Saturday, May 23, 2015

Week #7: Scaling the 30ks


The second half of Ops NightHawk marathon programs started with the participants breaching the psychological 18km (HM) and 30km for the Full Marathoners (FM).


It was yet a humid night and ECP was buzzing with weekend activities with lots of merry making as well as cyclists, runners and walkers doing their fair share of healthy exercising.  


The FatBird marathon trainees were all pumped up to do their longest run to date, and having the flattish route was meant to provide a more conducive environment for pace training and gauging of our pace sustainability.


Since we had done a similar route just 2 weekends ago, the briefing was kept short to allow for more time to cover the longer distances.  With the faster marathon pace targets, the expected end of training would be just over 11pm, allowing ample time for the participants to catch public transport home.


The first half of the run went well with smooth pacing all the way to Gardens By The Bay, Marina Barrage, Marina Bay Sands, rounding off from the Promontory before making our way back to ECP again.  The trusty trainers and pacers kept the trainees humming along steadily at target paces with planned water stops along the way to ensure that proper hydration protocols were observed.


The HM groups completed their 19km of night run at marathon pace back at Parkland Green in about 2 hours or so, giving their confidence and morale a strong boost.  The FM groups did well too, with just a small water/banana break at Parkland Green before moving ahead in flocks to complete another 9-11km.


The air was humid and many of us were sweating buckets, with swishing sounds of wet socks in our running shoes echoing in the rather quiet and serene night.  A few of the FMers experienced fatigue and symptoms of 'low sugar' after the 23-24km mark, evident that there were no top up of the fuel tanks with gels or sugar mixes.


It was another good experience with takeaways for practicing hydration and fuel plans for possibly the next few long runs of 28km-35km.  Without proper replenishment of the depleting glycogen stores at timed intervals, the likelihood of eroding performance and inability to sustain pace will occur especially past the midway mark of the FM.


All NightHawks completed the night's targeted distances in good form and many happy faces could be seen sharing their stories and how strong they felt during the run.


As we dispersed for our wash-up and making our way home, the night had only begun for the patrons at the restaurants and cafes around the Parkland Green area.  Yet another session of training was successfully completed, and most trainees achieving the set training targets of the night with a number surpassing their own expectations...Well Done NightHawks!