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Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011

Staying calm and getting ready for the big day

Staff writer

Takeshi Aoyama, a Japanese Olympic triathlon coach, personal trainer, and author of several books on stretching and running, offers tips for Tokyo Marathon runners.

In the week before the marathon, try not to run more than 20 km during training. Such intense training should be done much earlier. Instead, keep up the light training and try getting off one station before your place of work and walk. Use stairs instead of escalators.

Try to avoid oily foods and alcohol. For example, avoid fried dishes and beer.

It is normal for runners to have difficulty sleeping the night before a marathon. Try to get as much sleep as possible on the Friday as well. If you cannot sleep on Saturday, try lying down in the dark and resting instead. This should be enough to energize your body.

On the day of the marathon, eat a light breakfast. Also take food supplements, such as energy bars, with you.

For first-time Tokyo Marathon runners. This is a rare chance to run on roads that are normally used by vehicles only. There are plenty of organized events along the way, so don't take the race too seriously. Take time to enjoy the view.

After you finish the run. Take a walk or go for a swim to ease the muscles. Also do some stretches while taking a warm bath.

For more information on Aoyama, visit www.coach-aoyama.com. His book, "Taikan Switch Running" (Japanese only) is available at most book stores.

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