Tokyo Marathon 2020

I admit I entered the ballot for a laugh, never expecting to get in, and I've got in. Yikes! Has anyone else got in?
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  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    That's great news Cal, what date is it?
  • I'm doing it, but I already had a spot - the odds are very long in the ballot!  It's on 1st March.
  • Me! I also entered fully expecting not to get in, and couldn't believe I actually got a place! Dropped in here wondering if anyone would be talking about it, so it's good to find a thread already :)

    It's extremely exciting - even if a rather expensive prospect! Haven't had time to think about it too much today, but I'm going to have a good look at details this evening after work. Going to have to think about how long I can afford to be there and what else could be reasonably crammed in around the marathon!
  • Shades - 1st March.

    My other hobby is riding rollercoasters - I was in Japan 10 years ago doing just that. One of my rollercoaster friends is interested in joining me and hitting some parks afterwards so hoping that works out. We also have a shared love of sushi.
    I've paid the entry fee now (I opted for the shirt - not like I don't have a lot of shirts already, but a Tokyo shirt is hard to miss). Even more expensive than Vienna, which I did this year. I reckon the trip'll cost me a couple of grand all round (if I stay on for the parks, at least) but it's a once in a lifetime thing and I'd rather go to my deathbed with no regrets.
  • Cal, I've just paid myself and also opted for the shirt (like you, I was not going to miss out on a Tokyo shirt, and I also love the silly/quirky design).

    Like you say, it's a once in a lifetime experience - would be great if you could combine the running and rollercoaster hobbies in a trip there. I've never been to Japan before, so where to start? Doing a bit of research now and can see that a day trip to Mount Fuji looks pretty feasible - that's about as far as I've got at the moment (although I can tell I'll end up with a huge list of stuff I want to do). I've been reading a few reviews of the marathon too - everyone seems to have found it a good experience and that the support is excellent and people there are really friendly/nice. 

    Cheerful Dave, have you run it before?
  • SBD.SBD. ✭✭✭

    This was my first year of entering the Tokyo ballot.

    I must have entered the London ballot five years in a row without being accepted (I've subsequently achieved GFA entries) but then get accepted in to Tokyo first time!

    I wasn't expecting this result and am not really sure if I can go now due to various personal reasons!  Will have to think about it over the weekend!

    Well done Cal and Gipfel!

    Have you done Tokyo before CD?

  • Gipfel/SBD - no, it'll be my first time as well.  The last of the majors, only 17 years after the first one!  A few years ago a mate and I decided that having done three of them over the years we should knock off the other three, so after Chicago last year and New York this November it'll be Tokyo in March to complete the set.  He managed to get an entry through SportsTours, I was fortunate enough to get a 'semi elite' spot that they have for overseas runners.

    I've booked a hotel near the start, the same one that SportsTours use.  If transport is going to be tricky I'd rather have it after the race than before!  

    Yes, I also got the t-shirt.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Cal - that date will fit in nicely if you plan to do any later Spring marathons.

    Well done to all of you that got a ballot place and CD on your semi elite place, you'll have to have a RW meet up in Tokyo :)  
  • Dave, I'd be interested in knowing what hotel that is.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Well, I've booked flights and a hotel now - and am starting to build up a good to-do list! After a lot of indecision about where to stay (there's so much choice), I've gone for one of the APA hotels – on a Facebook group I've joined, a lot of people who've run this before recommended this chain as decent and good value. My hotel is closer to the marathon finish than the start, but it's practically next to a metro station on one of the lines that takes you directly to the start, and there seem to be very regular trains – another thing everyone agrees on is that the transport is so good that you don't really need to worry too much if you're not staying that close to the start. The hotel also has Japanese baths, which I'm quite happy about, as I really wanted to try them, but it's much more convenient to have them in the hotel than attempting to find some public ones!

    Cal, did you know that Tokyo has a parkrun? I don't usually like to run the day before a marathon, but I might have to make an exception for this one.
  • Yes, they started that recently. Like you I usually abstain before a marathon (even though I'm a keen parkrun tourist) but the temptation is strong.
  • OK I may have booked the same hotel - Nishishinjuku-Gochome-Eki tower. That the one?
  • Cal - it's the Keio Plaza hotel.
  • Ah! Well mine has a baths too. Think I'll need it afterwards!
  • Flights booked! One less thing to worry about.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    In case anyone is interested, entries are now open for the Tokyo 'Friendship Run' (4k casual run the morning before the marathon; entries are on the marathon website, I think) - it looks quite fun. However, I think I'm going to do the parkrun, if anything - having looked at a map, either the Friendship Run or the parkrun will be a 30-minute metro journey from my hotel, so it doesn't make too much difference, and I don't think I can resist the temptation of such an exotically located parkrun - even if it does start at 8am rather than 9am!

    The location of the expo has also been announced - am quite happy with where this is, as it is near the docks, Rainbow Bridge, etc. and also a digital art museum called teamLab Borderless, which I quite fancy visiting: https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/participants/for_runners/?fbclid=IwAR37kroH33HA_6SHwDaIDCTpyGp7RXV20zn7Ewc86s1Z1PuE7bo_cXJ3N5k

    I am into Week 6 of my 'official' training plan for Tokyo (am using a Hansons plan for the first time). It's been mostly easy runs so far, I think just getting the legs used to running more often, but it has really started ramping up this week, with the introduction of a weekly speed session and tempo session (which is marathon pace in this particular plan), plus going from 5 days to 6 days of running! I'm actually really enjoying the plan - it's very different from plans I've used before, but the more frequent easy runs are suiting me well, and it's nice not to have to plan for so many hugely long weekend runs (idea of this plan is 'cumulative fatigue' built up throughout the week, meaning that your long run simulates the last miles of a marathon rather than the first miles). People who've used it speak very highly of it, so we'll see how it works out!
  • Good luck with Hanson's, Gipfel.
    I think I'm going to go for the parkrun too, being a parkrun tourist. I've not done one abroad yet.

    After a week off after Yorkshire with my cold, I've been building up mileage - hit a couple of 51 mile weeks but, in spite of having a good track 5K on Saturday, my overall pace has tanked. My normal easy run pace is around 10:30 (10:40s for warm-up miles and big hills, but I can hit closer to 10s in the later stages of an easy run). Today my miles were all well over 11 which worries me. I am concerned I built up a bit too quickly. I've done a few progression runs up to MP but the only other speed work I've done is parkrun. Niggles are under control, so I'm a bit stumped.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Cal, hope you're feeling better now. Could it be that you were coming down with something or, alternatively, just that you needed a cut-back week after the mileage build-up? In any case, I hope it is/was a temporary blip.

    I've been doing a bit more research into what I might want to do in and around Tokyo - going to be totally spoilt for choice (too many things, not enough time there). I've looked into seeing Mount Fuji - I love mountains so would want to, but the weather could well be unfavourable, so I've decided to play it by ear when I'm there and make a decision to go if there's a clear day. You can get a Shinkansen (bullet train) to Hakone, which is only a 35-minute journey and offers good views of Fuji en route, plus the Hakone area itself has generally stunning-looking lake/mountain scenery, so it could be good for a wander in dry/clear weather. Father Christmas is bringing me a Tokyo guidebook - totally unnecessary when I can find all the info online, but I do like a new Christmas book, so I'm going to enjoy a good bit of reading over the break. Has anyone else got any plans?  

    Tokyo training is still going well (fingers crossed; don't want to jinx anything) - I can't quite believe I've got myself up to running 6 days a week and that my legs are coping fine! It just shows the benefit of easy runs - I think when I've tried to increase the number of days before, I've not gone 'easy' enough when I should have, and I've therefore struggled with niggles. 
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    edited December 2019
    I went to Fuji-Q, the theme park by the mountain, last time I was there. Had a great view from the hotel room. Unfortunately the park is well named - operations move at a glacial pace resulting in very long waits for rides.
    I had a slightly disappointing 10K on Sunday but a better run today so I seem to be getting back to normal. I think I probably underestimated how much Yorkshire took out of me - at least that's the most logical answer.
    As for me, planning to get to a couple of the the parks I didn't visit late time, plus a return to Disney as when I went before, the park was at capacity and there were 4 hour waits for rides. Crazy stuff. And I will definitely be eating all the sushi.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Glad to hear things seem to be getting back to normal for your running - I hope it stays that way. Tokyo definitely seems like a good place to be for marathon runners whose other main hobby is rollercoasters :D I've seen a lot of talk on Facebook pages about the theme parks. Let's hope that the queues are better this time round - I'm guessing it's likely to be fairly quiet, given the time of year.

    I'm also plotting to go to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park near Nagano if I can, and I'm trying to work out if it's feasible to do that early in the day, then squeeze in an afternoon's skiing at Japan's largest ski resort, which is pretty near the park (thereby ticking the 'skiing in Japan' box), but it will be a pretty long day and might be a bit much - particularly as it would also have to be done the day after the marathon! We'll see. I'm definitely looking forward to the food too!

    We're only 10 weeks away - funny how that seems a long time in normal life but not so long when one is looking at one's marathon training plan...I'm off to do a 'tempo run' shortly, which in Hansons is at marathon pace, or at target marathon pace, anyway - still not sure if I'm being too ambitious. At the moment, it's impossible to imagine running the whole race at that pace, but I have to remind myself that it always feels like that!  
  • Ten weeks...shit! :o
    I don't know about skiing the day after a marathon - your legs are going to be pretty trashed, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
    Marathon pace feels unfeasibly fast to me at the moment. I have to keep in mind that when I ran my sub-4 at Yorkshire (averaging a little over 9 min/mi) it was a good 30 seconds per mile faster than my previous best marathon and it's only a couple of years since that was my HM pace, and four years since it was my 10K pace.
    Right now I still haven't recovered my speed - I had a pretty disappointing 10K on Sunday and my parkruns have been nothing to write home about, but I've already knocked out a couple of 50 mile weeks so that will have had an effect since I didn't get much recovery time after Yorkshire.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Under 8 weeks to go, and I am hobbling about after a nasty ankle sprain falling on the stairs on NYD! It is frustrating, as my training was going well (I'd had a 47.5-mile week previously - my highest mileage week ever - and was feeling really strong) - but at least the x-ray confirmed that there are no breaks/fractures, and it is showing a little bit of improvement each day, albeit slowly. So it's now all about continuing to get the swelling down plus lots of rehab/ankle strengthening while keeping fitness as much as possible until I can try running again. I'd be tempted to pull out of a lot of races - but it's Tokyo, so I really want to be crossing both the start and finish lines one way or another, and I'm still looking forward to it regardless! I'm allowed to try out a static bike in a couple of days and am planning some pool running soon.

    Hope everyone else's training is going well. Cal, looks as if yours is - I saw from the 1000 mile thread that you got a 10k PB - well done!
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Oh bloody hell, not what you need! I actually sprained my ankle the last time I was due to go to Tokyo, but that was a rollercoaster holiday (with South Korea as well). I knew I'd be on my feet a lot at the parks so after a day of rest, I just continued to walk on it (my commute at the time involved a half hour walk each way) and did ankle circles while I sat at my desk. I was able to walk around just fine, 5 days after the sprain. Walking isn't running, though, so good luck. And thanks.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Cal, that gives me hope - although I can't really walk well on mine just now (in fact, the physio has lent me crutches for the next couple of days because I'm walking 'badly' and may end up aggravating both the ankle and another tendon or something - hopefully will avoid that now and also give it more of a chance to heal), it sounds as if once you can walk, the recovery might be quicker! I generally do a lot of walking around to places, so I'm really struggling with not being able to at the moment - it feels very restrictive. I am doing a lot of ankle circles...

    I think the physio did see the worst of my walking - I'd been sitting down waiting a while for the appointment, and it's always significantly worse when I first stand up again. Tried a brief gentle cycle at the gym, which didn't hurt, but I had very little power in the leg so couldn't work hard enough to elevate my heart rate much - however, I noticed I was almost walking around normally afterwards, so it just shows that warming up really helps! Surely after all the inevitable faffing to get to the start of the marathon and all the standing around in the pen, I'll be fine :D  
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I did quite a few spin classes after spraining mine - it kept my cardio up at least. I just told the instructor I'd have to stay seated rather than do the standing climbs etc.
  • Gipfel - You've still got 7 weeks and a reasonable base of training.  It might be a case of just get round which wasn't what you set out for but if you're sensible you'll be OK!  Just don't rush into anything too quickly would be my advice, such as it is.  Cycling, if you can, is usually a good thing.

    All OK at this end, at least compared to you two!  A few long runs in the bag, speedwork is picking up nicely.  Just got to avoid injury in the weekend XC!
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I'm fine, Dave - got a couple of 20 milers in the bag and a 10K PB last weekend.
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Yeah, Cal is flying at the moment - it's just me who's managed an epic fail training wise - am just glad that, as you say, I do have some kind of base! Thanks for the encouragement - it seems that I've become needy and crave people saying 'it'll be fine - you'll get round' to me at regular intervals, so I appreciate your help on this front! To be honest, I will be absolutely delighted if the ankle allows me to get round (there will be other marathons for PBs), and perhaps I'll even enjoy some Tokyo sightseeing during the race itself - it's all too easy not to look at surroundings when running these things, but I think the city is going to be pretty spectacular/different from the norm. I'll definitely be doing quite a bit of indoor cycling (without standing) - will be at the gym late-ish this evening, once the January hordes have gone home.

    Glad to hear your training is going well, anyway - all sounds excellent - but yes, be careful in that XC! 
  • GipfelGipfel ✭✭✭
    Hope everyone is doing ok! I'm finally back running (phew) - did 4 miles yesterday followed by 3.3 today and feel all right, so I'm hoping I can carry on gradually building up in the next week or so and at least have done the half distance before the race. I'm still getting very mild pain when walking every now and again, and I still have some annoying swelling around the ankle bone, but things are generally fine (swelling not enough any more to affect wearing normal running shoes/socks), and all the ligaments have been thoroughly twisted/tested by the physio and are apparently strong!

    When not able to run, I at least came up with a nice schedule for my time in Tokyo. When is everyone flying out? I'm arriving early Thursday morning and am hoping to get to the expo by the afternoon, assuming the flight doesn't kill me too much. I treated myself to some Asics Glideride trainers (partly because they claimed to reduce ankle movement!), which seem nice to run in, so of course I'm now tempted to buy the special Tokyo Marathon edition that will be on sale at the expo...
  • I'm arriving Thursday afternoon so will likely go to the expo on Friday. Are you planning on doing one of the Tokyo parkruns?

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