Ms. Tanaka shares her knowledge about running in a marathon race

The seventh issue welcomes Hanae Tanaka who has delivered brilliant results: she took sixth place at the Osaka International Marathon held on January 27, 2019 and participated in the marathon race at the 2018 Asian Games, representing Japan. Here, as a top-notch marathon runner, she shares her knowledge about participating in a marathon race.

Wed, Feb. 20, 2019

If you enjoy running, you have at least once wanted to take part in a marathon race, haven’t you? So, this time, we have Ms. Tanaka, a first-class marathon runner in Japan, to reveal her tips on joining a marathon race. Advice from Ms. Tanaka, who is a top athlete aiming for the Tokyo Olympics, is surely a must-read for all runners!

ADVICEProfessional advice on running

Keep your motivation with post-run indulgence

A marathon requires a lot of stamina to run more than 42km and is nothing like daily jogging and running. So, if you aim for a race, it’s important to set a clear target and keep good motivation.

Especially if you’re an amateur runner, keeping your motivation can be a challenge, so try to find your best suitable and comfortable way of boosting your motivation. For instance, I set a finish line somewhere I like or want to visit, like Tokyo Tower, etc. aiming for a photoshoot in front of the tower. With post-run indulgence, you can keep motivation more easily, don’t you think?

Kick off by choosing the right shoes for a full marathon

To run a marathon, you need to consider various points such as training and running form, etc. On top of that, proper shoes play a vital role if you want to complete a race. RUN RUN BEAUTY previously featured Ms. Makara explaining how to choose running shoes, and as she said, the right shoes are an absolute must, choosing the shoes that comfortably fit your feet. The shoe shape and fit vary with brands and models even if they are the same size, so do try first and see if they fit okay.

I’m also often asked about how to select shoes. I would say that if you finish a full-marathon in 3 hours and a half, you’d better wear good cushioned shoes, instead of thin soled ones. Only well-trained athletes can run more than 40km with thin soled shoes, and that is only because they undergo hard training and build up their legs and feet. As it also plays an important role in preventing injury, selecting the proper shoes is possibly more important than training.

Take a good rest after a race

Speaking of marathon tips, we tend to focus on pre-race preparation, but in fact, post-race care is also very important. Make sure that you take a good rest, placing priority on it among others such as massages and meals, etc.

In my case, I spare two weeks for resting my body and toning to get back in shape after a race. If you quickly resume training or running while still fatigued, you may end up with an injury. As for marathon runners, taking a good rest is part of training. Moreover, if you are an amateur runner, you may find difficulties at work due to lingering fatigue, so try to take a good rest after a race.

Thanks to Ms. Tanaka for her advice on “taking part in a marathon race”. Here are some stories of typical mistakes and blunders.


So typical! Learn lessons and leverage them for the next race!!

Taking part in a marathon race—
It sounds fun and exciting, doesn’t it? At the same time, we get jittery when we’re getting closer to the race day. No matter if you are a beginner or well-experienced, such tension may lead you to make a mistake.

Here are some stories of such mistakes and blunders by scene: before the race, on the day, and after the race. Let’s appreciate our peer runners who have shared unwelcome experiences and leverage them for the next race.

Too much preparation? Pre-race mistakes

You train diligently and here comes the race. It’s often said that a typical personality trait of runners is serious and hard-working, and such trait may possibly work adversely in some cases.
I often hear that runners suffer from lingering fatigue due to too much training before the race. Of course, the situation varies depending on runners, but I would recommend sparing 2-3 weeks before the race to eliminate all fatigue from training. Even if you undergo hard training during this period, it does not necessarily assure that you can perform well at a race.

A marathon race can be a kind of sports festival in a way and conveys a festive atmosphere. A big race often offers many pre-race events and I’m sure many of you look forward to having fun at those events. Many runners say that they enjoyed themselves too much and were exhausted before the race... Even if you trained and toned up your body before the race, you won’t be able to deliver a good result if you are overwhelmed by the festive atmosphere and get exhausted. So, stay sensible and enjoy yourself reasonably.

Anything can happen at a race. What kinds of accidents have runners faced?

You prepared well and stayed sober at the pre-race events, but still it’s too early to be relieved. Anything can happen on race day. A typical story is long lines for the toilets. “They were far longer than I had expected,” many runners complained. So, you’d better arrive at the race venue at least one hour before the race starts. It’s a nightmare if you have to run all the way to the finish line needing a toilet. If you are running in a big race, there can be long lines even for the toilets along the marathon course. I must say that you go to the toilet before the race if you aim for a good result.

running pace. There are GPS watches that instantly track pace, and I guess some runners may already count on them. That said, such handy gear can be useless if there’s “only a little battery left before the race”. You can get really upset and nervous if your big support suddenly runs out. Like body maintenance, you must also look after your support devices properly.

In addition, it’s also important not to be distracted by others. Partly due to tension, many runners start at a high pace and slow down in the latter half. It’s worthwhile telling yourself to keep pace and “run slower than usual” during a race.

Don’t forget about energy supplements and rest. Post-run routines are preparation for the next race

You must not lose focus even after you cross the finish line. As the well-known running sayings go, “a race continues until you safely return to your home” and “a marathon race doesn’t end until the next one starts”. Post-race activities will lead you to a successful run at the next race.

I do understand that you want to run as light as possible. However, you may get in trouble if you don’t carry snacks among your post-run items. If you join a big race, you should be able to find a convenience store or restaurant, etc. around the finish line area, but if a race is held in a remote area, you’d better take precautions. Even if there is a convenience store, it can be overcrowded with runners and you will find no food left. To avoid returning to your home with an empty stomach, you need to include small snacks in your post-race essentials.

Speaking of belongings, you also need outfits to change after the race. It’s quite understandable that you want to run light, go home light, and cannot be bothered to put your stuff in storage, etc. That said, if it rains, you may have to go home soaking wet and shivering. The autumn and winter are the most popular seasons for running race. Given that, if you get wet, you may suffer from hypothermia, which can cost your life. To this end, pack some outfits and change after the race.

I wouldn’t really recommend resuming training soon after the race. You may be able to deliver a better performance than you would expect in a marathon, but that means you also damage your body more. So, do have a good rest before resuming your training. It’s also often heard that when a runner resumes training soon after a race with lingering fatigue, they will damage their body, resulting in injury. I know you feel like running after a race as you’ve discovered new issues and challenges, but don’t push yourself too hard. To continue enjoying running without injury, you must have a good rest.


Shiseido Running Club

Joined Shiseido Running Club in April 2017. Came in third place in the 2017 Osaka International Marathon, which was her first marathon race, and made herself into a top athlete. In 2018, finished sixth in the Nagoya Women’s Marathon and participated in the Asian Games, representing Japan. A promising candidate for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She enjoys visiting many different coffee shops, two or three shops a day in the off-season. Also likes martial arts, often enjoys watching matches on TV such as boxing and RIZIN fighting. “Tenshin Nasukawa (kick-boxer) and Kyoji Horiguchi (mixed martial artist) are my favorite athletes,” she says.