MPOFU’S FINAL COUNTDOWN

Ellina Mhlanga-Senior Sports Reporter

MARATHON runner Isaac Mpofu is intensifying his preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after resuming camp this week in Harare.

Mpofu took a short break after the Boston Marathon last month.

It was part of his assessment races ahead of his participation at the Olympic Games running from July 26 to August 11 in the French capital.

He resumed camp on Monday in Harare under the guidance of seasoned coach Benson Chauke.

“It’s a cycle, remember I said marathon is a cycle, you prepare for a marathon depending on where you are with your level of fitness,” said Chauke.

“We prepared from January up to April 15, which was three months.

“Now we are doing another cycle. It has just started. It started on Monday and this cycle now will take us through up to the Olympics.

“So, we go back again, we need strength, we need agility, we need endurance, we need to load him with gym workouts, we need to be running cross country routes, we need to do hill work, we need to be doing undulating terrain and then flat for this whole month.”

He added:

“Then, in June we are now going to be focusing more on the event specific workouts but in volumes.

“So, whatever we are doing now is done in volumes, and then we cut on the volume and look at quality as we get towards the competition.”

Some of the elite athletes who Mpofu will face in Paris include veterans Eliud Kipchoge, who will headline Kenya’s marathon team and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.

Kipchoge broke the world record in 2018 and 2022.

He is a two-time Olympic champion.

“For us, in this case we are going against Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia, we are going against Eliud Kipchoge, former world record holder for the marathon.

“And, it is common knowledge that these are well-sponsored athletes by both their nations and sponsors from outside,” Chauke said.

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