Saturday, March 12, 2016

Week #8: The Falcons survived the twin hills of Mt. Faber

After last weekend's kickoff of the Sundown training program at ECP, this week we had the NightHawks and Sundown Pacers move to the Western Hills area for some strength and base buildup.  

They were joined by the Falcons who were already into their 8th week of training (Marathon Pace now) attempting 18km and 30km of rolling hills and repeats.

The training started in fine weather after a briefing of the training objectives, with the respective groups of trainees and Pacers proceeding to Labrador Park for their first set of hills repeats with the 2.2km Figure-8 route.

For a number of new trainees, this was an eye opener as they chugged up the slopes of Labrador Park.  The other trainees who have trained there before were pacing well and moderating their effort and fuel for a sustained workout.

The spirits ran high as usual with all the groups working hard as united teams, and each time they pass fellow FatBirds, they would give the thumbs up and cheer for one another.  It is always so much fun and motivation to train as groups. 

With the number of hill repeats varying among the different groups, the Half Marathoners exited Labrador Park after doing their requirements to proceed to the next hill objective, the 1.6km Mt. Faber loops.

After an energy-sapping segment at Labrador Park, the long run-up provided another challenge to the NightHawks and Falcons as it drew more reserves from their tiring legs and bodies.

Once up to the Mt. Faber Car Park, they went for the required number of 1.6km loops of ups and downs the Jewel Cafe at the top, taking care to manage their paces and forms.  The trainees capitalized on their new-found knowledge of uphill and downhill running by practicing tips from the trainers and pacers.

After a good 30min-60min at Mt. Faber, the second hills repeat challenge was completed much to the satisfaction of the trainers, before proceeding back to the SAFRA Mt. Faber ClubHouse with another 3-4km of rolling hills.

The heat from the sun was already bearing on the tired NightHawks and Falcons, but the determination to maintain pace allowed all the trainees to complete the morning's 15km-30km in good shape.

The isotonic drinks and bananas were welcomed refreshments at the finish point.  Pointers and tips were exchanged between the respective trainers and trainees, mostly about running form and injury prevention.

The training session went very well in spite of the challenging terrain and weather conditions.  As they often say, "What does not kill you, can make you stronger".

We are looking forward to Week #3 for Ops NightHawk where we will be doing night training by the waterside of Keppel Marina and Labrador Park.

Runners who are preparing for Sundown Marathon and Phuket Marathon are welcome to join our 12-week structured marathon training to give yourselves a leg-up for a good performance on race day.  Information and Registration can be found at

The NightHawks & Falcons survived the twin hills of Mt. Faber

Photos by FatBird Onin

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Week #6: The Start Of Paced Long Runs

In week #6, the Falcons were back at the flat route at East Coast Park for the start of Marathon Pace (MP) buildup.  The distances were up to 31km at MP traversing the lengths of ECP and Gardens By The Bay all the way to Promontory @ Marina.

The Sundown Marathon Pacers were also running together with the Falcons this morning as part of their long run training ahead of the first Sundown Lead Up Run next weekend.

The respective pace groups flagged at 7:15am, after a short briefing and announcements of next week's team sales equipping and training.  The skies were clear and blue, with the sun beating down hard in some segments of the run route.

However, the cool breeze could be felt when we run by the coast, helping to alleviate the heat to some extent - which in turn helped the runners keep to their target MP.

The Half Marathoners completed a steady 16km at MP to finish back at Parkland Green by 9:30am.  The Full Marathoners extended their paces to PA Campsite for a round trip of 30km+.

The Falcons are looking forward to next week's run with the Sundown participants as part of their continued build up towards their target races in April.

The Falcons Are On Pace For A Strong Race!

Photos by FatBird Onin

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Week #5: The Rolling Hills Of The Reservoirs

The Falcons and Sundown Marathon Pacers did a combined trials and training long run at the forested roads of MacRitchie and Peirce Reservoir Parks this Sunday.  

It was week #5 of marathon training for the Falcons, who were scheduled to do 16km (HM) and 28km (FM) with a transition built-in to move from Basebuild Pace (BP) to Marathon Pace (MP) midway to have the effects of a negative split.

We were blessed with very cool temperatures after a whole day of rain the previous day, even with the sun breaking in on our heads and shoulders.  After a short focus tip on running form, the respective groups discussed with their team members before setting off to meet the morning's training objectives.

The slower start for the first half of the run helped us warm up well for the challenges of the rolling hills inside Upper Peirce Reservoir (UPR).  The HM and FM groups looked very strong even when cresting the uphill slopes, with well managed paces and good running form.

The HM groups enjoyed their workout inside UPR, which they rarely get to do since they always turn back earlier with the forested Northen Route option.  This morning's run out along Upper Thomson Road allowed the extension into UPR for the rolling hills run to strengthen them physically and mentally.

The FM groups had to do a total of 3 loops of the 5km rolling slopes, with about 18 slopes to complete inside UPR before coming back out along OUTR to return to MR along Upper Thomson Road.  

After the initial segment of flattish road where many tended to run a little faster than assigned, all Sundown Pacers managed their targeted paces well once they settled inside UPR and all groups did consistent target pacing as unified teams.

The Falcon trainees were running strong after 4 weeks of base-building, and all looked very comfortable even when tackling the UPR rolling slopes.

All runners and Pacers returned by 10:45am looking very strong, and with reserves in their tanks - evident of a well managed effort for their scheduled paces and distances.  

With the second selection trials completed, we are pleased to have a very strong balance of Sundown Marathon Pacers confirmed in all of the Pace groupings of HM (2:00h, 2:15h, 2:30h) and FM (4:00h, 4:30h, 5:00h, 5:30h, 6:00h).  This batch of Sundown Pacers are looking very strong and committed, and will be priming themselves for their first Pacer task on 5 March - 1st Sundown Lead Up Training Run.


The Falcons are on track for their journey towards 2XU Compression Run and the Japanese and Korean Marathons at end February and March.  Those Paris and Boston bound will have a few more weeks of good conditioning before tacking their major races in April.

The Sundown Marathon Pacers Team Is On A Roll!
The Falcons Are On Track!

Training Photos By FatBird Trainers CK Chin and Onin

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Week #4: A Notch Up @ Keppel Marina

The Falcons returned for training in Week #4 after a good CNY break.  The turnout was respectable and the various groups were raring to get down to more basebuilding to ensure the aerobic base continued to be enhanced.

The thinly-staffed Falcon training crew did a commendable job of managing all the trainees into Keppel Marina with the HM doing a single 6km scenic loop whilst the FM trainees did 3 6km loops before returning to clubhouse.

The weather was cloudy and made for a conducive workout for many of the Falcons who ran strongly in their respective pace groups.  The past few weeks of training have also helped quite a number of the Falcons to trim down slightly, aiding further in their light-footed-ness and ease of running.

The HM groupings of 2:00h, 2:15h and 2:30h ran strongly back along a rather long upslope before getting onto Depot Road for more up slopes back to SAFRA MF Clubhouse.  The Full Marathoners for 4:00h, 4:30h, 5:00h and 5:30h did well too, evident in most of the runners able to keep pace in the up segments of the route.

Falcon Trainer Arnel conducted a much needed round of cool-down stretches to ease those post-run tight muscles for a quick recovery.

With Week #4 completed well, the Falcons are looking forward to next week's continued base building at the undulating terrain of MacRitchie Reservoir Park.

The Falcons Went A Notch Up In Week #4

Photos by FatBirds Chin & Rand