Long Trail Phase 1

This is Phase 1 of my Long Trail Training program.  I’ve adapted it form some other training plans out there and will tweak it as I go depending on how I’m performing.  I won’t pretend that I know much about putting together a training schedule, but I’m pretty good at knowing what I need at a certain point in the cycle.  Hint: It’s usually exactly what I don’t want to do i.e. track, hills, deadlifts, repeats.  I really liked Matt Fitzgerald’s book, Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel which talks a lot about not relying too heavily on a strict training schedule.  A general plan is good, but if your body and performance are telling you you’re not improving where you want, then it may be time to go outside of the schedule.


I’ve spent the past few months building up a strong base. running anywhere from 5-25 miles a week and a few days at the gym.  Phase 1 brings double days, stairs, and more consistent mileage.


Planned vs. Reality

Phase 1 is just wrapping up, and here is a look at what I actually did.  The goal of phase 1 was to increase workload, introduce stairs, and add consistency.

My plan was very aggressive and had I stuck to it strictly, I could very well be exhausted by now.

3 Takeaways:

  1.  1 Day of rest is not always enough.  I try not to let negative self talk influence my decision to rest or not.  In other words, I don’t feel guilt if I take an extra day.  This is a long program, and I have to stay healthy above everything else.
  2. I’m not quite ready for 30+ miles a week yet, and it’s OK.  I’m at 1/2 marathon distance and am poised to be in marathon shape by the end of Feb (right on schedule) before I hit Phase 3.
  3. Double days are hard, and back to back doubles are near impossible, especially when you have a job, wife, and child.  Consistent scheduling isn’t always possible.

Overall I feel pretty good about where I’m at.  I feel strong on my long runs, I’m still motivated, and I haven’t had any real injury issues.  I’m confident I can reach the next step which is a 20 mile long run in mid Feb.


2 thoughts on “Long Trail Phase 1

  1. I did my first stairs workout today. I talked to Dan Rose from http://run192.blogspot.com/ and he said the LT downhills would be the hardest part. He cautioned that if I didn’t prepare for it by pounding the stairs and getting my legs to look like the Hulk, I would never finish. After today I think he’s right. As hard as going up is, after awhile, I welcomed it. Going down was making my legs wobbly and I started loosing confidence in my footing. I think I’ll be spending a lot of time in that stairwell.

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