A training day, repeated
Why I ask, is that after doing quite a few Hosaka-style days, I'm learning something new about myself as a runner. You see, taking 24 hours and repeating it requires a certain tightrope-like balance. Get it wrong and you teeter to one side, and find yourself suddenly shifting weight to the skyward end of your flailing balance pole. Of course, under ideal circumstances, these adjustments would be subtle, and undetectable to gasping onlookers. You won't suddenly need a rest day from running to regain your balance.
Now some of you will be clever, and say something like "I could run 5k per day ad infinitum", or if you're a speedster like Jo, you might say "My repeatable training day would be a 5-lap warm-up and 5 x 200m sprints". That's the easy way out! I want you to think about a day that might be close to your limit. A day right on the edge of your comfort zone. Let me know, hypothetically, what this day might be.
For myself, I've zeroed in on about 17 kilometres per day. From Tuesday through to Friday I run this in two sessions: 7k after work, which I run on trails at mid to upper aerobic effort, then an hour or so later an easy 12k out and back towards Rose Cottage Inn. I've learned rather quickly to rein myself in during the 7k run, lest the 12k become an excruciatingly slow plod, and I find myself sleeping for 9 hours instead of 8 — not a good look when I stagger into work all bleary-eyed, half an hour late! I run the 7k at between 5:10 and 5:25 per km, although if my aerobic condition improves, these paces may become faster. On the weekends, although I could do the same, I usually run once per day for around 17 kilometres. On Monday afternoons I run an easy 14 or so with the Speedygeese.
Now is this a logical, sensible or effective training plan? To tell you the truth, I'm not sure. Perhaps you can offer an opinion? I'm doing it in essence, as an experiment. I'm trying to understand Hosaka, and what made him the fastest 60-year-old marathoner in the world. I don't have an overwhelming desire to break 21 minutes for 5k or 1:38 for the half marathon, although as a side-effect of this unusual training plan, that would be nice. I'm quite enjoying the simplicity of running the same amount and effort during 24 hours, for day after day.
My last training week went — 14, 7-12, 7-12, 7-12, 7-8, 18, 9-8. The last 7 weeks in kilometres have been — 126, 124, 123, 69, 113, 126 and 121 — so not quite the beautiful set of numbers that Hosaka records, but I'm working on it.