trail en ville

Training for the trail in the city is possible!


Stair climbing

Around your place of residence, you certainly have stairs, terraces, stadium bleachers, or even a building with enough steps to train yourself to connect climbs and descents. Several ways of climbing stairs: either quickly step by step, or 2 by 2, or even 3 by 3, walking with your hand on your thighs.



Taking 3 or 4-hour bike rides on the road, or even longer, while making yourself "dance" over all or a part of the little humps encountered with a higher gear than what logic might require, so that everyone can participate in the trail running party. You can also do the same type of training with a MTB on a trail.


Treadmills with different percentages of incline

It is certainly not the most entertaining way to train for someone who dreams of the great outdoors, but it is a precious aid for working on hills.
Running in heat and shelter can also be an advantage during the long winter evenings!
Another advantage is that treadmills can offer inclines up to 10% and without time limits as there would be on natural hills.


General fitness, chairs, squats, strength training

These are strength training sessions, which can be done indoors and which best prepare your muscles to handle the shocks and traumas due to the sequence of climbs and descents on the trail.

Here too, it is suitable to respect a certain progress in your sessions (number of repetitions, length of exercise, etc.). The following day, just plan on a simple jog or rest, but certainly not a high-intensity session.


Hill-descent-hill-descent intervals, etc.

Even if you just have a small hill near your training site, you can create sequences of climbs and descents on that hill.

Sample session: 3 series of 12 minutes of climbs-descents with 5 minutes of flat recovery at the foot of this hill and at a very slow pace.


Trail hiking (3 hrs to 6-7 hrs)

If you have absolutely no gradient on your trail hike, you can force yourself to walk at regular intervals (ex: 40 minutes of running followed by 10 minutes of more or less brisk walking, to repeat during your entire session. The goal of this exercise being to get used to the transition between walking and running that you will need to do during your trail run, and that it is important to master. It is a factor that we too often neglect!


Get to a hill by bike

Identify a hill around 1 1/2 hours from your home by bike. You can carry out a traditional (short or long) hill session followed by a 1.5 hour return by bike. This way, you get a 4+ hour workout, which you can prolong as you wish, as your training plan progresses.


A weekend in the mountains

In order to accumulate a lot of gradient in a very short period of time, a weekend in the mountains is an essential step in preparing for a long trail with a significant gradient. It is not always easy to plan, but aren't you able to give yourself a maximum of tools to succeed at this trail run, which is your goal and in which you are investing yourself immeasurably?

Even if in theory all of the conditions for quality training are not met, you now have the keys in hand to prepare yourself for the race you have been dreaming of!


Philippe Propage, Coach kalenji
Cet article a été rédigé par Philippe Propage, entraîneur d'athlètes de niveau international