Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Training Plans

Stuck In A Rut? This Intermediate Training Plan Will Get You Fit This Winter

Resolve to get fit, build speed and tackle 2022 with this intermediate training plan for trail runners. 

Lock Icon

Join O+ to unlock this story.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • World-class journalism from publications like Outside, Ski, Trail Runner, Climbing, and Backpacker.
  • Annual print subscription to Outside Magazine + 2 Gear Guides.
  • Outside Watch – Award-winning adventure films, documentaries, and series.
  • Gaia GPS – Premium backcountry navigation app.
  • Trailforks – Discover trails around the globe.
  • Outside Learn – Expert-led online classes on climbing, cooking, skiing, fitness, and beyond.
Join Outside+
Trail Runner Magazine

Digital + Print
Intro Offer
$2.99 / month*

  • Access to all member-exclusive content on
  • Ad-free access to
Join Trail Runner

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Looking for motivation and a reason to get out the door this winter? This training plan is perfect for the athlete who doesn’t have a specific race in the next couple of months, but who wants to start the year off healthy and strong.

Dive in, and download a PDF of the plan here. 

This training plan is ideal for intermediate trail runners who train regularly but don’t have a coach. We’re starting with 40-mile weeks with some speed work already built-in, so if you’re currently running less than 35 miles or four hours a week, we recommend starting with our Training Plan to Build Aerobic Base. Make sure you can comfortably run 14-mile long runs before jumping in. 

The goal of this plan is to develop output at VO2 max, lactate threshold and aerobic threshold to set the stage for more specific, potentially race-oriented spring training (see our full list of distance-specific training plans here). Incorporate regular strength work for healthy and efficient running, and cross-train or rest at the first sign of injury

Tools We’ll Use

  • Easy runs – Running below aerobic threshold helps build economy, reduce injury and reinforce the aerobic system. 
  • Hill strides – Hill strides build speed and power while reducing impact forces on feet and knees.
  • Flat strides – Fast strides help build speed, maximize running economy and lock in good form.
  • Tempo efforts – Tempo runs help you run faster, longer.  
  • Easy/Moderate Long Runs – Help build endurance and mental strength.
  • Rest days – REST. Really. It’s the most important part of training. 

This plan can help optimize and structure your training, but don’t obsess about any one day. Eating enough, staying healthy and running consistently are the most important aspects of training. 

Trail Running Training Plan Build Fitness
Need motivation? Try this training plan

Key Resources

4-Minute Wake-Up Legs warm-up routine (before all runs)

3-Minute Mountain Legs strength routine (when noted). Important: when “Mtn legs” is in bold, you can do the Speed Legs routine below if you need more strength work.

8-Minute Speed Legs strength routine (when noted)

Upper body strength recommendations (do every day)

Plan designed by coach TJ David of Microcosm Coaching