Hosaka is my new Hippie Steve
My favourite running heroes are what I like to call "blue-collar runners". They work in ordinary jobs, fit in their running when they can, and often do amazing things with modest talent. In the 1980s I admired Hippie Steve, who ran with our group in Sydney's Lane Cove River Park [number 8 in the photo on this page]. Steve was a great enthusiast and I was forever impressed by the way he could run 35 to 36 minutes for 10k at Lane Cove without even thinking about it, and also be happy enough to jog the bush track on Fridays with snails like myself.
Now I have a new hero, although I'll never get to run with him, and his talent may be slightly superior to Hippie Steve's. Thanks to Bob, I've become fascinated by Yoshihisa Hosaka — the 60-year-old Japanese runner who in February ran 2:36:30 for the marathon. Yes, Hosaka is even quicker than my other hero — that connoisseur of black fish and huge exotic marathon PBs — Scott Brown. Apparently Hosaka tries to average 30 kilometres per day when training for marathons — 10k in the morning before work and 20k in the evening.
I've tried to emulate Hosaka by running 6k in the morning and 12k in the evening on eight days in the past fortnight. Now before all you brilliant mathematicians jump in and say that only adds up to 18k, I'll quickly add that I'm a much slower runner than Hosaka, and my kilometres take longer to run. A hard 6k for me takes around 33 minutes to complete, whereas a hard 10k for Hosaka would have him on the road for perhaps only 35 minutes. My 6k course follows a 2k loop through and around the suburb where I live. About half the course is on a lovely dirt track and it climbs about 50 metres in the first kilometre of each lap.
One interesting thing I've noticed on these "double" runs is that my resting heart-rate prior to the afternoon run isn't as low as it would be if I'd had a normal break of 23 hours between outings. It's been about 4 beats higher and consequently has remained high during the second run, even when my legs are telling me I'm running easily. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Is it a good training effect, or am I overdoing things?
Anyway, good luck to all who are racing this weekend. Run like Hosaka!