Sunday, October 12, 2008

FatBird Pacers Training Session #7

FatBird Pacers, courtesy FatBird Esther

It was a record turnout for this morning's FatBird Marathon Training for the Pacers and trainees. I estimated there were 50-60 people, comprising both Pacers and Pacees. The weather promised to be a dry but hot one. We had our trial Pace Bands just in time for the Pace Leads, thanks to FatBird Esther and her team.

I divided the group into the Pacers and Pacees, then gave a quick brief of the route, before introducing the Pacers to the runners. We started off promptly at 7am, and very soon, the 3:45hr Pace Group was in front of DO, Ultra, Raven and I. There was a sizeable following for the 4hr Pace Group, and I was even pleasantly surprised to see Marcus and his friends from the TriFam Pace Team joining our FatBird Training....they too could be gunning for a 4hr finish this SealBoon, HophIng, Cheow12, Alvo, and quite a few others were running along tightly. A quick browse behind showed YN and the many others following the 4:30hr Pace Group led by Charmane and Kok San.

There were a few additions to the Pace Team, with Ang Lai Soon, Kok San, Joe, among the few of joined us for the Pace Training for the very first time. DO got his Garmin 405, and do did Feet...:). With the new toy, many of us now have very high-precision tools to help with guiding the pace and measuring distances. The 4hr Group was aiming to do an average pace of 5:30min/km, and we were pretty consistent all the way to the 14km U-Turn along Changi Coastal Road. The 4hr group arrived at the U-Turn in 1hr20min.

It was interesting to see the various Pace Groups fan out along ECP and Changi Coastal. The Pacers and runners were all focused on running together and moving forward. Along the way, we met many other running groups and kakis, SAFRA Tampines inclusive. DO and I continued on from the 14km point for an additional 2km forward as we had planned to do 32km as our final long run before ChunCheon Marathon in 2 week's time. All the 4hr Pacees turned at the 14km and continued with their 5:30min/km pace.

After the U-tuen at 16km for DO and I, we continued running at abour 5:30min/km while chatting and cheering the other Pace Groups as we went by them. Met up the 5hr Pace Group at NSRCC, and they seemed to be on good pace. Then we saw the 5:30min/km Pace Group...hmm, they have gone a little fast, but thats because of their lack of pace timings to guide them along. They should be good as the weeks progress. Bumped into Gentle at the Canoe Centre, who was asking if there were more Pace Groups ahead. I asked the 5:30hr Pace Group Lead, zco, to slow a little to maintain pace.

The sun was beating down on us furiously. Those who did not hydrate themselves properly were suffering. I too was feeling the effects of the heat, but it was good that I had my Gatorade and Powergel mix with me....I sipped regularly, and that gave me a regular stream of energy to work with...hehe. Still, I had to make 2 more toilet stops to cool myself and take more water in. Saw Nomad, and then as I neared MacD, saw Kok San. Told him it was just 1.5km to go, and he picked up the pace to run together. With about 800m to finish, I could see SealBoon, and then ran up alongside to finish in 3hr3min. The iced-cold 100plus was heavenly, and we had 3hr15min marathoners serving drinks....what more can we ask yah? haha. Thanks to Ultra and his water support team :)

We took down the timings of the Pacers, and when all were back, we had a very nice group photo session. FatBird Esther's new tripod came in very handy, and we all had a nice time posing around the trunk of a rather large tree. After the photo session, I gave a very quick brief on the need for hydration and re-fueling, especially on such a warm day. I think more of the runners may invest in hydration belts, and start training with powergels and other fuel. As we progress with the FatBird Marathon Training Program, I am heartened to see many of the runners and pacers getting stronger and more steady with their pacing in long runs. If we can all keep up with regular training attendance and trying our best to train to pace with proper hydration and re-fueling, I am confident of yet another bountiful year of PB-breakers....SCSM08, here we come!

Distance: 32.3km__Time: 3hr3min__Pace: 5:40min/km

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