Finishing a hilly tail run - in 12 weeks

Experienced 12 weeks 4x/week
article rating 4.7/5 77

In order to follow this plan, you must have already completed a marathon or a trail run of less than 41km.

This 4 training sessions per week plan is organised into 3 cycles of 3 weeks, with one easing off week between each cycle and another before the trail run itself.

Ideally, your sessions will be on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in order to ensure an optimum spread throughout the week but also to ensure you will be able to rack up the kilometres over a short period.

I can't guarantee that you will manage to run your entire trail, but this plan should help you to finish it without any mishaps.

You need to have Decathlon Coach application to launch this program !

Week 1 - Cycle 1: gentle start

Try to run outdoors as much as possible, alternating between surfaces.
You will thus get used to unstable terrain and strengthen your muscles naturally.

  • 01. 1h jog
  • 02. 30 mins + 4 x 4 mins fast
  • 03. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 04. 1h30 jog

Week 2 - Cycle 1: first long run.

You will need to keep hydrated on long runs, taking at least a mouthful every 20 minutes. There are various drink-carrying solutions available: hand-held bottle, flexible bottles in the shorts, bottle-holder running belts or water bladders.

  • 05. 1h15 jog
  • 06. 30 mins + 3 x 6 mins fast
  • 07. 1h30 jog on undulating terrain
  • 08. 2h30 jog on flat terrain

Week 3 - Cycle 1: first mixed trail walking and running session

Your session will be a 3h30 mix of trail walking (on slopes) and gentle running (on the flat and on descents).

If you have no slope whatsoever, do 5 minutes of power walking every 30 minutes to get used to switching from running to walking and vice versa.

  • 09. 1h15 jog
  • 10. 30 mins + 3 x 8 mins fast
  • 11. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 12. 3h30 of mixed trail walking and running

Week 4 - Regeneration week.

You will really ease off on training this week to recover from your efforts during the first cycle.

  • 13. 45-minute jog
  • 14. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 15. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 16. rest

Week 5 - Cycle 2: focus on duration

If you decide to invest in a pair of trail running shoes (which is highly recommended for greater grip and protection), it is high time you broke them in!

  • 17. 1h30 jog
  • 18. 30 mins + 3 x 10 mins fast
  • 19. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 20. 4 hours of mixed trail walking and running

Week 6 - Cycle 2: focus on energy

As you string together your training sessions and the physical exertion required, you may start to get a little tired.

Look after yourself. Put on dry clothes after running, follow our nutritional advice, pay attention to personal hygiene and all will be well!

  • 21. 1 hour of jogging on flat ground
  • 22. 30 mins + 3 x 12 mins fast
  • 23. 1h30 jog on undulating terrain
  • 24. 1h30 jog on flat terrain

Week 7 - Cycle 2: work on duration

As much as you can, try to do your running/hiking mix on terrain similar to that of the actual race. Take this opportunity to test your equipment and your feeding regime.

  • 25. 1h30 jog on undulating terrain
  • 26. 30 mins + 3 x 8 mins fast
  • 27. 1h jog on flat terrain
  • 28. 5h mixed trail walking and running

Week 8 - Regeneration week

You will really ease off on training this week to recover from your efforts during the first cycle.

  • 29. rest
  • 30. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 31. 1h30 jog on flat terrain
  • 32. rest

Week 9 - Cycle 3: final work on duration

If you decide to invest in some new equipment (socks, bag, fabric, etc.), this is your last chance to test them!

  • 33. 1h30 jog
  • 34. 30 mins + 2 x 15 mins fast
  • 35. 1h15 jog on flat terrain
  • 36. 3h30 of mixed trail walking and running

Week 10 - Cycle 3: final dynamic workout

The big day is getting closer. It's too late to do huge sessions or overly intensive work which you will be unable to assimilate before the race.

  • 37. 1h jog on flat terrain
  • 38. 30 mins + 3 x 6 mins fast
  • 39. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 40. 2h jog on flat terrain

Week 11 - Cycle 3: gradual reduction of the training load.

Penultimate week of training. The sessions are shorted to prevent fatigue.

  • 41. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 42. 1h30 jog on flat terrain
  • 43. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 44. rest

Week 12 - Regeneration and competition

Training is gentler to ensure you are fresh when the race begins.

  • 45. rest
  • 46. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 47. rest
  • 48. training on race day

Coach advice

"There's nothing like running outdoors to get some air. This plan will enable you to tackle a trail run of under 70 kilometres without too much height gain."
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