come across my mind that I could ever achieve a HM sub-2h timing…anyway it’s a pleasant achievement though. Thanks TeamFatbird Running for the training and fellow TFB running friends’ encouragement.
Sudakshina Chopra, Group 3 Finished 10 km run sub 60 mins my personal best @ The Safra Run 2013 All credits goes to the awesome structured training by theTeamFatbird Running…. I am so glad I found you’ll …
Jayson Rivera Javier, Group 1 Completed AHM/SBR Half Marathon in good timing. Set New PB for HM distance. Congrats to all OpsKingfishers Trainees and Trainers for recording massive PB’s.
Vincent Chan, Group 1 I would like to express my thanks to TeamFatbird Running and all the wonderful trainers/pacers. I have totally enjoyed every single moment of the 6 weeks training prepping us for Army Half Marathon. Had my first taste of hill training!!! OMG simply “love” hills!!! There was one trail run squeezed in between. It reminded me of why I have not visited MacRitchie Reservoir since I last ran there during Sec.2 X-country, some twenty over years ago -.-” There was the usual waking up at ungodly hours 5am on Sundays for our long runs! Last but not least, actually my favourite amongst all, is the track interval sessions!! These experiences, I believe have made me to be a stronger n better runner.
on the ST Run held just a week ago: Alvin Wong Thanks Fatbird trainers! I have attained 25th position in the CSC Run By The Bay men senior category 5 km with a 22:33 timing… As I always tell people, the FatBird structured training helps a lot! Cheers!
Chiat Wei For the first time, after running for a few years, I won a prize for being the top 25 in the female category. I have to admit that it’s not that I am not particularly fast. It’s just that those fast runners are running other races or running 15KM. However, it’s definitely make me more motivated to work harder to chase after my zoomers friends. :))
Justin Too I have won! Thank you SPH. and thank you TeamFatbird Running for all the training! I must say a proper structured training (Ops Kingfisher) really helps.
Elaine Wong Thanks to TeamFatbird Running for all the training and guidance. After this training program, I have achieved a sub-hour PB for 10km during the ST Run in the park, and also won myself a free one year ST subscription for being top 25 in my race category! Thank you!!!
Sudakshina Chopra Thank you all for one of my best experiences of my life… I joined to try it out, but now I can surely say that I have got addicted to the TeamFatbird Running… It’s awesome to be around such experienced runners and getting tips from them is surely priceless… Needless to say each of the training schedules were my Firsts…starting from Hills, to Powerflights to the Endurance Runs… All training were very well organized and were scientifically devised to meet the goal… Looking forward to many more such trainings…