Beginner Distance Training Plan for Trail Running

Beginner Distance Training Plan for Trail Running

Trail running, especially beginner level 5K or 10K races, have increased in popularity in recent years.  Running through nature can either seem totally relaxing or a daunting challenged depending on your level of familiarity with trail running.  However, there is nothing to fear as trail running, and training for a beginner trail race, is fun and easy.  Make sure you get the right gear and have the right training plan and then enjoy the outdoors!  Here are some tips to make the most of your training and our 10-week plan for a Beginner Trail Race.



  1. To train for a trail run, you need to run on trails.  Find some trails close by and scope out the trails that won't be too difficult for your level of fitness.
  2. If you haven't run on trials before, it is different from running on the sidewalk.  Start off slower than you want and gradually work your way up as you get more comfortable running off-road.
  3. Use your arms more than you normally would for on-road running.  When you are climbing a hill, use the vertical motion of you arms to help you along the way.
  4. Make sure to stay alert and keep your eyes a few steps ahead of where you are going so you can adjust to oncoming roots, holes or other obstacles.
  5. It's OK to slow down and walk if needed.  Take your time and have fun.  Make sure you get through the tougher areas until you get more comfortable.
  6. Make sure you have appropriate off-road running gear.  Trail running shoes are a must as the extra tread will give you traction in the rough terrain.  Make sure to layer up, bring sunglasses, extra water, and, depending on the length of your run, a hat and sunscreen.


Training Plan

Training to run a trail run race means you'll need to run on trails, but you don't need to do it every day.  Aim to have two days a week where you hit the trails.  You can add to those as you get more comfortable.  Remember that you should start out slower than you probably would like and gradually work your way up as you get more comfortable with the terrain and running on trails.  Most importantly, enjoy and have fun! 


5K Training Plan


 Once you try it, let us know how you like this training plan and any modifcations you'd suggest!



Posted Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 by Michael Gonzales in Training Plans, Trail Running