Japanese marathon training

If you didn’t know it, the Japanese really like the marathon.  I mean REALLY like the marathon.  When a bigger race is run in Japan it is front page news.  Not front of the sports page news, but front of the paper news.  In my research of the training done by most elite Japanese runners and everyday folks who train and run them one thing comes through time and time again.  It is very important to log the time on your feet.  Not necessarily fast time on your feet, in fact many of their third or fourth workouts for the day (yeah, that’s right 4 workouts in a day-while uncommon not rare) are done by walking or-GASP-jogging at slower than a 12 minute mile pace.  From what I have read the Japanese love endurance running as their culture places such a high value on self-discipline and those who can demonstrate it, and as anyone who has run a marathon can tell you, self-discipline is key to getting it done.

The main point to logging so many miles on their feet is to wear the body out without compromising recovery time.  There are numerous articles around about the methods and techniques, I may go more in detail with some of these in future posts.  For now I will post the training of one of Japan’s better marathon runners, Takayuki Inubushi. He has a marathon best of 2:06’57 in 1999.  You will see that there is a lot of prescribed walking, jogging, and even just playing at the park.  Not what you think of when your look at marathon training through American standards.  I cant remember the exact numbers, but last year there were over 200 Japanese runners who did a marathon in under 2:10.  There were less than 20 American runners who did it. Not saying one is right or wrong, just different styles work for different people.

Taken from bunhill.com

Inubushi (July ’99 – Sept. ’99)

Best times: 5,000m—13’46″74 (1995) 800m—1’53″9 (1992)

10,000m—28’40″87 (1995) 1500m—3’48″86 (1992)

Half Marathon—1:02’47″ (1998) 3000m—8’12″8 (1996)

30k (road)—1:30’29″ (1994) 15k—47’21″ (1994)

Marathon—2:06’57″ (1999) 10 mile—46’42″ (1993)

Improvement: 1995 Mar.—2:25’16″ (59th at Lake Biwa)

1995 Dec.—DNF (Fukuoka)

1997 Dec.—DNF (Fukuoka)

1998 Apr.—2:13’15″ (10th at Boston)

1999 Feb.—2:12’20″ (7th at Tokyo)

1999 Sep.—2:06’57″ (2nd at Berlin)

Junior High School Best Time—8’50″19 for 3,000m

High School Best Time—14’21″9 for 5,000m

July 1999 T/D = Total Distance (in km)

Date Morning AM PM T/D
1 40’+12’ jog 12 laps x 3k (2:12’58″) 64’ jog 65
2 Rest Ball game 60’ jog 12
3 Rest 190’ jog 55’ jog 50
4 60’ jog 10 x 1k in 3’00″~2’45″ (1’R) 31
5 85’ jog 60’ jog 29
6 55’ jog 60’ jog 23
7 Jog w/ others 50’ jog + (10×300) x 2 (12’41″/12’33″) 37
8 50’ jog 85’ jog 27
9 50’ jog 60’ jog 12
10 Rest 10 x 1k (2’57″~51″: total 37’33″)(1’R) 30
11 50’ jog Field athletic play 85’ jog 33
12 80’ jog 45’ jog 60’ jog 34
13 60’ jog 40k (2:25’28″) 18’31″~17’26″ 45’ jog 62
14 60’ jog 60’ jog 24
15 60’ jog 60’ jog 2 x 5k (15’12″/14’41″) w/ 5’ rest 41
16 60’ jog 55’ jog 23
17 Rest 150’ (30k) 31
18 60’ jog 55’ jog 23
19 50’ jog 65’jog 23
20 60’ jog 60’ jog 30k run (1:46’06″) 56
21 65’ jog Walk 12 x 1000 w/ 200R (3’03″~2’55″)(48’04″) 35
22 80’ jog Walk Walk 16
23 60’ jog 60’ jog 65’ jog 38
24 60’ jog Walk 40k run (2:26’20″) 18’38″~17’55″/5k 56
25 60’ jog 40’ jog 4 x 5000 (15’29″, 30″, 29″, 26″) w/ 1000R 51
26 60’ jog 45’ jog Walk 21
27 60’ jog 55’ jog 20k (1:06’52″) 48
28 60’ jog Walk + 40’ jog Walk 20
29 40’ jog 40k (2:26’37″) 52
30 60’ jog Walk + 30’ jog 14
31 60’ jog 10 mile (55’28″) 16000 Pace Run (51’51″) 53

August 1999

Date Morning AM PM T/D
1 60’ jog Walk + 35’ jog 4 x 3000 (8’52″, 54″, 48″, 48″) w/600R 39
2 66’ jog 60’ jog 27
3 20k (1:09’19″) 30k (1:46’08″) 56
4 60’ jog 25’ jog (10 x 300) x 3 (12’47″/12’42″/12’44″) 37
5 60’ jog Walk Ball game 13
6 60’ jog 40k (2:17’56″) Walk 55
7 55’ jog 15 x 1000 (2’56″~58″) w/ 200R in 59’18″ 36
8 60’ jog 13
9 60’ jog 12
10 Rest 60’ jog with 5 x floats 15
11 50’ jog 10
12 50’ jog 10
13 30’ jog 60’ jog 20
14 10 x 300 in 12’41″ w/100R 17
15 60’ jog 120’ (25k) 38
16 50’ jog Walk 65’ jog 24
17 60’ jog 65’ jog 25
18 60’ jog 35k (2:01’33″) last 5k in 16’21″ 50
19 60’ jog Walk 50’ jog 22
20 60’ jog 10 x 1k (3’00″~2’53″) w/ 60″R in 39’16″ 34
21 60’ jog 60’ jog 24
22 60’ jog 40’ jog 60’ jog 32
23 60’ jog 40k (2:20’58″) 17’54″~17’06″ 50’ walk + 10’ jog 58
24 60’ jog 60’ jog Walk 24
25 60’ jog 70’ jog 26
26 60’ jog 10 x 2k (5’50″~57″) w/90″ R 42
27 60’ jog 80’ jog 28
28 60’ jog Walk 60’ jog 24
29 60’ jog Walk 30k (1:37’57″) 48
30 60’ jog Walk 50’ jog + 10×300 in 13’22″ 30
31 60’ jog Rest 12

September 1999

Date Morning AM PM T/D
1 60’ jog 40k (2:24’19″) Walk 55
2 60’ jog 60’ jog 24
3 60’ jog 60’ jog Walk 24
4 60’ jog 2 x 5k (15’02″/14’52″) Walk 34
5 60’ jog 50’ jog 22
6 60’ jog 120’ jog Walk 38
7 60’ jog 65’ jog 25
8 60’ jog 60’ jog 24
9 60’ jog Walk 50’jog + 400 (71″) + 2×1000 (3’01″/2’58″) 29
10 60’ jog Walk 25k (1:20’11″) 44
11 60’ jog Walk 60’ jog 24
12 60’ jog Walk Walk 12
13 60’ jog 120’ jog 40
14 60’ jog Walk 60’ jog 24
15 60’ jog 10 x 1k (3’00″~2’41″) w/60″R Walk 36
16 60’ jog 60’ jog 24
17 60’ jog 120’ jog 38
18 Walk 5’ cycle + 5’ jog 1
19 20’W + 20’J 12000m Pace Run (37’47″) 31
20 65’ jog 40’ jog 21
21 50’ jog 35’ jog 17
22 50’ jog Walk 65’ jog 24
23 50’ jog 2 x 2000 (5’44″/5’49″) w/400R Walk 22
24 50’ jog 55’ jog Walk 22
25 40’ jog 40’ jog + strides 17
26 Walk Berlin Marathon (2:06’57″) 48
27 Walk + 30’jog 6
28 0
29 40’ jog 8
30 Rest 45’ jog 9
31 0

About runfaraz

I am a guy who loves to run marathons, and has been gifted with exceptionally slow genes which makes for mid pack finishes in races. If I don't run I become an unbalanced manic fool, so yes...running is my prozac. I believe that the key to a happy productive life is balance. Balance in all areas of your life. If one area is out of balance, all others go out of balance. Come back often as I love to see the hit counter go up!!! View all posts by runfaraz

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