Ngarambe & Sara Looking for 5K Personal Bests

LaurenYolandaBlogFor Yolanda Ngarambe, Atlanta is a home far away from home. The Atlanta Track Club Elite runner is back training with her teammates after a successful summer of racing in her native Sweden. “It’s the best,” says Ngarambe. “We can have fun and be silly during the warm-up and cool-down but also get serious about the work we do in the middle.”Ngarambe, who’s been selected to two Swedish national teams, will be a contender for the win at Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day 5K. Racing in Europe this summer, she set a new personal best in the 1500 (4:13.18) and is hoping that speed will translate into a strong finish in a much longer race. “Adding volume to my workouts was hard to adjust to at first,” she says. “But it has been a major key to helping me feel more confident running longer distances.”It’s been more than two years since Ngarambe set a personal best in the 5K (17:37), but the University of Vermont grad expects that to change this week. “I think the training I’ve been doing is really starting to add up and I feel like I’m finally getting to reap the benefits of all the hard work.”One of Ngarambe’s main competitors will be her teammate Lauren Sara. Sara is the defending champion of the Thanksgiving Day 5K and is coming into the race following an intense, high-mileage half-marathon build-up. “The 5K will be a perfect opportunity to work on some of the speed that I welcome with open arms at the end of the marathon,” Sara says.Sara says she was “a little banged up” in the week leading up to the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and still doesn’t feel 100%. She’s worked with Coach Andrew Begley to modify workouts to prevent a leg injury she’s been battling from getting worse. Sara and the other Atlanta Track Club Elite members who raced in Indianapolis took a week to recover from the race before joining the rest of the team for the workout infamously known as “The Michigan” last week. “This workout is a doozy,” says Sara explaining that the workout consists one one hard mile, followed by one tempo mile, then a hard 1200 meters, another tempo mile, a hard 800 meters yet another tempo mile and finally a fast 400 meters to finish.“Defending my title will be difficult,” she says. "I'm hoping to be close to the leaders and get a new PR." Besides Ngarambe, the strong women’s field includes Atlanta Track Club Elite runner and 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials competitor Bridget Lyons as well as Serena Burla, a 2:28 marathoner who was the top American at the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.You can find the full elite field here.Follow Atlanta Track Club Elite on Twitter @atlTCeliteFollow Yolanda Ngarambe on Twitter @yolleboll and on Instagram @yolleyungbollFollow Lauren Sara on Twitter @laaSARAAA