Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend #3: The Hills Beckon

After a good round of cruise intervals last weekend, The Falcons were given a treat of the hills workouts at our Western Hills training enclave.  A favourite with many of our trainees and training operations, the Mt. Faber region offers many good hills workouts for building those strength endurance bases.

The group of trainers and trainees were a tad smaller this morning as most were away for the HongKong (HK) marathon.  As we compile this report, we have heard that they have done very well in spite of the well known hilly terrain of the HK course, with a number of good Personal Bests (PBs) registered.

Back to the Falcon training...the respective Groups 1-4 trainees were led through a basebuild run from SAFRA Mt. Faber along Depot Rd, Alexandra Rd before entering into the Labrador Park region.  

Once in the Park, the Falcons were taken through 3-4 repeats of the 1.4km hills course, employing the knowledge they have about effective hill training.  Although there were a few new trainees in the midst, most of the Falcons managed the paces and effort well to complete this main menu item up to expectations.

After the Labrador Hill repeats, the Half Marathon (HM) trainees proceeded back to SAFRA MF running 4km of moderate hills while the Full Marathoners (FM) were shown their way up Morse Road to Mt. Faber Loop junction for that well-known 1.6km merry hills workout.

Many of the Falcons who were quite drained by the Labrador Park workout and the run up Morse Rd actually recovered pretty fast to be able to tackle the 2-3 Mt. Faber loops at sustained basebuild paces.

The HM training was completed by 9:30am while the FM groups finished their entire menu by 10:15am - a well managed workout by the Falcon trainers who have spent much effort to engage and motivate the Falcon trainees to complete their planned workouts in targeted timings.

The Falcons wore tired looks but were very satisfied with the hills challenges they faced and overcame this morning, ocne more enhancing their self confidence in their marathon training progress.

We will be back to MF in weekend #4, but this time with a touch of intervals and speedwork sandwiched by 2 blocks of hills runs.  Most of the Falcons should be back next week to enjoy this 'tasty' menu.  Should new runners wish to join in the program or just drop in at some of the Falcon sessions, do check out the Falcon website at

The Falcons Have Overcome The Hilly 'Mental' Barrier 

Facebook Photos by FatBird Chin

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekend #2: Trails & Cruise Intervals

It was a weekend of overseas races which saw quite a number of Falcons away.  Still, the turnout was not too bad and those who came were not disappointed with the great 'value' they got out of the MacRitchie trails and monster slopes.

A good round of dynamic warm up of activation drills was conducted by the Falcon trainers, Jayson and Kevin to the delight of the trainees.  The purpose of the drills was to work up the heart rates a little as well as encourage good range of motion during the run.


First up was a 4km run through the trails at Basebuild pace at each of the respective pace groups' effort levels.  Once out of Northern Trail, the pace groups consolidated for their 2km cruise intervals with various work-rest ratios implemented according to abilities.

The first rep was an eye-opener for many of the trainees who have not known that part of MacRitchie Reservoir.  When they finished the rep, they looked flustered and exhausted.  However, once they had the rest ad recovery, they were able to pace themselves through the 3 (HM) to 4 (FM) reps with good management of effort and running form.

All the groups ran in clockwork according to plan, managed well by the Falcon Training Crew.  Importantly, the rest intervals were monitored closely and implemented without any plea bargain whatsoever.


Some of the trainees who seldom run slopes did considerably well while more experienced marathoners who were new to such cruise interval workouts had commendable performances.  

Although the sun was out, the stretch of roads and trails that we operated in this morning was mostly sheltered by natural elements, making the whole training bearable and to some extent, enjoyable.  

After the cruise intervals, there was still some left in the tanks for most of us to run the 4km return route along the Northern trail.  The spirits were high and all were back at the Amenities Centre by 10am.

A short debrief was conducted to explain the morning's workout and purpose, with some advise on training in the correct heart rate zones and recovery from training being shared with all trainees.

The trainers were heartened by the good training ethics of the trainees, especially happy with their 'never-give-up' attitude and always giving their best to attempt all planned workouts.

The base of the Falcons will continue to be strengthened over the next few weeks before taking them through the next stage of training.  More hills, albeit of a different kind can be expected for Week #3's session, and already, quite a number of Falcons were already looking forward.

For those who wish to hop on for this exciting PowerFLIGHT journey with the Falcons, limited training slots are still available - REGISTER HERE!

The Falcons Survived To Become Stronger!

Facebook Photos By FatBirds Jayson & Choon Hooi

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cool Weather Kick Off for Ops Falcon 2015

It was a great start for the 80+ registered participants at the second edition of Operation Falcon 2015, 12-week marathon training for the 2XU Compression Run.  The weather was cool and windy as the early birds gathered at C4 ECP Shelter for registration as well as sizing of their eventual finisher race singlets.

A warm welcome was extended to all Falcon participants with the usual training and route briefings before starting the run at 7:25am...of course not without taking the customary group photos.

Although the 2XU Compression Run only offered up to Half Marathon categories, Ops Falcon has also included the Full Marathon training program to cater to those who are doing overseas marathons like the Taiwan and Saga Sakura Marathon.  

A good portion of 40% first-time FatBird trainees mingled well with the rest of the 'sesoned' FatBird trainees, under the watchful eye and friendly encouragement of the ever dependable Team FatBird Training Crew.

This being the kick off training, the HM and FM participants completed a no-frills 13.5km and 21km at BaseBuild pace respectively, allowing for the newer runners as well as others who have taken a short break from exercise to consolidate a good base before moving on to speedier paces.

There were good chit-chats and words of advice from the Falcon trainers with the trainees, allowing for healthy engagement and interaction which will set the tone for a smooth and enjoyable 12 weeks of training ahead.  The newer trainees adapted to the pace and conduct of the training rather well, with very little hiccups along the way.  

All the HM categories completed their runs by 10am and were given a debrief by the Falcon Trainers explaining the concepts of Team FatBird's FlightZONES and PowerFLIGHT training systems, as well as set expectations for the remaining weeks of training.  

The FM participants completed their runs by 10:30am to rousing cheers and applause by fellow trainees in strong form, partly attributing to the immaculate weather this morning.  There were quite a number of satisfied faces especially among the newer participants who are starting to appreciate the kind of structured training Team FatBird offers.

After the honeymoon start of the first session, the Falcons will move on to bigger challenges from week #2, starting with some high intensity tempo intervals sandwiched by 2 trail portions at next weekend.  It will be something interesting and we are sure many will be looking forward to have yet another great workout.

For the many runners who have signed up for 2XU Compression Run, Run350 and other Marathon races in Q1 2015, you are invited to start training with the Falcons to achieve your race targets and New Year resolutions set just a week or so ago.  You can sign up for limited slots of this high-value 12-week marathon training program HERE, and start enjoying the benefits of structured training and steam ahead in the New Year!

The Falcons Soared To A Cool Start!

Training Photos By FatBird Chin