Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week #3: The HEAT was ON

The NightHawks transitioned from Night to Day conditioning in Week 3, and what a HOT day it turned out to be.  Once again, due to Sunday morning races, quite a number of NightHawks were unable to show up for training...but still, we had a reasonably good turnout from the committed flock who are determined to show that they can achieve their targeted marathon goals should they put their hearts and minds to it.

It was good that the participants were arriving earlier to training, giving all some time to prepare for the rigours of the long weekend run, with even some spare time leftover for us to practice some group chants and gestures for the customary pre-run 'attendance-taking' photos.

The skies were blue and clear as we headed down Fort Road and back for that initial 3km of getting the various pace groups into the groove and striding together along the pavements of the East Coast.  The BaseBuild zones & paces were kept to a tee, plus/minus a couple of seconds to cater for the occasional water stops and  breaks.

The NightHawks were already performing much better than when they started 3 weeks ago, with many able to contain their urges to surge, and going along with the prescribed training pace and effort.  

With improved running discipline, many of the runners were finding it easier to sustain the distances, although the morning's heat did throw in additional challenges to the runners, especially those who were not adequately hydrated and fueled up.

The first 70% of the run was generally well executed by most participants, save for the first-timers who have just joined and were probably not as well prepared as the more experienced trainees.  Given a few more sessions, the beginners will settle in nicely and be as conditioned as the rest of the flock.

After 2-3 hours of the endurance workout and heat conditioning, the NightHawks returned to the Nest, visibly tired and drained from the heat and humidity.  However, the spirits were high as they have conquered a tough run, and removed some of the 'weak thoughts' which could have stopped them short in their tracks.  The blessing in disguise is that such tough runs will serve to strengthen not only the physical condition of these marathoners, but also the mental abilities to complete the difficult tasks at hand.

The group training with like-minded and like-ability trainees within a group setting, led by experienced trainers and pacers who are always encouraging and motivating, have made such tough training sessions a lot more enjoyable with lots of fun and excitement.  This is evident in the good conversion rates of first-timers drop-ins who have gone on to sign up for the full structured program after just one trial run.

With a quarter of the program completed, the NightHawks are bracing themselves for the exciting long night run into the City in week #4.  Till then, all are advised to have a good recovery workout in the early part of the week, followed by the mix of tempo and hills runs to be done according to individual's own time and location.

The NightHawks Have Defeated The Heat!
Facebook photos from NightHawks Meng Kiat, Berno