Team FatBird conducted the 2nd lead up training at the beautiful Ponggol Waterway for a good turnout of enthusiastic Straits Times (ST) Run Half Marathoners. A number of them were returning trainees from the 1st training run at Bedok Reservoir Park, whilst the rest were joining this training series for the very first time.
The Ponggol Promenade area at Tebing Lane was already bustling with joggers, walkers and bikers before sunrise. It was good advise that the ST Run Organiser, Inifinitus Productions gave for the runners to arrive by 7:00am.
We started the dynamic warmup and drills by 7:10am, and along with group photos and route briefing, we were all ready to run off by 7:30am. The trainees were assigned to their respective Pace groupings of 1:50h, 2:00h, 2:15h and 2:30h to attempt to maintain race pace for the whole distance of 12km.
The first half of the run had us running alongside the Waterway on the left, with lush greenery, fountains dotted with smaller parks and pavilions. Our runners kept to the pavement for most of the time, and running on the shared tarmac whenever there were no sighting of bikes travelling at fast speed.
As we turned the bridge at around the 5km mark, we could see the runners still maintaining pace within their respective pace groups, and looking strong to boot. After the U-turn to the other side of the Waterway, we were aiming for iced cold isotonic drinks at the 6km mark.
We could see other pace groups on the other side of the river as we ran, and the cheers and applause to encourage one another were spontaneous. The smiles on the runners’ faces were evident as they ran with pride and joy in being able to keep pace through to 8km mark.
We did a turn towards the Coney Island direction and had to contend with the final 4km of run without much cover under the blistering heat of the emerging sun. Still, the runners held steady and kept up with the target paces for as long as possible. There were the occasional slow-down or even short walks to recover from the intensity, but as soon as the Pacers came along, the runners again picked up their legs and continued running.
Running and pacing as a group is certainly a lot easier than having to do it on one’s own. Before we knew it, we were just 1km from the finish line, and the Sunrise Bridge was in sight. Sensing that, the runners’ worked hard to sustain pace to finish strongly, with many bettering their own training timings.
Sufficient isotonic intake along with bananas for replenishment helped the runners regain their strength to recover rather quickly. The respective group Pacers led their runners for a good 10min of static stretching to ease off any tightness with the aim to speed up recovery.
Lots of positive feedback and exchanges abound, with Coach Ghana and the FatBird trainers on hand to dish out simple but effective advise on how to improve ourselves for the HM race on Sep 28.
With the finale training run On Sep 13 @ Sports Hub, we can expect an even better turnout with many of the satisfied trainees returning as well as those who had missed the earlier runs to show up. It will also serve as a final time and pace trial for race day.
Facebook photos from Nicholas Heng, CK Chin