The Kingfishers' High (On Hills)

Kingfishers in 'Mobot' mood after the thrills on hills, Photo Credit: Tejinda

And the western hills region lived up to its reputation for being one challenging training ground full of undulating terrain, yet offering the space and uninterrupted peace for enjoyable workouts.  The Kingfishers assembled pretty early at SAFRA MF, all eager to put in a good evening's worth of work with the training crew all ready to guide them through their paces.

The 4km tempo run served as an appetizing warm-up into the serene Labrador Park, which worked up a healthy appetite for the trainees to enjoy the main course.  The respective timing groups discussed how they were going to enjoy the hills menu while waiting for a later groups to arrive.

Part of the 'Torture' Crew, Photo Credit: Johnny

The 'hills' were dished out at 8:00pm sharp to the enthusiastic runners.  They were contained and each had a plan to 'eat' the hills in a fashion that there would not be any indigestion nor puking.  While they grumbled through the long up slopes, it was always a pleasure recovering at the top and then easing into the the time they were back at the start of the slope, it felt as though we were recharged again for the next lap.

The 4 weeks of strength and speed building have brought the Kingfishers to levels where tackling the 4-6 1.4km slopes at race pace within a given time frame would be something achievable and sustainable.  Where before we could hear loud grunts and heavy footsteps with not-too-pretty running forms, now we are observing smooth and efficient pacing in motion.

Joyous Kingfishers counting their spoils, Photo Credit: Johnny

Although there are still ample room for improvement, the progress of the Kingfishers have been nothing short of commendable and praiseworthy, especially for the many who have been committing to the regular weekday and weekend training of speed, strength, tempo and pace.

The main course was consumed well within regulation, with a couple of runners going for extras.  A new guest runner was happy that he got his money's worth with the ample servings, and was just glad to take a breather while waiting for the other groups to complete their courses.  Once all had their fill, there was a mini sharing of how they enjoyed the servings and the sense of satisfaction of having completed the main course without too much duress or feelings of being stuffed.

The cool-down dessert tempo back to ClubHouse along more slopes, albeit of lesser gradient, completed a most enjoyable night of training at the western slopes.  There were talks of going up Mt. Faber slopes to top the evening, but it was agreed that the endorphins generated was more than ample to keep everyone satisfied and happy...and so, we decided to leave it for another time :D

With a good base, the Kingfishers are now looking to test themselves this coming weekend with a full-dress rehearsal and trial of 21km to gauge their standings.  With enhanced conditioning, there would be many who would need to upgrade their timing targets after this run at HM race pace.  Kingfishers, R.I.C.E. well and come in your Full Battle Order this weekend.  Running The Bay? FatBirds Will Show You The Way!