Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mystical Reservoir Night LSD

The NightHawk trainees were given a challenging night LSD in Week #3 of their training preparations for the Sundown Marathon.

The afternoon showers provided a cool enough evening for the eager flocks to move their training distance base up the next level.  Although the Basebuild pace was prescribed, long night runs always provide additional challenges as the tired bodies after a week's worth of work has to overcome fatigue to sustain training paces with sufficiently good running form.

The training run started off from MacRitchie Reservoir Park meandering along parts of Peirce Reservoir and Seletar Reservoir, making the route an interesting one for all.  There were sightings of wild boar as we passed parts of Old Upper Thomson Road (OUTR) which added to the mystic of running along nature in the night.

The quiet night run along secluded parts of the reservoir areas made for some therapeutic workouts and without the headphones and music on (for safety reasons), the trainees could enjoy the sounds of the night as they worked their way through their training paces.

The Half Marathon trainees did a U-Turn near the end of OUTR for a 16km total run, which was gamely achieved by all the runners - and all these just after 3 sessions of basebuilding.  Although the HM groups were smaller, they were in no way less serious and committed than the Full Marathon groups in wanting to achieve their race objectives on 4-5 July.

The FM groups ran in tight-knit formation all the way to Seletar Reservoir Observation Tower or even the Main Gate for some, before doing a U-Turn to return back to the start point at prescribed paces.

All the Groups did a marvelous job of completing Week 3's workout according to plan.  Even better was there was no incident of any falls or injuries, mainly attributable to the observance of safety advisory by the NightHawks - very commendable indeed.

The entire session completed before 11am, with even time for a quick wash-up before setting off for supper to recover some of the energy expended in the hard workout.  A short stretching and debrief was conducted to inform trainees of the special equipping sales as well as proper gear up preparations to maximize training efficiency through to race day.

As we progress through Phase 1 of basebuilding, we will be looking forward to Week 4's day workout at the Western Hills region to build aerobic and strength endurance with a menu of long rolling hills and repeats.

For additional information or training registration, please visit: for Sundown Marathon Training

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week #2: Trails & Slopes Galore

The NightHawks moved on to the MacRitchie Trails in Weekend #2 for a satisfying and fruitful long basebuild run.  The turnout was respectable in spite of the early morning drizzle and thunder claps.

With the light drizzle gone by 7am, the NightHawks were all raring to put their feet down into the Northern trails and tackle the undulating slopes of the Peirce Reservoir Road stretches.  The BaseBuild training paces were observed well, with the challenges of the trails providing some moderation to the usually higher initial speed of the respective groups.

After 4km of Northern Trail, we made a small detour before getting onto Island Country Club Road for the start of the road stretch of the run.  The training paces were better managed on the even road surfaces as we headed out to Upper Thomson Road and into Lower Peirce Reservoir Road toilet for a quick water break.

The new trainees were adapting better in their second session with the FatBirds, using the experienced runners and trainers as guideposts to manage their paces well.  The Half Marathon trainees did a U-turn at Casuarina Rd junction and headed back to MR Amenities Centre in their respective pace groups.

The Full Marathoners were maintaining steady paces all the way along the uneven slopes of Upper Peirce Reservoir stretch.  NightHawks who were new to that part of the training area found the terrain challenging which required them to dig deep into their dwindling resources.

The toilet at the end of LPR provided a good respite.  After a quick 5min break, the NightHawks were on the road again, this time returning along the same undulating route they came in from earlier.  By the time we reached the UPR Main Gate, the legs were feeling the lactate buildup and the breathing was a lot laboured.

The remaining 8km of winding OUTR road and the hilly Northern Trail took whatever remained in the tanks of the NightHawks.  Still, the trainees ran strong and persisted for a good finish back at the MR Amenities Centre.

Overall, it was a good workout for the HMers  who competed 14-15km and the FMers completing 21-22km.  Importantly, effort were put into sustaining target training paces and training objectives were met by all NightHawks.  

Rest and recovery techniques were provided during the training debrief which provided useful guidance and tips, especially for the couple of trainees who felt the strains and some niggling pain from the hard workouts.

Limited Training Slots with full entitlements are still available for marathoners who wish to get into Flight Action with Team FatBird for a strong Sundown Marathon performance.

Register Here
 to join us for the upcoming night training session in Week #3.

Send email to for queries on NightHawk training and other upcoming Team FatBird training programs.

The NightHawks Survived The Trails & Slopes

Photos By FatBird Arnel, Jayson

Saturday, April 11, 2015

NightHawks Off To A Flying Start

The highly anticipated 12-week Operation Nighthawk (Marathon Training For Sundown) got off to a smooth start at the newly minted Parkland Green at Singapore's East Coast.

It was heartening to see quite a number of returning trainees who have enjoyed successes with many of Team FatBird's quarterly marathon training programs.  As always, there were the newcomers who are joining our training programs for the very first time and were looking high with excitement, albeit with a wee bit of apprehension as to how they would 'survive' the first session :D

After the sizing of the training tees and finisher singlets were done, the Nighthawks were warmly welcomed with a briefing of what to expect in this 12-weeks of FlightZONES training, and how 2/3 of the weekend long runs are held in the night for conditioning purposes as well as getting in some cooler weather.

The Nighthawk trainees were placed into their respective training groups according to their marathon goals and hooked up with each of the FM and HM pace group trainers/pacers.  After some training instructions and words of encouragement from the trainers, the respective groups were flagged off toward the direction of Fort Road.

Each pace group ran at their prescribed basebuild pace with the intention of having achievable increments in the distance and pace targets as the weeks progress.  For many of the new marathoners, the initial 3-5 weeks would be a good time to access their abilities and comfort levels with respect to their marathon goals.

The first half of the night's run went according to plan for most of the Nighthawk trainees.  There were mild winds in the midst of rather humid weather.  As the distance wore on, apparel were dripping wet with perspiration which often times even flowed down into the shoes.

A number of the trainees, especially the new ones found the paces harder to sustain in the second half due to fatigue and the night drawing late.  There are a number of challenges in night distance running which can make it even harder than in the morning, and hence the need for lots more night runs to help the marathoners condition better for a good night race.

By the 3/4 mark in the training distance, a number of trainees were slowing down due to the high humidity coupled with the winds being blocked off by the large groups of infantry soldiers marching onwards for their POP on Saturday morning.

The smaller group of Half Marathon trainees returned earlier and happy to have completed 10-14km what for many was their longest run to date.  The Full Marathon trainees seemed more experienced and were able to complete within the maximum allowable time, albeit looking tired and drenched with sweat.

After isotonic drinks were downed and the heart rates recovered somewhat, a short debrief was conducted to share some of the initial lessons learnt and what to prepare for subsequent training sessions, both morning and night. 

The experienced Nighthawk trainers also conducted a much needed round of static stretching to soothe and ease those tight muscles and we were encouraged by the enthusiastic participation of the trainees.

The Team FatBird training crew is happy with how the kickoff sessions for Ops Nighthawk went, and judging from the committed and determined faces of the flocks, we are confident of bringing the best out of the trainees who are consistent with their attendance and application of knowledge and experiences gained for the remaining 11 weeks.

Training will see us go to the trails and hilly terrain of MacRitchie Reservoir Park the next 2 weekends, followed by some good hill workouts at the Mt. Faber region the following weeks, which should build up a sound base for all the trainees midway through the programs.

There are still limited training slots with full entitlement for Ops NightHawk (Registration HERE) for those of you who are looking to begin some serious structured training to prepare solidly for the marathon races in 4-5 July.

As we wrapped up our first training session, we can hear the encouraging calls of:
When Dusk Falls, The NightHawks Emerge!