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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.
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.
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)