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Trail Running Training Plan For Beginners – Free Trail Running Training Plan 50k

Trail Running Training Plan For Beginners

Everyone starts as a beginner and no matter if you’re heading to the trails or pounding the pavement. Either way, it is essential to follow some structure to avoid injury or burnout. Also, putting together a trail running training plan for beginners requires you to plan out the training early, so you have some goals and direction of where you want to go.

Trail running involves the whole body and much more than road running. Therefore running on the trails requires good physiological shape and strong muscles to withstand the variation of surface.

In addition to the fitness side of things, trail running also requires a strong mindset to deal with the changing weather conditions and different trails.

Before starting a trail running training plan for beginners, it is wise to seek medical advice. It can not only provide an assessment of your current fitness level but also check over your current health. Making sure you have no underlying problems before starting.

In the first phase of beginning trail running, you should first become familiar with running on trails. This means focusing on the time rather than the distance. It will allow you to get used to the surroundings, and the changing of terrain.

Since trail running often takes place in changing weather conditions, it is important to wear the appropriate clothing and pick the right trail shoes for when the surface changes.

The training schedule below helps introduce you to trail running in the first 4 weeks. It takes a soft approach that is a good start point for the beginner.

Week 1:
Tuesday – 20 to 30 minutes easy running on asphalt or gravel.
Thursday – Same as Tuesday
Saturday or Sunday – 60 minutes of trail walking and running. Walk on the uphill segments and run slowly on the flats and downhills.

Week 2:
Tuesday – 30 minutes easy running on asphalt or gravel.
Thursday – 35 minutes easy running on gravel.
Saturday or Sunday – 75 minutes of walking and running on the trails. Like the previous week focus on walking the uphill’s and running easy on the flats and downhills.

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Week 3:
Tuesday – 35 minutes easy running trails. Keep this relatively flat
Thursday – 40 minutes easy running on gravel or asphalt.
Saturday or Sunday – 90 minutes of running the flats and downhills, while walking the uphills.

Week 4:
Tuesday – 40 minutes running on trails. Start adding some easy uphills.
Thursday – 45 minutes easy running on gravel or asphalt.
Saturday or Sunday – 1hr45mins of running the flats and downhills, while walking the uphills.

On the days where there is no running planned, you can incorporate some gentle cross-training for 30 minutes, like cycling or swimming.

2nd Month
If you have completed the first 4 weeks of the trail running training plan and the body has responded well, you can move into the next phase of training. This phase includes a variation of intensity and pace. So replace Thursday’s training session with either:

Fartlek Running – Focus on pace variations on flat terrain. Alternate with 1 minute fast and 1 minute slow. You can repeat this 8-10 times.

Progressive Running – On undulating terrain increase the speed every 5 minutes, for a total of 45 minutes.

Uphill Intervals – Find a hill with an incline of 6-8%. Run fast but controlled for 8×200 meters uphill and recover slowly by jogging down the hill to the starting point.

For the first two weeks of this phase, we recommend you focus on fartlek running for the first two weeks. Then move into progressive running on Tuesdays and the uphill intervals on Thursdays. Remember all these workouts should include 10 minutes of running to warm up and 4x 100m efforts to raise the heart rate.

The long runs should continue to increase. they should last for 2 hours or more now, but no more than 2.5hours

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3rd Month

In the 3rd month of the trail running training plan for beginners, you should be able to start focusing on a specific goal. This may be a short trail running event or something longer. Either way, this is the period where you want the fitness to start improving through specific workouts and an increase in mileage.

During this period of training, you can start to add an additional training session on Friday. Start by adding an easy run of 30 minutes and increase this by 5-10 minutes each week. The long weekend run should now start to include some uphill running. So instead of walking the uphills, start running every second hill.

If you have any doubt in your ability to keep to the schedule or want to follow a more serious plan and see a much larger improvement, contact our coaches: info@sportcoaching.co.nz or check out our range of running training plans available online.

Trail Running Training Plan 50k

Trail Running Training Plan 50k

If you looking for a trail running training plan for 50k or a trail running training plan for beginners, you can start by following the training plan above. This will give you a perfect platform build from. If you are a more experienced trail runner and looking at improving your results. You can check out our 50k and ultra distance training plans here.

This training plan is customized to your current fitness level and is built around your goal event. The training plan is delivered via Training Peaks online and our coaches offer 7 days a week contact, so they can help guide you on your journey and answer any questions you may have.

Alternatively, you can follow our free Trail Running Training Plan 50k below:

Who is this training plan for?
This plan is designed for runners who have a solid running base but are new to the 50k distance. This schedule will help you get to the finished rather than set a new personal best. So it is not recommended for experienced runners.

Before you begin, you should have at least 1 year of running behind you without any major injuries. This does not need to include any races or very long runs, but you should be comfortable at running 16-20km without problems.

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If the race you are tackling is on the trails, we recommend you spend a month first getting used to running offroad. Running on trails can be quite different from the road and you will need a period of adjustment before starting this plan.

Workout Descriptions and Pacing:

Easy runs – The easy runs are to add volume to the training. They should be performed at an easy conversational pace.

Hill Intervals – These should be performed at 3km race pace. Find a hill that is between 6-8% gradient. Run down to the starting point easy as recovery.

Hilly Runs – These should be done over varying terrain. If training for a trail race, do this on a hilly trail. If you are doing a road 50k do this on the road over rolling hills. T

Tempo Runs – Do these slightly slower than your 10k race pace. They should feel uncomfortable but you should always feel in control.

800m/1km Intervals – These should be done at 5km race pace. Take 60-90secs recovery between each interval.

Long runs – These are some of the most important aspects of your 50K training plan. The long-run will help improve your aerobic fitness and get you used to being on your feet for the required distance. The pace should be performed at a comfortable conversational pace. Try to aim for consistent pacing or negative splits.

Recovery runs – These should be done at the easiest possible pace you are comfortable with. They are here to provide recovery and adaptions from the training. These should not be hard!

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