Ops NightHawk Week #5 – Phase II Endurance

Ops NightHawk Week #5 – Phase II Endurance

After a good performance at the 2XU Compression Run last weekend (with many Personal Bests and outstanding timings), the NightHawks returned to the Mt. Faber Hills for Phase II of Operation NightHawk 2019.

After a training brief comprising of training objectives, route details and pacing targets, the NighHawks were given training tip of the week for Running Form (Upper Body & Arm Swing).

A 4km rundown to Labrador Park at BaseBuild Pace, was followed by the main workout of Labrador Hills+Keppel Marina Loops at Marathon Pace, before returning back to SAFRA Mt. Faber start point at BaseBuild Pace.

In spite of the humid weather, the respective training groups did well to meet their training objectives, albeit having to dig deep to meet the challenging workout of the morning.  The NightHawks returned back to base within regulation time to complete their long runs of 120 min (Half Marathon) and 180min (Full Marathon).

After 4 weeks of base training and form focus, the NightHawks have improved their aerobic base and running economy considerably, especially for the newer runners who have never experienced structured group training.

Feedback from the NightHawks were that they are able to execute the long run workouts at progressively higher mileage and intensities but with easier effort.

The NightHawks returned back to the MF Clubhouse feeling satisfied and encouraged by their completion of yet another challenging hills workout.

In the midst of static stretches and post-race replenishment of fluids and fuel, a debrief was conducted with advice dispensed for post-workout recovery running and training in the correct FlightZONES (heart-rate zones).

The NightHawks will go for their second night run in Week #6 to work on their speed and strength endurance as well as conditioning for night marathon-ing.

 

The NightHawks Are Getting Stronger In Phase II

 

 


Operation NightHawk Night Marathon Training System

Runners preparing for the Sundown Marathon and other marathon races (Gold Coast, London, Paris, Boston, Taipei) in 2019 are encouraged to sign up for NightHawk Marathon Training to benefit from structured group training led by qualified and experienced Team FatBird marathon trainers.

 

Training Program details and registration HERE!

 

Team FatBird also has a Corporate Run & Marathon Training Program to prepare employees and running clubs of companies and institutions for local and international running races.  Write to info@teamfatbird.com OR Check Out Program Details Here!

 

Ops NightHawk Week #3 – Mt. Faber Hills Challenge

Ops NightHawk Week #3 – Mt. Faber Hills Challenge

In week 3 of Operation NightHawk 2019, Team FatBird’s 12-week structured night marathon training for Sundown Marathon progressed with base building with a long hills workout at the Mt. Faber training area.

The Mt. Faber hills with variations of long hills to hills repetitions and hills sprints, are great for building of strength and speed endurance for distance runners.

The NightHawks were given a brief of the training objectives and requirements at 7am, before setting off from SAFRA Mt. Faber Clubhouse in their respective training groups towards Mt. Faber hills.

Led by experienced FatBird trainers, the trainees built up with a warm-up from Zone 1 (FatTrim) to Zone 2 (BaseBuild) with a 5km run up to the Mt. Faber carpark for their 1.6km MF Repetitions of 2-5 loops.  The NightHawks took the opportunity to practice their uphill and downhill running form with guidance and tips given by their respective trainers.

The NightHawks did well to maintain pace and effort throughout the undulations and rolling hills so as to sustain the whole 130min of running at FlightZones (HR) Zone 2.

Many of them are progressing well with training and getting stronger with a developing aerobic base.  This aerobic base building will be important for the next phase of training where we will take them through speed endurance and honing in on sustained race paces.

The respective groups returned back to the MF Clubhouse by 9.45am, feeling satisfied and encouraged by their completion of this challenging long hills run.  As they did their static stretches, a debrief was conducted with advice dispensed for post-run rest and recovery for adaptations to training to take effect.

We will see the NightHawks next weekend for the final week of base building before moving on to the next phase of training – Speed & Strength Endurance.

 

The NightHawks Survived The Long Hills Challenge

 

 


Operation NightHawk Night Marathon Training System

Runners preparing for the Sundown Marathon and other marathon races (Gold Coast, London, Paris, Boston, Taipei) in 2019 are encouraged to sign up for NightHawk Marathon Training to benefit from structured group training led by qualified and experienced Team FatBird marathon trainers.

 

Training Program details and registration HERE!

 

Team FatBird also has a Corporate Run & Marathon Training Program to prepare employees and running clubs of companies and institutions for local and international running races.  Write to info@teamfatbird.com OR Check Out Program Details Here!

 

Operation NightHawk 2019 – Sundown Marathon Training

Operation NightHawk 2019 – Sundown Marathon Training

It was a strong kickoff to Operation NightHawk 2019, Team FatBird’s 12-week structured night marathon training for Sundown Marathon.  A good mix of new trainees along with returning FatBirds gathered at the OCBC ARENA (where 70% of the training sessions will be started from) in fine weather for the night training session.

 A warm welcome was extended to the NightHawks followed by a briefing of the structure of the polarized training program.  Participants will be taken through the four phases of training (BaseBuild, Endurance, Sharpening, Taper) with a weekly series of 3 quality workouts and 1-3 sessions of easy running for recovery and aerobic development.

 

The quality workout sessions will comprise of 1 Speed (VO2Max)/Strength (Hills) session, 1 Tempo/Threshold session (Lactate Threshold) and the most important Long Run workout in the weekend (Sat night or Sunday morning) to develop running economy and race plan execution. 

 NightHawks will be doing their weekday workouts on their own according to the training plan, but weekend sessions will be face-face long runs with NightHawk trainers.  Weekly training tips comprising of Heart-Rate and Intensity training, Running Form, Nutrition & Fuel, Pacing & Racing, Racing Strategy, Rest & Recovery, Race Planning & Execution among other important topics will be dispensed to complement the NightHawks’ training. 

 In the first session, The NightHawks were segregated into the various pace groups according to their abilities and goals set, each led by a FatBird trainer.  The long run workout was a 90-120min run at Easy-Base Pace.  The pace groups were flagged off individually.  The enthusiastic NightHawks led by their respective trainers ran along the scenic Gardens By The Bay through to Marina Barrage, Marina Bay Sands looping back at the Marina Promontory. 

 This first long run also provided an opportunity to the FatBird trainers to access their trainees’ aerobic fitness, running form and experience with handling longer distances.  As the training progresses, trainees will be upgraded to faster groups as their marathon fitness and endurance progress. 

As dusk fell, the NightHawks experienced running in the night, which is quite different compared with running in the morning.  There will be 5 night long runs to provide the necessary conditioning to these Sundowners to race a good night marathon.

 The respective groups returned to the training start point at 9.00pm, many feeling satisfied, some heaving a sense of relief that they had survived their first long run training session.  As they were getting rehydration with the isotonic drinks provided, there were many interesting exchanged and sharing of the details of the training plan and tips by the Training Team.

 As the NightHawks left the training area very pleased with their performance, we look forward to having them for the second long run through the Mystic Reservoir route next weekend.

 

 When Dusk Arrives, The NightHawks Arise

 

 


Operation NightHawk Night Marathon Training System

Runners preparing for the Sundown Marathon and other marathon races (Gold Coast, London, Paris, Boston, Taipei) in 2019 are encouraged to sign up for NightHawk Marathon Training to benefit from structured group training led by qualified and experienced Team FatBird marathon trainers.

 

Training Program details and registration HERE!

 

Team FatBird also has a Corporate Run & Marathon Training Program to prepare employees and running clubs of companies and institutions for local and international running races.  Write to info@teamfatbird.com OR Check Out Program Details Here!

 

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018 – Race Report & Lessons

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018 – Race Report & Lessons

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) 2018 Race Report
By FatBird Anthony

Before I begin this lengthy post about my SCSM18 race, and experiences learnt from my DNF (Did Not Finish) incident, I would like to give a huge congratulatory shout out to all Team FatBird Runners, especially Operation Sunbird Marathoners for their awesome performances at the SCSM18 10km, Half-Marathon and Marathon races.

The FatBirds & Sunbirds’ commitment and dedication at training with meticulous race preparations have rewarded many of them with Personal Bests (timings and distances conquered) and commendable SCSM18 completions! We can look forward to even better performances when we begin training and preparations for Marathon Races in 2019!

Ops Sunbird (SCSM 2018 training program)
My race marathon calendar for 2018 included Boston Marathon (April), Gold Coast Marathon (July) and New York City Marathon (November). You can click on the links to read the race ports of those key races.

As we started training for SCSM and Q4 marathon races with Ops Sunbird, I decided to sign up for SCSM 2018 as well. Because SCSM would be just 4 weeks from my Marathon Majors NYC Marathon, I planned to treat it as a training run as well as to be on course with the Sunbirds to experience the new routes and organization upgrades promised by the Race Organizer, Ironman Asia.

The Sunbird marathon training went very well and delivered the goods with many of the trainees scoring excellent timings and Personal Bests at GEWR, Osaka Marathon and a few of other races in between.

4 weeks to SCSM18
I ran a good race at NYC Marathon. In the first 2 weeks post-NYC, I scaled down my mileage as recovery as well as tapering for SCSM18.  However, 14 days before SCSM, I caught the year-end flu bug which was on its rounds already for 2 months. I went straight to the doctor for some antibiotics and host of other meds to get a quick recovery.

My 26km run that weekend with the Sunbirds seemed ok, as I was not having any bad symptoms other than the soft throat. By Sunday night, I was coughing again and I went back to the Doctor on Monday (6 days to SCSM18) for additional meds. Again all seemed well and I did the final tapering run of 18km (at Marathon Pace). A few days before race day, I was still having coughs at night (including Beverly who also caught the flu) and feeling lethargic. I decided to just take it easy on race day to enjoy the run.

Race Morning


I slept for an hour (I had a good sleeps on Thur and Fri nights, with a nap on Sat afternoon) and went down to the race site in Eddie’s car. The traffic blockages and confusion were to cause Eddie to park far away. Before he detoured, he kindly let me and Beverly drop off first to get to the race site to meetup with the Sunbirds at 3am. In our haste, I forgot to bring my fuel belt (of gels and electrolytes). Thanks to Jen and Beverly who graciously offered their gels and electrolytes to me just before race start.

The First 21km
After some light jogging, stretches and photo taking, we proceeded into our respective start corrals/pens. This year’s race was well  organized with nary a confusion at the baggage and start pen management. Throughout the race, I observed a number of nice changes that were more reminiscent of best practices at World Marathon Majors (WMM) and International Races – Well done SCSM and Race Organizer (Ironman Asia).

Our race (Pens B, C, D) started promptly at 4.35am. The first segment along Nichol Highway and through Shenton Way area was nice (although GPS signals get interrupted a lot through the CBD segment). I acknowledged familiar faces who were running around my 5:00min/km pace.

As we entered the new segment of West Coast Highway from about 6-7 km, I was feeling comfortable at the 5min pace. I decided to go along with that and not push faster as I would have been happy with anything around my SCSM 2017 3:35h finish time. The West Coast Highway stretch was very spacious and hydration points were ample and well managed. Received 2 gels from the 11km aid station and tucked them in my tights. With the earlier 2 gels that I got from Jen, things started to get heavy. For the next 15km or so, I was fumbling with the gels slipping into my tights, causing uncomfortable and embarrassing moments haha.

21km-30km
Exited WCH around 20km or so, and ran through Shenton Way and into Gardens By The Bay. At around the 23km mark, it all just came suddenly. I vomited some stuff (I did take breakfast, and a gel at 15km mark) on the side of the road. I didn’t think too much about it then although it was the first time something like that happened to me. I took some water at the 23km aid station and continued with by slightly slower pace of 5:10.

I felt slight weakened in my legs as I chugged along. By the 25km mark through the ECP stretch and into Marina Gardens, my pace was dropping fast. Fatigue in my legs and upper body began to gnaw at me. I could hardly acknowledge the running friends and support stations who were encouraging me. Although I did not feel that bad at the time (other than from effects of my fatiguing body), I was told I looked pale and with a look of disarray (post-race) by those who called out to me.

By the 30km mark, I could no longer keep running…my legs just would not want to go on. I felt light-headed as I ran through the mist station.  I decided there and then I will just slow jog to finish. I waved on those who came to encourage me that I had already ‘Hit The Wall’ and was in no condition to run further.  About 1km of walking later, I spotted a medical team with 2 Kenyan ladies who had dropped out of the race. I told them I wanted to DNF (Not Complete) and asked for help with transport to the finish line. However, they replied that I would have to wait for the sweeper bus (which would pick up finishers after 7 hours). I definitely could not be waiting there for 4 hours for the sweeper bus to arrive.

The medics also mentioned there were no short cuts/exits at that point. I then tried to walk and slow jog (the sun was beating down furiously by that time). I waved on to many of my running friends to run ahead as I continued my long march. After what seemed like eternity, I finally found the Gardens Visitor Centre. By then, my tummy ached real bad and I had to go – it was a massive case of diarrhoea.

30km-DNF
With wobbly legs and feeling faint, I managed to struggle to exit the course to the Helix Bridge (36km+ point) crossing over for another 1km walk to enter the finish area. There was no shade.  Under the sweltering heat of the sun, I walked slowly to the Family meet up area where I saw some SAFRA friends sitting about. I laid down to elevate my legs (although I couldn’t find any support then, and I was too weak to bother). As the Sunbirds, FatBirds and fellow runners came, a lot of help was rendered to make me feel better.

I and grateful and appreciative of all of them checking up me and showing words of concern (although they were already tired from just finishing their marathons). When Eddie and Beverly came, I was able to get arrangements to walk (very light-headed) to be ferried back in Eddie’s car back home.  I had a warm bath once home.

After another bout of diarrhoea, I ate some food and went for a short nap.  I woke up feeling better, although still a tad weak. I had no fever nor aches in any parts of the body, especially the legs (which probably were not overworked at all). Went for a recovery walk in the evening. I woke up on Monday morning with no aches on the legs but still feeling a tad tired. The sore throat and cough, although diminishing, was still there. I will be resting and taking more recovery walks this week.

Lessons
This is the first ever marathon race that I DNF (Did Not Finish). I am convinced it was the right decision in the interest of my health and future running.

Thanks to the rousing support and encouragement of my DNF decision from the running friends and community. On a positive note, this incident made me see the strong support and care from the running community and friends, as well as important lessons of knowing when to quit when the going is hazardous. It has also allowed me to rethink my future entries into races with non-fully recovered ailments and injuries.

It is also my first experience (after running more than 35 marathons) of feeling a progressive loss of energy and the mind just wanting to ‘go to sleep’. I decided by the 30km mark that this time something is not right and that I will have to call my first DNF. It was being responsible and my best decision under such circumstances. This will serve as a good learning experience for me and my running trainees and friends in our marathon journeys ahead.


Program PowerFLIGHT Speed & Strength Training System

As we move into the Q1 2019 Marathon season (Jan-April 2019), Team FatBird is happy to announce Program PowerFLIGHT 2019 – our highly popular and effective 15-week structured strength and speed training program to up the ante on your training preparations for your upcoming 10km-marathon races (2XU Compression Run, Income Eco Run) and overseas marathons (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Boston, Paris, London Marathon) in 2019.

Team FatBird’s Program PowerFLIGHT Speed & Strength training will commence operations on 21 December 2019. Runners and marathoners looking to up the ante on their speed and strength with enhanced performance are encouraged to sign up for PowerFLIGHT to benefit from structured group hills, track, intervals, high tempo training led by qualified and experienced Team FatBird marathon trainers.

 

Training Program details and registration HERE!

 

Team FatBird also has a Corporate Run & Marathon Training Program to prepare employees and running clubs of companies and institutions for local and international running races.  Write to info@teamfatbird.com OR Check Out Program Details Here!

 

Ops Sunbird Finale @ SCSM18 Training

Ops Sunbird Finale @ SCSM18 Training

Ops Sunbird 2018 wrapped up with a finale 18km run at Marathon Pace, setting the stage for the Sunbirds to have an optimal race at The Standard Chartered Marathon 2018 on 9 Dec.

The Sunbirds completed a good Tapering phase with 2 long run weekends of 28km and 18km Marathon Pace Fast-Finish Runs at  OCBC ARENA @ Sports Hub.

The weather for the past 2 weekends, starting out cool and running into more typical sunny temperatures provided good conditioning and acclimatization for the Sunbird marathoners for likely race day conditions.

The past 2 weekends also saw Sunbirds scoring marathon PBs in Osaka and Siem Reap Marathons, a good encouragement to all of us who are going into our SCSM race next weekend.

There were new runners joining in these 2 final training sessions in a bid to fine-tune and get themselves race ready at SCSM.  The routes of OCBC – Tanjong Rhu – Gardens By The Bay – Marina Promontory provided a mixture of race day locations and some slopes to give the Sunbirds as similar terrain conditions as possible.

Post-Training briefings on proper Tapering, Rest and Carb-Loading were emphasized at this final stage of race preparation.  Proper understanding of the race routes, aid stations and good execution of the hydration, fuel and pace plans were also touched on in detail to leave nothing to chances when standing at the start line next Sunday morning.

The final long run of 13km (HM) and 18km (FM) at Optimal Pace this Sunday morning wrapped up Operation Sunbird successfully.  A final check with all Sunbirds show that all are at Optimal fitness conditions, without any reports of injuries.

The coming week will see mileage cut by 50% and with workouts intensity remaining the same or slight less intensive,  This is the time to recover from all the fatigue of the many weeks of workouts and long runs.  Sleep, rest and recovery will take emphasis this week to ensure that all Sunbirds start the race in well rested and pristine condition, putting their chances of optimal results at the highest probability.

ALl Sunbird and Team FatBird Trainers are confident of The Sunbirds’ readiness for SCSM18.  We would like to wish all Sunbirds and FatBirds a successful and fruitful SCSM race with many Personal Bests and Optimal Race Timings on Dec 9.

The Sunbirds Are Primed For Success At SCSM18!

 


Program PowerFLIGHT Speed & Strength Training System

As we move into the Q1 2019 Marathon season (Jan-April 2019), Team FatBird is happy to announce Program PowerFLIGHT 2019 – our highly popular and effective 15-week structured strength and speed training program to up the ante on your training preparations for your upcoming 10km-marathon races (2XU Compression Run, Income Eco Run) and overseas marathons (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Boston, Paris, London Marathon) in 2019.

Team FatBird’s Program PowerFLIGHT Speed & Strength training will commence operations on 21 December 2019. Runners and marathoners looking to up the ante on their speed and strength with enhanced performance are encouraged to sign up for PowerFLIGHT to benefit from structured group hills, track, intervals, high tempo training led by qualified and experienced Team FatBird marathon trainers.

 

Training Program details and registration HERE!

 

Team FatBird also has a Corporate Run & Marathon Training Program to prepare employees and running clubs of companies and institutions for local and international running races.  Write to info@teamfatbird.com OR Check Out Program Details Here!

 

Rain On But Not Rained Out @ SCSM18 Training

Rain On But Not Rained Out @ SCSM18 Training

With 3 weeks to The Standard Chartered Marathon 2018, The Sunbirds dawned on OCBC ARENA @ Sports Hub for their longest run workout of 22km for the Half Marathoners and 32-25km for the Full Marathoners.

Having prepared well for the past 10 weeks for this final phase of marathon training, the highly energized Sunbird trainees came prepared for this “Simulator” run which will determine their state of conditioning and readiness for race day.

The rain clouds were approaching fast as there was a larger assembly of ‘The Big Walk’ participants nearby waiting for updates of weather conditions to determine if their event was to go on.  Eventually it was called off after the heavy downpour erupted at 7.00am.

The Sunbirds were given a quick but definitive training briefing before setting off for the buildup with transition of pace through BaseBuild Pace (BP) to Marathon Pace (MP) to Optimal Pace (MP) for a fast finish long run.

As we ran past the Tanjong Rhu area, the rains started and got heavier as the respective groups braved the winds and pelting of water droplets.  Our engines got warmer as we ran on through Gardens East and onto East Coast Parkway.

There were many groups of runners and fitness buffs taking a respite from the heavy downpour at the ECP Shelters.  However, the cooling effects of the rain allowed The Sunbirds to break into Marathon Pace and continued on with strength towards their respective U-Turn targets.

Nutrition and Refueling plans with gels and electrolytes were put to practice by the trainees with good effects.  The sustained energy resources allowed our runners and trainers to maintain MP on the return leg of the run workout.

The rains mellowed down after 90min of running which was a welcomed sign for The Sunbirds to up the pace to OP for the final 10km of their run back.  They felt strong as they powered down the runway of ECP and Gardens back to OCBC Arena to finish their longest run workout on a high.

Many still found the strength to round up their mileage at a good pace.  With the HM Sunbirds completing 22km at their best pace, and the FM trainees completing 26km-33km (for many their personal longest run distance achieved), this training workout has definitely given all Sunbirds a solid confidence booster for SCSM on Dec 9.

As we enter the Tapering Phase from next week, the Sunbirds will be taking the good feelings of completing their longest run with strength to move into Optimal Pace training for good performances.  With immunity lowered and risks of injury after the higher mileages and challenging workouts of the past weeks, the important follow-on will be to perform good active recovery.  This will help to stave off any injuries and fatigue which can sabotage all these good effects of training and cripple any chances of achieving top form on race day.

The remaining 2 weekends of Race Tapering will oblige The Sunbirds to maintain their training intensities with a lowered mileage volume.  Adjustments and enhancements of the Simulator workouts will be fine-tuned for optimal race day performance.

The Sunbirds Received Showers Of Blessings In Their Longest Run!

 


Program PowerFLIGHT Speed & Strength Training System

As we move into the Q1 2019 Marathon season (Jan-April 2019), Team FatBird is happy to announce Program PowerFLIGHT 2019 – our highly popular and effective 15-week structured strength and speed training program to up the ante on your training preparations for your upcoming 10km-marathon races (2XU Compression Run, Income Eco Run) and overseas marathons (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Boston, Paris, London Marathon) in 2019.

Team FatBird’s Program PowerFLIGHT Speed & Strength training will commence operations on 21 December 2019. Runners and marathoners looking to up the ante on their speed and strength with enhanced performance are encouraged to sign up for PowerFLIGHT to benefit from structured group hills, track, intervals, high tempo training led by qualified and experienced Team FatBird marathon trainers.

 

Training Program details and registration HERE!

 

Team FatBird also has a Corporate Run & Marathon Training Program to prepare employees and running clubs of companies and institutions for local and international running races.  Write to info@teamfatbird.com OR Check Out Program Details Here!