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Lee Bong-joo Starts “Hellish” Dietary Treatment

Posted March. 09, 2004 22:47,   


“Leave me alone.”

“Korean franchise marathoner,” 34-year-old Lee Bong-joo (Samsung Electronics) is now very sensitive because he has started a “hell-like dietary treatment” in preparation for the 2004 Seoul International Marathon and the 75th Dong-A Marathon to be held on March 14. He used to be considerate, but shows nervousness at the slightest things these days.

The dietary treatment for Lee, which started at lunchtime on March 8, is as difficult as completing a marathon course. He has to eat 7 meals a day, which consist of 500 to 600g of beef and water per meal. Although most soft meats such as sirloin are provided to him, it is hard to eat and almost like chewing rubber for him. In addition, speed running (16-17km running) for 70 minutes in the morning and afternoon exhausts the glycogen level, the energy source of body, making him dull. No wonder he gets extremely nervous.

Samsung Electronics Coach, O In-hwan can’t do anything for Lee except stare at him. The press and newspapers have asked Lee for interviews because of his 7 years’ participation in domestic competition, but Lee has rejected all of them and devoted himself to his diet.

“Since Lee is in the physically extreme situation, he feels utmost mental anguish, too. But he can’t help but endure it because a successful dietary treatment changes the record a lot,” said his coach.

Lee is scheduled to have a carbohydrate meal after the dinner on March 10. Getting into shape in Kunming, China and Koseong, Kyoungnam, Lee is confident of breaking his own Korean record (2 hours 7 minutes 20 seconds) by carrying out his dietary treatment and final conditioning controls at a team-training site in Suwon.

Ji Young-joon (23 years old, Kolon), the “promising runner” of the Korea Marathon, began his food control regimen at breakfast on March 8. Ji eats 300-400g of beef and water, which is less than that of Lee. He will have meals 8 times a day, which is one more than those of Lee. Ji also finished hard training in Youngcheon, Kyoungbook and Kunming, and is finishing training in Seoul.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com