Tokyo Marathon 2014: Taper Time!

Sunday, 2 February 2014  |  Bullish Insights

In the early part of December, I posted about writing a series of posts on my training for Tokyo Marathon. I had good intentions and I truly thought I would be able to follow through.  This post would be the first and apparently last one…until now. Whooops!

First Christmas happened, then New Year.  Then, there were a lot of Bull Circles and Bull Sessions sprinkled somewhere in between that took a lot of my time.  And, I only realized now that, while I first thought that scheduling my own marathon just a week after TBR ULAH Dream Marathon was one of my more brilliant ideas (I could train together with my own runners!) it turned out to be quite the opposite.  The combination of organizing a race along with serious training for a marathon is no joke (although I did catch myself laughing out loud while neck deep in work sometimes!  Yes, it kinda drove me nuts!)

Now that I’m done with all the excuses about my failure to update you, allow me to say that I still  managed to train for Tokyo despite all the work.  So here I am, three weeks away from Tokyo Marathon and I feel ready, baby!

– Tokyo Marathon Info Kit was sent by mail. I received it a few days ago –


My friends, Ton, Lit and I chose to follow Lit’s experimental program which he modified and adapted from the Brooks Hansen Program for us to use for Tokyo Marathon.  (Aaah, the benefits of having a running coach for a friend!)  The program focuses on quality runs instead of pure distance.  Instead of running a maximum of 35km (which I usually do in my previous marathons), we instead run a maximum of 28km and three back-to-back runs: 16-16, 21-21, and 18-18.  The back to back runs allow us to run at a target pace even on tired legs.

I thought this was the perfect program for perennially injured me.  The “shorter” long run could keep injury at bay for me.  And, quite honestly, I was aching to try something new to help me break my PR at London Marathon.

We used this program from December until now hitting all the major runs required.  Just yesterday and this morning, we ran our last back-to-back runs: the two 18ks.  We ran this at a pace much stronger than what we’re used to for our LSDs and I loved every single minute!

– Last Saturday after our first 18k run for the weekend –

Will it work?  I really don’t know.  I will admit that I used to find comfort in heading out for a marathon knowing that I got that 35k under my belt.  Now, I feel a bit queasy about having a measly 28k.  But, I will tell you that I’m a little bit more confident now about my speed which we developed more running the back to back training runs.  I think the main benefit of those runs was that we learned to push hard even on tired legs, which is essentially what you experience in the last 10k of the marathon.


So, this morning, after our run, we all ended the run with high-fives ecstatic that it’s finally taper time.  The work is over.  The goal for the next three weeks is to continue running strong runs but at a shorter distance, to eat well, and to not get injured (bawal madapa at mag crash sa bike!)  Oh, and also to give our runners the best first marathon of their lives at TBR ULAH Dream Marathon.

Aaah, the marathon.  Whether it’s your first or your tenth, it still commands the same amount of commitment from an individual and gives back a hundredfold upon crossing the finish line.