Saturday, November 28, 2009

QUESTIONS Arm sleeves

Didn't get much response to my last post. Is it my "potty mouth" or do you simply find my observations "boring and inane" actual quotes from ex-girlfriend. Well I'll just have to try harder ;)

Don't get me wrong I don't expect any comments but also I'm not just doing this for my own entertainment. I want to have some sort of conversation and if you're lurking and not talking to me I might as well go back with my ex-girlfriend where I got the the same treatment.

Anyway I have a serious question, I was looking at some arm sleeves the other day, you know the ones some of the elites wear see photo, and was thinking they might give me the edge I need, no really I was thinking, why would anybody wear these things? I tried to looked up some info but came up dry (why is this theme always coming back to my ex?).

Do you know anything about them?

Is it a good idea to run with them in a marathon?

Is anyone, apart from Ewen, actually reading my blog?

Monday, November 23, 2009


Did a long run yesterday of 40K and had some time to think more on Rick's question "Why are Japanese runners so good?" As I was running the local loop I was past and passing Fathers and Sons jogging together, Teenage boys doing running training with their baseball clubs, Teenage girls running with their friends, and group of 20 kids, ten years old or so, holding their own little Ekiden. On top of all this there was the 2007 winner of the Gold Coast Marathon, Toyokazu Yoshimura, sprinting 3 minute Ks around this 3K loop. Is it any wonder runners here are so good.

Jack Daniels , the coach not the Kentucky Whiskey, talks about this "social aspect" in relation to Kenyan running success and it , I believe, holds for the Japanese. All these people feed off and support eachother. If you can see on a daily basis people really into running and see that there are people you know achieving real success at it then you are more willing to try it and be better at it!

I got a message from fellow ex-pat and blogger Steve Lacey this morning that also demonstrates how this suppot works here. He wrote in part:"The weather forecast in Ohtawara, for the marathon, tomorrow is for 14 degrees, fine, and no wind!! Ha ha!! Why aren't you here??????"

I wish I was!

The Chiba Ekiden is also on today, and a wonderful day for it too.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Steve Lacey and Bay asked me recently how I'm fitting in my kilometers and although Ewen offered up a theory I'll briefly answer this another way. Rick also asked me "Why Japanese runners are so good" and I'll answer this in the process.

I'd like to give both these questions a lot more thought and analysis but I know if you all wanted that you'd be reading other peoples blogs so I'll offer up a bit of my from the gut home spun philosophy and let the more intelligent take the topic from there.

Firstly the reason, I think, the Japanese are so good at running is because they run!
I'm not being facetious. Marathon running in Japan is like nowhere else in the world a "popular sport". It gets prime time television coverage, it is promoted at and participated in at the university and club level, and people of all ages have a chance to run in any number of races almost every weekend of the year.

Most people would think "Kenya" if asked which country would you most associate with marathon running but I'd argue Japan has the history and numbers that easily put it on top.

I could go on about how the Japanese feel an affinity to the marathon as it reflects their Buddhist roots and their stoic personalities but I think the ability of the Japanese runners comes down to there being a good system of promotion and a large number of participants on all levels. Simply marathon running is thought of as the number 1 sport by so many and it has becomes just that.

Contrast this to Australia where running hardly gets a mention in the main stream press and one can enter a race the size of the "Gold Coast Marathon" and be running one third of the race virtually alone with the occasional spectator shouting sarcastically "Run Forest Run!!" or other such things. Another "spectator" yelled at me once at the GCM from a top a high rise apartment "You guys look like ants" I yelled right back "Yes, and you are clearly a fuckwit!" In Japan us runners get the respect we deserve and even the small country races can have spectators lined 4 deep, they wouldn't think to put shit on us and they really want to be there. I'm sure I run faster partly because of this kind of support?

And to answer the question of how I'm fitting in all those hours running? That boils down to an understanding wife and a job that usually starts at 10:30am. The second run in the evening is sometimes hard as I start it late and I'm ususlly tired but I can get in at least 10K, I just have to make sure I run in the morning and it is my longer one of the day, at least 15K better 20~25K.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Well I'm going to have to say it was a successful experiment. I was able to PB my half marathon race off my hard marathon training and not injure myself in the process so I'm pretty happy with that. My time 1:19:25 is getting me to the stage were I feel I'm hitting my peak but although I'd be happy to stay right here I think I have more in me. Well I didn't think this at the 18th K mark but I do now, isn't that always the way?

I'll let the photos and videos tell the rest of the story. Got to drink a few more beers and eat something. Thanks for all your recent comments. I was thinking of you out there today. Photos: Me and one of the fast guys from Kawachinagano RC and Me and a video taken at the finish line.

By the way, that time gave me 3rd in my age group 40~49 years , a medal :) and it was 9th overall out of about 800 runners.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I heard that doing a lot of miles will change you mentally and physically, they're not kidding!!!

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Had a good week and managed to put together the most Ks I've ever run in one week. Did 190kms this week and was even thinking that I might do another 10 this evening just to round it off to 200K but don't want to push my luck, besides it's pissing down rain now and my knees feel like someones been hammering on them with coconuts!!

Still considering I feel good. I didn't do any debilitating speed sessions and just tried to get in the miles at a relatively easy pace. Next Sunday I have a half so I'll drop back to about 120kms, that shall be easy in comparison to this week and put me in a good position to PB. Yes, it is all a bit of an experiment but I have to see what I can do and as, I think, I'm not really naturally fast the PBs from now on will only come by upping the mileage and peaking for races.

Anyway old "Meatloaf" in "I will do anything for love" best expresses how my last week was. I heard this while running last week and also have uploaded the classic "Bat out of hell."

"Some days it don't come easy
Some days it don't come hard
Some days it don't come at all
and these are the days that never end

Maybe I'm crazy
But it's crazy and it's true
I know you can save me
No one else can save me but you
("you") being ice-baths

As long as the planets are turning
As long as the stars are burning
As long as your dreams are coming true--
You better believe it!"