Advanced Mountain Running Training Plan, 16-Weeks

Are you targeting a multi-day mountain running goal like the Via Valais, the Tour d’Mont Blanc or the Haute Route?  These are challenging runs with major elevation gain and loss for 5 to 9 consecutive days. You’ll want to have a very good running base with the ability to handle 40 mile (~65km) weeks to start and build to 70miles (~110 km) in the biggest week.  Speed is not necessary in these runs but durability is.

This plan includes the same proven gym-based circuit style muscular endurance strength workout as is used in Mike Foote’s Big Vert plan to build the key muscular endurance to better enable you to handle the high climbs and descents, day after day.  This workout is used 1x/week in a progressively more difficult form for the first 9 weeks before moving to more traditional long uphill interval workouts for the next 7 weeks. Another specific leg strength workout progresses through the first 10 weeks before transitioning into short and hard uphill intervals for the remaining weeks.   While hilly terrain for your basic running training is ideal, it is not necessary. You can substitute a treadmill (even better, an incline trainer) to simulate the uphill running.

For detailed information and to understand how this plan is constructed, please consult our book, “Training for the Uphill Athlete” published by Patagonia Books.  For specific questions about this training plan, or to send us your success story email us at

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