Operation Kingfisher Week 4’s long run was held at MacRitchie Reservoir (MR) Park for the trails and rolling hills package, which is one of the tougher challenges in the FatBird Training Operations.

The weather was rather humid and warm, but that did not deter the Kingfishers from breaking into the Northern Trails at Marathon Pace (MP).  The 4km initial stretch of trail always give the runners a good jolt from the morning slumber and set the tone for the tougher challenge ahead.

The Kingfishers by now have a sufficiently good enough base to tackle the first 10km of the run no less, mostly running cautiously at prescribed pace, hoping to complete the full training distances of 17km (HM) and 28km (FM) in good form.

The Half Marathon (HM) Kingfishers turned at the OUTR/UPR main gate to return back along the slopes and hilly terrain of MR.  Led by their experienced trainers, the Kingfishers were determined to get the morning’s workout goals checked to build up their confidence for the next 2 training sessions ahead.

The Full Marathoners (FM) proceeded on to do the second part of the menu, comprising of the famous rolling hills and aircond road inside Upper Peirce Reservoir (UPR).  The slopes were useful to drive up the intensity and heart rates of the trainees, as well as allowing them to learn how to recover from each hill climb so as to sustain good paces throughout.

Groups 1-3 had a good time torching the slopes and in the process burned off their fair share of calories.  As the run continued on, the heat from the sun added to the intensity and challenge, making the workout harder than ever.

The runners which survived the UPR onslaught were happy to coast along OUTR all the way to LPR, before hitting yet another round of slopes at SICC and Northern Trail.  By then, the legs were weaker from the hard work earlier, and the glycogen tanks were running pretty low as well.

Completing the final 4km back along Northern Trail taxed the runners to the max, providing the much needed physical and mental stretch which will strengthen the Kingfishers’ marathon base.  After this, trainees would find running on roads and more gentle slopes easier to conquer and ability to sustain higher speed at lower heart rates would be a reality for most.

All the Kingfishers completed the challenge within regulation time of 220min, and from their tired faces, we could see the the tinge of happiness and pride at completing such a challenging workout.  This confidence will see them through in the upcoming weeks of training through to race day.

With the 17km and 30km long trails and hills menu done and dusted, the Kingfishers look forward to Week 5’s menu of cruise intervals at Monster Hill an Week 6’s longest distance run (21km, 35km) before entering the tapering and consolidation phase.

The Kingfishers Survived Week 4’s Trails & Hills Blaster!

Photos by FatBird Chin