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Marathon Training Insights with Wyoming Valley Striders Traci Strungis image
Races & Walks
June 14, 2024
Marathon Training Insights with Wyoming Valley Striders Traci Strungis
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It’s Time to Prepare for a Fall Marathon

Many NEPA runners will soon be getting ready for the fall marathon season. Training for the 26.2 mile races will begin over the summer. Completing a marathon is a personal challenge for many runners.

Traci Strungis, of Mountain Top, has been a Wyoming Valley Striders board member for over ten years and our Treasurer for the past six years. She has run 39 marathons and ran the local Steamtown Marathon nine times. Her journey began in 2000 at the Philadelphia Marathon. She enjoyed it so much that she continued to run at least one marathon a year since then.

Her travels have taken her to some fun destinations including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Austin to name a few. In 2018, Traci joined the 50 States Running Club. She has run 21 states so far and is working towards completing all 50!

For those who have “run a marathon” on their bucket list, Traci wants to share some of her personal insights in order to accomplish such a goal. First, she recommends selecting a goal race. There are several in driving distance of NEPA including Scranton, Jim Thorpe, the Poconos, Allentown, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg that are held each fall.

Next, the runner needs to choose a training plan. “You start with your race date and work your way back to determine when you need to start training,” says Traci. She also adds that plans range from 12 weeks to 20 weeks depending on the runner’s experience and goals. You can find plans online or hire a running coach to work with you. Traci has traditionally used a training plan altered to fit her current fitness level.

Traditionally, 18 weeks is the standard length for most programs, taking the runner up to a 20 mile long run. First-time marathoners aren’t usually worried about time but experienced runners looking to improve may introduce speedwork. Some programs even utilize a 16-mile run as the longest run, but require more overall mileage. Traci likes to keep up with long runs throughout the year to enable an easier transition for marathon training.

Traci’s favorite part of marathon running is connecting with other club members in the Wyoming Valley Striders and the 50 States Marathon Club. She has formed many friendships both locally and on the road. Traci enjoys traveling and creating itineraries to explore while at each destination. She acknowledges her career as a registered nurse with some scheduling flexibility has enabled her to continue on her journey. She is aiming to finish her quest for the 50 states in the next 5-10 years. “It has been a very exciting and rewarding challenge so far!” she says.

Traci comes from a family of runners and ran the Boston Marathon with her Dad back in 2008. “It was truly great that we both qualified and shared in that experience,” she said. Two years later, this father-daughter duo competed at the Steamtown Marathon. 


The Wyoming Valley Striders host group runs and some members meet up for long runs on the weekend as well. Anyone interested in some company during marathon training season should feel free to join us! Visit our website or follow us on Facebook for our latest updates.