It's time to run in a fast-paced world 〈YUKINA TANIMOTO〉

After a grueling 800-meter race, Yukina Tanimoto now enjoys running for pleasure.
  • Photograph:IORI MATSUDAIRA

HERENESS MEMBERS introduces "people who know the joy of physical exercise.

In our first issue, we introduce Yukina Tanimoto, who, after a grueling 800-meter race, has now found "running for pleasure.

Yukina Tanimoto is a very cheerful and flexible talker, but sometimes a side of her that reminds us of her core strength peeks out. 800m running is a physically and mentally demanding event, and she was a national champion when she was in junior high school, and also placed third in the nation when she was a university student.

On the other hand, since retiring from running, she has also discovered the joys of "non-competitive running" through teaching running communities. The way Ms. Tanimoto deals with running is full of hints on how to enjoy running.

I thought for myself and got the results.

The elementary school where Tanimoto entered had a small student body, and the marathon, an annual event, was held for the entire grade, with both boys and girls running together.

There was one boy who was very fast, his name was Nagata-kun, and he was my rival for a long time, and I worked hard to beat him as many times as possible during the six years I was there.

Realizing that he was fast enough to compete with the boys, Tanimoto naturally joined the track and field club when he entered junior high school.

I won the national championship in junior high school, so I decided to specialize in track and field in high school, and joined Saikyo High School in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the strongest school in the prefecture. I entered Saikyo High School in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the strongest school in the prefecture, but due to injuries, I was not able to compete very well for three years. I entered Saikyo High School in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the strongest school in the prefecture, but I was unable to compete well for three years due to injuries. When I thought about what to do at university, I had the option of quitting, but I guess I was a competitive person, so I decided I couldn't go on like this.

When she entered the prestigious University of Tsukuba, Manami Mashita, known as the "Queen of the 800m," was one grade above her. The presence of her high-level seniors and the students' style of thinking and organizing their own training combined to produce the third place result at the national championships.

After entering the university, we began to think up and put together our own menus," he said. That is why I was able to absorb knowledge that I did not have before. I think that's one of the reasons I was able to improve. 800m is a lot of work when I think about it now (laughs). (laughs). You have to train for short distances and also for long distances. But maybe that was the fun part. I also enjoyed planning my training. I wondered if I was strong in long distance, weak in short distance, or if I should practice more because I was weak in short distance. It was fun to analyze."


I found the joy of running when I was exposed to the running community.

For those who have been active on the front lines, it is often difficult for them to switch to "playing sports for fun" after retiring from active sports. Mr. Tanimoto, too, had a hard time finding that rhythm at first.

I guess I am stoic after all," he said. Immediately after I retired from track and field, I still had the feeling I was competing, so I kept a close watch on my times, and I would run for distances of several kilometers and for minutes or more, but it didn't last. I felt that if I did that without a goal, it would just be too much work. I didn't like it, so I stopped measuring time. I don't measure time or distance. I ran whenever I wanted to and stopped when I got tired.

There was one more event that changed Tanimoto's relationship with running. I started to have more opportunities to get involved with citizen runners in the running community, and from then on, running became less of a chore. I had an image of running as a competition, but I realized that there are other ways to run, such as running while chatting in a community or running while expanding the community. When I run with others, I can run while relaxing. After the run, I feel more organized. Yes, the community was a big part of it.


Running without a watch when the mind is wavering

Finally, I asked him about the appeal of running.

I try to run when I'm in a fast-paced situation, such as when I'm dealing with Corona or a change in my environment. That way I can organize. I think, "This isn't something I absolutely have to do," or "I want to do this today, so I'm going to do this for that. I can organize my mind in that way. So when my mind is shaky or unstable, it is very important for me to make time to run without a watch. I like to run when I am feeling tired or when I don't feel like running, rather than when I am ready to run.