Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Falcon Program 2015

Operation Falcon is a specially-designed 12-week FlightZONESTM Marathon training program to prepare runners for the 2XU Compression Marathon 2015.  The training is also geared towards preparations for other international marathons happening in the months of February & March 2015.

Team FatBird FlightZONESTM Structured Marathon Training Program 2015
  • A 12-week program comprising of:
    • 11 Endurance, Cruise Tempo and speed workouts on Weekends/Sundays
    • Recovery, Tempo, Fartlek runs from Mon-Thur
  • Workout sessions will focus on building strength and power endurance for 10km, 21km and 42km distances, with a good mix of tempos, hills, repeats, coupled with weekend LSD and pace runs.
  • Experienced Marathoners and Pacers leading and guiding the runs
  • The FlightZONESTM Training System, incorporating heart-rate measurements and progressive paced running
  • The PowerFLIGHTTM Training System, incorporating hill repeats and trails/rolling hills
  • Two levels of training – beginners and experienced runners
  • Regular EDMs and online postings of the weekly training plan and tips on running techniques, form and pace
  • A one-time Special kit-up discount on 2XU Compression products
  • Equipping Discounts and Special Promotions on other Sponsors/Partner products
  • eCertificates Of Completion/Achievement

Training Fees:
42km participants pay a fixed contribution.................$140
21km participants pay a fixed contribution.................$130
Previous Team FatBird (TFB) Participants................$120*
Drop-In (Per session), no entitlements.......................$20/session

* Past FatBird fee-paying trainees enjoy discounted pricing

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's A Wrap

The final training session for the inaugural Ops Falcon marathon training for 2XU Compression Run and the various Japanese and HK marathons went without a hitch, as the Falcon participants gathered for one final group run before next week's race.

Although a number of the Falcons were away for the Tokyo Marathon, we welcomed back a few others who did so well at the HK marathon last weekend - all the hard work from last December have paid off, resulting in many Personal Bests at these international marathons.  

As we were writing this, fresh updates from our Falcons in Tokyo and Bhutan marathons indicated yet many more PBs and some great running.

This being the tapering 13km (HM) and 18km (FM) run at Optimal Pace, the spirits were high as everyone was relaxed and out to wrap up the whole 12-week Falcon training journey in good form.  

Nearby, the 2XU Compression Pacers were conducting their final clinic and pace runs, and it was great to see many familiar faces as they ran past our gathering to cheers of encouragement from our team.

If the morning on Mar 2 was as cool and windy as this, we should be seeing many good performances and Personal Bests at the race.  The Falcons went through their final training routine without a hitch, and mostly stayed together in their pace groups till completion.  

Final touches and confirmation of equipment were rehearsed so as not to leave too many things to chances.  With a successful wrap of the session, all Falcons are high up in their confidence levels, and are all ready to put up a good showing next weekend.

We would like to thank all Falcon participants and trainers for the 12 weeks of training and pacing as a team, and for the nice memories we shared in this maiden operation we specially prepared for the 2XU Compression Marathon.

We wish the Falcons all the best for their 2XU Compression Race, and in our records, each of you are already a winner and we are proud to have you as part of the Team FatBird family.

The Falcons Shall Rise To Meet The 2XU Challenge!

Training Photos @ Falcon Meng Kiat
Photo Contributions @ Patrick Koh

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Week #10: Reduced distance at Optimal Pace

With 2 weeks to go before race day, the Falcons were geared for their 19km and 28km optimal paced LSD respectively.  The morning's attendance was muted as many trainees were away for the myriad of weekend races (Japan, HK, Singapore).

The Falcons had their final crack of testing out their sustainable paces over a reasonably long stretch of Tapering distances, looking for adjustments and enhancements to their by-now strong base of marathon running.

It was important that the runners complete their tapering run without any major injury nor form concerns.  There would be the minor niggles or muscle tightness that needed to be addressed with massages and foam-rolling after this final long run before the race.  

The weather was beginning to turn warmer after the 2 months of cooler temperatures,which provided additional challenges to the Falcons which were slightly affected in the final few km.  All these were good for conditioning the mental and physiological strength going towards race-day preparations at just the opportune moment.

The Falcons completed their mission of the morning mostly with satisfactory outcomes.  Even the few which were not in their optimal best managed to recover from their close calls to fatigue and 'hitting the wall' to finish sufficiently strong - very important for the psychological conditioning which will bring the runners to their targeted performances.

We now look forward to our final weekend of Tapering and race preparations with eager anticipation of putting what we have worked so hard in the past 2-3 months into 'live' execution on March 2.  

2XU Compression Marathon, The Falcons Are Geared Up!

Photos @ Falcon Meng Kiat

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Week #10: Hills Finale

In the final hills session of the Ops Falcon program, we visited the 4th of the famous hills workout areas of the Western region - Kent Ridge Park.  The turnout was reasonably good, with some of the Japan Marathon-bound participants coming in for their final speed & strength tune-up.

With a strong base built up after 9 weeks of progressive marathon training, all of The Falcons tackled the 3 km run up to Kent Ridge Hills with relatively ease but strong fervor, anticipating what would be in store for the evening's workout menu.

All were not disappointed when presented with the serene start point by a lake for the hills repeats.  In groups, they were flagged off to traverse the 400m up and 600m downhill run at average tempo pace.  

With their hard-earned knowledge of tackling hills, the Falcons meandered up slope steadily but working hard on the cardiovascular system and leg cadence; and then recovering gingerly on the down slope with repeated 'winds' of energy to drive upwards on the next repeat.

It took all of 30-40min of rigorous hills running to get the heart and blood pumping healthily hard.  The trainers were strategically positioned (50-100m from the top of each hill repeat) to help the trainees sustain the workout intensity while maintaining suitably good running form.  

It was a real joy to see the Falcons work hard on each of the uphill climb with such perseverance and 'never give up' attitude till they reach the top of the knoll, before easing off into recovery with heaving and sucking in for rapid recovery.

When the whole routine was over, there were lots of excited chatting in the still of the night, breaking the quietness with enthusiastic sharing of the challenging slopes and how happy we were to have completed yet another milestone in our Falcon journey.  As usual, we had the 'victory' pic with a show of number of laps conquered on our hands.

The returning journey of 3km provided a good time to recollect our thoughts on the evening's workout as well as lessons learnt.  As we head on to tapering mode for the race in 2 weeks time, we felt strong as ever, with regular reminders from the trainers for proper rest and recovery continuing to ring in our heads as our bodies adapt and strengthen from the rigors of the weeks of buildup.

The Falcons Conquered Yet Another Hill!  What A Thrill!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week #9: The Longest Run

It was the longest training run in the operation, one that served as an endurance 'test' as well as ability to sustain the Optimal Race pace throughout.  Conditions were made more challenging with the inclusion of a 12km 'Demoralizing Route' stretch coupled with the heat of the sun in the second half of the Long Slow Distance (LSD) run.

We were able to start by 7am for a good 3 to 4 hours of run-in.  Throughout the run, the Falcons were able to use the Trainers & Pacers as guideposts to maintain their intended paces, although a number of fellow trainees were seen to be chatting and helping one another along with the 'mental challenge'.

The Half Marathoners completed the full 21km which put them in good stead for a smooth completion of the race on March 2.  The heat conditioning from the sun was a 'bonus' of sorts although it would be unlikely the HM runners will get the sun on race morning as we will start very early.

The FM runners who were going for the Japanese marathons completed their 28km as part of tapering ahead of these earlier races in 2 weeks.  The bulk of the FM Falcons who were training for the 2XU race gritted their teeth and sucked in their guts to push for the final 5-7km after the 28km of optimal paced run back to the start point at C4.

By the time all runners returned at 11am, the sun was in full glory and beating down on the parched ground (where the grass were lost through the 2 weeks of zero rainfall in our island).  The sense of satisfaction coupled with the knowledge of having made it through this tough 21km and 35km distances heightened the confidence of the Falcons, who by now are pretty sure of a minimum completion within targeted timings on race day.

A scan through of all runners showed that the Falcons were injury-free although some showed signs of fatigue along with tightened muscles (of which some good self or assisted massages can surely help relieve).

The following 2 weeks of taper with distances cut back but training intensities maintained, will provide the conditioned Falcons with ample recovery and honing the speed to put out good performances when it matters.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week #8: The CNY LSD

It was just the 3rd day of the Lunar New Year holidays and the Falcon's training continued with fervor as we ramp up with the second longest run in the series, 4 weeks ahead of the 2XU Compression Marathon on 2 March. 

The turnout was reasonably good as we started the training run earlier at 6:45am, just to get sufficient time in for the 19km and 32km distances the HM and FM trainees were going for.  The weather was sufficiently cool for a good sustainable pace which saw the slightly late comers join in their respective groups after 3km.

The Falcons tested  their sustainable Marathon paces with good results, with most able to put their new found strength endurance from all those hills and tempo runs to good effect.  The HM Falcons came back very strong from their 19km runs, especially so for those who have been equipped with foam rollers and have taken some time for deep tissue and myofascial massages.

The FM Falcons were strong for most of the 1st half of the journey, only to be challenged in the return leg where the sun came onto their backs.  Still, they were able to steady through to complete their runs to meet training objectives of the morning.

After 8 weeks of basebuild and foundation pace training, the Falcons are looking good as we progress into Week 9 with the longest LSDs of 21km and 35km for the finals conducted at FatBird Optimal Pace.  With sufficient load up of fuel during the festive season, including ample rest and recovery time during the festive period, the Falcons look set to complete the longest LSD in good form.

Facebook Photos from Falcon Meng Kiat