Mountain Marathon - 50km 18 Week Training Plan - Advanced

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Mountain Marathon - 50km 18 Week Training Plan - Advanced


Doug Stewart

All plans by this Coach


18 Weeks

Typical Week

7 Run

Longest Workout

4:00 hrs

Plan Specs

running marathon advanced masters hr based

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A dedicated 18 week plan tailored for the unique demands of mountain marathons - up to 50km distance, written by an experienced Coach and Mountain Runner and Sky Runner who has completed many of the hardest mountain races including Trofeo Kima, Tromso Skyrace and the Glen Coe Skyline.

It is 18 weeks long and features 3 build weeks followed by a recovery week and a three week taper.
Designed for mountainous trail races, such as mountain marathons skyrunning events up to c.50km distance.

It is designed for Advanced athletes with multiple years of training - features 2 runs on certain days.
Requires access to hills or a treadmill for certain workouts and a HR monitor.
Time based rather than distance.

Suitable for those looking to finish or those looking for a fast time as optional for harder or easier workouts.
Race day advice provided throughout the plan.


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 09:44

Doug Stewart

TMR Coaching

TMR Coaching provides bespoke coaching packages and training plans for some of the toughest events on the planet.
Specialising in endurance events from triathlons to ultra marathons and sportives, we have the right package to suit your training and racing requirements.
Making use of the latest technologies and software (WKO5, Best Bike Split, Running Power Meters) TMR Coaching are able to ensure accurate analysis and optimal training strategies.

Sample Day 1

1hr Threshold Heart Rate Test

1hr threshold HR Test

Warm Up
15 mins Easy Pace, increased effort for final 5 minutes.
Mid way through do some dynamic stretches, bum flicks and high knees.

Main Set
25 minutes Tempo Run
This is not very pleasant, start of at a pace you know you can maintain for the 25 minutes, but should be very hard for final five minutes.

Cool Down
20 Minutes easy run/walk
Bring HR back down slowly

Sample Day 2

30 Min Recovery Run

30 Minute Recovery Run

HR Zone 1 for 30 Minutes

Sample Day 3

1hr Interval Run - 5 x 3 Minutes

1hr Interval Run

Warm Up
15 minutes Easy Pace. Increasing effort for final 5 minutes.
Include dynamic stretches, bum flicks and high knees mid way through Warm Up

Main Set
5 x 3 minutes Fast Paced (not sprint)
3 minutes recovery

Cool Down
Make up to 1 hour with Easy Running

Sample Day 4

60 Min Recovery Run

60 Minute Recovery Run

HR Zone 1 for 60 Minutes

Sample Day 4

Hill Sprints - 8 - 10 second Repeats to develop Strength - go at 85% first time around

Read Description Carefully

Requires a short steep hill (average gradient of 30% to 50% is ideal).

20 minutes easy running, gradually increasing pace in final 5 minutes - so likely be in HR Zone 3 to 4.
10 minutes of dynamic stretches - high knees, walking lunges, bouncing on toes, leg swings, ballistic toes touches. Want well warmed up. This is designed to activate the stretch reflex in the tendons to make sure they know they are ready to work.
2 x 20 or 30 seconds medium to hard effort hill runs. 1 to 2 minute walking downhill as recovery
2 x 20 seconds skipping uphill. Again 1 to 2 minute of walking downhill as recovery.

Make sure you do a thorough Warm Up. If feeling tight or wanting to extend please do - this is a high intensity workout and likely to lead to injury if not well warmed up.

Once well warmed up an no pain ready to begin!
8 x 8 - 10 seconds of maximum power sprints. 2 minute recovery after each one.
As first time doing go around 85% of maximum and treat first rep or two as an extension to the warm up.

20 minute easy jog to cool down.

Sample Day 6

1hr 15 minute Interval Run - 6 x 6 Minutes

1hr Interval Run

Warm Up
15 minutes Easy Pace. Increasing effort for final 5 minutes.
Include dynamic stretches, bum flicks and high knees mid way through Warm Up

Main Set
6 x 6 minutes Fast Paced (not sprint)
3 minutes recovery

Cool Down
Make up to 1 hour 15 minutes with Easy Running, slowing to a walk for final couple of minutes.

Sample Day 7

2hr Endurance Run

Endurance Run

Steady run - aim for HR Zone 1 to Zone 2

For all Endurance Runs aim to do on trails.

Check the race you are competing in and determine the elevation and distance.

Divide the elevation by the distance to determine the average amount of climbing per km/mile. For your Endurance Runs try to replicate this elevation per km/mile.

For example, if doing a marathon with a total ascent of 2,200m then per km you would be looking to cover 52m of ascent per km (2,200m / 42.2km = 52m of climbing per km).

This will ensure your legs become familiar with this amount of elevation change.

Aim to do this ratio of elevation for all Endurance Runs.

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