The warm and humid weather set the stage for the Kingfishers’ longest training run at Mt. Faber. Because of the weekend OCBC Cycle event which had service roads to Parkland Green closed, we had earlier shifted our training to the Western Hills region.
The turnout for this longest run was markedly smaller, but those who showed up were really going for it all with the very challenging route of undulating slopes along Mt. Faber vicinity and then loops of Labrador Park-Keppel Marina repeats.
The groups ran off by 7:10am due to the long distances we had planned. By the time we entered Labrador Park, all had sufficiently warmed up to tackle the 6km repeats. Since a number of Kingfishers were new to the Keppel Marina area, the first 2 loop repeats offered a sense of relaxation from the scenic beauty of the marina waters flanked by condominiums and sailboats.
Optimal Pace was maintained for about 15km before slightly slowing down due to the heat beating down because of the unshaded access routes. Still, the Kingfishers did their best to maintain good form and posture to stride through in good pace.
The Half Marathon Kingfishers took a short break after 2 loops before proceeding along Harbourfront back to SAFRA Clubhouse. The Full Marathoners gritted their teeth and continued on to complete another 1-2 loops worth of 6km repeats.
Optimal Pace gave way to Marathon Pace by the 20km mark as we were challenged by the blistering heat. Group 1 was able to continue on well with the front runners completing the full 4 loop course while a few others did 3-3.5 loop repeats.
Groups 2 and 3 did commendably well to complete at least 2.5-3 repeats in challenging heat conditions, before making way back to the end point for distances of 26-30km.
A couple of Kingfishers reported hitting the wall in the final 4-5km, indicative of the massive effort they put in to conquer the challenge at end. They recovered well after some rest and hydration, and completed the final km in good shape.
This was indeed one humongous challenge, made a lot tougher by the training area and route conditions. We were glad that all Kingfishers came back by the cutoff time, completing 21km-32km of long distance at Optimal Pace.
The regular cool-down stretching was conducted for the Half Marathon trainees and those that were back earlier, a great relief of all the pain and stresses of at least 2.5-3h time on our feet.
With the longest run completed to our satisfaction, the Kingfshers will be taken through the tapering phase with 19km and 28km pace training next weekend. Till then, we will surely be RICE-ing from this morning’s hard run in preparation for next week’s training.
The Kingfishers Have Completed Their Longest Challenge!
Photos by FatBird Onin
Training Starts 13 September 2015!
Operation Sunbird delivers great value with structured training sessions, enhanced equipping discounts to provide you the ultimate marathon training experience.
Team FatBird FlightZONESTM Structured Marathon Training Program 2015
• 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
• Equipping Discounts and Special Promotions on other Sponsors/Partner products
• eCertificates Of Completion/Achievement
Click HERE for 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.
Follow Our Pace, Win Your Race!
After 4 weeks of base building on road, trail and hills, the Kingfishers were in for a short but intense weekend #5 of hill intervals at the famous ‘Monster Hills’ segment that many have heard but not experienced.
A morning bout of dynamic activation drills warmup was conducted to wake those muscles and systems before we set off into the Northen Trail for 4km at Marathon Pace (MP). The crowd in the forest was not too thick in the morning, affording quite a smooth passage to our start point at the foot of the Ranger Station.
The respective groups were dispatched to do 3-5 sets of 2km rolling hills with rest intervals of 2-3min. The first 2 sets were executed strongly on ‘fresh’ legs but by the 3rd set, there were some walking as the hills took their toll on our legs.
Still, most of the Kingfishers, many who were experiencing this particular workout for the very first time, gamely kept to their prescribed Optimal Pace (OP) targets.
There were easily 5-6 upslopes in each set, a number which were of 45 degrees gradient, added to the burn of the legs and providing good challenges to the trainees in terms of keeping their form while sustaining steady paces.
It was evident in the faces of the Kingfishers that they were taking this training very seriously, with nary a smile while tackling the upslopes and concentrating on recovery on the downslopes, ever ready to meet the next upslope again with gumption and grit.
The sense of satisfaction could be seen in the trainees’ faces when they have finally completed their 3-5 set requirements, albeit drenched in perspiration caused by the rather humid morning weather.
After the Cruise Interval workout, there was still the 4km trail run back to MR Amenities Centre to wrap up the whole training menu. By then, all resources that remained in the tank were summoned to keep MP and maintain form.
A good round of cool down stretching was conducted by Kingfisher trainers to ease off those tired muscles after the hard workout, clearing the lactate wastes for the happy bunch of Kingfishers to round off a great workout session.
The Kingfishers Survived Monster Hills
Photos by FatBirds Meng Kiat & Onin
Operation Kingfisher Week 4’s long run was held at MacRitchie Reservoir (MR) Park for the trails and rolling hills package, which is one of the tougher challenges in the FatBird Training Operations.
The weather was rather humid and warm, but that did not deter the Kingfishers from breaking into the Northern Trails at Marathon Pace (MP). The 4km initial stretch of trail always give the runners a good jolt from the morning slumber and set the tone for the tougher challenge ahead.
The Kingfishers by now have a sufficiently good enough base to tackle the first 10km of the run no less, mostly running cautiously at prescribed pace, hoping to complete the full training distances of 17km (HM) and 28km (FM) in good form.
The Half Marathon (HM) Kingfishers turned at the OUTR/UPR main gate to return back along the slopes and hilly terrain of MR. Led by their experienced trainers, the Kingfishers were determined to get the morning’s workout goals checked to build up their confidence for the next 2 training sessions ahead.
The Full Marathoners (FM) proceeded on to do the second part of the menu, comprising of the famous rolling hills and aircond road inside Upper Peirce Reservoir (UPR). The slopes were useful to drive up the intensity and heart rates of the trainees, as well as allowing them to learn how to recover from each hill climb so as to sustain good paces throughout.
Groups 1-3 had a good time torching the slopes and in the process burned off their fair share of calories. As the run continued on, the heat from the sun added to the intensity and challenge, making the workout harder than ever.
The runners which survived the UPR onslaught were happy to coast along OUTR all the way to LPR, before hitting yet another round of slopes at SICC and Northern Trail. By then, the legs were weaker from the hard work earlier, and the glycogen tanks were running pretty low as well.
Completing the final 4km back along Northern Trail taxed the runners to the max, providing the much needed physical and mental stretch which will strengthen the Kingfishers’ marathon base. After this, trainees would find running on roads and more gentle slopes easier to conquer and ability to sustain higher speed at lower heart rates would be a reality for most.
All the Kingfishers completed the challenge within regulation time of 220min, and from their tired faces, we could see the the tinge of happiness and pride at completing such a challenging workout. This confidence will see them through in the upcoming weeks of training through to race day.
With the 17km and 30km long trails and hills menu done and dusted, the Kingfishers look forward to Week 5’s menu of cruise intervals at Monster Hill an Week 6’s longest distance run (21km, 35km) before entering the tapering and consolidation phase.
The Kingfishers Survived Week 4’s Trails & Hills Blaster!
Photos by FatBird Chin
Operation Kingfisher, 8-week structured marathon training program for participants of Straits Times Run, Sydney, OSAKA and KL Marathons, got off to a smooth start in nice weather.
The group of Kingfisher trainees, many of whom are returning participants of past FatBird training programs who have done very well in recent races, were given a warm welcome and training briefing before launching into our first basebuild long run from Parkland Green, ECP.
The cool and windy weather made for very comfortable running, at least for the first 5-8km. The respective pace groups settled into their zones quickly and were soon interacting and chatting amongst themselves.
At the Fort Road U-Turn, the groups of Kingfishers clapped and encouraged one another as they passed, with high energy and spirits. The Basebuild Pace for the initial weeks will ensure all have a good chance to progressively and safely build up strength and speed for advancement into the Marathon and Optimal pace training in later weeks of the program.
There was a noticeable group composition this time around with many more trainees in Groups 1 and 2, and less Kingfishers in Groups 3 and 4 – an indication that many are setting their sights for better performances and timings, which bode well for the progress of the FatBird marathoners.
The HM Kingfishers turned back earlier for a 12km distance, while the FM moved on at steady paces towards Sailing Centre and then NSRCC, before turning back to Parkland Green for 21km.
The majority of trainees made it by the cutoff timing (a maximum allowable training time for each session to prevent over-training and injury resulting from excessive stresses), avoiding most of the sun’s heat.
It was a smooth kickoff session for all, thanks in part to the good weather as well as the dependable and experienced FatBird trainers and pacers which guided and provided encouragement to all Kingfisher trainees.
We advance into week 2 with another basebuild run, albeit with distances increased progressively, before upping the ante to marathon pace from weeks 3-5 with incremental distance coverage.
For those who are interested to join the program, we still have limited training slots available for 10km, Half Marathon and Full Marathon – Details & Registration for training can be found HERE!
Flight OKF015 Off To A Smooth Journey
Photos By FatBird Chin