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Trail Half Marathon with 2000-3000ft gain - 16 Week Beginner

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Trail Half Marathon with 2000-3000ft gain - 16 Week Beginner


Mountain Runner Coaching

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16 Weeks

Plan Description

Mountain Runner Coaching's mission is to help you enjoy the journey toward and the accomplishment of your running goal. We do this using our proven training methods rooted in decades of running experience and our athletes’ achievements. Coach support from head Coach Chris Grauch, a 9 x USATF Mountain/Trail Runner of the Year and 10 x Masters mountain running/trail National Champion, is included in your plan, as we’re all about boosting your confidence and fitness on the trails and making your trail half-marathon goal a reality.


This plan starts with 3 days a week of running, for a total of 3 hours a week, including a long run of 8 miles. As the plan progresses, it eventually moves to 4 days a week of running, with an additional optional cross-training day. The biggest week is 6 hours of total running time with a long run of 14 miles.

Over the 16 weeks, the plan progressively builds trail time and elevation gain to prepare you for a race with 2000-3000ft gain. The inclusion of our confidence-boosting MRC signature sessions will give you some fun and challenging run workouts that will prepare you both physically and mentally to meet your trail half-marathon goal!


This plan is perfect for those who are new to trail running, are moving up to their first half marathon, or have run a 10k/half marathon in the past and are just returning to running after a break.

Prerequisites in the last 3-4 weeks:
- running at least 3 days per week
- one to two long runs of 6-8 miles
- at least 3 hours of running per week


  • 3-4 running days per week and 3-6 hours per week

  • Utilizes structured workouts throughout

  • Intensity effort determined by RPE (rate of perceived exertion)

  • Builds run consistency over time

  • Includes progressive challenge sessions

  • Incorporates recovery weeks to allow you to absorb the training and then build on your fitness

  • Downloadable to your watch/device

  • Uses our MRC signature workouts to develop race confidence and motivate you toward your goal

  • Coach support included, as your goal is our goal too!

How it Works

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Run x4
02:44:00 02:25:00
Day Off x3
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
02:44:00 02:25:00
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

Mountain Runner Coaching

Mountain Runner Coaching LLC

At Mountain Runner Coaching, we are run specialists passionate about helping you enjoy your run journey and accomplish your goals. We offer training plans and 1:1 coaching for athletes of all ages and experience levels.
Founder and Head Coach Chris Grauch, nine-time USATF Masters Mountain/Trail Runner of the Year and ten-time National Masters Running Champion is excited to share tried and tested training plans cultivated from ten years of coaching experience and thirty years of running.

  • This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
  • Access your training plan anywhere on the TrainingPeaks mobile and desktop apps.
  • Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
  • Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Completed workouts sync with popular apps like Garmin and Wahoo. Learn More
  • If plan includes Structured Workouts, then planned workouts sync to compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time. Learn More

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.

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