News : The Japanese method, from the inside explained by an Australian athlete


News : The Japanese method, from the inside explained by an Australian athlete

Melissa Duncan, in a photo with several teammates

Exceptional the testimony that comes to us from an Australian athlete who has spent two years training and living in Japan. Melissa Duncan, the 2019 Oceania Champion, is one of the few non-African athletes who has dared to embark on the adventure of living from within the almost monastic training regimen that is established and viewed with complete normality in Japan.

Normal that then there are the spectacular results that we are seeing in recent times in the background. From January 2019 to January 2021 the Australian ran for the Shisheido corporate club. We are going to draw some phrases from Duncan’s experience, which is not wasted. Talk about the training sessions, the food, the ‘rest’ …

Three sessions a day and living just to run

“The staff was revealing the training for the next day. “The morning training will be … the 11 am training is …, for the afternoon training …”. I thought to myself: “I’m sorry… what? Will we train three times tomorrow ?!“. I thought it was a bit excessive, but when I found out that this schedule was six days a week and not just a single day as I initially assumed, I was very surprised. ”

“The team is designed to train full time all year round, living and breathing to run and to be in your best physical condition. I’ve traveled quite a bit with my career and that’s why I’ve seen groups from all over the world and their training methods, but I’ve never seen anything like the Japanese system, where athletes treat training as literal full-time work. Not just two sessions a day like most professional athletes who consider having a full-time job, but they literally spend their free time between the three sessions a day doing sit-ups, exercises, personal training, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Not to mention massage three to five times a week! ”

Without coimplaining

“Simply they go to training and do what the coach says, without questioning the purpose or intended result of the training. After making an assessment, I got figures of around 200 km / week as a rough estimate, which was significantly more than I had ever found. ”

“Another of the highlights of being on a corporate team was having a chef for us. We ate together as a team and I could always count on our chef to prepare something exquisite every day. A typical pre-workout breakfast for me before going to Japan consisted of ham toast, a banana, and a tub of yogurt, so serving fish, vegetables, rice, and potatoes for breakfast was a change. But in the end I found myself waking up craving miso soup instead of coffee! ”

Without speaking or smiling

“One of the main challenges I faced was differences in approach to training. Great mileage was now expected of me at a slower pace, and if I dared to smile or speak during training, one of the coaches would scold me. Hobbies or socializing is also not recommended as it means your focus is not 100% on training. I have done a long run almost every Sunday since I started running, so having to give up routines like this, among other aspects of my training program, was difficult because I believed it was important for me to run as well as possible ” .

“Long runs were part of the team’s training, but we only did them once every few weeks and only 10 miles at a carefully monitored pace. We had to run single file, strictly not speaking or smilingOf course, with coaches following us on bikes and in cars, making sure every kilometer was logged and at exactly four minutes per kilometer. I was always surprised that the long run was so short, but when you do it at 6am and have to be ready for another run a few hours later, I was more than grateful that I wasn’t expected to run too much! ”

“The style of training is more of a dictatorship than a family; they have a method that “works” and they are extremely stubborn to deviate from it. I struggled with high mileage and had a number of issues as a result, but they attributed this to me being ‘weak’ and didn’t seem to understand that there could be a variety of methods that suit different people to achieve maximum fitness level. condition, not necessarily just ‘the more you run the better.’


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