Race Off-Road With These Trail Run Training Plans

by MapMyRun
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Race Off-Road With These Trail Run Training Plans

The differences in road running and trail running are more than just the surface. Trail running adds a big dose of the unknown; stray rocks, roots, tree limbs, unstable ground and maybe even a critter or two all make for a fast-paced, high-demand physical experience that road running just can’t match.

Whether you’re brand new to trail running or have been hitting the dirt for years, signing up for a trail race means that you’re ready to push yourself to the limits — and we’re here to get you ready.

Below, you’ll find training plans (complete with mileage, strength, mobility and breathing details) for three popular race distances: 5K, 10K and half marathon. The training plans provide eight or 12 weeks of exactly the kind of training you’ll need to toe the line and finish strong on the mountain, over the hills or in the forest.

All you need now is the drive. Are you ready to go off-road?


A 5K trail race can be deceptively devious. While the distance is short enough for just about anyone to conquer, it’s easy to head out too fast and quickly burn out before the finish line. With the right training approach and race day plan, your first (or next) 5K trail race will be the best ever!


The 10K is the Goldilocks of running: It’s not fast, but it’s also definitely not slow. 6.2 miles is enough to work up a good sweat on the road, but adding mountains, rocks, roots and critters to the occasion makes for a much tougher path ahead.


13.1 miles on the road is long enough to challenge just about any runner. 13.1 miles on the trail is a whole other beast. This training plan will focus on endurance, strength and toughness so you’ll be ready for the long-haul.

POWDR Resorts has created the experience of a lifetime for trail running enthusiasts and professionals, offering unmatched racing adventures at the most iconic and beautiful mountain resorts in the United States. Race course locations feature diverse climates, different distances and varying elevations built to push athletes at every level to their personal limits.

CASCADE VOLCANO
When: July 21-22, 2017
Where: Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Distances offered: Vertical Challenge, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, Marathon, 50K
Why do it: This Pacific Northwest single track course is a vertical challenge and has 360 degree views from the peak of a volcano.

APPALACHIANS
When: August 18-20, 2017
Where: Killington, Vermont
Distances offered: Vertical Challenge, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, Marathon, 50K
Why do it: Surrounded by the Appalachian and Long Trails, this course offers plenty of difficulty and diversity.

ROCKY MOUNTAINS
When: September 8-10, 2017
Where: Copper Mountain, Colorado
Distances offered: Vertical Challenge, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, Marathon, 50K
Why do it: With 35 miles of trails, this course is nestled within the Rock Mountains at the largest ski resort in Summit County.

Training plans developed in collaboration with UA Training Network.

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