Rainy Hills @ Week #2 Weekend

It turned out to be one of the most fun and yet effective workouts @ Kingfisher's weekend session at Mt. Faber hilly region.  When we started off for our strength training combi of rolling slopes and hill repeats, the weather was cool and refreshing.

As the groups entered Labrador Park after a 4km Marathon Pace (MP) run, the gloomy skies were accompanied by gusts of wind in the midst of a determined flock wanting to consume the morning's main menu of Labrador hill repeats.

As Group 1 hit the up slopes, the rain drops came crashing down on our faces and backs - ah just nice to cool the bodies as we were able to work harder to overcome the hills.  As there were a few flashes of lightning, Groups 2 and 3 took temporary shelter in the nearby bus stop and covered toilets.

Sensing that the rain would not subside so quickly, all the Groups soon got down to completing their workouts when the rain abated somewhat and there were no more threatening lightning.  The weather was just perfect for some hard running as many of us increased the pace and found pleasure in sustaining the effort, even when climbing the slopes.

Most of us had no problems completing our prescribed no of repeats, with Group 1A even doing an extra 1.4km loop for good measure.  

The journey back to the Club House was just as pleasurable as some of us tested faster paces with good results.  For those who were experiencing running in rain for the first time, it was an enjoyable workout which they did not think they could accomplish if it was just themselves running alone.

With time to spare once in the Club House, the trainers were happy to conduct Tabata sets of circuit training to help with conditioning the upper body and core strength of the Kingfishers, something which they seldom get to do on their own, yet very important for carrying good running posture and form, which will lead to enhanced performance and sustained endurance in longer runs.

Judging from the moans and groans, the short yet intense 10min workout did do its part to extract the remaining energies of the Kingfishers and flush out whatever energy left, in the process bringing their endorphin levels to immense highs.

The Kingfishers enjoyed the second week of training thoroughly and are building a reasonable base which will see them in the coming phase of training which will test new limits and solidify their operation readiness for race day.

The Kingfishers Loved The Thrills Of The Hills!

Kingfisher Photos from FatBird MK

Kingfishers's Track Attack

The Kingfishers went for their first track session of the program with anticipation and a tinge of apprehension.  But all tensions were eased and fury released after an intense 90min of workout flew by.

The evening started off with an appetizer of dynamic running and activation drills, before all groups settled in for their first mile trial for use as a baseline for future track training sessions.

After the mile run which all the Kingfishers (many of whom have not been to the track in years) did respectably well came the highlight of the night's menu - the 800m interval sets followed by a sprinkle of 400m to get those 'slowing legs' into higher gear.  

The play with the rest intervals was fun as well as instructional as to the current fitness levels of the athletes - we must say they have a reasonable good base to work on, even for the Group 3 trainees.

With the track being crowded with runners, and an ongoing football game on the pitch, all the action and fun seemed to be on level ground and the grandstands were getting a little quiet and lonely... 

The Kingfishers were so committed to the training that some were 'seeing stars' while there was at least a case of a 'Merlion' with a few on the verge of joining in.  While the emphasis is on building up speed on the legs and honing the lactate clearance system with slightly sub-maximal intensities, there will always be the trial and error requirement for the runners to find their optimal pace and stride rate for the respective sets.

The timing of sets, including the rest intervals, were watched closely by the team of dedicated trainers/pacers who made sure there were not much slack and providing the trainees the necessary pacing and encouragement they require to sustain the pretty intense workout.

A good stretch down was conducted by the team trainers to ensure that all Kingfishers learn and practice post-training and race cool down which is so important for recovery and readiness for the next workout.

The timing was just right when we ended at 8:30pm with a debrief and group photos.  From the tired but satisfied and smiling faces worn on the Kingfishers' faces, it was evident most have enjoyed the track and speed session, knowing that they have put in a good evening's share of hard work for the positive enhancements of their progress for race day on Aug 31.

The Kingfishers Survived The Track Attack Mission!

Photos by FatBird Meng Kiat

Ops Kingfisher 2014 Kick Off

It was a smooth kickoff session for the Ops Kingfisher participants at the Playground @ Big Splash, ECP.   A good mix of returning FatBirds as well as a number trainees new to FatBird training were assembled in nice weather conditions.

Ops Kingfisher is one of our special programs just catering to the shorter half and quarter marathon distances, with emphasis on building strength and speed and a dose of sustained pacing for good results at the yearly Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon.  

After a quick overview of the training program and specifics, we got down to the appetizer of a dynamic warm-up with running-specific activation drills - this set the tone for the main menu of a 13km Marathon Pace (MP) run in various timing groups of 1:45h, 2:00h, 2:15h and 2:30h.

With a good break after Sundown Marathon, a number of runners were seen to have loaded on some, while a few have not been doing much serious running.  Although the initial paces were a little of a strain, especially with the sun rearing its head, many of the Kingfishers guided by experienced trainers/pacers were able to maintain target paces throughout the run.

There were lots of sharing and learning among the various pace groups on topics ranging from sufficient hydration and fueling up, to being able to keep to pacing and maintaining good running form.

All the pace groups finished the morning's workout on time and intact, showing the reasonable foundation these Kingfisher trainees come with (as there were some base requirements in terms of fitness and distance coverage on registration), translating into good performance potential for the AHM.

The Kingfishers gathered by the shady  grass patch for a good static cool-down followed by a short debrief and instructions for the following week's training.  The session ended by 9:30am, leaving a good chunk of time for the rest of the day to relax and recover from the workout.

The Kingfishers will embark on track (speedwork) and hills (strength) in the coming weeks, and we look forward to progressively building up their strength and enhancing their speed endurance, leading to improved running times.  

Runners who wish to sign up for the remaining packaged training slots may check schedules and register at the Ops Kingfisher website (www.OpKingfisher.com).

Running The Bay?  Let FatBirds Show You The Way!

Photos by FatBird Meng Kiat