Sunday, October 6, 2013

Week #4: Strength Endurance @ Western Slopes

It was the second weekend to the hills for our Sunbirds, although this week's challenge was progressively tougher.  The prelude of pre-dawn showers made for some cool running, at least in the first part of the training, with many of the participants determined to complete the entire workout in good form.

A quick summary of the tips on running form and hills were shared before putting them into practice along the route of rolling slopes and hill repeats.  The first part of the 4km run put all into their correct HR zones before the climb up to Mt. Faber from Morse Road.  

The 'Merry-Go-Round' repeats worked all the right muscle groups with bouts of downhill recovery for the Sunbirds - it was thoroughly enjoyed by all, with some even going for extra laps within regulation period for that segment.

With 3 weeks of base building under the belts, most of the Sunbirds were tackling the hills with relatively good control and moderation of effort to match their targeted training paces.  

For others who were new to hill workouts, the experience was surely something they would take away with new found enthusiasm and respect for strength and power endurance training.

Time passed rather quickly when you are enjoying, and soon the whole required routine was done - all the Sunbirds were still looking strong, or maybe, they have been reserving some for the second leg of the training.  For the HM Sunbirds, there remained just another 4-5km of slope running, while the majority FM trainees were bracing themselves for the remaining 10-12km of rolling slopes in the heat of the sun (that have come up after 9am).

The Sunbirds reached back at the ClubHouse (by then they have covered 19km of challenging hills) tired but still with the reserves and resolve to pursue and 'push' themselves to complete the full training requirements.  Under the guidance of the experienced Pacers, they were motivated to complete the entire training in pretty good form, although with some tired and tight muscles - of which a RICE treatment and some foam-rolling would be able to soothe and ease off.

As the training progress with basebuilding, quite a number of trainees who used to loathe hill running are beginning to enjoy the hills - much in part because of their developing leg strength coupled with improving running form, and a keener sense of controlled pacing.  

As we move into the trail-road-hills combination in Weekend #5, the Sunbirds are getting all excited to put their much improved conditions to the test and gauge their progress with training, and also get a sense of where they stand as we approach the all important 19km (HM) and 30km (FM)  psychological and physical thresholds.

The Sunbirds and Hills are friends!

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