Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekend #10: Tapering Commences

The Ops NightHawk participants entered into Tapering Phase with their 10th week of training accompanied by nice cool evening weather along the East Coast of Singapore.  After accomplishing their longest run in Week #9, the NightHawks will taper and have night run conditioning of 16km and 28km distances in Optimal Marathon Pace.

When the large group of trainees and Running Guides started together from C4,  the area was already bustling with night activities leading into the weekend, with the beach goers, cyclists and runners already into their strides.

After the flag off at 8:15pm, the respective pace groups headed straight for the familiar Fort Road.  Throughout the whole journey, the NightHawks were able to maintain their targeted Optimal Paces, running together in tight-knit formations.  All their 9 weeks of basebuilding through to target marathon pace running are bearing fruits in these final weeks of tune up before race night.

The night air was rather cool after the late afternoon showers, and although more rain threatened, we were fortunate to maintain status quo.  Many of the trainees were able to sustain a good pace for up to 18km, then pushing on to 22km-24km without any threat of drifting off.

Hydration, nutrition and pace plans were put into serious practice to go along with the endurance building which should contribute to the proper progressive conditioning of the runners at target speeds in increasing longer distances.  The night was rather dark, leading to the runners focusing on the job at hand, and less of making merry - most all were rather serious in stretching their thresholds and testing out their race plans.

Running in groups went a long way towards helping the runners to keep motivated and focused in maintaining their paces, although it got to be rather challenging at the 'mentally-demoralizing' Coastal Road stretches.  After the U-Turn at the specified point along Coastal Rd, it became better as we strode towards NSRCC and then to the Sailing Centre.  

With about 6km to go, all runners were feeling strong enough to continue with target MP and proceeded to the end  point at C4 without much stropping, bar the quick toilet breaks for some water for hydration and cooling off in what was turning into a humid night.

By 11:30pm, 3.5hrs after running, all NightHawks returned in very good form, achieving what they had set out for the night. The majority of the NightHawks  are well conditioned for a good night at Sundown Marathon.

With the increasing instances over the past few weeks, there have been more reports of tightening muscles and pulls and pain in various parts of the legs; an indication that some time has to be spent recovering from the long runs, and more importantly, doing the R.I.C.E. treatment coupled with post-run stretches and even regular myofascial massages.

With the successful completion of Week #10 with most trainees hitting their target timings, and peaking comfortably, it just remains for the NightHawks to lower their mileage over the remaining weeks but continue to train at race pace intensities.  Rest and adaptive recovery will be important during this final preparation phase to nurse any minor aches/injuries and allow the body to achieve optimum level of readiness by May 31/June 1.

We have high confidence that the NightHawk trainees targeting Sundown Marathon 2013 will Show Their True Colours and come out tops on race night.

Facebook Photo Albums:  CK Chin, Ronnie Goh