Blue Sky Trail Marathon Training, Weeks 3-4

I’m now into week five of training for my first trail race. That means I’ve got just over seven weeks to get ready to run 26.2 miles on trails. So far, the farthest I’ve run on trails is a little over 11. Gulp.

The last two weeks of training were a little different: I did a (very) small taper for Chase the Moon, and the following week was a cutback/recovery week. Here’s how they looked:

Week 3

6.4 miles of hills. This is why I need to write these recaps weekly: now I can’t remember if they were long treadmill hills or short real-life hills. My training log just says “hills.”

AM: 7 miles easy.
I love Fitsnap. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see my overuse of Fitsnap almost every day!

PM: Strength training in my basement.


6 miles easy. My friend Jaylin, who originally got me into this whole distance-running thing, ran together. We’ve had a hard time getting our schedules to align very often, so it was great to get together!


6 miles with fartleks (still my favorite workout)


30 miles over 12 hours at the Chase the Moon relay. I guess I’m just gonna have to write that recap, as I haven’t seen any sign of official pictures.


Rest; we did a lovely 5-mile, easy hike.

Total: 56.4 miles

Week 4


4.1 miles at recovery pace, just testing my legs and making sure they felt okay after the weekend.


AM: 7 miles easy

PM: Basement strength work


6 miles easy, again with Jaylin. Two weeks in a row is pretty great for us! With school starting, we’re not sure if we can keep making it work, but we’ll try.


5.3 miles easy. I intended to do another strength workout in the afternoon, but I went into work to start prepping my classroom, and I came home with a killer headache. I took a nap instead of a workout. I regret nothing.


We were headed to my in-laws’ for the weekend, so I took advantage of the last Friday of summer break and headed up to Devil’s Backbone for a “long” run of 10.3 miles.
This is where I get to run a marathon in seven weeks. I don’t mind those views!

I also saw a mama and baby deer. This was the best picture I could get with my phone, even though they let me watch them for quite a while.
FullSizeRender (1)


6-mile recovery run


Rest. We spent over 8 hours pulling weeds. I would’ve much rather been running.

Cutback week total: 38.7 miles.

This is lower mileage than I’ve run before in marathon training, but all my runs are scheduled by time this round, and since trails and hills are slow, my mileage is lower. We’ll just see how this race goes, and plan future trail race training schedules accordingly. Because I can already tell you, there will be future trail races.

This week, I’m back to a more normal week, with several quality runs, so hopefully I’ll keep getting stronger and faster. Stay tuned to see if this training is sufficient to keep me from dying during a trail race.

What does your typical week of training look like? 

Best trail you’ve ever run? 

3 thoughts on “Blue Sky Trail Marathon Training, Weeks 3-4”

  1. 8 hours of pulling weeds?! How does that happen?
    I don’t have anything to answer your questions with, but I do like hiking on trials! Haven’t done it once this summer…fail. Maybe this fall, when I am older.
    Good job, keep up the good work!

  2. Happy belated birthday! I love the idea of running your age in miles. I checked the Blue Sky race page. 3,500′ of vertical gain and ~3,500′ of descent sounds tough, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find hills to train on there in Colorado. I’ve seen a ton of them here while visiting!

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