Novice plan for Giants Cup multi day trail race (South Africa)


Tim Pigott / Helen Leigh

All plans by this Coach


17 Weeks

Typical Week

4 Run, 1 Strength, 2 Bike, 1 Custom, 2 Day Off, 1 Other

Longest Workout

19.88 miles

Plan Specs

running trail beginner hr based

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This plan is to prepare you for the Giants Cup trail race on the 22nd and 23rd May 2020.

The plan starts with an emphasis on running technique and using cycling to suppliment the running to build fitness without over stressing the legs and risking injury. As the plan develops the cycling component reduces and the running / hiking increases. During your goal event there will be large sections you will be forced to walk/hike, therefore within your training there are sessions were you focus on this as a skill set. By getting out and walking fast / hiking fast you can make your slowest speed faster than everyone elses. Do not underestimate the benefit of practicing walking fast.

The plan is build around using heart rate zones to guide your intensity, ensure you have set your threshold heart rate appropriately within Training Peaks. Within the plan there are example core strength / hip strength exercises to ensure you have sufficient stability to maintain good form when running. There are also example self massage / foam roller exercises to keep your muscles supple and help you recover. Expand on these exercises as required under the guidenance of your local physiotherapist.



Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 05:50
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 05:50
Average Weekly Breakdown

Tim Pigott

Health & Performance 3

My area of expertise is working with athletes who have been struggling with illness or injury and returning them to peak performance, particularly the longer distance events.

I am a sports physiotherapist, with over 15yrs experience working with beginners through to international & Olympic athletes from a multitude of sports, and university researcher. Coupled with S&C, Retül Bike Fit (IBFI 4), British Triathlon level2 and British Athletics, I can help you return to, or realise your potential.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

Myrtle routine (pre run)

Clams - x8 each leg
Lateral leg lift - x15 each leg (5 toes in, 5 toes forward, 5 toes up)
Donkey kicks x8 each leg
Donkey whips x5 each leg
Fire Hydrants x8 each leg
Knee circle forward x5 each leg
Knee circle backward x5 each leg
Hurdle trail leg forward x5 each leg
Hurdle trail leg backward x5 each leg
Lateral leg swing x5 each leg
Forward-back leg swing x10 each leg
Forward-back leg swing bent knee x10 each leg.

Sample Day 1

Easy Run

Easy run-walk. Make sure thoroughly warmed up with the warm up routine before the run and stretch post run. Practice the run-walk strategy to improve your endurance while gradually building your fitness & conditioning. Trail running will inevitably involve sections of walking so we want to ensure your slowest pace (walking) is the fastest it can be.

Sample Day 2

Easy base endurance bike

Easy base endurance bike. Focus on a fast cadence with low force through the pedals.

Sample Day 2

Weekly roundup

Spend 5mins this evening reflecting on the past week and setting yourself goals/targets for next week. This review is both for your training, and general life. Remember, we are about Health & Performance, so make sure you are reflecting on both aspects. 

Rate how hard you perceived this past week's training: 
1 (very easy) --- 10 (extremely tough)

Rate your external stress from the past week (eg. family life, personal, work, etc) 
1(very little) --- 10 (extremely stressful)

What went well this week -
What needs improvement -
What are your goals for next week -

Sample Day 3

Active recovery <55% FTP

Just spin the legs at a normal cadence but don't put any force through the pedals. Power and HR stay low, just keeping the muscles turning over. You are still improving blood flow to your muscles at this effort range.

Sample Day 3

Foam roller / soft tissue mobility

Sample Day 4

Main drills and skills set

Drills & Skills Warm Up (10 mins) Over roughly 40m do the following repeats: 1) Arms circling fwd and bkd.-1st walking 2nd jogging 2) Arms X front – clap behind.- 1st walking – 2nd jogging 3) Look behind – keep hips forward, rotate at the thoracic spine/shoulders- alternating left and right hand sides.- 1st walking – 2nd jogging 4) Carioca – sometimes called a Grapevine .Side on to direction and one foot ( rt ) crosses over in front of supporting leg,( lft ) then supports, next step by the (rt ) foot goes behind the left support leg. So its one in front – one behind. Change the leading side next repeat. 5) Running backwards. 6) Side stepping cross overs.- change sides when you want to / or repeat with other leg leading All the recoveries are walking back the 40 metres to the start. Main set Skill Drills. Over 20 – 30 metres Recoveries are walk backs Medium high knees. Single leg butt kicks ( heel kicks butt ) ie. Left leg only, then right leg only. Work on your co-ordination. Double leg butt kicks ( heels kicks butt 2 x ) Single high knee into single butt kicks (same side ) Accelerators 3 X 60mtr. @ 50%- 60% - 70% speed. Walking medium lunges. Fast feet. Cover around 10 metres only jog the rest of the way Accelerators. 3 X 60mtr. @ 60% - 70% - 80% Plyometrics. – 2 foot jumps 3x 30 on the spot (30sec rest) –relaxed at ankle, knees and hips, light on toes – fast reaction off the ground (imagine it’s 3x 30 forward and back (over a line) 3x 30 side to side Cool down – light stretching / walk.

Novice plan for Giants Cup multi day trail race (South Africa)

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