To finish a mountain trail run - in 12 weeks

Experienced 12 weeks 4x/week
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In order to follow this plan, you must have already completed a marathon or a 50km trail run.

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

Even if you have easy access to slopes, your 'undulating' sessions should be on terrain that will enable you to keep running for most of the session.

  • 01. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 02. 4 x 4 mins on slopes
  • 03. 1h15 jog on flat terrain
  • 04. 1h30 jog on undulating terrain

Week 2 - Cycle 1: first trail running/walking mix.

For slope work, try and find a steady slope where you can exert yourself without fits and starts for the full duration of the climb.

Ideally, the percentage should be between 5 and 7% to avoid getting tired too quickly and disrupting your stride pattern.

Choose steady slopes with a good surface (tarmac road or trail with few stones) in order to ensure optimum grip with every stride – and those free from or with very few motor vehicles: it is preferable to be able to focus on the quality of your effort without being bothered constantly by other users of the trail.

  • 05. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 06. 4 x 6 mins on slopes
  • 07. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 08. 3h of mixed trail walking and running

Week 3 - cycle 1: maximum training load

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!

  • 09. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 10. 3 x 8 mins on slopes
  • 11. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 12. 4 hours 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. rest
  • 14. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 15. 1h jog on flat terrain
  • 16. rest

Week 5 - Cycle 2: endurance work

Use the long session of mixed trail walking and running at the weekend to test your equipment (shoes, fabrics, bag and even poles) and your feeding regime.

  • 17. 1h30 jog on undulating terrain
  • 18. 4 x 8 mins on slopes
  • 19. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 20. 4 hours of mixed trail walking and running

Week 6 - Cycle 2: working 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. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 22. 10 mins + 8 mins + 6 mins on slopes
  • 23. 1h30 jog on undulating terrain
  • 24. 1h30 jog on flat terrain

Week 7 - Cycle 2: endurance work

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. 3 x 5 mins on slopes
  • 27. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 28. 5 hours of 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. 1h jog on flat terrain
  • 32. rest

Week 9 - Cycle 3: final endurance work

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

  • 33. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 34. 3 x 10 mins on slopes
  • 35. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 36. 4 hours 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 undulating terrain
  • 38. 3 x 6 mins on slopes
  • 39. 1h jog on undulating terrain
  • 40. 2h jog on undulating 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 flat terrain
  • 42. 1h15 jog on undulating terrain
  • 43. 1h jog on flat terrain
  • 44. rest

Week 12 - Regeneration and competition

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

  • 45. 30-minute jog
  • 46. rest
  • 47. rest
  • 48. training on race day

Coach advice

"Committing to these distances means accepting spending an entire day outdoors. You will need to handle a number of events, but this plan will ensure you are in the right physical condition to succeed in your challenge."
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