WHEN AND WHERE DO YOU TRAIN?
We have one weekly training session, on Wednesday night, at a track called Oda Field, near Yoyogi Park. It starts at 7:15 pm and lasts for about an hour.
We meet all year long; in the moist heat of summer, during the rainy season, or in the colder winter days, there will always be someone.
THIS IS MY FIRST TIME, HOW DO I FIND YOU?
When you enter Oda Field, we meet inside the track, at the corner closest to the entrance. Look for a group with probably some people wearing our kit, a mix of foreigners and Japanese.
We recommend you come a few minutes before, and send us a message beforehand to make sure we know you’re coming.
You don’t need to do anything special, all you need to do is show up
ARE THERE COIN LOCKERS/SHOWERS
Yes there are free lockers and showers inside the track. To use the lockers, however, we recommend you show up at 7:00 pm latest as it gets crowded and they run out quick. Coin lockers remain usually available though right outside the track
CAN ANYONE JOIN?
Running with Namban is FREE, and anyone, whatever your age, level, experience, or nationality can join. The group is quite diverse, so there’s a good chance you will find people you will enjoy running with! We divide the group into three subgroups of similar speeds for our interval sessions.
YES, BUT I AM VERY SLOW
If you are slow and have little experience, you can join our slower group for the interval session. You might not be able to complete the entire session the first time, but it’s okay, after some time, you will notice some improvement.
YES, BUT I DON’T LIKE/NEVER DID INTERVAL TRAINING…
Interval training is one of the fundamentals that compose a complete training program.
Whether your goal is to run faster or just to make your easy runs feel easier, then you need to bring variation to your training. Interval sessions are hard, of course. But they are extremely efficient, and running as a group will help you overcome the mental hardship.
WHAT IF I’M A FAST RUNNER?
We’ve had athletes running sub-15 5,000m, sub 70 min half marathons, sub 2:35 marathons, and sub-8h 100km…
Feel free to come run with us and try to challenge the fastest of our current club members.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT SPEED GROUPS
For our interval sessions, we divide into three smaller subgroups of more homogeneous speed. It is based on the average pace you can hold for a 6×1000 workout with equal resting time between each rep.
- Anacondas can run at about 3’00 to 3’50” pace;
- Bobcats between 3’50” and 4’40” pace;
- Cheetahs between 4’40” and 5’30″pace.
If you’re not sure which group to join the first time, ask us. You’ll find your own crew after the first or second session!
WHAT’S THE WORKOUT LIKE?
We recommend you come already warmed up, or a few minutes before to have time to warm up on the track.
At 7:15 pm, our leader will welcome the new members and explain the program for the day. It will be a set of intervals with varying lengths (from 200m to 2000m) and varying rest times, for a total of about 6500m. The program changes every week, but there’s a leader for each subgroup, so just follow their instructions.
After the intervals, we regroup and usually do a short core workout all together.
ARE THERE OTHER SESSIONS?
The interval session on the track is our main training meetup. Some of our members also meet on Saturday mornings for hill repeats.
There are a few informal runs and events (social, long runs, etc.) organized every now and then. The best way to stay informed is to become a member.
HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
Running and training with us is FREE.
However, if you run with us regularly, we recommend you become a member. It only costs 2,075 Yen per year. You will be part of our community and added to our mailing list, groups.io, and social platform where you will have access to a lot more resources and information about training runs and races.
I WOULD LIKE TO RACE IN JAPAN, CAN YOU HELP?
Most of our members race frequently.
We have a list of races in Japan in the calendar on our groups.io member’s platform.
Races tend to get full early so it’s better to plan ahead.
We also organize group registration for some team events, such as the Okutama Ekiden in December every year.
We recommend you take a look at Samurai Sports, they help you sign up for events even if you don’t speak Japanese.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL RUNNING?
Our focus is road running races but we also run on the trails, either for cross-training, races, or simply because there are so many beautiful trails around Tokyo!
We sometimes get together to run on the trails together: Make sure you also check out Tokyo Trail Running (TTR)
I LIVE OVERSEAS BUT TRAVEL REGULARLY TO JAPAN. CAN I BE A MEMBER/JOIN A RUN?
Becoming a member is not a prerequisite to running with us: you can join our training session whenever you’re visiting Japan.
However, if you want to become a member after having run with us, that’s also possible: about 25% of our members live overseas, mostly because they want to remain part of the community!