Saturday, February 28, 2009

Operation NightHawk: When Dusk Arrives

Over 50 runners turned up at the Team FatBird's NightHawk first night run, in a bid to start preparing themselves for the Sundown Marathon in end May. Coming from various running groups like SgRunners, Holland Village Runners (la_senza's group), Sleek's group, Meet-Ups (Jason's group), etc, it was a hive of activity before the run started. A brief was conducted by 8.45pm for the run distances of 10km, 17km, 21km and 24km from The Playground@Big Splash towards Changi Coastal Road and return.

The plan was to do TFB FatTrim Zone 2 pace to burn-off some fats as well as build up fuel efficiency...hehe. Many of the runners who have joined previous FatBird runs latched onto the slow, easy pace quite readily. The various groups of 10km, 17km, 21km and 24km were started in waves, as the whole ECP came alive with a large bunch of runners, many wearing blinkers, moving towards NSRCC in the night. The pace was very comfortable and we had lots of chit-chats and getting-to-know-one-another type of converations. A number of us were going for the Sundown Marathon, and there was also a bunch that were just there for the group training and to soak in the atmosphere...all were welcomed regardless of speed, age or distance, as long as they can do a 30min run/jog without much stopping.

I was with the 24km group, David with the 21km, Terry with the 17km and Jancy with the 10km. I picked up Giorgio and Beverly after reaching the 21km U-turn with Vanda. Senza's team did a 10km U-turn, saving it for the next LSD :). KokSan and Ming had moved ahead to do their 24km turns. Roadrunner, stardust, acidburn, Max, Jane, and the frontrunners did their own versions of the run, albeit at longer distances and faster speed. Our FatTrim groups were running quite comfy, and my heartrate was between 128-135 mostly, as recommended in my recent Fuel Efficieny test conducted...:)

We hit the first large shelter along Changi Coastal Road for 12km and did a U-turn. Sleek's team was running with us then. Giorgio, Beverly and myself moved along and ran as a group all the way till F2 carpark area. With 4km to go, we were joined by LYK and I picked up the pace a little to run alongside LYK. Upping the HR to 135 and keeping it there till the final stretch of 1km where I moved it up to 139 average. It was a nice easy run where I did not feel too tired, but yet had the satisfaction of a good workout. Most of the runners were back by then, and the 100plus drinks which we saved for the training runs came in timely. Too bad we were a little late for the special Sng Paos made by YN, Spencer....nvm, next time we shall try to be earlier for the treat. All the runners reached back by midnight, a good 3hrs of running put in.

Registrations and attendance were taken for the run, and it was good to have many newcomers and first-timers join the training run. Half of the group were still around at close to midnight, and as some of the FatBirds were rushing off for a movie, we packed up and went off our separate ways, bidding goodnite to all, and agreeing to see one another again for the next NightHawk training session. The coming weekend will have the first Ops NightHawk training session (details and call-ups will be posted), with the next night training session on Mar 13, staring off from the MacRitchie area....stay tuned.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ops Night Hawk: FatBurn Zone

After a series of tests at Racers ToolBox yesterday, we were extolling the virtues of knowing where our Fat-burning zones were, and how we should slow down our LSDs to maintain a steady paced run. The group of 13 (DO, Stardust, Terry, YN, Spencer, Min, Beng, Suan, Ang, teelee, Mashie, Passion, and myself) showed up at Bishan Stadium, and by 7.30am, we set off along Bishan Park towards LPR, then to OUTR. We tried sticking to an average of about 7:45min/km for the first 5km, which was pretty challenging for many of us.

Everybody wanted to stay within the Fat-burning zone, and to expand that by running at about average 130-139bps HR (at least for me)....that reminds me to get my Garmin HR wearlink soon. We had a good time running at chit-chat pace, although the legs were still working hard. We turned back from OUTR and went into UPR, along some of the MR slopes. There we practised some hills (which are supposed to be good for strengthening our legs (which are not that strong, especially for long distance runners like ourselves).

Stardust, Mashie, Passion, Terry broke into brisk-walking at some stages, especially those up the slopes. I felt I was working overtime, although the pace was only about 7:30min/km. We lost lots of water and electrolytes in the rather hot and humid morning, but was happy to be maintaining our LSD pace. Into the air-cond road and out, we went back up the slopes of UPR, then back all along OUTR in a single file. Teelee and Stardust, the 2 very fast marathoners were showing and sharing how they got their PBs by running at such sustained slow, fat-burning paces....there should be some truth and good in all these LSDs bah :)

Along Bishan Park, we chatted as strollers and bladers moved spite of the 2km or so left, it seemed like eternity....we had been on our feet for close to 2.5hrs. We pushed on at a 7min/km pace, trying hard to maintain 7:30min/km but finding it very hard. The thought of the Sng Pao and 100plus ensured we steadied our minds to stick with the pace....hehe. At the final 100m, I picked up a short sprint, but found that my legs were 'jammed', after being in a steady mode for too long....haha. YN and Stardust went for an additional quick 3km. The rest of us finished the 21.5km distance in a steady 2hr45min time....the first time I ever held on to such a pace over that kind of long distance....I was most impressed with the group.

I know we are on to something....will have to incorporate more of such heartzones training into our program for better fuel efficiency and improved lactate buildup/clearance mechanism. The Sng Pao at the end tasted 'heavenly'...thanks to YN for the maiden effort....Stardust/Mashie had volunteered to be the next Sng Pao boy/gal....hmmm. Thanks to Beng/Suan for the bananas, 100plus from TFB funds. There was a surprise lunch affair decided, which unfortunately I could not join....will wait for the photos and separate report from that....meanwhile, I look forward to more of such FatBird Zones LSDs in the coming NightHawk Training sessions.

Distance: 21.5km__Time: 2hr45min__Pace: 7:40min/km

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Record-breaker at i-RUN@RP

The following statistics about sums up this evening's record-breaking i-RUN @ River Promenade:

186 Runners
150 Cans of drinks

9 Run Leaders
5 Photographers

3 Routes



Photo Slideshow at Team FatBird's Photo Gallery

Make a date with us every Tuesday & Thursday, 6.30pm @ FatBird statue!

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

SAFRA Tampines Location Run

Was down at SAFRA Tampines this Sunday morning with FatBirds and friends to join in the Location Run....this time, organized by Tampines side ie. David Shum, Edmund, Sam and team. The turnout was as usual large (>100 runners), and it was a great to meet many old chums and kakis. Divey was there to lend some support, and it was nice catching up with her. YN, Terry, Stardust, Spencer, Mashie, Vanda, KokSan, acidburn, Soloman were all new to that run. Min brought a friend (Anthony) to do their first SAFRA run as well.

A quick warm-up stretch routine by Sam, and we set off towards the Park Connectors linking us to Bedok Reservoir. It was lots of chats along the way with Sandy, Johnny, Vincent and others on their latest activities. Of course FatBird activities featured in some of these conversations too. As we ran along Bedok Reservoir, the Valentine Run was just about to get underway. The group gathered at the top of the hill overlooking the Reservoir for a series of group photos. Colleen, Julie, Teck Hou were some of the MF Runners who joined in, and they were soaking in all the fun.

The skies were hazy with the air rather humid this morning. After running 8km, I was full of perspiration, and felt as if I had run 12km. The rest of the runners felt the it could be the weather. The drinks and Sng Pao stations were a joy to all the parched runners....and hmm, the 'Sng Muay' Sng Pao was most delicious to me. There were 3 professional photographers along the way, so lots of nice pics surely :)

With all the chatting and sight-seeing, soon we reached back to ClubHouse. The total distance must have been about 14km....but I am not complaining as it was meant to be an easy fun run. Terry, YN and gang liked the friendly atmosphere, and promised to join in for more SAFRA runs in future....and are keen to join in the SAFRA Running Club too. After warm-down stretching, we had vegetarian bee-hoon and cakes, followed by more Sng Pao...hehe. After so much food, the FatBirdz then adjourned to the 'round' market nearby for iced-milo and kopi-si, HK wife-biscuits from Charmane, followed by more chats and discussions, mainly on some of the upcoming events.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream

There is the second edition of the Sundown Marathon this May. All of the categories have been fully registered, with the exception of the 84km Ultra-Marathon distance. Having done the 84km at last year's inaugural Sundown, I will not be racing in this year's event. After SCSM08, there have been some requests from the i-RUN and SgRunners communities for a training program to prepare and support the runners to compete and complete the 42km and 84km distances.

Team FatBird
has devised a training program to help prepare all the Sundowners going for their Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition, the program hopes to cater to those training for the new StanChart KL Marathon and the Phuket Marathon, all in June09. There will be a series of weekday & weekend runs over 12-15 weeks, coupled with some interesting night themed runs like Night Hawk Run, Blink Blink Run, Dusty Run to condition the runners for dusk running and over different terrains.

I too will leverage on this program to prepare myself for the SCKL Marathon...meanwhile, all preparations will be in place to start the Night Hawk Marathon Training in March.

When the sun does gown, let the night hawks rise.....the journey begins!

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

NewtonActive Familiarization Run

Following on from last year's role as pacers/roving marshals at the Ponggol Central Run, the few of us volunteered again to be roving marshals at the Newton Active Run 09. DO, Kayano, Beverly, myself were back in the Pacing team, and are now joined by a larger crew, including SgRunners like tekko, Molly, as well as reps from the sponsor organizations of Running Lab, Key Power and Active360.

This Sunday was the NewtonActive familiarization run for the crew as well as participants. Most of the crowd of about 50 who turned up were going for the 10km competitive distance. We started off at the actual start-point, about 500m away from Sengkang CC. The weather was chilly at first. The bikers led the way, and we followed in two waves. The 10km route this year have us going into two Parks with some slopes, adding to the variety and challenge. The 5km was relatively straightforward and pretty flat.

I measured the entire route to be 10.5km, with Kayano and DO returning 10.3km. Mike Kang also confirmed the route to be slightly long, which would be moderated by race day. I liked the route overall, and I think the runners will enjoy this special run in the North-East. I went on for an additional loop to end my Sunday run at 12.5km. I heard that there will be 3000+ runners on race day, and MPs will grace the occasion with some running....cya on March 1.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

FatBird Weekender @ ECP

Since there is a short NewtonActive familiarization run on Sunday, I decided to get together to do a 20km-24km fat-burning LSD for FatBirdz & Frenz. There are a few events this weekend, and a smallish group of Lucky 13 showed up...Soloman, DO, Kayano, YN, Spencer, Beverly, KokSan, Ang, Matthew, Hadfiz (friend from KL Pacesetters), Ah Beng, Suan and myself started off from ECP F2 car park, albeit at slightly different times and distances.

The weather was so nice and cool. YN, Spencer and KokSan took the lead and went into a steady pace. I was happy to chat with Hadfiz and Soloman as we waddled along Changi Coastal Road. The bikers were out in full force, and Helen shouted at us as she rode up and down Changi Coastal...well, she has to train hard for her Busselton Ironman end year. We took about 1hr10min to reach the mid-point of 11.5km at Changi Beach Park. YN, DO and Hadfiz had turned back earlier.

The return was just as nice as we started. We picked up pace a little as we discussed about running and the current economic situation. Ang, KokSan, Soloman and myself were running as a group, and enjoying what was otherwise a 'mentally challenging' and boring Coastal stretch. Before we even felt it, we had reached NSRCC. We were pleasantly surprised to see water dispensers being installed nearby, and speculated that some could be installed at the Coastal stretch in will be a boon for runners and skaters alike.

Without pushing too much, we finally reached back to F2 and finished the 23km in about 2hr10min. After a nice wash-up at the F2 carpark, a few of us proceeded to the Old Airport Road for yummy Lor Mee and Chee Cheong Fun. It was yet another enjoyable LSD for all of us, and were will be planning to be at the SAFRA Tampines Location Run next Sunday.

Distance: 23km__Time: 2hr10min__Pace: 5:39min/km

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