DESPITE the freezing weather in Japan, Cebuana Mary Joy Tabal remains unfazed as she will travel from Yokohama to Shizuaka City today.
Tabal, who’s training with the athletics team of Nippon Sports Science University (NSSU) in Japan, will join two training camps—one in Shizuaka City which starts today and will end on March 22, and the other one in Chiba on March 23 to 26.
She said that from NSSU, they will travel two hours going to Shizuaka City to get to the camp.
Aside from adjusting to the cold weather, which averages at six degrees Celsius, Tabal is also having a problem with the language barrier.
“I still don’t have an idea what will really happen in the camp. But according to my teammates it’s a ‘very hard training and many running,’ which are the only words they can speak in English,” said the 26-year-old Southeast Asian Games silver medalist.
Tabal, the three-time Milo Marathon queen, is training in Japan under the NSSU program and under the watch of former Olympian Akio Usami. The two-month training is backed by Motor Ace Philippines, as a preparation for the Boston Marathon, an Olympic qualifying race, on April 18.
In her first three weeks in Japan, Tabal said she has learned a lot especially about nutrition and discipline in practice.
“My body feels great now, but I can’t say at what level is my progress because we are not yet at the peak of the training and so far, we are not yet doing any time trial or test run,” she said.
Tabal said the training was challenging since it was raining for the last two days. She said last Friday there was snow and last week it was rained for three straight days.
Tabal is gunning to become the first Filipina to make it to the marathon event of the Olympics. To achieve that dream, Tabal must finish the Boston Marathon in 2 hours and 45 minutes, three minutes faster than her personal best time of 2:48 set in the 2013 Milo Marathon.