Couch to 5K

Advice for Trail Run in March please

Hi folks.

I've been back on the ol' C25k since last week, gently easing myself back in via wk 3. But I'd appreciate some advice and words of wisdom if poss...

I signed up for a trail run here next year. Now its marketed as 10k-and-some, and this year's event confirmed it was actually 17k!! Thats all up muckle hills and in the dark.

So my question is this. What can I do to make sure I go from official sloth-dom to being fit enough to climb the 2 hills I need to??

Can anyone recommend a gteat programme or somewhere I can look up tp see what kind of programme I could follow? I am now terrified!! Personally, ai blame the cider!

4 Replies

Please excuse the typos..... something is going on as I can't correct any spellings unless I delete everything after it.....


get through the programme first, then gradually build up the distance with long weekend runs and do three shorter 5k runs a week, one of which hill work and at least one on trails. Without wanting to sound stating the obvious, the only way to get good at running hills is to run hills. There is nothing very nice to say about hill training. I hate it with a vengeance and have to force myself out of the door to do it, but after a while you do start to notice that you get used to it(it never becomes 'easy').

Also, plenty of leg strengthening exercises will help: squats, lunges, calf raises, burpees etc, and some cross training like swimming or spin.

Cross Country and trail running is the best fun you can have on your feet. Have a great time!


Rignold is right in saying that the only way to get good at running up hills is to run up hills, but I cannot understand how folk do "hill work" by running up a hill, down again and then repeat, ad nauseum. I am sure it is effective at improving your ability but there is a better way.

I have a regular 10k route which involves a total of approximately 230m of climbing, including one hill of nearly 100m over 1.5k. Nothing exceptional, I know, but it is a convenient local route. I don't run the hills just to do some "hill work", but mainly because this is a beautiful scenic route and I am dearly looking forward to running it again soon, after a recent injury has reduced my distances. In the year that I have been running this route my times have slowly reduced and my hill climbing ability has developed.

I could never enjoy the hard core hill reps style of running and if you are intending to become an off road runner I would recommend finding your own route, so that the running is a joy, not a slog. Apart from that, running up hills is just like C25k.....take it slow and steady, so that you finish, then next time try a little bit more pace. The important thing is to enjoy it. Good luck.


Cheers gents, really appreciate your advice. It all makes sense too. I will be combining the programme with weekly hill training, and also two sessions at the gym concentrating on building up my core strength. The exercises Rignold have said look good and I'll speak to the guy at the gym who makes up my programme to see about how to incorporate them into my plan.

I don't know where this will all take me if I'm honest but I live in a beautiful part of the country with lots of stunning on and off road routes so it seems a sin not to get put on them :-) Thanks again


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