Skip to main content

Everything Going Smoothly as Ito Makes Final Adjustments for World Championships Debut

http://www.topics.or.jp/localSports/122545398109/2011/07/2011_131199135585.html

translated by Brett Larner

There is less than one month to go to the first medals are handed out at the Daegu World Championships in the women's marathon.  Preparing for her national team debut, Mai Ito (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) has been in focused training both domestically and abroad since mid-June, with everything going smoothly as she makes the final adjustments to her preparations.  "I want to show up in the best possible condition, and I'm doing everything I can to build up the base for a first-class body," she says, showing the determination which underlies her training.

Beginning June 15, Ito trained at altitude for 20 days in Boulder, Colorado on a federation-sponsored training camp along with members of teams such as Wacoal and Tenmaya, which include Olympians and World Championships-level athletes among their ranks.  In severe conditions of over 35 degrees she ran a 30 km training run on a steeply hilly course to help increase the function of her lungs with an eye toward the World Championships marathon.

With a training plan including interval sessions at marathon pace she has worked actively toward improving her overall speed, but the training camp has also included plenty of 40 km runs.  "It was no problem at all.  I got through everything feeling great," she says, showing a hint of the depth of her self-confidence.

On July 10th Ito relocated her training to Hokkaido.  Even with her priority being on recovery from the fatigue of her difficult training in Boulder, Ito continued on with her Daegu preparations.  Racing as a training run, she finished 7th in the July 24 Shibetsu Half Marathon in 1:16:15.  In the first half she ran in the lead pack which averaged 17:20 per 5 km, but in the second half of the race she fell back quickly and finished 3:09 behind the winner.  "I hate losing," she says, "but I just want to take the positive from this and sharpen things up from here."

In August Ito will change her training base again to Nagano as she enters the final stage of her preparations.  With no break in her pledge to "carry on with training" after being named to the national team in the spring, Ito looks ready and fully prepared to take on the world in Daegu.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Nittai University Head Coach Masaaki Watanabe Fired Over Abuse Scandal

On Sept. 12 Nittai University announced that it will fire ekiden team head coach Masaaki Watanabe, 55, over the current power harassment scandal surrounding him. According to the university's public relations office, interviews by the alumni association with five current and one former team member reported multiple acts of violence by Watanabe including kicking athletes' legs and grabbing them by the chest.

The interviews also reported that Watanabe verbally abused and threatened student athletes and attacked their character. When runners fell off pace during workouts he was reported to have shouted, "Get the hell out of this university!" and, following the runners in a car, "I am going to f*cking run you over and kill you." Injured team members were also reported to have been subject to verbal humiliation by Watanabe, including, "Look at this f*cking cripple," and "You f*cking deserve it." Watanabe admitted the accusations but said tha…

Weekend Overseas Japanese Results

Lost in the luminosity of Eliud Kipchoge's world record and Gladys Cherono's women's course record at the Berlin Marathon were a score of Japanese results there and elsewhere overseas, ranging from the sparkling to the dull. Cherono and 2nd and 3rd placers Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba all broke Mizuki Noguchi's Berlin Marathon course record of 2:19:12 which has stood since she set that national record mark in 2005.

A kilometer behind Dibaba, Mizuki Matsuda (Daihatsu) followed up her 2:22:44 debut in Osaka in January with a 2:22:23 PB for 5th, making her just the fourth Japanese woman ever to break 2:23 twice in her career. 2:23:46 woman Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) ran 2:25:23 for 7th, beating Tenmaya teammate Rei Ohara whose 2:27:28 put her only 10th but qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon trials, only the second athlete after 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) to qualify for the trials under the two-race average wildcard opt…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…