translated by Brett Larner
"If you want to become a world-class women's marathoner, don't work too hard in junior high school." That is the finding of a study of domestic elite women runners by former Team Toyota Shatai head coach Masahiko Takahashi, 46.
Takahashi sent his survey to 383 athletes and alumni of professional corporate and club teams, including 20 women who made the top 8 in the marathon at the Olympics or World Championships. 90.3% responded. Takahashi compared the responses of those who had made a Japanese national team for the Olympics or World Championships with those who had not. With regard to their training in junior high school he found:
- National team members' off-seasons averaged 2.24 months, while those who did not make national teams averaged 0.87 months.
- 60% of national team members did morning practice in addition to their main workouts, while 82.3 % of those who did not make national teams doubled.
- Those who made national teams' average mileage was 6.68 km per day, while those who did not averaged 8.29 km.