Browse More Plans

Trail Running: Intro to Ultra Marathons - RPE

Browse More Plans

Trail Running: Intro to Ultra Marathons - RPE


Uphill Athlete

All plans by this Coach
4.66 (105)


20 Weeks

Plan Description

This 20 week ultra running training plan is designed for individuals looking at improving their trail running performance or competing in their first 50km race. You should have some running background and be capable of handling back-to-back weeks of 25 miles of easy aerobic running to start. This plan builds to a 50 mile week that include one high intensity session. We have also added structured workouts and included training guidance by RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion). These changes will help you self-administer this plan and educate you on critical training principles along the way.

The plan follows the proven model of three building weeks followed by a recovery week to allow your body to absorb the training that preceded it. The plan takes you through an 8 week base period to solidify both general functional strength and the aerobic base you will need to support the hard work in the later weeks. You will then move into a 4 week running specific strength period to boost your running power and muscular endurance on uphills.

The meat of the program is a 6 week block of focus on the two principle components of any ultra distance trail run: uphills and long distance.

This plan is based on your RPE, or Rate of Perceived Exertion. Workout intensities are guided by how hard you are working based on your perception of effort (how hard the workout feels to you) rather than by heart rate. This is an adaption of the original plan for those who want to learn to calibrate their effort levels in their workouts. It's also a great option for those who don't have a smartwatch or prefer not to train using technology.

The final 2 weeks are a taper and rest period to prepare you for a trail run or race of around 30 miles/50 kilometers.

Send us your success stories! You might also want to visit our free forum at where you will find answers to the most common questions about our training plans.

Happy Training,
The Uphill Athlete Team

How it Works

Load Your Plan

Quickly view upcoming workouts in the TrainingPeaks app.

Workout and Analyze

Upload completed workouts from your favorite tracking app or device.

Track Your Progress

Get feedback, stay on top of your training and perform at your best.

Learn More

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Run x5
03:09:00 01:25:00
Strength x1
01:00:00 01:00:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
Other x1
00:37:00 00:30:00
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
03:09:00 01:25:00
01:00:00 01:00:00
Day Off
—— ——
00:37:00 00:30:00

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

Uphill Athlete by Steve House

Uphill Athlete

Uphill Athlete has a strong mission: to inspire and educate mountain athletes through education and celebration. We wrote the books on training for mountain sports. On our website, you'll find a wealth of science-based, mountain-proven resources, including articles, videos, and podcasts. From trail running to climbing Everest, our expertise covers it all.

Uphill Athlete offers coaching, a monthly membership program, training plans, and valuable free resources for learning and enjoyment.

  • 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.

Still have questions about this plan?
| Premium

24% Off

Bundle your plan with TrainingPeaks Premium, and you'll unlock our progress-tracking tools, plus the freedom to move workouts to fit your schedule.

$94.99 USD for the first year, billed yearly.

$49.00 - Buy Now