Sunbirds Rise To The Occasion | SCMS Marathon Training 2016

Sunbirds Rise To The Occasion | SCMS Marathon Training 2016

The morning downpour did not put a dampener to the determination and commitment of the Operation Sunbird trainees who were gearing up for week 2’s base building long run. A message was sent out from Team FatBird trainers that the training would go on as usual as the rain had abated by 6 am.


The original plan was to do some intensive trail running to condition and strengthen the running muscles of the Sunbirds. In the interest of safety, we modified the route to avoid the trails and instead added on an additional slope series to make up the distance and challenge.


The marathon trainees for SCMS welcomed the cool weather after the rain had stopped by 6:30 am. Everyone was charged up, including the dedicated team of FatBird trainers who were on hand to guide the trainees on how to build up an enviable endurance base for a good race in December. This 12-week Half Marathon and Full Marathon structured training has been very successful all these years. We welcomed a few ex-Sunbirds this morning who came back to sharpen their endurance base and race pace for that big SCMS race.


The respective Half Marathon groups of 2:00h, 2:15h and 2:30h and the Full Marathon teams of 3:30h, 4:00h, 4:30h, 5:00h, 5:30h took off from MacRitchie Amenities Centre after a short training briefing. Some tips on training at correct Heart Rate Zones and maintaining sustainable pace were dispensed. The use of proper running gear like hydration belts and running shoes that fit the profile of each individual was emphasized.


A number of trainees this round were beginners to structured marathon training like Ops Sunbird. They enjoyed the group running and training, with proper instructions and tips on how to prepare and plan for their target goal timings at the marathon. The experienced trainers in each pace groups chatted with the Sunbirds who were supposed to be running at conversational pace.


In spite of the minor detour due to construction works along Thomson Road, the Sunbird marathon trainees ran as unified groups led by their trainers into Upper Peirce Reservoir. They continued in good formation, watching out for fellow group running mates. All had no problems entering into Old Upper Thomson Road (OUTR) before the Half Marathon runners turned back to base for a 13km training run.


The Full Marathoners continued into the rolling hills of Lower Peirce Reservoir, a favourite training ground for many serious marathon runners. The air was cool and crisp as the greenery flanking the roads on both sides provided a serene calm from the hustle and bustle of the major roads.

Tackling the rolling hills was one of the major training highlights for the Marathon trainees. By the time they were done with the ‘meat’ of the morning’s session, many were drenched and digging deeper into their reserves for that 5km back to base.


The pace was very well maintained by all the groups, especially so with groups 1 through 3. A number of Sunbirds found sufficient energy left to run a negative split (timing fast on their return back).


The whole training was completed by 10:15am, which was well within the allocated training time. A debrief of the session was conducted to get feedback from both trainees and trainers.


The trainees were happy they completed the training without too much of a problem, and were encouraged by their much faster pace. Some Sunbirds expressed they never ran faster and feeling better before joining the Sunbird training sessions. The trainers were heartened to hear of the positive attitude of the Sunbird trainees. Of course, we know that there are many more benefits of training with organized groups which the Sunbirds will unravel in the upcoming weeks.


In week #3, we will be going to another new area for training – the hilly region of Mt. Faber. As some experienced running coaches rightly put in, “Hills are Speedwork In Disguise”. Speedwork from hills running is what we will be having as training objective next week. We look forward to having more trainees come for this session!

The Ops Sunbird Program is still available if you are looking to train the SCMS and other year end marathon races, or like some other trainees who are enrolled for the weight loss benefits they get from the aerobic endurance training.  Lose weight and race fast with Operation Sunbird 2016!


Training Program details and registration HERE!


Team FatBird has started an 8-week Corporate SCMS Marathon Training Package to prepare employees of companies and institutions for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS).  Write to OR Check Out Program Details Here!


Photo contributions from FatBirds MK, JacQ, Bev

Sunbird SCMS Training Soars In Sunny Skies

Sunbird SCMS Training Soars In Sunny Skies

It was a hot morning as a group of runners gathered at Parkland Green for the kickoff to Operation Sunbird 2016 – 12-week structured marathon training program for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) in December 2016.


New runners to Team FatBird joined in alongside long-time and experienced marathoners who have been training with Team FatBird for many operations in the past.  Many were in the Sunbird training program to do a good timing, possibly a Personal Best for the SCMS race.

A number were preparing for international marathons like OSAKA Marathon, Chicago Marathon, ChunCheon and Jeju Koea Marathons, Taipei Marathon and Chiangmai Marathon among the key races.


Yet a number more were in the program to lose weight through distance running.  Weight loss has been one of the very positive benefits for trainees in Team FatBird’s marathon training programs.

After a welcome address for all participants, a program briefing overview was conducted.  The 12-week comprehensive training will take the participants through 6-weeks of foundation and base building, with the second 6-weeks focused on marathon pace training to bring trainees to meet their SCMS race goals.


The Sunbird participants will be going through heart rate training with weekly schedules of runs comprising tempos, recovery, speed, hills, recovery as well as cross-training.  Tips and advisory on building aerobic base, speed endurance, hydration and nutrition planning, rest and injury avoidance, good running form, adaptation to training, tapering and race day preparations are dispensed weekly.

The kickoff long steady run of 12km for the Half Marathon runners and 21km for the Full Marathoners were led by experienced trainers and marathon pacers from Team FatBird.  The heat on this sunny morning provided the opportunity for some ‘conditioning’ for the trainees.  The actual SCMS race have been in hot conditions for the past few years.


All Sunbird trainees were placed into respective training groups according to their targeted pace and ability.  Each group in both the Half and Full Marathon are led by trainers and pacers.  Different training groups will have different strategies and tactics to accomplish their objectives.  For example, a run-walk plan is used for groups going for 5:30h marathon finish times and beyond.


The entire session was completed in 150min with all trainees accomplishing their training objectives.  Feedback from trainees was they enjoyed thoroughly the training.  Norman mentioned that his fears of not being able to keep up were laid to rest with the helpful trainers.  Ben who was supposed to run only 12km continued on to complete his longest distance ever – 21km, and at a fast pace to boot.  He was extremely satisfied and happy he joined the program.


Sunbird SCMS 2016 Marathon Training Week #1

The whole atmosphere was very positive, and the debrief was conducted to share more insights into how such structured marathon training programs will bring beginners and experienced marathoners to their goal timings.  Our experienced and knowledgeable FatBird trainers were happy to share their insights and advice with the Sunbirds in a conducive learning environment.  The Sunbirds are a lot more confident after this first session that they will meet their objectives.  Patience and following the structured system of training will be key to the Sunbird’s success.


If you too are preparing for the SCMS and other year end marathon races, you are encouraged to sign up for Sunbird Marathon Training to benefit from structured group training led by qualified and experienced marathon trainers.

Training Program details and registration HERE!


Team FatBird also has a Corporate Run & Marathon Training Program to prepare employees of companies and institutions for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS).  Write to OR Check Out Program Details Here!

Week #2 of Sunbird training will see the participants go through trails and slopes at MacRitchie Reservoir Park.  The foundation and base building continues.

Photos from FatBird Rand

FatBirds Soar @ Army Half Marathon 2016

FatBirds Soar @ Army Half Marathon 2016

AHM Race Account from FatBird Anthony
Photo Credit: Rand Yan, CK Lee, Onin Tayson

The change of wind direction at the eleventh hour allowed the Army Half Marathon 2016 to proceed as scheduled.  That ensured that the weeks of hard training by the Kingfishers did not go to waste, delivering many Personal Bests and Season’s Best.


After 7 weeks of PowerFlight training comprising of weekly tempo runs, intervals, hills and steady paced runs, the Kingfishers met up at the Esplanade Amphitheatre 3:45am.  We went into the personal dynamic warm up routines at 4:10am to prep our engines.  By the time we entered the start pen after group photos, it was already quite filled from the front.


Our group managed to jog up and wriggle our way to within 25m from the start line.  The air was good, although slightly humid.  We were entertained by the MC until flag off at 5:00am sharp.  I managed to break through the thick crowd after about 500m and settled into a 4:40h pace.

The FatBirds went on a conservative start and followed closely to their race plan.  They were to use the Official SAFRA Pacers as guideposts, but still rely on their own timing devices and Heart Rate Monitors to maintain their Optimal Pace.


The first half of the race went around the city area and Gardens By The Bay.  Other than the first drinks station which came only in the 4-5km mark, the rest of the hydration points were well positioned and carried ample stocks.  I maintained my 4:40h pace and tried not to have too many surges.  The night was quite dark, so we were all careful especially at the dimly-lit areas of Gardens and Tanjng Rhu area.

The second half of the race saw us running around the National Stadium and then up on to Nicholl Highway.  It was relatively flat throughout, save for a few rolling slopes.  It was pretty smooth for me at the drinks stations, except for one where I had to run back to get the 100Plus which I didn’t want to miss.

Although I didn’t really need it, I popped a gel at the 13km mark as what was prescribed during our Kingfisher training.  That could have helped to stave away any potential cramps from maintaining the pace.  With 7km left, I decided to move the pace up slightly after I body sensed that there were no tingling in my calves – signs of cramps brewing.


I carried the 4:35min/km pace all the way to the finish line at the Padang with no incident.  Based on some quick mental calculations, I was already in my HM PB zone from the 15km mark onwards.  A check on my trusty Garmin 235 showed a potential Half Marathon PB of 1:36h.  My HM PB of 1:38h was last achieved at SCMS 2015.

As I had another appointment, I left the place immediately after collecting my finisher tee and medal.  It was later that I learnt the good news of so many Kingfishers and FatBirds that have scored Personal Bests.  All their hardwork and dedication at the weekday track and hills workouts, and weekend long steady runs have paid dividends immensely.


The FatBird trainers were so happy and proud of our trainees’ achievements at the AHM16.  The list of good performers are too long to list.  Instead we will just share some kind words of appreciation from our Kingfisher trainees below:

“Right on target!  Thank you Operation Kingfisher( Team Fatbird ) for helping me achieve a new personal best of 2hr in the Army Half Marathon today, shaving off 3mins from my previous timing of 2:03 set in 2013. The hard work at the track, the hills and the weekend long runs helped tremendously. I couldn’t have asked for a better timing ? I felt that I have given my all today! For this effort, I’m totally happy and contented.”
–  Adelene Ho

“HM PB! Thank you Team FB chief & trainers for all the trainings, tips and encouragements, especially Jayson, Arnel & Jacqueline Tan…Great run great fun as usual. I will be back stronger!”
– Ruby Pryor

“Thanks for my Sub-2h HM PB! Shout out to a few good people throughout this period of running. Robin & Adelene Ho for the honest & open running whatapps-conversations & encouragments; Rand TF for making your AHM 16 about me. Thank you! Oh yes, & how can we forget Team Fatbird, their iRuns, #RunningKakis! and to many, thank you for sharing my joy.”
– Kevin Ho

“Safra Army Half Marathon PB: unofficial net: 1hr 47min”
– Jarrell Tan

“Army Half Marathon – 21KM. Thank you to Team Fatbird for the awesome training that help me to sustain a sub-6 pace. Faded a bit in the end due to cramps but overall happy with my result!”
– Kelly Ho

“I will like to thank u and your team fat bird for the training and guidance. This August completes my first year of running (marathon) and being associated with team fatbird. Completing two marathons (still learning) and reasonable sub 2 to make first year. The track and hill training and guidance really helps. Hope to achieve personal best next year in marathon and continue with training with team fatbird. Thank u once again.”
– Sandeep Seth

“I have lost 7 lbs in the last 4 weeks of Kingfisher training. The track and speedwork have helped me build up good speed and I had a good run at AHM. I enjoyed and benefited from the final track session where we were introduced to good running form.”
– Becky Taylor

With AHM16 done and dusted, we now look forward to Operation Sunbird 2016 – our 12-week structured marathon training program for Standard Chartered Marathon 2016 and the list of overseas marathons.

Kingfishers Taper For AHM

Kingfishers Taper For AHM

After a good 21km time trial last weekend, the Kingfishers moved into Tapering phase in week #6 of Ops Kingfisher Half Marathon training for the Army Half Marathon (AHM).


The bout of thunderstorm on Wednesday didn’t stop the Kingfishers from doing a full set of cardio and core training, led by very able Kingfisher trainers at Serangoon Stadium.


Partner bodyweight exercises coupled with some light running around the track after the rain fizzled out provided the main meal of the night.  The Kingfishers lapped the modified menu up in good spirit.

Track Photos From FatBird Onin



The Pocari partner was down early to support the Kingfishers for their final long run before the AHM race.  This collaboration was a small initiative to show support to our marathoner, Neo JieShi and other Team Singapore athletes competing at the Rio Olympics 2016.


The 18km Optimal Pace run was executed to a tee by the Kingfishers.  The wet weather provided cool comfort to all runners for a smooth run, topped by Pocari drinks and a finisher ‘towel’ as due reward.


Thanks for the good people from Pocari Sweat Singapore for the hydration support.


All systems go for a good outcome on race day!


Speed Endurance Photos From FatBird Rand


Kingfishers’ Speed Hills & Half Marathon Time Trials

Kingfishers’ Speed Hills & Half Marathon Time Trials

With just 2 weeks remaining to the Army Half Marathon Race, the Kingfishers ramped up their speed training with a bout of intervals at the Telok Blangh Hills.


A warm up run up Mt. Faber took some steam off the runners, before doing a set of activation drills on site to prepare for the main menu.  6 x 900m sets later, the Kingfishers felt motivated with their strength and speed to want to do more.

U138 U78

They were not disappointed with a set of tabata core workouts just to empty whatever has been leftover in their fuel tanks.  The 3km run back to start point capped a fruitful workout session for the night.


The Kingfishers brought their improved base to Parkland Green on Sunday for a full HM time trial at race pace.


The start was on time and everyone did a very good even pace run to set themselves up to peak for race day.  Confidence levels were given a boost as many made their targets and are hopeful for a good race.


The Kingfishers Are Peaking Well!


Photos By FatBird Onin