We were back to MacRitchie Reservoir (MR) Park after two consecutive weeks of hill runs at Mt. Faber. Because of races, the crowd at MR was a lot lighter, which made much room for the Sunbirds through the narrow trails.
A number of the Sunbirds were also at the races contributing to the smaller turnout at training. However, a few trainees have returned back to the fold after their races and rest in the earlier weeks. The briefing was kept short, focusing mainly on the respective routes, leaving more time for our final Basebuild run.
The stretch through the trails was cool all the way till we hit Lower Peirce Reservoir (LPR) Road. The 10K trainees turned back at the end of Northern Trails for a good 7km trail run, while the HM did a challenging 15km trails cum road. Most of the FM trainees (who did 22-25km eventually) were well equipped with some form of hydration and fuel, allowing them to push further into the Upper Peirce Reservoir (UPR) slopes.
The respective pace groups were running strongly together, braving the heat of the sun as they worked the rolling slopes of the UPR area. Groups Tango and Foxtrot were in cruise mode as they find the slopes a lot more manageable with a few weeks of base building under their belts.
The larger Group Bravo split into 2 sections as they made their way into the aircon route, tackling their requirements with tunnel vision, while Group Hotel was easing along the slopes in good shape as well.
The road back have as usual provided the mid-point challenge at the Venus slopes, but there was hardly any walking up this morning – the mental toughness of the Sunbirds have indeed improved alongside their physical strength endurance over the past few weeks.
The final 3.5km back into the Northern Trails was meant to draw on the reserves of the trainees to provide the push through the seemingly countless trail slopes – this segment provided a nice finale to the training as it challenged the runners to give that much more to overcome any mental or physical deficiencies that might have limited them in the past.
The Sunbirds passed with flying colours, although many felt the strain of the energy-sapping workout. They were sprawled around the wooden platform at MR Amenities recovering as they tuned in to the session debrief.
The trainers and pacers observed that most Sunbirds have made good progress, with quite a number getting into good shape with weight-loss of excesses, stronger strength and speed endurance, and more importantly, confidence and commitment to stretch themselves for the longer distances ahead. This will put us in good stead as we prepare for Pace training from next Week where all will put their strengthened endurance base for a quicker target marathon pace through to 30km.