Browse More Plans

Trail Running Base Training (20 weeks) + Race Taper (4 weeks)

Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.

Learn More about Structured Workouts.


Adam Hodges

All plans by this Coach
No Ratings


24 Weeks

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

Still have questions about this plan?
Includes Structured Workouts

Structured Workouts automatically sync with compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time.

Learn More about Structured Workouts.

Plan Description

This plan provides a complete blueprint to help runners develop their endurance base in preparation for a target event in the 20K to 50K range. Although aimed at trail runners, it can equally be used to train for half marathons and marathons on the road. It assigns volume based on training hours and intensity based on heart rate training zones. The plan provides instructions and workouts to determine your individualized training zones, so no prior knowledge is needed.

The training adheres to the philosophy of building the aerobic base while simultaneously emphasizing the proper neuromuscular patterns needed to prepare the runner for higher intensity training later in the season. The plan also integrates a complete strength training program, moving from a general strength phase to a maximum strength phase to a muscular endurance phase.

The plan consists of five 4-week base training blocks that progressively build volume following a 3-up/1-down periodization schedule. The fourth week of each training block is dedicated to recovery and field tests. Runners who prefer a 2-up/1-down periodization schedule can easily adapt the plan by removing the second week of each 4-week training block for a 15-week base training program.

By the end of the 20-week base training progression, many runners will be ready to taper for their target event—and a 4-week tapering block is included for them. Other runners will be ready to move into a higher intensity build phase before their target event. For them, a separate 8-week Event Training Plan is available that picks up where the 20-week base training progression ends. Still others may choose to repeat some of the base training blocks if they have a longer season that requires more base training.

The plan—like any training plan—represents an initial draft, rather than a final document set in stone. You will write the final version over the coming months as you glean feedback from your training each week and adapt your training to your specific situation and goals. Depending upon the length of your target event, for example, you may wish to adjust up or down the duration of your weekly long run. Depending upon how much training you have been doing, you may wish to adjust up or down the starting week’s volume and progress accordingly. With that in mind, the plan provides guidelines each week on how to adjust the volume in relation to your previous week’s volume. After all, no matter where you want to go, you must start from where you are.

Consult the Alp Fitness website ( for supplemental videos, tools and resources to use along with this plan. Train smart!

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:44 hrs 2:30 hrs
1:10 hrs 0:40 hrs
Day Offx1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:44 hrs 2:30 hrs
1:10 hrs 0:40 hrs
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Adam Hodges

Alp Fitness

I offer training plans for runners and triathletes seeking personal growth through self-defined challenges, whether those involve races (e.g. Ironman 70.3, 50K trail runs) or solo adventures (e.g. fast-packing, mountaineering objectives). Learn more about the training approach in my book, “The Triathlete’s Training Guide,” and check out for additional videos and articles to help you train smart.