Soo…last week I went on a tangent about who I am as a runner vs who I sometimes pretend to be. I’m still sticking with that “running for fun” mentality but in the name surviving the Pittsburgh Marathon I’ve decided to pull together something that resembles a training plan. Since this past weekend was the official kickoff of #GameOnPGH in Pittsburgh it only seems appropriate that I cobbled together my training with Monday being “Day 1” for me here in Colorado.

[Want to come play with us? Use “KUMM2016″ to get $10 off registration then hit me up so we can suffer rock at life together!]

Rather than creating a plan that breaks everything down by the day of week like everything else on the internet my version of marathon training plan is going to focus on getting in a variety of runs each week, regardless of the order/day of week. This will give me the ability to move them around as my life/work schedule fluctuates while getting rid of some of the “omg, today I have to but…” pressure that tends to make me freeze up and forget how to run.

I’m still pulling together some electronic version of this training plan but right now, these are the areas where I’m putting pressure + letting myself feel a little guilt…

Long Run - I’m going to go ahead and make this the most important run of my week. It’s usually the most time consuming run so I know it’ll be a bit of a challenge when I add my spring semester classes to my already intense schedule. But…if I’m going to survive a marathon I need to get a tiny bit serious about the long runs! I’m looking at an increase/decrease weekly progression that will get me up to 20-22 mile long runs in early April.

Mid Mileage Run - Now, in reality I’d be getting in 2-3 “mid mileage” runs during the week but…life happens. Rather than build up a ton of pressure around running 50% of my weekly miles outside of my long run I’m going to focus on at least one solid, good quality “mid mileage” run. It can be on roads or on trail or…whatever. The biggest goal with this run is to hit 25% of my long run for that week.

Pseudo Speed Work - Speed work intimidates me. It’s hard, it usually requires me to determine my worth as a runner with numbers and it goes against my love “just for fun run” goals. However, I know it’s important and makes me a better runner overall so I need to make it happen! [check out the #runabler training community FB group for a few speed work ideas!]

Road Run - Well, if I’m running a road marathon I should probably put a little focus on running on roads, right? This might double up with my “mid mileage” run or become my second non-long run of the week depending upon what the week has in store for me work/life-wise.

*Bonus* Fun Run - If I manage to squeeze my 4 goal runs into my week I’m rewarding myself my tacking on a bonus just for fun run…or I’m sleeping in and ignoring my running shoes. It’s a toss-up, depending upon what my work/life week demands at the moment. But if I’m feeling happy + run-ready then I’m letting myself head out just to have fun, explore new trails and throw snowballs at Max.

Do I think this casual mashup of runs will get me prepared for the Pittsburgh Marathon? Well, yes…otherwise I won’t bother with it. I’m sure my goals for race day will be tweaked and adjusted as my training progresses but overall, I think this will get me from the start to the finish without injury and with a limited amount of “please let my legs fall off” prayers. As usual, my primary goal in this whole process is to train, race and finish with a smile on my face.


Tanya showing off her “run for fun” skills. Yes, she face planted moments later!

Oh, and you bet your booty there will be snowshoe hikes, mountain summits and back country splitboarding worked into my training. In my world, “time on feet” will always count as a form of training. If you want to get a peek at some of these random bouts of training get yourself on Snapchat and follow “runaroundaroo” — when I’m out on the trail alone I like to overshare. I’m sure there will be plenty of Max videos, random chatter and snowy mountain photos in my Snapchat Story. #shamelessplug

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