Alpine Running Training Plan


• Intense, 8 week, 6-day/week training plan
• Designed to prepare athletes for high alpine running missions
• Includes gym-based strength, vertical climbing, loaded running and long trail runs
• This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


This is an intense, 8 week, 6-day/week training plan designed to prepare athletes for fast, technical, alpine ascents or other high alpine running missions marked by significant vertical gain and loss, high overall mileage (15+ miles) loaded movement (pack weight of 10-25 pounds) and off-trail travel to include 3rd and 4th class terrain.

Alpine Running is different than mountain running in that the movement is loaded, travel more technical (off trail), and the athlete is unsupported.

This program combines gym-based posterior chain, upper body and mid-section strength, loaded vertical climbing and unloaded decent, threshold track repeats, loaded flat runs, and long trail runs.

Here is the weekly schedule:
Monday: Gym Based Strength and Chassis Integrity
Tuesday: Loaded vertical ascent and unloaded decent
Wednesday: Gym Based Strength and Chassis Integrity
Thursday: 1-Mile Threshold Track Repeats
Friday: Loaded Run

Saturday: Long Trail Run

This is not a beginner’s program. Athletes need to have a high level of fitness before beginning the program.

Week one includes two days of strength training, 3000 feet of vertical movement, a 4-mile running assessment at a track, 5 mile loaded run and 7 mile trail run.

The program increases in difficulty from there.

Required Equipment
– Fully Equipped for Strength Training
– Steep Hill, Stadium Steps, or Step Up Bench for vertical movement
– Pack
– 9x 1-Gallon Water Jugs (You’ll use water for loading)

** Recommended: Wrist GPS to monitor mileage



Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • Fully Equipped Gym for Strength Training

  • Steep Hill, Stadium Steps, or Step Up Bench for vertical movement

  • Pack

  • 9x 1-Gallon Water Jugs (You’ll use water for loading)

  • Sandbags - 40 & 60 Pounds

  • ** Recommended: Wrist GPS to monitor mileage

Sample Training

**************WEEK 1****************

Obj: Strength, Chassis Integrity
Warm Up:

  • 3 Rounds

  • 8x Hinge @ 65/95#

  • 4x Scotty Bob @ 15/25#

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 6 Rounds

  • 3x Hinge Lift - increase load each round until 3x is hard, but doable

  • 3/3/3 Toe Touch Complex

Record Final Load

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 5x Kettlebell Floor Press

  • Rope Climb or 3x Tarzan Pull Ups

  • 5x Shoulder Dislocate

(3) 15 Minute Grind @ 40/60# Sandbag

  • 3x Getup

  • 6x Toss & Chase

  • 3x Standing Keg Lift

  • (4) Foam Roll Quads/Low Back


Obj: Uphill Climbing Endurance, Downhill Running Fitness

(1) Hike 3000 vertical feet, Moderate Pace, Run down

  • Load: 1 Gallon of Water

  • Moderate = Comfortable but not easy.

  • Note: If possible, dump water at the top and run down unloaded.


Obj: Strength, Chassis Integrity

(1) Work up to 1RM Back Squat

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 3x Eccentric Back Squat, 5 Second Drop - @ 60% 1RM

  • Pigeon Stretch

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 5x Incline Bench Press - increase load each round until 5x is hard, but doable

  • 2/5x Weighted Pull Ups - increase load each round until 5x is hard, but doable

  • Lat + Pec Stretch

(3) 10 Minute Grind …

  • 15/15 Standing Founder

  • 10x Face Down Back Extensions

  • 15/15 Kneeling Founder

  • 10x Good Morning @ 45#


Obj: Endurance Assessment

Warm Up:

4 Rounds

  • 8x Squats

  • 8x Push Ups

  • 8x Sit Ups

  • Run 100m

  • Instep Stretch


(1) Run 4 Miles for Time

Record Finish Time


Obj: Loaded Endurance


(1) Run 5 miles carrying pack with 1 gallon of water

Easy Pace

Easy = you can speak in complete sentences


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Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI's fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI's programming is not "re-tread" bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We've built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan "Lab Rats" at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming's effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn't.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


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MTI exists to "Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe." To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI's Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

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6) Programming Breadth

MTI's library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We've developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI's programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

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Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


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Since 2007 we've taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We've saved these individual Q&A's and now thousands are archived on our site.

We're not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn't for everyone. If we can help, we'll let you know. If we can't, we'll let you know that, too.

- Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.


Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman - so I can't put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

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As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we've put in and received to make these plans effective.

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Here’s our guarantee:

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