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Suunto - 20 week Trail Marathon Running Plan


Denise Sauriol - Suunto Multisport Team athlete and coach

4 (13)


20 Weeks

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Plan Description

This plan assumes that the athlete has a strong endurance base. Recommending that they can comfortably average a 20-25 mile week and comfortably run 8-10 miles.

The plan allows for proper build up of weekly mileage and the longs runs following the 10% rule. This is one way to minimize injury. Most runners get injured by doing too much too soon.

In addition to build the mileage up properly, the plan also allows for proper recovery time between hard workouts. Especially the long run and speed workouts.

For Cross Training Days, I recommend that the activity is not high impact on lower body. For example, I would avoid strength training targeting the quads, hamstrings, calf's the day before the long run and track workouts. I would also avoid spin class that are high intensity and or high resistance. Yoga, Pilates and swimming are really good cross training activities.

The other option on designated Cross Training Days is to rest. I recommend that the runner take at least 1 rest day

For the Track Workouts and Interval Long Runs. If the runner is new to track or coming back from an injury, I recommend that they just run the mileage listed for the applicable day in Zone 2.

It's important that the warm up miles and the cool down miles are easy. Running them fast will take away from the quality of the repeat. As you complete more repeats week to week, your body will adapt to this stress and need less recovery time.

When running the repeats, the athlete needs to find a pace that is ""manage-ably uncomfortable""

Ankle strength is critical with trail running as well as being in the supportive shoes that provide necessary traction and protection from the elements.

The athlete should train for similar terrain that the race course will have. For instance if it is a hilly course, and the runner lives in the flat lands of the Midwest, they could incorporate stair climbing into their training regimen, running parking garage ramps and or running up and downhill on a treadmill, etc

The training plan is based on imperial units - miles.
You can use the 1.5 x multiplier to use this in metric system - kilometers.

In track:
- with 1/4mile repetitions, use 400m - 1 loop
- with 1/2mile repetitions, use 800m - 2 loops
- with 1mile repetitions use 1600m - 3 loops

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Run x5
4:53 hrs 2:40 hrs
Day Off x2
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:53 hrs 2:40 hrs
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices

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