Sundown Marathon Training Kickoff

Sundown Marathon Training Kickoff

The 12-week Sundown Marathon Training kicked off with the first Sundown Marathon lead up run at the M Social Hotel on Saturday morning.  A good group of Sundown Marathon participants joined the newly minted Official Sundown Pacers 2017 team for a group run of 10km and 18km along the scenic Singapore River and into Gardens By The Bay.

After a welcome brief and dynamic warm up routine by Team FatBird trainers. the runners were all raring to run.  All participants were segregated into the official Pacer groupings of 2:00h, 2:15h and 2:30h for the Half Marathon (HM) category, and 4:00h, 4:30h, 5:00h, 5:30h and 6:00h in the Full Marathon (FM) category.

The objective of this first lead up run was to establish a base for the runners and to prime them for building up their paces for future lead up and training runs, with the objective of hitting their race timing goals at Sundown Marathon race at end March 2017.

The various pace groups, led by specially selected Sundown Pacers, ran along the Singapore River, passing through Asian Civilization Musuem, The Esplanade, The Float @ Marina before entering Gardens By the Bay.  Along the way, the runners’ were motivated by some singing and shouting of cheers.  Before long, they reached Marina Barrage and were greeted by the special hydration point set up by Sundown Organizer, well stocked with iced-cold 100Plus and water.

It was a good break for the thirsty runners.  The Half Marathoners gathered for some group photos before turning back for their remaining 10km.  The Full Marathoners were still looking fresh at that 5km mark.  They proceeded on to cross the Barrage Bridge into Gardens By The Bay on the other side to settle into their training pace.

The FM groups reached the 9km water point and u-turn mark after crossing the Tanjong Rhu footbridge onto the Water Sports Centre at Sports Hub.  Most of the runners were keeping to the Basebuild Pace (20s slower than Marathon Pace) well and still had good reserves for the trip back to M Social.

We met many runners along the way, most notably Running Hour, who were out with their festive Christmas ornaments.  As we passed, we wished everyone “A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year”, and were reciprocated with cheers and joys from the runners.

We were having fun and enjoyment all along the run.  Soon, we were back to the water point at Barrage for one more water point stop before the final 5km back.  We were grateful for the hydration support from the Sundown Organizer which provided us with relief from the heat.  After the refreshing top-up, the Sundown Runners went with their pacers back along Singapore River to finish a strong 18km.

As we ran back, we were singing and cheering to “Sundown, Sundown, Hoo Haa!” which really pumped up the tiring runners.  When we turned the corner and saw the Sundown Marathon banners, there were joys all round for a satisfying morning training run.  Lots of bananas and isotonic drinks were offered to the hungry and thirsty Sundown Runners who were just happy that they had successfully completed their first lead up run.

We now set our sights to the second lead up run on 21 Jan which will bring the training up a notch in terms on distance (14km, 27km) and intensity (Marathon Pace).  All Sundown Marathoners would not want to miss this lead up run.  You are encouraged to register early to make your date with the Sundown Marathon Pacers HERE!

Runners preparing for the Sundown Marathon and other marathon races (Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Boston, Taipei) in 2017 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 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 MK

Sunbirds Wraps Up SCMS Training at Padang

Sunbirds Wraps Up SCMS Training at Padang

The Sunbirds were glad to do their final training run at the finish point of this year’s Standard Chartered Marathon SIngapore (SCMS).  A fitting finale to the 12 weeks of marathon training which saw the trainees progressed through building a good foundation and growing from strength.


Next Sunday at about this time, the Sunbirds will join the approximately 50,000 participants in finishing their SCMS right in front of the National Art Gallery and Padang site.  They were joined this morning by the Sundown Marathon Pacers who were there to undergo selection trials for their Pacing mission in March 2017.


It was a full dress rehearsal of sorts for next weekend’s race, right down to being flagged off with Car Free Sunday participants at 8:00am to the sound of air horns and announcements from the MC.  After a good dynamic warmup conducted by the Sunbird Trainers, and moving to the beat of the blaring music, the runners were all pumped up to go alongside bikers and mobility vehicles along the 5km stretch of closed roads at Shenton Way.


The morning showers stopped in time to give way to cooling and windy conditions, so conducive for a finale prep run around the City Centre.  If next Sunday’s weather is to be similar, there will be many good performances and Personal Bests for sure.

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Runners were entertained throughout the journey with nice scenery, cheer leaders, and lots of music and street performances with enticing food stalls inside Telok Ayer.  It was refreshing for many of the trainees and Pacers who have not participated in the CFS before.


The roads were pretty clear as many of the bikers were late to arrive due to the earlier rain.  The runners and brisk walkers from some CCs were in good force, taking advantage of the cool morning to be engaged in healthy exercise.


The Sunbirds and Corporate trainees wrapped up their Optimal Pace run of 13km and 18km by 10am to end the training on a high note.  Armed with the confidence for a good race, Team FatBird and Ops Sunbird trainers will be looking forward to a string of good performances by the Sunbird and Corporate trainees.

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With the successful completion of Ops Sunbird marathon training for SCMS, Team FatBird will be taking a a short break before starting our next marathon training program, Ops NightHawk – 12-week structured night marathon training for OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017.


Ops Sunbird Wraps Up On A High!


Photos from FatBird MK, Chin, Steven

Sunbirds Tapering For SCMS 2016

Sunbirds Tapering For SCMS 2016

After weeks of training in cool weather conditions, the Sunbird trainees were given a rare treat of heat conditioning in this second last long run before race day on Dec 4.  The bout of heat would be something that might crop up 3-4 hours into the marathon run, and it will be good that the SCMS trainees would not be caught off-guard should that situation arise.


With the good foundation built over the past 10 weeks, the Sunbirds came into the Tapering phase well prepared for the 18km (HM) and 28km (FM) at Optimal Pace.  The sun’s heat midway through the run did cause some to dig in to clear their mental hurdles, especially when feeling a little dehydrated and experiencing some cardiac drift and increased heart rate caused by the warm temperatures.


A number of trainees, especially the FMers were feeling fatigue from the past weeks’ of long runs and races.  It is good that the tapering phase has begun with 2 weeks to spare, allowing for some time to rest and recover in time for a good race.

The whole training run completed by 10:30am with iced-cold Gatorade drinks and bananas to replenish the drained runners.  A quick check showed that most of the Sunbirds have reliefed their niggles and muscular tightness with Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (R.I.C.E) routines now built into their post-run routines.


We now look forward to our final session of training next weekend at the Padang area, the finish point of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS).  It will be a full dress rehearsal of sorts for all the marathoners, with the opportunity to run on the closed roads of Shenton Way pass National Arts Gallery for a vision of a grand finish.  With the short distance of just 13km (HM) and 18km (FM) at Optimal Pace, it will be the final preparatory run to close all gaps and fine-tune the paces.


The Sunbirds Are Race Ready!

Photos by FatBird MK

The Longest & Most Challenging Training Run @ SCMS16

The Longest & Most Challenging Training Run @ SCMS16

It was fortunate that the weather was not too bad this Sunday morning, as the Sunbirds prepare to tackle their longest training run in preparation for SCMS due in 3 weeks.  This was to be a gauge of the runners’ foundation and endurance abilities to complete 80-90% at Marathon Pace, and also for all to finalize their hydration and fuel plan.


u11To add an additional level of challenge, the FM trainees were required to navigate the 8km ‘Demoralizing’ Changi Coastal Road stretch.  The difficulty level was further increased a notch up when the sun popped out along that demoralizing stretch.


The HM and 10k Sunbirds and Corporate trainees stayed along the more shady ECP stretch to complete their missions within target training objectives.  Led by very experienced trainers and pacer from Team FatBird, the Corporate trainees have learnt and improved lots over these past 6 weeks of their joining the FatBird SCMS Corporate Training Program.


The HM Sunbirds did well to complete their 21km within target pace.  During the debrief, it was reported that many of them have lost quite a lot of fats and inches around the waist, allowing for easier runs and faster timings than before joining the Sunbird program.

The FM Group 0.5 were first to turnaround from Changi Ferry Terminal toilet and hit ECP again after just running for 90min.  With a weight loss of 4kg from an already thin frame, JY was running stronger than ever along with his training mate and mentor NH.


The respective FM groups completed their 33km-35km missions well within targets as well, with Groups 1, 2 and 3 all finishing strongly.  The mental factor at the Demoralizing stretch of 16km to and fro did affect some of the trainees, but they picked up strongly once they came back to ECP.

With the successful completion of the longest training run, the Sunbirds will enter the tapering phase with decreased mileage without lowering intensity from next week.  Feedback from the trainers indicate that those who showed up today are ready for the big race.


With diminished immunity from such a long and challenging workout, the Sunbirds were advised to rehydrate, refuel, rest and recover for the next few days to avoid getting sick or worse, coming down with injury due to tight muscles and sore joints.  This ‘crucial’ period can often break a marathoners’ good preparations if he or she does not have sufficient rest and recovery from all the hard training done in the past few weeks.

Training completed at 11:30am, 4 hours after the the morning’s first runoff.  The final groups were glad to have completed their longest run to iced-cold isotonic drinks and bananas, with patient trainers sharing their joys.


The Sunbirds Did Well In The Longest, Most Challenging Run

Photos from FatBirds MK, Chris


Sunbirds Into The Final Phase Of SCMS Training

Sunbirds Into The Final Phase Of SCMS Training

After putting on outstanding performances with many Personal Bests at last weekend’s Newton 21km and 32km Challenge, the Sunbirds returned back to SCMS training for their final month of training before the big race on Dec 4.


The Full Marathon Sunbirds were still feeling high from last week’s good run, and were pleased to hear that they should pare down their planned distance slightly to avoid risking injury as they have yet to recover fully.


The weather was once again very cool with cloudy skies without any rain at Parkland Green, ECP.  The Full Marathon trainees were flagged off first as they had longer distances of 25km-32km to cover at Marathon Pace (MP).


The Half Marathoners and 10km trainees were taken through their pre-run routine with dynamic stretching and running drills by their trainers.  As most of the HM and 10km groups did not participate at Newton Challenge, they were raring to run at Marathon Pace for their planned distances of 20km and 8km respectively.


The route took all the groups through Gardens Bay East and then Marina Barrage, before coming back to the ECP stretch for the remaining of their targeted distances.  After the many weeks of base building with long runs, a marked improvement in the running form as well as the pace management could be observed by the trainers.


The 10km groups outdid themselves by running 9.5km due to the additional distance for them to reach the Gardens By The East water coolers for hydation and top ups.  Which was a pleasant surprise for them to know they could maintain pace for nearly 10km, the actual race distance for them at SCMS.


The HM groups had a good time pacing along the sub-2:00h, 2:15h and 2:30h trainers for a smooth finish.  Training objectives met with high confidence of doing a good HM race in 3 weeks.


The FM trainees looked very strong, although a few were feeling the effects of fatigue from last week’s 32km race and also increased mileage mid-week.  Still, most were able to maintain MP through to 25km at least.  The FM Sunbirds also took the opportunity to practice their hydration and refuel plan, under the guidance of their respective marathon trainers.


The whole training session was completed by 10:30am, with some spare time for a quick debrief on adaptive recovery and injury prevention.  Overall, it was another enjoyable and fruitful session for all Sunbirds who turned up.


Reports of progressive weight loss have continued to come in strongly, with many making good losses as they advance towards their optimal racing weight.  With just 3 weeks to race day, the FatBird trainers are quietly confident of a good performance from the Sunbird trainees.  We look forward to next weekend’s longest training run before we move on to tapering mode in preparation for race day.


The Sunbirds Soared in Cool Winds!

Photos from FatBirds Rand, Chris

SCMS Sunbirds Marathon Training @ Western Hills

SCMS Sunbirds Marathon Training @ Western Hills

The Sunbirds – Team FatBird’s Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) training flock were back at the Mt. Faber Hills for yet another challenging workout in Week #4.

This week’s program offered those who missed last week’s grueling training a taste of the Western Hills region, as well as allowed the marathoners who showed up last week to pare down to a more subdued routine this week.


However, the weather this time was the ‘killer’ app, providing the mainly Half and Full Marathoners with some good conditioning for the Dec SCMS race.  It had been hot and humid these past few editions of the SCMS, and this year’s race might see heat and humidity posing challenges to participants again.

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The first part of the training had the Sunbirds tackling the Mt. Faber Hills repeats, burning up more fats and glycogen with every climb of the 1.6km hill loop.  Most of the Sunbirds were happy to run the hills again as they have seen quite good progress with their weight loss figures over the past 3 weeks of foundation building.

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By the time we hit Labrador Park for the second part of the run, many of the trainees were already having growling tummies.  The training had to go on.  There were a few runners who had slightly low sugar levels in spite of coming prepared with a good breakfast.

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The heat of Brother Sun spared no one as we ran into the scenic but open Keppel Marina area.  More fuel and reserves were burnt.  The Sunbirds’ foundation in just 3 weeks of training helped them sustain their target training paces to complete the Labrador Park sets reasonably well.

As if the glycogen and fat stores were not taxed sufficiently, the final 5km run back on a gradual rolling up-slope back to the Mt. Faber start point would have teased off any remaining reserves from the fuel tank.  It was no wonder the Subway outlet at MF had a mini queue after our trainees returned.


In between mouthfuls of their 6-inch to foot long sandwiches, the Sunbirds listened attentively to the marathon training debrief given by their trainers.  There were key points given in terms of their running form and posture, proper manner of carrying of hydration and also some techniques in terms of tackling hills.


With one third of the Sunbird structured marathon training program completed, a number of trainees were reporting better aerobic base, running form and quite importantly to many, loss of 2kg to 4kg of fat weight from their physical frames.


Of course, having a good marathon diet coupled with following closely our proven marathon running and training schedule will enhance the results of proper weight loss leading to optimal race weight.

A number of Sunbirds were recommended by their trainers for upgrades to the next pace group based on their consistent progress during training.


All these positive analytics have kept the Sunbird participants motivated to attend every training session rain or shine.  They now look forward to the next third of training where we will progress on to enhanced volume and pace to hone their speed and strength endurance for their eventual marathon distance.

Next week will see the kick off session of Team FatBirds 8-week Corporate SCMS Marathon Training Package for 10k, HM and FM categories.  Write to OR Check Out Program Details Here!


The Sunbirds Are Lighter & Happier Campers!


Photos from FatBirds Steven, MK