It was a special long run for the Falcons and Nighthawks as we ran into the closed roads of CBD area as part of the second edition of CarFreeSundaySG. Our i-Run booth, stocked with drinks was already established by 7:00am right in front of the National Gallery.
The long run marathon training for the Falcons and NghtHawks started at 6:45am from Parkland Green, ECP. Along with the Sundown Pacers in training, we were placed into different pace groupings and our objective was to complete the 17km (HM) and 28km (FM) long run on target pace, at the same time enhancing the aerobic foundation and distance conditioning for all.
A number of the runners who participated at the recent Twilight Ultramarathon took a break to rest their legs, while others who came back from their record-breaking times at Seoul and Nagoya Marathons were having light duties.
The cloudy and windy weather made for good running conditions and it was evident in the faces of our runners, who were chatting and enjoying themselves enroute Gardens By The Bay, Marina Barrage, Marina Bay Sands and into Shenton Way.
As we ran in our pace groups, we could see many bikers and runners from Gardens with growing numbers when we reached MBS. The atmosphere felt like we were in a race, just that there were no race bibs and timing chips on our bodies.
When we reached into Shenton Way, there was a hive of physical activity as the cyclists, roller-bladers, unicyclists, motorised scooters were on the right, while the runners, joggers, brisk-walkers and families strolling kept to the left.
Our marathon trainees made pit stops at the i-Run booths for refreshment, before moving on for 1 lap of the 5km closed route for Half Marathoners while the Full Marathoners tackled 2 laps. As we were in training, we did not stop for too long to keep the pacing honest.
The Falcons who were in tapering mode completed their training slightly earlier with the faster Optimal Pace while the NightHawks were maintaining Basebuild Pace for some good foundation buildup. The majority of the runners and pacers completed their training on target, and by 10:30am, most were already back at Parkland Green for the post-run training debrief.
It was a fruitful and enjoyable marathon training session overall with a touch of difference by joining in the CarFreeSundaySG segment. Post-training condition of all trainees and runners were good, many with reserves in their tanks, signs of not over-stretching which meet long run training objectives.
The Falcons will put the pedal to the mettle at next weekend’s 2XU Compression Run while the NightHawks will move into the 30km territory at next weekend’s Long Steady Distance (LSD).
The Falcons & NightHawks Had A Field Day At CarFreeSundaySG.
It was the longest night training run for the NightHawks and Falcons, who made their way to the start point at SAFRA Mt. Faber.
The Falcons who were in week #9 were scheduled to complete their longest run of 21km (HM) and 35km (FM) while the NightHawks were into week #3 of basebuilding and conditioning for the night.
We started promptly and headed to Labrador Park for the 6km loops around Keppel Marina and Labrador. The windy night offered some respite for the runners as we paced one another in our respective groups for the demanding workout session.
The serenity of the night was only broken by the occasional cheers of FatBird groups running past one another and when we run past the Happy Group with their nice music playing through one of the mini speakers.
The pace were manageable for the first half of the training, with the Falcons moving to Optimal Pace in the second part of their run. A test of their fuel plan was the order of the day as a number of trainees who had too little for dinner found themselves fatiguing after 15km of running.
Still, the motivation of training in pace groups helped them to persist along to complete the requirements of the night run.
All the participants did well to complete their training by 10:00pm, with ample time to spare for a quick change and catch the transport home for a nice hot bath and stretching out those tired legs.
The NightHawks and Falcons came away with a number of lessons of night running, chiefly in the areas of visibility and perception of distances and paces, fueling and hydration requirements, as well as the relatively humid conditions of the night. The NightHawks & Falcons Ruled This Night Photos by FatBird Chin
They were joined by the Falcons who were already into their 8th week of training (Marathon Pace now) attempting 18km and 30km of rolling hills and repeats.
The training started in fine weather after a briefing of the training objectives, with the respective groups of trainees and Pacers proceeding to Labrador Park for their first set of hills repeats with the 2.2km Figure-8 route.
For a number of new trainees, this was an eye opener as they chugged up the slopes of Labrador Park. The other trainees who have trained there before were pacing well and moderating their effort and fuel for a sustained workout.
The spirits ran high as usual with all the groups working hard as united teams, and each time they pass fellow FatBirds, they would give the thumbs up and cheer for one another. It is always so much fun and motivation to train as groups.
With the number of hill repeats varying among the different groups, the Half Marathoners exited Labrador Park after doing their requirements to proceed to the next hill objective, the 1.6km Mt. Faber loops.
After an energy-sapping segment at Labrador Park, the long run-up provided another challenge to the NightHawks and Falcons as it drew more reserves from their tiring legs and bodies.
Once up to the Mt. Faber Car Park, they went for the required number of 1.6km loops of ups and downs the Jewel Cafe at the top, taking care to manage their paces and forms. The trainees capitalized on their new-found knowledge of uphill and downhill running by practicing tips from the trainers and pacers.
After a good 30min-60min at Mt. Faber, the second hills repeat challenge was completed much to the satisfaction of the trainers, before proceeding back to the SAFRA Mt. Faber ClubHouse with another 3-4km of rolling hills.
The heat from the sun was already bearing on the tired NightHawks and Falcons, but the determination to maintain pace allowed all the trainees to complete the morning’s 15km-30km in good shape.
The isotonic drinks and bananas were welcomed refreshments at the finish point. Pointers and tips were exchanged between the respective trainers and trainees, mostly about running form and injury prevention.
The training session went very well in spite of the challenging terrain and weather conditions. As they often say, “What does not kill you, can make you stronger”.
We are looking forward to Week #3 for Ops NightHawk where we will be doing night training by the waterside of Keppel Marina and Labrador Park.
Runners who are preparing for Sundown Marathon and Phuket Marathon are welcome to join our 12-week structured marathon training to give yourselves a leg-up for a good performance on race day. Information and Registration can be found at www.OpsNightHawk.com. The NightHawks & Falcons survived the twin hills of Mt. Faber Photos by FatBird Onin
They were not disappointed as the friendly Sundown Marathon Pacers were on site to welcome them into their respective pace groupings (HM – 2:00h, 2:15h, 2:30h and FM – 4:00h, 4:30h, 5:00h, 5:30h, 6:00h). After a welcome briefing by Team FatBird Chief Trainer, the participants were led through a bout of dynamic warm up with basic running drills by the Sundown Pace Leaders.
After the group photos, each of the pace group leaders with their runners were lined up and flagged off, all with smiles and cheers as they ran along as groups towards the coast of ECP turning into Fort Road direction.
This being the first of the series of 3 lead up runs to progressively build up the marathoners’ aerobic base for a solid night race, the pace set was a more conservative Basebuild Pace to ease the runners into the groove before increasing the pace and distance at the next lead up run in April.
The groups of Sundown runners led by the Sundown Pacers were very comfortable and enjoying the sunset in the horizon, As they ran, there were coordinated shouts of “Who Are You? Sundown Runners!…What Are You? Limitless…Sundown Runners, Hooh Haah!”
It was fun as the runners warmed up to one another and it wasn’t before long that we reached the first hydration point near CarPark D, and time for the Half Marathon runners to turn back for their 9km required distance.
The Full Marathoners proceeded at pace towards CarPark F2 and then the Sailing Centre where we were welcomed by the second hydration point set up by the Sundown Organizer. The iced-cold isotonic drinks tasted so good as we did a quick break before turning back for the home stretch.
Dusk came by the time we reached 13km as the Sundown runners kept within their respective groups in relatively windy conditions, all remaining strong and energetic. The Sundown Pacers were doing a great job of watching out for runners going too fast as well as ‘sweeping’ the rear to ensure no runner is left behind.
Before long, the first two groups of runners reached back to the start point at Playground @ Big Splash, with the HM completing 9km and the FM completing 18km. The thirsty and tired runners helped themselves to isotonic drinks and bananas to replenish their body resources.
Sundown Pacer and Trainer, Arnel conducted a very good round of cool-down stretches for all competed groups to ease off the tired leg muscles, which will aid recovery and avoid delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).
The whole lead up run session ended at 8:45pm, to the satisfaction of the Sundown runners who got in a good paced run as well as having received some pointers from the Pacers, making it a fruitful workout for them.
With the first lead up run at BaseBuild Pace successfully completed, we look forward to the second lead up run on 9 April 2016 where we will be doing longer distances of 14km and 26km at Marathon Pace (MP).
We encourage all Sundown Marathon participants to Register for the lead up runs and join the Official Sundown Marathon Pacers for yet another exciting training run in the night HERE! Sundown Runners Hooh Haah! Photos by FatBirds: Chin (Album 1) Onin (Album 2)