To finish a hilly trail run - in 8 weeks

Experienced 8 weeks 2x/week
article rating 4.7/5 34

In order to follow this plan, you should be able to run for 1 hour 30 without stopping or already have completed a half-marathon.

This 2 training sessions per week plan is organised into 2 cycles of 3 weeks, with one easing off week between the 2 cycles and another before the trail run itself.

You should ideally do one session in the middle of the week and the other at the weekend, to ensure they are optimally spaced out.

I can't guarantee that you will manage to run up all the slopes, but this plan should help you to finish without any mishaps.

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

Week 1 - Cycle 1: you will start gently.

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 on undulating terrain
  • 02. 1h15 jog on flat terrain

Week 2 - Cycle 1: time for an energetic weekend run

Your weekend run will include interval work, to work on changes of pace and improve your energy.

  • 03. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 04. 1h30 with 3 x 5 mins fast

Week 3 - Cycle 1: the training load increases.

This week, you will do your first long run. You will need to keep hydrated during these sessions, 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. 1h30 jog on undulating terrain
  • 06. 1h45 with 2 x 10 mins fast

Week 4 - Regeneration week.

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

  • 07. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 08. 1h jog on flat terrain

Week 5 - Cycle 2: more work specifically on trail running

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!

  • 09. 1h run on undulating terrain
  • 10. 2h long run on flat terrain

Week 6 - Cycle 2: maximum training load.

This week is the heaviest load in the training programme. 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!

  • 11. 1h run on undulating terrain
  • 12. 2h30 long run on flat terrain

Week 7 - Cycle 2: the training load is reduced gradually.

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

  • 13. 1h30 with 10 mins fast
  • 14. 1h15 jog on flat terrain

Week 8 - Regeneration and competition.

Training is gentler to ensure you are fresh when the race begins. Don't attempt to do more to reassure yourself - it would actually be counter-productive!

  • 15. 30-minute jog
  • 16. 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 20 kilometres without too much height gain."
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