As part of the strengthening regime of the Kingfisher Program, the flock visited one of our favourite training ground for trail running at MacRitchie Reservoir (MR) Park.
For many who have not been to MR in recent years, it looked all too unfamiliar but yet interesting. For those who have been there for past training sessions with Team FatBird, it brought back many nice memories of charging up the trail slopes and tackling the uneven ground with some fleet footwork.
MR was as usual abuzz with many runners and trekkers on their weekend workouts, with quite a number of running groups getting ready for some trail running action. After a briefing of trail etiquette and safety observances, the respective pace groups were flagged off towards the Northern Route.
The first 3.5km stretch of the Northern Trails took some steam off the runners, and by the time they hit Island Country Club Road, the lactate buildup and high heart-rates are starting to affect the runners. With a reasonably good base built up, the Kingfishers were able to recover somewhat to settle into a steady pace as they approached the forested roads of Lower Pierce Reservoir (LPR) and then Old Upper Thomson Road (OUTR).
By the time they reached the U-Turn point some 8.5km later, the large groups have broken into smaller segments, making for more comfortable pacing and sustainability. Some gels were taken at the 12km mark, while hydration was a more important need in the very humid morning.
The pace group leaders were doing a great job of keeping their respective groups together, directing traffic at critical turning points, as well as motivating and urging the tiring runners on to maintain their respective paces. There was nary a ‘slacker’ in sight, and by the time we climbed the SICC slopes back onto the Northern Trails, the majority were a spent force with just that small amount of reserves left.
When signs of the lack of power is evident with some indications of low fuel tanks, that is the point where the real effects of training will kick in to push the trainees both mentally and physically. The final 4km back to MR Amenities Centre will stress the runners a little more in a bid to test their thresholds and in the process, with enable them to make adaptive progress and strengthen as runners.
By the end of 17km, it was evident from the look of the Kingfishers’ faces and feedback from the runners that this was one of the toughest challenges they have experienced to date. In spite of that, many actually enjoyed the whole trail experience and were requesting for more of such training to be incorporated for future training programs.
With the completion of a busy running Week 3 of tempos, hill repeats and trail endurance runs, the Kingfishers are all ready for the second phase (weeks 4-6) of training which will see them enhancing on the strength&speed while upping the ante with long weekend endurance runs at Optimal Pace. We are all looking forward to bring our newly-developed strength and speed to optimize and maximize our training for peak performances come September 1.
The Kingfishers Blazed The Trails!
Facebook Photos @ FatBird Chin