5k - 10k trail race training plan

Download your expert 5k-10k training plan for an off-road race here, from Trail Running magazine's expert coach Darren Onyejekwe

There’s a tendency within off-road running for routes to go further and further, as if simply adding more distance improves the quality of the run itself. But, without treading on the toes of ultra enthusiasts – it wouldn’t help their chances – whatever happened to running faster? To the adrenaline of hurtling past bemused dog-walkers as you crush a parkrun PB? If you’re serious about getting the full 1000 miles under your belt – and we really hope you are – don’t assume you need to start adding miles at a frantic (and unsustainable) rate. Leave that to the regular ultra runners; if you’re not used to the distance, it’s a fast track only to injury. Instead, focus on running more frequently – and faster. We’ve included recovery and cross-training sessions in this plan to relieve the pressure from your legs, letting you concentrate on enjoying the trails. Even if they are a complete blur. Sign up to #Run1000Miles now, here!


Before getting started on any of our training plans, make sure you’re kitted out with the correct gear here, you’ll appreciate the quality of these top picks when the training starts to stack up. Also bear in mind our injury-prevention advice to avoid any speed bumps, as well as Darren’s strength circuit (p31) in the dedicated #Run1000Miles mini-mag with the Feb/Mar17 issue of Trail Running (on sale 5 Jan) to help safeguard your joints and muscles against any niggles. For Darren’s Wednesday speed sessions, aim to run the 400 and 800m sets at a speed that you can’t hold a conversation at. It needs to be uncomfortable to be effective, but don’t worry – you aren’t running for very long. For more training plans from your first ever mile, half marathon and marathon, ultra and beyond, you'll need the latest issue of Trail Running magazine. Buy a single issue here or subscribe and save money here.

click here to download your eight-week training plan!