Weeks #8 and #9 of Operation Sunbird 2018 had the most challenging long run workouts yet as the Sunbirds enter into 19km (HM) and 30km (FM) distances at Marathon Pace (MP).
This week saw the final hills workout at the twin hills of Labrador Park and Mt. Faber Loops. These hills repetitions are known to be the toughest in the whole Sunbird program, and definitely not for runners who have not built up a good foundation to be able to tackle the terrain at target Marathon Pace (MP).
Guidance from the trainers were given in the pre-workout briefing about the importance of starting conservatively and progressing into MP. Hydration and Fueling plans were also important to be executed well to give the ability to sustain the hard workout, especially through the later part of the run (after 90min).
The Sunbirds first tackled 3-5 loops of the Labrador Park (Figure Of 8) course with good management of pace and running form. It could be seen that the trainees were able to maintain their effort up the hills as well as when running on the flats. More importantly, they were running with lighter footing and better form leading to more efficiency in their strides.
A check with the trainees revealed that most have lost anywhere from 2kg to 8kg of weight since the start of Ops Sunbird 8 weeks ago, which surely would enhance their VO2Max and running economy by some measure.
After Labrador Park Hills, the Sunbirds were guided on to their next hills repeats at the Mt. Faber loops. That would require them to climb the rather elevated Morse Road before reaching the start point of the 1.6km (800m up, 800m down) hills loop course.
By then the sun was up in full force, adding an additional element of challenge to the workout. The Sunbirds dutifully fulfilled their workout requirements, although not every trainee found it necessary to go for the maximum repeats. That would be training smart. As long at the training objective is met, there is not much point to push further once fatigue sets in and limits have been breached.
The Sunbird trainers did well to lead and guide the respective training groups to achieve their training targets. All Sunbirds returned as per schedule by 10.30 am, looking visibly tired but very pleased with their efforts and conquering the infamous Twin-hills challenge.
As they prepare to enter Week #10 with the longest distance (21km and 35km) at MP next weekend, the Sunbirds are looking forward to this Simulator training which will be a race rehearsal of sorts. Race gear, hydration and fuel plans will be executed per race day during this Simulator to ensure that all systems are checked.
There will still be a 2 week Tapering period where any adjustments and enhancements can be made from the feedback of the Simulator workouts and fine-tuned for optimal race day performance.
The Sunbirds Are Priming Well For A Solid SCSM18!
Operation Sunbird 2018 – 12-Weeks Structured Marathon Program
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