The NightHawks revisited MacRitchie Reservoir for their longest night run of 22km and 33km in Week #8 of the Sundown Marathon Training Program.
The weather was cool and slightly windy, great conditions for long distance training. The route was meant to be challenging with its fair share of rolling slopes and undulating terrain.
The NightHawk trainees and Pacers who just returned from their good performances at the Hong Kong and Taipei Marathons last weekend were tasked to do a recovery run instead of the full menu.
The respective pace groups, which by now are very familiar with the training objectives and requirements, went through their training with enthusiasm. The quiet of the night coupled with the flanking forest vegetation along the run route made for an enchanting journey of sorts for the NightHawks.
The Half Marathoners turned around the Yishun/Mandai Ave junction for a 22km @ Marathon Pace (MP). Many of them took the opportunity to test out their gels or fuel to help sustain MP for the return leg.
The Full Marathon groups went all the way to the Mandai Ave junction for a break at the Zoo Billboard – incidentally, it looked captivating and well lit after the refurbishing work done. The runners also took the opportunity to pop in gels and fuel replenishment at the point, before making their way back for the challenging second half.
A few of the FM runners felt the strain at around the 25km mark when fuel and hydration resources ran low after 2-3 hours of sustained running. That was also the test of their endurance and ability to sustain the pace, with their legs probably screaming from the lactic acid build up.
Breathing would also be more labored as the body is fatigued and trying to burn some fat, which require higher oxygen consumption. That is also the point when the tiring legs and poorer running form will cause a slow down in pace just for the body to catch up.
The HM and FM groups completed their tough training run within their targeted timing, and there were some good lessons that the trainees and pacers took away from the night’s training. The satisfied faces on the NightHawk’s faces did not accurately reflect the challenging workout that they overcame successfully.
Bananas and isotonic drinks were consumed with gusto, thanks to the support team’s logistics who have been instrumental in providing post-run replenishment for the NightHawks all these weeks, most times at odd hours of the day or night.
After a quick debrief and some tips on recovery from long runs, the NightHawks went in their separate ways, mostly in groups of 3-4, sharing tales and feelings of their longest night run to date.
The NightHawks Flew The Longest Night