The races followed one another, they were times in which the word training was not yet well known what it was, as it was only run on the occasion of the races, which had a multi-weekly frequency, especially in summer, when the Saturday-Sunday pairing was very frequent. , while on weekdays there were sometimes minority demonstrations in the evening, on the occasion of village festivals.
Towards the spring of '79 I learned that the first edition of the "Rimini-Riccione-Rimini" would take place, a running event with a route entirely on the sea shore, round trip. Given the fair length of the test, 20 km, it was an opportunity, to better face it, to introduce for the first time a midweek training, to improve physical endurance.
I also decided to change my running shoes, passing from a pair of Formsport, one of the companies that improvised themselves as manufacturers of sports shoes, to move to the unidentified "Big Smith", which sported, embroidered on the upper, a beautiful writing "made in USA".
The leap in quality was evident, like the higher price, which went from 6,000 lire for the Formsport to 16,000 and 500 for the Big Smith, which actually looked like running shoes, with rear spoiler, circular studs for the entire sole, two densities and a breathable upper, vague forerunners of today's technical footwear.
I was already able to travel about ten km in just under 50 minutes, thanks to mid-week training the timing was lowered by a few minutes, reaching almost 45 minutes net, time verified and achieved on a 2,000-meter ring measured with a measuring wheel .
The certainty of the distance traveled was a problem that dragged on until the advent of satellite wrist detectors, as in foot races one often heard speeches like .... "Ahh, it will be at least 12 km ...", "No, no, it's not less than 13 ...", "For me they are a middle ground, 12.5 ...", these were the questions that hovered at the end of the competitions, there were few races with certified distance, for which everyone shot his sentence.
Right from the start I was very reluctant to increase and abound on the distance traveled, thus avoiding falling into one of the paradoxes of the time, that of the classic "road runner".
Who was this? An athlete, or pseudo-athlete, who performed higher on the road than on the athletics track.
The motivation, in the vast majority of cases, was due to the fact that on the road the distance was difficult to detect, it was enough to assume a kilometer more and the averages would rise accordingly, while on the track you could not "cheat the cue", every lap 400 meters, indeed, often even a few more, because they are 400 running close behind the first lane, every centimeter more deviation, which in the long run became meters and tens of meters.
Keep it going...