Tokyo Marathon is one of the Six World Marathon Majors ( others are: Chicago, New York, Boston, London and Berlin). Also, Tokyo Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label race with a certified and fast course which cannot be found in Taiwan. For me, the first priority of the race I am going to attend it’s the certification of the course since the official result is compulsory to meet the standard of SEA Games. Besides Tokyo, Fukuoka International Open Marathon and Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon are ideal for me to set personal record because they also have fast course and high competitive level.
Tokyo Marathon has a special apply channel for overseas semi-elite runners who can submit official results from AIMS races within two years. ( the top 100 applicants will be accepted) I applied with 2h39’ finish time in 2015 Kaohsiung Marathon, and I am arranged to the A starting block, the first block behind those invited elite runners.
由於很怕不能達標ＳＥＡ game ，又有點擔心自己能不能夠適應東京的天氣，所以在東京馬前２周也參加了高雄馬拉松（2:33)，在隔一周參加台體大的冬季五千公尺測驗賽（15:46)，提高馬拉松的理想值，希望能對於東京馬再更有信心一點。
Training Plan for Tokyo Marathon
The training plan started after I finished the Taipei marathon in December, 2016. I ran 2hours and 35minutes. I had revealed my intention to run around 2h28’ in Tokyo with my coach. However, he regarded this goal should be too tough for me and the optimist time should be around 2h33’. Although this dream seemed to be a little far for me at that time, coach still encouraged me to fully devoted to work it out and made some changes in my training schedule. In short, the distance both in LSD and lactate－threshold pace run are reduced, but average pace for T-pace run would be faster. Besides, I’d included some mental training by myself ( to convince my subconsciousness that I could run 2h28’ lol)
Due to the fear that I might fail the Tokyo Marathon, I ran the Kaohsiung Marathon in 2h33’ two weeks before Tokyo as a back-up plan to qualify for SEA Games. One week before the big race, I ran a 5000m track race in 15’46” (PB) built my confidence for the upcoming Tokyo Marathon.
I arrived in Japan two days before the race. After I check-in the hotel, I went out for a short easy run. Perhaps my body hadn’t got used to the weather yet, I felt tension in left calf. Next I went to the EXPO to get my Number Bib. , and I visited the Phiten stand to by kinesiology tape. After bath, I relieve my leg muscle with foam roller, applying kinesiology tape on my legs and went to bed.
可能是要比賽了很緊張，晚上也睡不太好，一直起來上廁所，到了早上６點乾脆不睡了，趕快起床吃早餐，就出發到會場了．整路都是要參加馬拉松的跑者，本來想說會迷路，但志工很多，指標清楚，出了地鐵站後很快就找到指定的入口處，安檢完就開始熱身接著寄物，在起跑前３０分鐘就進去卡位了，我大概站在Ａ區的第三排，旁邊都是知名的選手，像是Kipsang ,Sara Hall,藤原新..等
我到台灣後才開始跑步，大部分的比賽對我來說都是在國外，但我這次是為了要參加在吉隆坡的ＳＥＡ game 才千里迢迢到了東京，我必須繼續堅持下去，馬拉松的比賽是３０Ｋ後才開始。努力維持配速，但過了３５Ｋ之後集團就瓦解了，我只能繼續往前追上失速的跑者，從３８Ｋ後我就自己跑了，配速在３：４０左右，最後幾Ｋ就不管配速多少了，也沒看時間，就只能用意志力撐回終點了。
Perhaps I was too nervous before this important race, I didn’t sleep well that night. Thus, I decided to get up at 6 o’clock and finish my breakfast earlier than planned. On the way to start zone, the subway and road is crowded with marathoners. I was a little bit worried that I might get lost. Nevertheless, the clear directions for marathoners helped me find my way to the assigned entrance gate once I left the subway station. After finishing the security check, I started to warm up and then put my backpack to the luggage truck. Thirty minutes before the starting time, I moved to the starting line to have an ideal start position. I approximately located in the third row of starting block A. I saw many renowned athletes such as Wilson Kipsang, Sara Hall and Arata Fujiwara( two-time Japanese Olympic representative).
At the very beginning, my plan was to follow Sara Hall’s pace. After the race started, I captured her in 200m and started to stay with her pace. Because the incline in the first half of the course was slightly downward as well as the company of the big peloton, the pace was around 3’20/KM. Although the pace was faster than I ‘d expected, I couldn’t slow down in such crowded group. We passed the 10 KM mark by 34 minutes, and I still felt good.
My supplement plan was to intake half portion of the energy gel every 10 KM and take water and sports drink in water station. Until the half of race, I generally ran at a smooth status. When my shrinking peloton passed the half-marathon mark, the time was at 73~74 minutes. From 20 KM to 25 KM, the course started to become flat and my pace dropped to 3’30/KM. Moreover, I felt the familiar tension of my left calf again! I tried to focus on the control of my arms’ swing and forget about the soaring calf. At that moment, a slogan from the promotion video of 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade came into mind"The greater your dream is, the farther you are from home. This time, let's fight at home."
I started running after I went to Taiwan. Most races I participated are “ overseas race” for me. But the main reason why I flied to Tokyo was to earn the opportunity to run on the road of Kuala Lumpur in SEA Games. Therefore, I had to keep fighting. Some people say that a marathon starts after 30 KM. My peloton collapsed after 35KM so I had to rely on my own to maintain the pace and endeavored to capture the exhausted runners in front of me. With four kilometers remaining, my pace turned to 3’40/KM. However, this was the final phase of the race so I chose to neglect the time on my watch and ran as fast as I could with will power.
After I passed the finishing gate, I saw the clock showed 2h28’. I hardly could believe it and wonder if I were dreaming. But the time on my watch corresponded with the official clock.
Finally, I have to show my utmost gratitude to my coach- Cheng-Ming Lin, nicknamed Ma-Chi ( a Taiwanese American hip hop and rap singer)
And my training partners in Chung-Hsing and Fung Chia University, Taichung
Malaysian runners who support me
My fiancée who always support me to pursue my dream in Athletics
Owe to all of your company, I can come close to my dream step by step.
Hopefully, I can race at home this time!!