This 8-Week, 6 day/week training program is sport-specifically designed to prepare athletes for the high volume and intensity of a Colorado Grand Traverse Run followed the next day by the Colorado Grand Traverse Mountain Bike (MTB) Race.
The Grand Traverse Mountain Run is a point-to-point ultra marathon from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado. The course follows the route of the Grand Traverse Backcountry Ski race. In total, runners travel 40 miles across the Elk Mountains with over 6,000′ of elevation gain.
The next day, athletes will MTB back from Aspen to Crested Butte, Colorado. In total, bikers travel 40 miles across the Elk Mountains with over 7,800′ of elevation gain. The course starts with a 3000′ ascent up Aspen Mountain before continuing deep into the Elk Mountains.
This plan is designed to be completed the 8 weeks direly before your event. Week 8 in the plan is an unload/taper week.
This training program has 2 general objectives:
- (1) Increase vertical and decline-specific leg strength and strength endurance.
- (2) Increase trail running fitness and volume build to be able to run and complete the 40-MIle Grand Traverse Run.
- (3) Increase MTB fitness and volume build to be able to run and complete the 40-MIle Grand Traverse MTB the next day.
This is Version 1 of this plan, built April, 2023.
This training plan works to build your running and MTB volume to be able to complete the Grand Traverse Run and MTB on consecutive days. This includes a long run every Saturday in the plan, and a long MTB Ride every Sunday.
Below is the weekly Trail Run mileage and weekly long run in the plan. In addition to the running volume below, you’ll complete a weekly “vertical strength” session each week consisting of leg blasters and step up intervals.
Week Mileage Long Run
1 20 10
2 25 12
3 32 15
4 37 18
5 43 20
6 55 25
7 45 30
8 6 6
Below is the weekly Mountain Bike mileage and weekly long run in the plan. In addition to the running volume below, you’ll complete a weekly “vertical strength” session each week consisting of leg blasters and step up intervals along with threshold MTB hill sprints.
Week Mileage Long Ride
1 20 10
2 22 12
3 30 15
4 33 18
5 40 20
6 45 25
7 40 30
8 10 10
Vertical Leg Strength
On the running side, this training plan includes two options for building the uphill and downhill leg strength, strength endurance, and recovery needed to complete and recover from the vertical gain/loss in the Grand Traverse.
- Gym-Based Option – this is for athletes without easy access to a long, steep hill they can hike and do laps on. The gym-based work focuses on MTI’s leg blaster complex to build the eccentric leg strength for the downhills and step ups to build the concentric leg strength and strength endurance for the uphills.
- Steep Hill Option – this option is for athletes with access to a long, steep hill, and includes specific daily vertical gain and loss totals which can be completed by doing laps on a steep hill.
On the MTB side, this training plan deploys weekly, 10-mile hill sprint intervals on Tuesday.
- Mon: Moderate Pace 5-12 Mile Trail Run
- Tue: MTB Hill Sprints
- Wed: Trail Run / MTB “Brick” – Trail Run followed by a MTB Ride. Can be split into a 2-a-day if needed
- Thu: Vertical Leg Strength and Strength Endurance
- Frii: Total Rest
- Sat: Long Moderate Pace Run
- Sun: Long Moderate Pace MTB Ride
- COMMON QUESTIONS
What is the Required Equipment?
– Foam Roller
– 16-20″ Box or Bench for Step Ups
How Long do the Sessions Last?
1-8 hours depending upon your running pace. Longest day will be the Saturday’s long run which peaks at 30 miles on week 7. Overall, this training plan will take significant training time and commitment.
What if I miss a day?
If you miss a day, make up the session you missed the next day and follow the programming as prescribed. The programming is progressive – it builds upon itself. Don’t skip ahead.
What does 25/35# Dumbbell Crawl mean? What about 3/5x Chin Ups.
- 25/35# Dumbbell Crawl = women use 25#, men use 35#
- 3/6x Chin Ups = Women do 3x, Men do 6x.
Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run Calculator is listed as an exercise.
What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.
Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health. Physical training contains inherent risks including, but not limited to, muscle strains, tears, physical and bodily injury up to and including death. This training program is not meant to provide medical advice; you should obtain medical advice from your private health care practitioner. If you are unable to assume these risks then you should not engage in this training program. No liability is assumed by Mountain Tactical Institute, Inc, its owners or employees, and you train at your own risk. Mountain Tactical Institute makes no warranty, express or implied, of any kind in connection with this training program.