16 Weeks until Grandma’s Marathon 

With a little over three months left in Malawi I started my build up for Grandma’s Marathon this week. January and February were a weird two months. I tapered for a series of races, some that happened, so that did not. I missed Malawian Army XC, but did get to compete in the Malawian Cross country National Championships. The race was in Dedza, a small town south of Lilongwe that sits 5300ft above sea level. I finished 6th place, a little disappointing after running so well in a 1500m about a month before, but it was an awesome experience regardless. Took a week easy after that and began training again this week. The taper was heavy on speed but light on everything else which I felt this week for sure.

We (Chancy, Francis, and I) started the week with some quick 200s on the track. 16x200m with 200m jog for recovery. Ran the first twelve around 32 seconds and finished up the last 4 with 30,31,30,29. Not blazing, but 32 is probably my current 3k pace so I’ll take it. Got in a total of 15 miles for the day after warm up, cool down, and an easy afternoon run.

Tuesday I doubled with 12 miles in the morning, another 3 in the afternoon. The morning 12 started slow but gradually picked up as we ran three of the last four miles at sub 6 minute pace.

Wednesday we ran a 35 minute tempo on the roads. Roads is a loose term, while the middle section was on tarmac, the start and finish were on rocky dirt roads that have become a little soft and muddy through the rainy season. Got in 6.5 miles, for a 5:25/mile average. Not exacty the pace I was after but the effort was there and the fitness will come with time. Ran another easy run in the afternoon to get in 16 miles for the day.

Thursday was another easy double day with a total of 15, 10 in the AM, 5 in the PM.

Friday we headed behind the track to the dirt paths for a strength oriented fartlek workout with reps of 3,4,5,5,4,3,2,2,2 with half rest. This hilly course makes for tough workouts but it paid off during the last training cycle by the end and I hope to see it work similar magic again this time around. A very short afternoon shake out brought the daily total to 15 again.

Up early Saturday morning for the long run. We met at 6 and headed out on our usual route but backwards. A rolling first ten miles followed by a 3 mile climb of 500ft with a nice descent over the following three. Planned on 17, but got back and continued home for a total of 18 miles in 2:01 and change, I think it was a 6:45 average pace. 

Monday to Saturday total was 94 miles for the week, with a token 8 miler I did last sunday thrown on the front end I had a seven day stretch of 103 when all those tenth and hundredths are added in. 

I got up around 2am to watch the Tokyo Marathon this morning. Watching Kipsang go after the world record got me pumped for another week of training. Hope the good vibes continue into this week as the Tempo effort gets longer and the final week of speed focused training appears in the form of 800s. Stay tuned, should be some more updates to come. 

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