Ultra Running Preseason Training Program


  • 8-Week, 6 days/week
  • Combines gym-based strength and running-based aerobic training
  • Builds to 41 miles/week, and includes 2-a-day sessions (gym+run)
  • This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


Eight-week long training program for recreational and competitive mountain ultra-runners. It’s designed to be the first block of training in preparation for the season.

The training combines gym-based strength training and running to establish a baseline of fitness and durability needed for a successful season of mountain running.

You will train 2-3 times per week in the gym and run 5 times per week. This plan assumes that you have completed at least one marathon and are familiar with performing long runs and high weekly mileage. No previous gym training is necessary to complete this program.

Caution: This plan isn’t designed for someone who is currently not running regularly. Week 1 of the plan includes 30 miles of running. If you’re new to running, we recommend you begin with the Running Improvement Training Plan.


Program Goals

Strength and Durability. The plan deploys bodyweight and free weight strength training to build strength for durability. A significant part of your strength training will be core/midsection focused. It is our theory that stronger athletes are harder to injure, if they do get injured, don’t get injured as bad, and if they do get injured, recover faster.

Running Fitness. The plan includes distance running in Zones 1-3. The mileage (up to 41 miles/week) is modest by ultra running standards, but ambitious when combine with strength training. The goal is to begin building your aerobic base and prepare you sport-specifically for the running-dominated training which comes next in your training.


Weekly Schedule

Weeks 1-4

  • Monday  – Total Rest
  • Tuesday – Strength Training and Hill Run
  • Wednesday – Trail Run
  • Thursday –  Strength Training and Tempo Run
  • Friday –  Total Rest
  • Saturday – Long Trail Run
  • Sunday –  Trail Run


Weeks 5-8

  • Monday  – Total Rest
  • Tuesday – Strength Training and Hill Run
  • Wednesday – Core Strength and Trail Run
  • Thursday –  Strength Training and Tempo Run
  • Friday –  Total Rest
  • Saturday – Long Trail Run
  • Sunday –  Trail Run


Training Volume

  • WEEK 1 (SESSIONS 1-5): Gym – Strength/Core; Run Volume – 30 miles
  • WEEK 2 (SESSIONS 6-10): Gym: Strength/Core; Run Volume – 33 miles
  • WEEK 3 (SESSIONS 11-15): Gym: Strength/Core; Run Volume – 36 miles
  • WEEK 4 (SESSIONS 16-20): Gym – Strength/Core; Running Volume Unload – 24 miles
  • WEEK 5 (SESSIONS 21-25): Gym – Strength/Core; Run Volume -38 miles
  • WEEK 6 (SESSIONS 26-30): Gym – Strength/Core; Run Volume – 41 miles
  • WEEK 7 (SESSIONS 31-35): Gym – Strength/Core; Run Volume – 41 miles
  • WEEK 8 (SESSIONS 36-40): Gym- Strength/Core; Running Volume Unload – 29 miles




What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run/Ruck Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can log in either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

More Questions? Email: coach@mtntactical.com

Required Equipment

A commercial gym should have the equipment required to complete this program. If you’re working out of a home gym then
use the following list:
• Heart Rate Monitor that tracks time.
• Trails with marked/known distances, or GPS wristwatch
• 8/12 (female) and 12/16 kg (male) Kettle bells
• 15/25# Dumbbells
• 45# Barbell
• Enough weight to load Front Squat and Bench Press.
• Weight Rack with hooks
• Flat bench

Sample Training

elow is the First Week from this Training Plan:







Obj: Strength


4 Rounds

5x Push-ups

10x Air Squats

10x Sit-ups

Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds

6x Air Squats

6x Lunges

3x Jump Lunges

3x Jump Squats

30 sec rest

(2) 5 Rounds

5/7x Push-ups

2/3x Pull-ups

5x Poor Man’s Leg Curl

(3) 3 Rounds

15/15 sec Standing Founder

10x Face Down Back


15/15 sec Kneeling Founder

20 sec Superman Hold

(4) 3 Rounds

Pigeon Stretch

5x Shoulder Scarecrows -



Obj: Hill Run


(1) Run 4 miles Zone 1





Obj: Trail Run


(1) Run 6 miles Zone 1





Obj: Strength


4 Rounds

8x Goblet Squats (8/12kg)

6x Push-ups

8x Weighted Sit-ups (15/25#)

Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds

6x Air Squats

6x Lunges

3x Jump Lunges

3x Jump Squats

30 sec rest

(2) 5 Rounds

5/7x Push-ups

2/3xx Pull-ups

5x Poor Man’s Leg Curl

(3) 3 Rounds

8x Russian Twist (15/25#)

15x Sit-ups

30 sec Front Bridge

10x EO’s

(4) 2 Rounds

20 sec Calves Raises

10 sec Hold in Up Position

20 sec Calves Raises

10 sec Hold in Up Position

30 sec Rest

(5) 2 Rounds

Foam Roll low back and legs

30 sec Jane Fonda


Obj: Tempo Run


(1) Run 5 miles total.

After .5 miles in Zone 1 perform

the following intervals:

(2) 3 Rounds

8 min. Run Zone 3

4 min. Run Zone 2









Obj: Long Run


(1) Run 10 miles in Zone






Obj: Trail Run


(1) Run 5 miles in Zone 1-2
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1)  Mission Direct

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.


4) Mission-Direct Research

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.

5) Field Proven

Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


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.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

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.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

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.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there - our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

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.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com


Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
Yes. If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

Do you have downloadable .pdf’s of the training plans?
No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we do. Available for IOS and Android.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plan in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.

If I purchase an Athletes Subscription Can I cancel on my own, anytime?

Do I have to contact MTI to cancel or can I do it myself?
You can do it yourself. Instructions HERE.

If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
Yes. We answer dozens of training questions from athletes weekly. Email coach@mtntactical.com.

If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
Yes. We are continuously adding training plans and packets (2-5/month) and updating plans. With your subscription you’ll have access to all new plans, new courses and plan updates.

What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I have more questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com


"Just wanted to drop a note thanking you for the help! Successfully completed the 50K (just over 7hrs total). Took off a bit (a lot) too fast, and legs ran out of electrolytes for the last 20 miles. So lots of walking. But the key was the training plan kept me building without getting injured. So that was a critical goal met. "


"Short context - I am 40 years old, had full ACL reconstruction on my knee 12 months ago and have been running/skiing and climbing for a few years.

So far I have followed (in order):

I also used 30 Minutes/Day Dryland Ski Training Plan before a week’s piste skiing and backcountry touring in between Artemis and Helen.

This weekend I finished my first 50km race since my op thanks to your programming. I had enough left in the tank to speed up and continue passing other racers in the last few km of my race. Thank you for designing great plans that reward hard work and discipline.

To anyone out there thinking of buying plans from these guys; do it, it works! They’re no joke and will test your resolve and commitment but if you follow them you will see results.

After recovery, I’ll be starting the 50 Mile Ultra Running Training Plan and have my first 50 miler booked in for late September this year.

Thanks again, Rob and team. Keep up the great work and feel free to post my feedback to your website."

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This Plan is one of 200+ plans included in the Athlete's Subscription.