The Hills Charge

In the second hills workout in less than a week, the Kingfishers spared no effort in putting in their best to maximize the training session.

The appetizer came in the form of a 3km run in the reverse direction to Morse Road and then up to the start point of the hill repeats, at the mid-section of Mt. Faber.  While waiting for all to arrive, we snacked on some drills to keep the system warm for the main dish to be served.

The Kingfishers were given 50 min to tuck in a delightful hills meal which went down very well with most of the trainees.  They were definitely much stronger than when they first started 2 weeks ago , with higher thresholds for 'pain'; and there were nary a walker (if even to take a breather up the steepest part of the hill).

As if it wasn't exciting enough, the Kingfishers did a couple of push-ups in between sets just to get that little bit of upper body and core activation.

From the satisfied faces at the end of the 'hard' routine, we could tell that all have enjoyed the meal, relishing (if not loving) the challenges the hills offered.  With time for a group photo, we settled into our dessert of a 2km slower-paced run back to ClubHouse along rolling hills.

What A Hilly Night...and We All Loved It!

Weekend #2: Rolling Hills Tempo

Facebook Photos @ FatBird Chin

It was a weekend tempo of Labrador Hills for the Kingfishers, who by now have already gotten a good feel of the rigours of the PowerFLIGHT training regime, and pleasantly surprised they are enjoying the weekly challenges meted out.

It was a straight through run with very little stoppages (where possible) at target race pace for 13km.  Although not quite the full distance, the intensity and tempo of the hills run more then made up for the slightly shorter mileage we did.  Importantly most trainees came away challenged, strong and still feeling that they had the reserves to go on for another few km at sustained effort if required.

One of the enjoyable things about Half Marathon training is the relatively shorter time spent on the feet, but yet getting speed and strength honed with specificity of training at higher intensities to boot.  Most of the Kingfishers were able to execute the sessions in good form to date, and as we progress into week 3, they can only get stronger and more steady.

The post run debrief was always a good opportunity for the participants to field questions on training methodology, equipment, shoes, injury prevention and a host of other training-related issues.  We had some good exchanges on the topic of conditioning, injury prevention, speed enhancement, including choosing the right shoe types as well as recommendations for Heart Rate Monitors (HRM) and GPS-enabled timers.

With 2 weeks and 4 sessions completed, the 80 Kingfisher participants progress into week 3 with renewed confidence and a stronger base to build upon - we look forward to doing more of what worked well so far, and are also anticipating our first trail tempo in week #3.

Running The Bay?  We Are Happily On Our Way!

Weekend #1: Stepping Up The Tempo

The weekend Tempo sessions were warmly welcomed by all Kingfishers who have had their first taste of Kingfisher training on Wednesday up the hills of Mt. Faber.  The turnout was reasonably good, considering that a number of runners were participating in the Race Against Cancer (RAC) in the same vicinity.

With barely 6 weeks to race day, the Kingfishers were tested on their ability to sustain target marathon pace for 13km.  Most came back strong in spite of having to share the narrow pathways with the larger crowd of RAC participants along most of ECP.  

The newer runners had a good experience of pushing a little harder from the target paces set by the reliable and motivating Kingfisher trainers and guides.

As with all FatBird training, there were always opportunities for nice photos and encouragement from fellow trainees and trainers to bring those seemingly daunting workouts to manageable levels, and even an enjoyment for many who like the special training atmosphere and effects that group training brings.

The Kingfishers will progress into Week #2 with speed workouts at the track, and strength building in the hilly slopes of the Western region.  There's much to look forward to, and for those who wish to join in the Kingfisher program, you may still do so at the Kingfisher Registration site.

Facebook Photos HERE!

Kingfisher 2013 Roared To A Hilly Start

Photo Credits: FatBirds Adelene & Kelly

Ops Kingfisher 2013 kicked off with a roar up the slopes of Mt. Faber (MF) this Wed evening.  The 6-week intensive program of strength and speed saw a turnout of highly charged participants, many whom have been looking forward to start some serious training to prepare adequately for their Singapore Bay Run/Army Half Marathon (SBR/AHM) quest.

After segregating the runners into groups of comparatively capabilities, and a quick brief later, we headed out along Henderson Road up the slopes via Morse Road, before settling at the mid-point MF Loop for the night's main menu.  The newbies did just as well as the more seasoned runners as they chugged up the MF slopes steadily, many with an air of confidence in them.

Hill Repeats were dished out to the by then warmed-up trainees, and along with their respective group trainers, tackled the 1.6km MF circuit with Basebuild pace for a sustained 40min hill workout that left most with a 'high' after this' baptism of fire' of Team FatBird's PowerFLIGHT program.  

The trainees demonstrated the commitment and resilience that was evident of their mental preparedness for the upcoming challenges of this program, and at the end of the main menu, most wore smiles on their faces with the satisfaction of having sweat dripping and heavy breathing as they recounted the number of loops they had achieved.

The earlier ones were treated to a little something extra - some push-ups and burpees just to extract that little bit left they might have reserved, ensuring that they burn off that bit more, and hopefully inch their cardio fitness slightly forward.  Such 'pleasant surprises' might sometimes be sprinkled onto the menu of Kingfisher sessions just to spice things up for everyone, serving to enhance participants' alertness and responsive levels.

Groups 1 and 2 took the slightly longer route back, while Group 3 were quite happy to take the shorter, but not necessarily easier Henderson route back to the ClubHouse.  

All in, it was a great start for the Kingfishers - those that have done the program before were happy to be back for more of the 'good stuff'; while the new ones, although awed by the toughness, were happy to have completed the challenge.  They were pleasantly surprised to have overcome any initial mental barriers they might have before the start.

The next 6 weeks will see the Kingfishers progressing on to do a variation of workouts, from speed and intervals on the track, to tempo and fartlek runs in Parks; and then there are the many hill combinations which will make this a short but exciting training journey for all.

Those who have missed out on the first session, fret not, as there are still available training places for those who are seeking a structured group training program.  For details and registration, please visit the Ops Kingfisher website

Running The Bay? FatBirds Will Show The Way!