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HILLY trail marathon... help!!!!!
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Saz12 · 13/04/2016 21:57

I have signed up for a trail marathon in early October. Total ascent is 1600m. My rationale was that I like running on trails and live somewhere hilly.... But I'm now panicing, because I'm pretty certain that I'll not be able for it. I like having a Plan but have no idea where to start.

Currently I run 3 times a week, one day a flat-ish 3 or 4 miles, on the other day I either do hill intervals or a longer run (6 miles or so), and at the weekend I do a long, hilly "run" - a lot of this is actually walking, not running. All on trails or rough ground. I also try and do a workout DVD at home once or twice a week. It's not realistic for me to run more often than 3 times a week, though I could make each run longer.

I can't get to gyms, running clubs, and the nearest Parkrun is 40+ miles away, so not keen to make the journey! The roads around me are typical rural ones - speed limit of 60mph and no pavement, so not keen to use them for other runs.

What the heck should I be doing? Is anyone able to give me some tips, or even a link to a training plan? I'm worried a normal marathon training plan won't be good prep for the hilliness. Any help would be fab.

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TisIthecat · 13/04/2016 22:16

Hi Saz, I've never done a trail marathon but I've done some halves. Like you I'm time constrained and have no access to a gym.
I mostly do a long hilly run at the weekend - walking the really steep sections but running most of it - we're out for 1-2 hours. During the week I do a couple of shorter runs in my lunch break - sometimes hill reps ( we have a fabulous park with steep hills) or intervals. I follow a standard half plan when I'm training for an event but make sure I do as much of the distance on appropriate terrain. I ignore any pacing guide and go off effort instead. You could use heart rate or perceived exertion.

I think in terms of milage you'd be fine following a standard marathon plan - and there are several 3X a week plans on the Web. Just make sure you can run most of the distance on similar terrain and you should be grand.

1600m is an awful lot of assent!

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emummy · 14/04/2016 10:25

I agree, use a standard marathon training plan but take it off road and use hilly routes, as you are already doing. Do you have any routes nearby of similar climb to the race? If so try and do those sometimes. I have a 15 mile trail run in 10 days, think it's about half your elevation. There is a large steeper hill next to me so I did that 3 or four times for my long runs but not every week!
And it's definitely OK to walk parts of the hills. I did a 15 mile one last November and most people walked the steep bits. Good luck!

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Saz12 · 14/04/2016 21:36

Thanks for your help! I'd got myself totally confused as to how to train.

There are loads of hills around me that I can use for training. The course itself goes from near-sea-level to 350m, back to near-sea-level, then up to 520m, then back to sea level... etc. So the total ascent is 1600m, though the highest point is nearer 600m.

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museumum · 14/04/2016 21:39

I've done a few hilly trail halfs and I just take a normal plan but do ALL the long runs and as many other runs as I can on hilly trails.

Just grab a runners world 3 runs per week plan then make sure you do two a week in hills/trails.

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