You don't have to run. You can just walk.

Yuko Arimori (Runner)






When the Great East Japan Earthquake struck, the trains in Tokyo stopped and everyone walked home. You may have forgotten about that, but walking is a more effective exercise when you keep doing it for a sustained period. You don’t need to run. In fact, it’s much harder to walk than it is to run.
When you run, you alternately have one foot and then the other off the ground, but when you walk, both feet are constantly treading ground. You use all your energy to move, without ever easing up. So over the same distance, it’s harder to walk than it is to run. If you walk a long way, your muscles really ache. Walking a long way with correct posture is in itself a form of core training. That’s why I think walking courses are important, too. Walking is the most essential element of physical preparation.
At this course, there is a rice cracker shop that you can stop at along the way. You can eat ningyo-yaki (bean jam cake), drink tea, or eat a steamed bun. It’s also a good idea to take some rice balls with you. When you get tired, you can get onto the train and go home. If you run out of time, you can just stop at whatever point you’ve reached. As you walk along, you can ask yourself, “I wonder how far I’ll be able to walk today. Which station will I reach today before catching the train?”
At this walking course, the scenery is varied so you won’t feel bored, and you might also discover something. And you can get a sense of just how far you can really walk. I think the reason the Tokyo Marathon caught on was that you feel so invigorated to think how far you can run in Tokyo.
Convenience store expeditions are also good. They hand out cards to children who can get 3 points, 2 points, or 1 point respectively for every three stamps they accumulate by running, walking, or cycling. It makes them want to compete. I think it’s also important to set it up that way. JR has a stamp rally where you go to certain places and collect stamps, but it’s also interesting to walk. Even adults find it interesting. You get into the habit of walking every day. Walking forms the basis of your physical training. And Tokyo is a pleasant place to walk.



Yuko Arimori (Runner)

Acquired a silver medal at Barcelona and a bronze medal at Atlanta. She was the first ever female Japanese Olympic games medalist. The representative director of the NPO Heart Of Gold. Received a Female Sports Award from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) in 2010.