All-time fourth-fastest Japanese marathoner Hiroto Inoue (25, MHPS) returned to Tokyo's Narita Airport on July 29 from altitude training in Boulder, U.S.A. ahead of next month's Jakarta Asian Games. In Boulder he did three 40 km training runs at 1600 m altitude. "I trained with a lot of focus. If things go well I'm mentally prepared to run the race solo." To help cope with the expected heat at the Asian Games Inoue is considering wearing a cap while racing for the first time. "When I tried it in training it seemed a lot cooler," he said favorably of the cap. "It felt good."
Ever since his days at Yamanashi Gakuin University Inoue has raced without a cap because he has disliked the feeling of it making his head hotter. Team members were not allowed to run with sunglasses either. In last summer's London World Championships marathon he didn't wear a cap, but after completing this altitude training camp, he said, "The visor of the cap limits your range of view, and I think that might help with focusing." This secret strategy could take him to the gold medal.
translated and edited by Brett Larner