Saturday, September 26, 2009

OPERATION SUNBIRD: Kickoff Session (#1)

Sunbird Training Report #1 (FatBird Anthony)
Photo Slideshow (FatBird DO, FatBird Spencer)

On location At The FatBird Nest, The PlayGround @ Big Splash

It was the day many Operation Sunbird trainees had been waiting for; the kick-off of the 10-week marathon training program they had signed up for to prepare for their SCSM09 conquest. By 7am, 50+ runners had gathered at the FatBird Nest at The PlayGround @ Big Splash, all already armed with their first article on Heart-Rate Training.

Caught the early SunBirds for a group photo

FatBird Anthony gave a welcome address to introduce the background of Team FatBird as well as Racers' Toolbox, our official training partner for Ops Sunbird. FatBird David introduced the training team, before handing to Jonathan for the first sharing session, covering the essence of Team FatBird's FlightZONES(TM) System as well as tips on focusing on the upper body with the proper arm swing.

The Team FatBird customary group photo session followed, before the runners, some armed with HR Monitors and Hydration Systems, set off towards the sun at BaseBuild Zone. The BaseBuild will be the key element of this 10-week marathon training, and serve to progressively build up and condition the runners' abilities to complete the marathon in good form, hitting targeted timings as stretched goals. The trainers ran along with various groups depending on their comfortable paces, encouraging chit-chats and sharing for the 20km journey. The 21km trainees went for 15km this morning, and were looking good.

Focus Area #1: Upper Body

Along the way, we found that quite a number of trainees were not experienced in distance running, and many found it difficult to train alone, not to mention without the proper guidance, for such long distances. They were extoling the virtues of group training, all the while focusing on their upper body and arm swing techniques, with the trainers doing the checks and providing feedback. Coach Jonathan Fong, a previous Singapore triathlete, were soaking in the questions from the trainees and helping them along with sound advisory.

The runners in my group did an average of 6min/km to the 10km mark, a very good pace at the BaseBuild Zone...evident in their smiling faces and their running form. The sun had come up by then, and those who did not bring hydration along found that their heart rates were drifting upwards, partly due to the weather, partly due to insufficient hydration earlier on. Because of the 70% workload at that zone, the runners were still able to moderate their paces and maintain good form. As the trainers moved up and down to speak with different groups of runners, it was heartening to know that all were doing their best to get into the correct zone.

A few runners told us that they didn't break too much of a sweat, and yet was running very steady, not panting and not drained off. It was the correct way of conditioning themselves progressively for longer distances and possibly harsher weather. They were all moving steadily, at times bored by the not-too-hard pace, but feeling very good, and not running slow at all. It was about 6:05min/km for my group for the last 5km. I got a few runners to prepare for cadence/leg turnover training by measuring their own cadence, something the trainees will learn and build up in the following sessions.

Hard Run? A satisfied flock :)

Back at The Nest, the Sunbird trainees were all happy at completing the 20km in good form, feeling the workout, but not totally drained. For quite a few, it was the longest distances they have covered. The 21km trainees too did very good 15km workouts. Isotonic drinks, bananas and apples were being served to replenish the trainees' energy. There were even mooncakes and kueh-kueh brought along by participants to, lots more eating for me....haha. I have to run more mileage at the FatTrim & BaseBuild Zones to truly burn off the calories and fat, and improve fuel efficiency.

Next session (#2) will see the Sunbirds experiencing slightly longer distances in a different environment, something which will help to build leg strength. We are expecting a larger turnout for the session, and preparations will be made to ensure sufficient refreshment & support to bring the Sunbirds through. Till then, do watch out for the training schedule, tips and advisory, as well as training instructions at the official website: OPERATION SUNBIRD - Your Marathon Destination, Our Race Preparation!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails