Monday, May 12, 2014

Week #10: The Taper Commences

The NightHawks and Sundown Pacers gathered at C4 ECP for Week #10 of training, which also signaled the start of Tapering phase.  After last weekend's longest run of 32-35km in the morning, the NightHawks were just glad to be doing shorter distances of 18km (HM) and 28km (FM) in the night LSD.

The NightHawks went down early to collect their training tees, which allowed us to start the run by 7:20pm, after briefings and group photos.  The routes and optimal paces were well studied in advance by the participants which minimized the briefing of details.

The start off towards Fort Road and back felt easy yet contained, in spite of the need to weave around the busy crowd along the walkway.  Although the run was a night one, the rather humid weather posed some challenges, especially in the second half of the run.

Led by the reliable Sundown Pacers who set very good Optimal paces, the NightHawks were focused in sustaining their targeted paces for as long as possible.  With the guidance of experienced Team FatBird Trainers and Pacers, the NightHawks learnt more about balancing their efforts with sustainable paces, as well as implementing some elements of good in-run fuel and hydration.

The stretch of ECP was real busy on this Saturday night, adding on to the challenge of the run -  we had to weave around the crowd at times, and also be exposed to the smoke from the BBQ pits and families with children hogging the running paths.  However, all the activities and merry-making added to the fun factor of the run as well as heightened the senses of our runners as we had to be extra alert to avoid any potential accidents.

The respective HM groups, running independently, did well to sustain the paces to complete 18km without stoppages and 'technical' halts.  That way, a race-day scenario could be put into practice with the runners having a good feel of race conditions.

The FM NightHawks completed their 28km distance with good effort, although some had to slow down the pace after 21km as the humidity and fatigue took their toll.  Still, the trainees were able to continue with the remaining distances at slightly slower pace, fulfilling the overall training objectives no less.

The motivation levels were high among all the NightHawk groups, with the majority able to keep within the group structure throughout the whole distances.  The feeling was good as runners completed the run in good targeted paces, yet with some reserves in the tank.

With some rest and re-conditioning, a number of NightHawks who were earlier nursing injuries and muscle tightness were coming back stronger with improved healing. With 3 weeks before race day, there would still be some window of opportunity for a full recovery and the possiblity of a good race for these few rehabilitated runners.

Because of the earlier start, we were able to complete the whole session by 11:15pm.  That would leave the runners with a full Sunday to rest and even throw in a short recovery run.  The majority of the NightHawks were satisfied with the night's training and most were smiling and looking happy, due in part to the effects of the pronounced endorphine levels.

With Week #10 in the bag, the NightHawks are looking forward to continue tapering with shorter distances but intensities maintained.  Next weekend will also see the distribution of the well-deserved NightHawk race singlet for those who have met qualifying criteria.

The NightHawks Are Looking Good For Race Night!

Facebook photos from FatBird CK Chin