Skip to main content

Toshinari Takaoka and Eri Yamaguchi on the Secret of the Marathon



Former Japanese men's national record holder in the marathon and Kanebo corporate ekiden team head coach Toshinari Takaoka, 47, appeared at a training and conditioning symposium last week in Osaka to discuss his training during his career as an athlete. His talk revealed the secret of how to successfully tackle 42.195 km.

Before Yuta Shitara (26, Honda) set a new national record at February's Tokyo Marathon, Takaoka's mark of 2:06:16 stood as the Japanese national record for 16 years. In his lecture Takaoka mainly discussed his training for the 2003 Fukuoka International Marathon, a selection race for the 2004 Athens Olympics marathon team. Takaoka focused on five points:
  1. 40 km runs
  2. mileage
  3. utilization of racing
  4. speed work
  5. maintaining a pace of 3:00/km
From August through November that year Takaoka did nine 40 km runs at 3:30/km for a total time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. "At first 40 km runs were painful because I wasn't accustomed to the distance," he said. "But as the number of times I did them increased they became more comfortable and I knew that I was becoming powerful." In his ninth 40 km run Takaoka clocked 14:24 for the split between 30 and 35 km. "I worked on changing the pace on the assumption that the race would get moving near the end," he commented. "I confirmed that my legs would be able to take faster running at that stage."

Keeping in mind the risk of injury inherent in running mileage, Takaoka ran around 1000 km a month at most, competing in track 10000 m races, ekidens and half marathons along the way. "In order to be comfortable running 3:00/km, the fundamental pace of the marathon, it's necessary to develop speed faster than that," he said. "Using other races as speed work helped maintain the leg strength to handle 3:00/km."



Sydney Olympics women's marathon 7th placer and current Asia Pacific University women's ekiden team head coach Eri Yamaguchi, 45, also took part in the symposium. Yamaguchi discussed her use of six-hour solo runs as a buildup to serious marathon training. "In order to ingrain the sensation of that kind of fatigue into my body, I would do them at 5:00/km," Yamaguchi said. The audience of about 150 at the seminar, most of them amateur runners, voiced their shock and surprise as hearing this.

Of the standard 40 km runs that top athletes due in preparation for a race Yamaguchi commented, "I ran about ten marathons. For half of them I did multiple 40 km runs but didn't see any effect. At one point I decided to keep the 40 km runs down to one and instead to increase the number of 20 and 30 km runs, and that's when I started getting results." Yamaguchi's PB of 2:22:12 came relatively late in her career in her ninth marathon. The audience was again surprised to hear that her training had been similar to the kind of approach common among amateurs.

Translator's note: Takaoka finished 3rd at the 2003 Fukuoka International Marathon in 2:07:59 and was not chosen for the Athens Olympic team. More on that race here.

At last month's United Airlines NYC Half, Takaoka's predecessor as national record holder, Atsushi Fujita, discussed his training for his 2:06:51 record with Dathan Ritzenhein, Chris Derrick, Shadrack Biwott and others. Fujita said that off a baseline of mileage around 1000 km per month with regular 40 km runs his final month of training focused around a 40 km in 2:04 four weeks out (3:06/km), followed by 30 km in 1:30 the next week (3:00/km), 20 km in 59 minutes the next (2:57/km), and 10 km in 29 minutes (2:54/km) the week before the race.

source articles:
http://weblog.hochi.co.jp/runners/2018/04/post-29fa.html
http://weblog.hochi.co.jp/.s/runners/2018/04/post-4c64.html
translated and edited by Brett Larner

Comments

Geoff said…
Thanks for sharing! To clarify on the volume - was that 1000 km per month, or over a longer period?

Most-Read This Week

Kisaisa Wins Second-Straight Yosenkai Half Marathon in 1:00:44, Komazawa University Averages Ten Men Under 1:03

The Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai is the qualifying race for Japan's most prestigious road race, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. University men's teams in the Tokyo area that didn't make the top ten at Hakone the year before square off in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park with teams of up to twelve. The top ten score, their cumulative times determining the team's placing with the top eleven teams advancing and high-placing individuals from schools that don't make the cut rounded up to form a select team.

The Yosenkai has long been the world's #1 20 km road race by a wide margin, with winning times among the fastest in the world for the distance and the same kind of incredible depth seen at November's Ageo City Half Marathon and March's National University Men's Half Marathon. In light of changes in the IAAF's ranking system and the level of performance at the Yosenkai, this year organizers took the historic step of changing it from its traditional distance to …

Comparing D1 Pre-Nationals and the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier

With both American and Japanese university students well into their fall seasons, two major events took place Saturday. Near Madison, Wisconsin, the D1 Pre-Nationals cross-country meet and in Tachikawa, Tokyo the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier half marathon. At Pre-Nats men ran 8 km on a looping XC course with a maximum elevation difference of around 30 m. The field was split into two main races, Cardinal and White, with a total of 69 teams, and an additional Grey race handling some overflow. Teams ran up to seven members, with the top five scoring on cumulative placing. A total of 474 athletes finished the two main races, with five DNF.

At the Hakone Ekiden Qualifier, known as the Yosenkai, the distance was lengthened from 20 km to the half marathon distance this year, on a paved net-uphill course with a maximum elevation difference of about 20 m, most of that in the hilly final 8 km through Showa Kinen Park. 39 second-tier teams fielded up to twelve runners, with the top ten scoring on cu…

28:45 High Schoolers and More - Weekend Track Roundup

The IAAF has unilaterally declared track season over. But in Japan fall track is an integral part of ekiden season training, and it's not unusual to see many athletes drop their best 3000 m, 5000 m and 10000 m times of the year between October and December. Case in point, this weekend.

The biggest news came at Saturday's Nighter Time Trials in Nagasaki, where Keiho H.S. 11th-grader Hiroto Hayashida ran 28:45.75 for 6th in the 10000 m, all-time #8 among Japanese high school boys and #2 among 11th-graders. "Thank you to everyone who supported me!" Hayashida said on Twitter post-race. "I want to take this and apply to it ekiden season now." Geoffrey Gichia (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) won in 28:36.36, with Jakarta Asian Games marathon gold medalist Hiroto Inoue (MHPS) 2nd in 28:37.27.

ナイター記録会(諫早)

林田洋翔選手(瓊浦2)
28:45.75

県高校記録更新おめでとうございます🎉 pic.twitter.com/V7navKw6HQ — manamin (@kinokonoko0916) October 13, 2018
At Niigata's Autumn Time Trials a unique women's 50…