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

18-Year-Old Waithaka Runs 10000 m World Leading Time at Nittai - Weekend Roundup

photo by @tsutsugo55225

For the second time in the last three weeks, a Japan-based Kenyan ran the fastest time in the world this year for 10000 m at Yokohama's Nittai University Time Trials series. On October 20th it was 2015 World U18 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), 20, with a 27:14.70  that surpassed Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei's world-leading mark by almost five seconds. This time it was 2018 World U20 Championships 5000 m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka (Yakult), 18, taking almost two minutes off his PB to break Kimunyan's mark with a 27:13.01 win.

Both winners received support from 2014 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medalist Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), who ran season bests for 2nd place each time, 27:50.38 three weeks ago and 27:28.27 on Saturday. 2013 World U18 Championships 3000 m bronze medalist Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) was also under 28 minutes, running just off his PB at 27:42.16 for 3rd. Kazuma Taira (Kan…

2018 Japanese Distance Rankings - Updated 11/11/18

JRN's 2018 Japanese track and road distance running rankings. Overall rankings are calculated using runners' times and placings in races over 5000 m, 10000 m, half-marathon and marathon and the strength of these performances relative to others in the top ten in each category. Click any image to enlarge.


Past years:
2017 ・ 2016 ・2015 ・ 2014 ・ 2013 ・ 2012 ・ 2011

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Go Ahead and Call It a Comeback - Niiya Breaks Shibui's Course Record in Return to Road Racing

Ladies and gentlemen, Hitomi Niiya is back.

You might remember Hitomi Niiya from the 2013 Moscow World Championships 10000 m, where she led the entire way only to get destroyed over the last lap and finish 5th in 30:56.70. That made her the third-fastest Japanese woman ever over that distance, but not long after that race she quit the sport entirely, getting an office job as far away from athletics as she could and not running for almost five years.

But the pull of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is strong, and, now 30, early this year she made the decision to try to make a comeback. Under the eye of former men's 800 m national record holder Masato Yokota she ran a 3000 m and two 5000 m time trials on the track between April and October before choosing the East Japan Women's Ekiden for her return to the roads and the longer distances.

The East Japan Women's Ekiden celebrated its 34th running Sunday, 9 stages totaling 42.195 km through the Fukushima countryside with teams from eac…