Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ops NightHawk #03: The Sizzler

The 3rd session of Ops NightHawk had us back at The Playground @ Big Splash for a day LSD, and the morning's heat did offer our NightHawks some degree of challenge - although we convincingly overcame both the sun's rays and longer mileage in the end.


The arrival and registration of the NightHawk participants was getting punctual and smooth, which did help us to get the briefing and run started on time, especially trying to gather the more than 120 participants at each session.  The morning's training requirements in terms of pace, route and distances were laid on the table with nary an objection from the eager-beavers.

After the flag-off, the respective pace groups ran a tight ship, with pacers and trainers working coherently to guide and motivate the trainees, especially in the trying conditions of humid and hot weather.  The first half of the journey was relatively spot-on in terms of pace and effort; very few running too far ahead nor lagging behind.  The trainers and pacers did a great job of showing the way, and making important water stops for top-ups and a quick breather.

The Half-Marathon groupies had an overtime day at the office, clocking close to 18km on what was supposed to be an intended 16km - well, looking at the positive light, there was a bonus gain of 2km and an additional boost to the confidence department in knowing that they could achieve 18km if they so desire.

The Full Marathon trainees set foot on Changi Coastal Road for the first time in this Operation, and a few new ones were thrilled with the shade and tarmac-paved ground - only issue was the high traffic flow from the many bikers using the same connector.  However, with heightened awareness and safety running being observed, we were able to enjoy that stretch with no incident.

As we progressively tackled the increasing distances at higher intensities, what comes after 20km posed a challenge for the trainees, with quite a number dropping in pace while others suffered from the lack of sustainable power due to lacking hydration.  The few who popped in electrolytes and gels were able to stretch the sustainable pace longer.  

In the end, the FM completed 27km+, slightly more than what they had bargained for, but nonetheless so glad with the accomplishment - for many, it was a good sustained long run they had done in a while, what more in such hot conditions.

The iced-cold isotonic drinks and the Maxinutrition Vipers were a main source of motivation for many of us heading for the end, with the heat beating on our backs.  When we arrived back to the landing pad, the Shelter was full of people with some spilling onto the shade of nearby trees.  It was a small victory for the NightHawks who completed the LSD at close to Marathon Pace,  Many were briefed about the R.I.C.E. treatment and what equipment they should be arming themselves with at next week's equipping event. 

The first Sundown Lead Up Run next week will be a good trial of sorts for the NightHawks to test their foundation and base as we enter into the next phase of training.  The use of proper nutrition and hydration will be increasingly important as we breach the 16km and 25km marks for the HM and FM respectively.  The NightHawks have performed to expectations thus far, and with low incidents of injury, progression and adaptation to training should proceed smoothly as we march onward to the mid-way mark.

NightHawks, NightHawks, We Will Flow

NightHawks, NightHawks, Go, Go, Go!

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