With my energy focused on the New York City Marathon over the past few months, I haven’t really put much thought into the Kobe Marathon which I’ll be running in less than 9 days. I didn’t intentionally plan on running two marathons in two weeks. Since both the New York and Kobe marathons chose runners by lottery, I figured if I’m lucky I’d be selected to run one of them. I ended up getting selected for both. Of course who could turn down running the New York Marathon and since this is Kobe’s inaugural marathon, I decided I had to run them both.
I have run two marathons in two weeks before (Lake Kawaguchi and Honolulu), but I would not recommend it since a two week recovery probably isn’t sufficient for most people, especially if you run one of the marathons hard. Three or four weeks between marathons is the minimum I would recommend and that is still pushing it. But a lot of it depends on the individual, there are some crazies out there who run a marathon every weekend.
So my strategy for the Kobe Marathon is to have no strategy. New York took a lot out of me both physically and mentally, so this will be purely a fun run to take in and enjoy the city and experience. I plan to run based upon how I feel without pushing the pace. That is pretty much what I did for the Honolulu Marathon and it was probably the easiest marathon I ever run — I ran a huge negative split in Honolulu, which I rarely ever do. The Kobe Marathon course doesn’t look overly difficult, it takes you out and back and based upon the elevation profile, appears to be moderately hilly.
I have no special training plan going into the Kobe Marathon and will just rely upon my current fitness level. I’ve been resting the body this week with no running or strength training, although I did cycle to work yesterday, which was about 30 miles. My recovery this week seems to be going well, pretty much the pain in my legs has gone away, although I started getting a sore throat yesterday – probably because of the travel and erratic sleep due to jet lag compromised my immune system. I also have a business trip to Singapore early next week for a few days, which doesn’t help, but at least it is close to the same time zone as Japan – I’ll just need to really take it easy and get a lot of sleep. I’ll probably do a 10-mile moderately paced run on Sunday, some short intervals (6 x 400s) on Tuesday, and a 3-mile run next Friday to stay loose.
I’ve never been to Kobe before and heard it is a charming city. So it will also be an opportunity do a little sightseeing. I plan to take the bullet train (Shinkansen) from Yokohama to Kobe early next Saturday morning, which takes a couple hours. Then I’ll pick-up my packet, throw my bags into a coin locker, explore the city a little, check into my hotel (ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe) and have a nice carbo-loading meal someplace. Also, for those of you who don’t know, Kobe is the global headquarters for ASICS. ASCIS has a sports museum that I’d like to check out while I’m there.