Friday, December 18, 2015

The Falcon Program 2016

Operation Falcon is a specially-designed 12-week FlightZONESTM Marathon training program to prepare runners for 10km, Half & Full Marathon races (local and international races) in the first quarter of 2016.  

Team FatBird FlightZONESTM Structured Marathon Training Program 2016
  • A 12-week program comprising of:
    • 12 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
  • Equipping Discounts and Special Promotions on other Sponsors/Partner products
  • eCertificates Of Completion/Achievement

Training Fees:
42km participants pay a fixed contribution.................$150
21km participants pay a fixed contribution.................$140
Previous Team FatBird (TFB) Participants................$130*
Drop-In (Per session), no entitlements.......................$23/session

* Past FatBird fee-paying trainees enjoy discounted pricing

Training Starts 16 January 2016!

Click HERE for the Training Dates/Schedules for your planning purposes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Week #FINALE: Poised For A 2XU Performance

Parkland Green @ ECP provided the base for a fitting finale to Ops Falcon, where we congregated at the newest training location we will be using for many of our upcoming Ops Nighthawk marathon training sessions as well.

The Falcons turned up for their finale tune-up and preparatory pace run on time and in high spirits.  After going through their warm-up rituals individually, the groups got their tapering runs of 13km (HM) and 18km (FM) underway to cloudy skies.

Although the sun was blocked by the mild haze, the air was warm and humid, adding in a slight bit of challenge for the conditioned Falcons.  Final tests of shoes, equipment and hydration/nutrition plans for race day were executed while maintaining optimal pace throughout the tapering distances mandated.

A few Falcons returning from injury and flu were also putting in runs according to their adjusted goals and paces - although they might not be in the best condition to fulfill their original objectives, these Falcons still hoped to do their bests for their respective revised targets.

It was smooth sailing for most of the groups who completed their requirement in good form.  During the debrief, advice was dispensed to the Falcons who have had tightening muscles to do more stretching and myofascial massages to get their running muscles more supple and in shape for the race.

The 11 weeks of training have seen many Falcon trainees grown from strength to strength as well as being more matured in terms of handling their efforts and paces to meet their desired race outcomes.

It was a pleasure for Team FatBird trainers and pacers to have provided guidance to such a committed ad dedicated flock.  We are confident that each and every Falcon will fly with confidence and pride come Sunday 29 March to achieve the best results their structured marathon training have positioned them to be.

The Falcons Are Poised For A 2XU Performance!

Photos from FatBird Chin

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Week #10: Final Preparations

With 2 weeks to go before race day, the Falcons gathered to put in their full dress rehearsal with respective Optimal Pace.

Warm up and activation drills were conducted prior to the main training run to get the Falcons tuned in to their pre-race routine.

The HM trainees went through 18km at Optimal Pace with most groups meeting their target objectives and having positive trials of their fuel and hydration plans.


The cool weather allowed the Falcons to sustain optimal pace throughout the full distance with many completing the requirements in good form.


The FM trainees were also at their peaks, maintaining Optimal Pace for 25-28km to complete in target times and with spares to be activated for additional mileage if called upon.

Overall, this second final session of Ops Falcon went smoothly without a hitch and all Falcons who made the session gained loads of confidence which will put them in good stead for a solid race performance.

A debrief was conducted to cover race preparations, meet-up points and rest and recovery from all these weeks of training.  The emphasis was on recovery aspects of training (foam rolling, massages and sufficient rest) to recover well and be in tip-top condition on race day.

The Falcons Are Race-Ready!

Photos by FatBird Chin

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Week #9: Time Trial @ Optimal Pace

With less than a month to race day, The Falcons came into Week #9 to test out their race readiness after the past 8 weeks of base building and strengthening.  

The Half Marathoners were taken through a pre-race warm up routine while the Full Marathoners went straight into their 29-35km long run at optimal pace (a couple of seconds/km faster than marathon race pace).

The Half Marathoners were flagged off together after their warm up to ready them for the trial.  They immediately settled into optimal pace which was made more achievable after a good warm-up.

The first half of the run was well managed with most of the Falcons keeping to Optimal Pace under the skillful guidance of their trainers and pacers.  The second half of the run was more challenging with the faster optimal pace as well as the sun's heat beating down on the trainees.

A few had the opportunity to test out their refuel systems through energy gels and gummies which provided the energy required to sustain their PB pace through to the finish of the 21km distance.

Those who did not have sufficient fuel stores (either due to not having a sufficient breakfast meal or not replenishing with energy gels mid-run) slowed down after 13km as more effort was required to sustain optimal pace.

In spite of the challenges posed, quite a number of Falcons scored their Personal Bests for Half Marathon during this trial session, with one trainee beating her own PB by a massive 5min.

The Full Marathoners were very consistent with their pacing and were able to maintain pace for up to 29km, with about half of the trainees wanting to go up to 32km-35km.  The trainers were game enough to run along with the determined trainees, allowing them to complete the objectives they set out to meet.

80% of the Falcons completed the trials and training by 10am, mostly with good timings to show - this will provide them with the confidence for a good race on March 29.  With 2 more weeks of training left, there is still time and scope to tidy up loose strings and make adjustments for a better race effort and performance.

The Falcons flew with confidence this morning and are looking forward to their tapering from next week.  Although the distance will be lowered progressively for better recovery and race readiness, the training and runs will be done at optimal pace intensity through to race day to ensure sustainable speed and muscle readiness for that PB effort.

The Falcons Flew Through Optimal Pace Trials

Photos by FatBird Chin

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Week #8: The Toughest Challenge To Date - Twin Hills Repeats

Coming off from Week #7's long run intervals at Gardens By The Bay-Marina Barrage, the Falcons were thinking nothing would be more challenging that that - and they were once again surprised with the twin hills repeats in challenging sunny conditions in Week #8.

We took the reverse route this time to inject freshness to the training by taking the Telok Blangah Way access up to Mt Faber via Morse Road, bypassing the prata row at the foot of the MF Hill.  

It was a straight run at Marathon Pace all the way to the top of MF, with no break whatsoever.  The Falcons were prepared with some smooth pacing and control of energy release, very careful not to expend themselves before the first hill repeat challenge is done.

The Half Marathoners were required to do 2 1.6km MF Hill Repeats, which they gamely accomplished in good form, before moving as a group to the next Hill Repeat Challenge at Labrador Park. The Full Marathoners had to achieve 4-5 repeats @ MP before being allowed to move to the next Challenge, and the majority with their strong base made the cut without too much trouble.

The run into Labrador Park was a short reprieve from the hills and high cardio intensity being pushed.  The 2.2km repeat at Labrador Park was a lot less hilly with a good 1.6km being very flat, which was useful when recovering from the double slope ascent up the Labrador Tunnels.

The respective Pace Groups by now were very accustomed and knowledgeable about their target paces.  With their good teamwork forged by group leaders and fellow group runners, there were many untied groups going throughout whole challenge throughout.

Happy faces could be seen when the final requirements at the Labrador Park was accomplished, for that meant only a 5km run back to SAFRA ClubHouse, although there could still be some undulating slopes to tackle along the way.

Most of the Falcons were drained when they finally completed the final hill repeats at Labrador Park, but their performances were high commendable as they have given their best efforts to sustain the pace throughout the entire challenging stretches.

As we proceeded back to Clubhouse, there was a slight drop in paces and some even had to take a few quick walk breaks just to recover sufficiently to push on.  Running form and pace control were not lost even in the face of tiredness, evidence of a sufficiently strong base built up over the past 7 weeks of training.

We were elated when we finally caught the sights of the Clubhouse.  All of us were drenched in perspiration caused by the fierce rays of the sun beating down.  In spite, we held on strong to maintain pace for a highly satisfying finish.

With all the hard base-build work accomplished, many Falcons are looking at the start of Optimal Pace training beginning Week #9 where they can put their new found strength to sustain good paces to meet race day objectives.

The Falcons Survived The Twin Hills Challenge

Facebook Photos by FatBird Chin