Last month I talked about my training, or lack thereof. This month is about getting back on track and changing my approach to accommodate a more demanding work and life schedule. Typically my training for the Pittsburgh Marathon and the ultras following has been based on bulk miles and it has worked well. I now find myself in the position of not having as much time to get all those miles in so do I throw in the towel? Of course not! As a former employer used to say, “Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!”


My job affords me a membership to a gym in our building. I have not been diligent on crosstraining in the past and now is the opportune time to swap out some of those long miles for overall body strength. This year’s plan is now to run 3-4 times a week with focus on quality miles and have 1-2 crosstraining sessions per week. The long run build ups will be in-place and some tempo runs. I am confident that I’ll be trained to perform better in this years ultras at the cost of some nominal losses in road speed. This is a trade I find acceptable for this year. This also means that the Pittsburgh Marathon will be a slow and easy training run possibly with some extra miles..maybe a warm up 8 km or some out and back on the course itself.


One of the beautiful things about running is the constant struggle is against one’s self.  To be better than we were the day before and that struggle isn’t just on race day. It is everyday holding to our training plans and making it work when life is hectic. Let’s face it, there are many things that must take precedence over our runs; family and work. And many I know beat themselves up horribly for missing a run here and there. The successes don’t lie following the plan to a T. They lie in consistency and putting the effort in consistently.  Every training plan I’ve made and followed, when actualized,  has come short on planned miles by 10% or more. And you know what? I still managed some great PRs and, more importantly, had some memorable experiences.


This section remains to be written. For now overcoming the daily schedule and getting my training in will have to suffice. The first true test comes on June 9th at the Laurel Highlands 70.5 miler. On the way there this train has planned stops at the Tuscarora Trails 50k in March, The Pittsburgh Marathon on May 6th, and the Youngstown Marathon June 3rd. The party train is rolling and I look forward to seeing you out on the roads and trails this year!