The Ops Kookaburra participants went into their 5th week of training with a nice cool evening weather along the East Coast of Singapore. The 3rd time we are having a group session with these runners preparing for the Gold Coast Marathon on 6-7 July, the goupings are more or less settled with the night’s objectives to run a 16km and 28km distances in target Marathon Pace.
Along with the NightHawks (who are entering their tapering phase), the large group of trainees and Running Guides started together from C4. The area was already bustling with night activities leading into the weekend, with the beach goers, cyclists and runners already into their strides when we were setting up.
We managed to flag off by 8:15pm, heading straight for the familiar Fort Road in our respective pace groups. Although the Kookaburras were supposed to be slightly slower in paces than the NightHawks, it seemed many of them decided to fire ahead to test their abilities to sustain faster paces as gauges to help find their right pace groups.
A couple of Kokaburras headed into sub Group 1 category, while the Pacers maintained their Optimal Paces to serve as a guide for the runners’ training. The night air was rather cool after the late afternoon showers, and although more rain threatened, we were fortunate to maintain status quo. Many of the trainees were able to sustain a good pace for up to 18km, then pushing on to 22km-24km without any threat of drifting off.
Hydration, nutrition and pace plans were put into serious practice to go along with the endurance building which should contribute to the proper progressive conditioning of the runners at target speeds in increasing longer distances. The night was rather dark, leading to the runners focusing on the job at hand, and less of making merry – most all were rather serious in stretching their thresholds and testing out their race plans.
Running in groups went a long way towards helping the runners to keep motivated and focused in maintaining their paces, although it got to be rather challenging at the ‘mentally-demoralizing’ Coastal Road stretches. After the U-Turn at the specified point along Coastal Rd, it became better as we strode towards NSRCC and then to the Sailing Centre.
With about 6km to go, all runners were feeling strong enough to continue with target MP and proceeded to the end point at C4 without much stropping, bar the quick toilet breaks for some water for hydration and cooling off in what was turning into a humid night.
By 11:30pm, 3.5hrs after running, all Kookaburras returned in reasonably good form, achieving what they had set out for the night. A good majority of the Kookaburras are also using the upcoming Sundown Marathon at end May as a longest run to form a time trial of sorts, and also final longest run before tapering kicks in from June.
The current flock of Kookaburras look to be on firm ground as we progress, while the NightHawks are well conditioned for a good night at Sundown Marathon. With the increasing instances over the past few weeks, there have been more reports of tightening muscles and pulls and pain in various parts of the legs; an indication that some time has to be spent recovering from the long runs, and more importantly, doing the R.I.C.E. treatment coupled with post-run stretches and even regular myofascial massages.
The Kookaburras will be doing their own training on week #6 in accordance with the prescribed training schedule. Team FatBird trainers will be back with them in Week #7 when we will be tackling the 30km+ distances at target MP moving towards Team FatBird’s Optimal Pace Plan. We have good confidence that the Kookaburra trainees GCAM 2013 will come out tops on race day.
Run Kookaburras, Run Kookaburras,
Gold Our Race Will Be!