Week #5: Monster Hills Cruise Intervals
After 4 weeks of base building on road, trail and hills, the Kingfishers were in for a short but intense weekend #5 of hill intervals at the famous 'Monster Hills' segment that many have heard but not experienced.
A morning bout of dynamic activation drills warmup was conducted to wake those muscles and systems before we set off into the Northen Trail for 4km at Marathon Pace (MP). The crowd in the forest was not too thick in the morning, affording quite a smooth passage to our start point at the foot of the Ranger Station.
The respective groups were dispatched to do 3-5 sets of 2km rolling hills with rest intervals of 2-3min. The first 2 sets were executed strongly on 'fresh' legs but by the 3rd set, there were some walking as the hills took their toll on our legs.
Still, most of the Kingfishers, many who were experiencing this particular workout for the very first time, gamely kept to their prescribed Optimal Pace (OP) targets.
There were easily 5-6 upslopes in each set, a number which were of 45 degrees gradient, added to the burn of the legs and providing good challenges to the trainees in terms of keeping their form while sustaining steady paces.
It was evident in the faces of the Kingfishers that they were taking this training very seriously, with nary a smile while tackling the upslopes and concentrating on recovery on the downslopes, ever ready to meet the next upslope again with gumption and grit.
The sense of satisfaction could be seen in the trainees' faces when they have finally completed their 3-5 set requirements, albeit drenched in perspiration caused by the rather humid morning weather.
After the Cruise Interval workout, there was still the 4km trail run back to MR Amenities Centre to wrap up the whole training menu. By then, all resources that remained in the tank were summoned to keep MP and maintain form.
A good round of cool down stretching was conducted by Kingfisher trainers to ease off those tired muscles after the hard workout, clearing the lactate wastes for the happy bunch of Kingfishers to round off a great workout session.
The Kingfishers Survived Monster Hills
Photos by FatBirds Meng Kiat & Onin