The morning downpour did not put a dampener to the determination and commitment of the Operation Sunbird trainees who were gearing up for week 2’s base building long run. A message was sent out from Team FatBird trainers that the training would go on as usual as the rain had abated by 6 am.
The original plan was to do some intensive trail running to condition and strengthen the running muscles of the Sunbirds. In the interest of safety, we modified the route to avoid the trails and instead added on an additional slope series to make up the distance and challenge.
The marathon trainees for SCMS welcomed the cool weather after the rain had stopped by 6:30 am. Everyone was charged up, including the dedicated team of FatBird trainers who were on hand to guide the trainees on how to build up an enviable endurance base for a good race in December. This 12-week Half Marathon and Full Marathon structured training has been very successful all these years. We welcomed a few ex-Sunbirds this morning who came back to sharpen their endurance base and race pace for that big SCMS race.
The respective Half Marathon groups of 2:00h, 2:15h and 2:30h and the Full Marathon teams of 3:30h, 4:00h, 4:30h, 5:00h, 5:30h took off from MacRitchie Amenities Centre after a short training briefing. Some tips on training at correct Heart Rate Zones and maintaining sustainable pace were dispensed. The use of proper running gear like hydration belts and running shoes that fit the profile of each individual was emphasized.
A number of trainees this round were beginners to structured marathon training like Ops Sunbird. They enjoyed the group running and training, with proper instructions and tips on how to prepare and plan for their target goal timings at the marathon. The experienced trainers in each pace groups chatted with the Sunbirds who were supposed to be running at conversational pace.
In spite of the minor detour due to construction works along Thomson Road, the Sunbird marathon trainees ran as unified groups led by their trainers into Upper Peirce Reservoir. They continued in good formation, watching out for fellow group running mates. All had no problems entering into Old Upper Thomson Road (OUTR) before the Half Marathon runners turned back to base for a 13km training run.
The Full Marathoners continued into the rolling hills of Lower Peirce Reservoir, a favourite training ground for many serious marathon runners. The air was cool and crisp as the greenery flanking the roads on both sides provided a serene calm from the hustle and bustle of the major roads.
Tackling the rolling hills was one of the major training highlights for the Marathon trainees. By the time they were done with the ‘meat’ of the morning’s session, many were drenched and digging deeper into their reserves for that 5km back to base.
The pace was very well maintained by all the groups, especially so with groups 1 through 3. A number of Sunbirds found sufficient energy left to run a negative split (timing fast on their return back).
The whole training was completed by 10:15am, which was well within the allocated training time. A debrief of the session was conducted to get feedback from both trainees and trainers.
The trainees were happy they completed the training without too much of a problem, and were encouraged by their much faster pace. Some Sunbirds expressed they never ran faster and feeling better before joining the Sunbird training sessions. The trainers were heartened to hear of the positive attitude of the Sunbird trainees. Of course, we know that there are many more benefits of training with organized groups which the Sunbirds will unravel in the upcoming weeks.
In week #3, we will be going to another new area for training – the hilly region of Mt. Faber. As some experienced running coaches rightly put in, “Hills are Speedwork In Disguise”. Speedwork from hills running is what we will be having as training objective next week. We look forward to having more trainees come for this session!
The Ops Sunbird Program is still available if you are looking to train the SCMS and other year end marathon races, or like some other trainees who are enrolled for the weight loss benefits they get from the aerobic endurance training. Lose weight and race fast with Operation Sunbird 2016!
Team FatBird has started an 8-week Corporate SCMS Marathon Training Package to prepare employees of companies and institutions for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS). Write to email@example.com OR Check Out Program Details Here!
Photo contributions from FatBirds MK, JacQ, Bev