After weeks of training in the western hill slopes and reservoir trails of MacRitchie and Peirce, the Sunbirds returned to our Nest in the ECP for our Pace Training Phase.  

With the series of 30km+ runs over the next 3 weeks, all Sunbirds, especially the Full Marathoners were eager to put some good conditioning in the run up to 42km on Dec 7.

After a quick briefing and congratulatory mention to our Sunbird Trainer, Patrick Wu who finished Champion in the Monster UltraMarathon 200km in 24.5hrs, the respective training groups ran off at 7am in the direction of Fort Road.

The skies were cloudy and the weather was cool, with the occasional bit of breeze.  This was just one of the good mornings to test the limits of our trainees’ abilities, and they emerged on top of their game.  The trainers in their bright yellow tops could be spotted from a distance leading their respective charges on a steady Marathon Pace (MP).

The first 10km was covered without much of an issue.  As we entered the cooling Changi Coastal Road, the mood was still good as fellow Sunbirds were still ambling on in chit-chat mode.  The Coastal Road was as usual crowded with cyclists, and we were extra careful to be keeping to our own lanes while maintaining target pace.

The Sunbirds definitely looked a lot more composed and steady today compared with last week’s ‘meltdown’ at the Labrador-Keppel Marina route.  All systems of hydration and fuel-up were conscientiously put to practice for optimal performance.

The return from Coastal Road was pretty smooth as the sun was still kept at bay when we hit 20km.  The high humidity required us to observe proper hydration protocol for sustained effort.

The Sunbirds progressed on very well and it was not until 25km that some of the trainees felt the strain due to low glycogen stores and/or from a lack of conditioning for that distance.  It presented a good opportunity for many to experience the effects of the different energy systems in play, as well as how to recover from fatigue to find a ‘second wind’ to sustain target pace.

The final 5km back to C4 did push the envelope for some of the Sunbirds, but they eventually overcame their fatigue to complete the 30km in relatively good form.  Although tired, many were happy to have completed the long 30km run at target MP, with good feelings all round.

As the training distances and intensities increase, more trainees will be feeling the tightness building up in their major running muscle groups – and if not addressed by doing some homework with foam rolling and myofascial massages, injuries can rear their ugly heads to disappoint a few of us.

Overall, it was a smooth session with most of the training objectives met.  We look forward to the 32km next weekend, probably starting with MP in the first half and then Optimal Pace in the second.

Facebook photos from FatBirds ChinRonnie.