Training Plan for West Highland Way

I’ve been meaning to post my training plan for the 8 weeks between the Highland Fling and the West Highland Way. After the Fling I had 5 days completely off.

I probably could have run earlier but my ankle (ligaments) were a little sore so I decided to give it an extra couple of days. It has been sore for the past 6 weeks after longer runs but then eases off.

Last weekend I was supporting Andy & Sarah on the Hardmoors 200. I had a couple of runs on the Friday. I was home Saturday night so went for an easy run Sunday morning which was good.

So my basic plan is to have 3 weeks of harder training (50 plus miles) with longer runs at the weekend. This weekend runs on the Braes Saturday and Sunday, Next weekend I’ll be running on the Kilpatricks on Saturday and running on the Sunday between various vantage spots as Katrina runs the Stirling Marathon.

The end of the third week I’m heading to Anglesea to do a three day training run on the Ring O’ Fire route hopefully running 75 miles over the three days.

Then I’ll have an easy week, a medium week then a two week taper which will take me to the start of the whw race. Oh yes and I’ve entered the Milngavie Trail Race on Sunday 4th June.

So here is my plan.

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This first week of my three week plan has gone really well. Infact it has been so encouraging as I really feel I’m running with a spring in my step again. I have felt quite sluggish during February, March and part of April so its great to feel stronger again.

A quick summary of this week

Monday - Club Fartlek Session

This was my first week back after 4 weeks and I was really pleased with how I was running. I kept the effort and pace going right to the end. The longest rep was 3 mins which means I have a better chance to reach my goal of 5 miles for the 30 mins of faster running.

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The overall session was 31 mins so if I take off the final minute I was 4.90 miles which is my best for quite a few months.

Wednesday - Lunchtime Tempo Run

I decided to do my 1 mile easy, 1 mile hard repeated for the 6 miles but instead of running by feel I used my heart rate. For the easy mile I aimed for a HR of 130 and for the faster mile HR 145.

It worked really well as it gave me something else to concentrate on. I didn’t look at the times at all. I just concentrated on keeping my heart rate. I had to really slow down after the first faster mile to bring it down to 130.

  • Easy miles (1,3,5) - 7:58, 9:07, 9:07
  • Faster miles (2,4,6) - 6:55, 7:00, 7:11)

I would definitely try that again.

Thursday - Lunchtime Off Road Run

I wanted to give a new pair of Skechers a run out so this was a good first run. They were so comfy straight from the box. My present pair still have lots of life in them but the uppers are starting to split and I don’t think they will make the whw so wanted to bed in a new pair.


I felt really good all the way round and was really happy with how I felt.

Saturday - Run on the Gleniffer Braes

The last time I ran on the Braes I struggled with the mud and rain so I was looking forward to getting back up there knowing that it would be so much drier with the good weather we’ve had.

The first 90 mins or so were fine but then it started raining and it got heavier and heavier as the run continued. So much so that when I headed back home there was a little river flowing down the track.

But it was so much drier and I was running so much better. I always feel if I can average under 10min miles then I’ve had a good run and my average pace for the 15.10 miles was 9:51.

It would have been better than that but I tried a slightly different route for my extra 4 miles and ended up getting stuck in gorse and having to walk for a few minutes.

If I go clockwise there is a bit hill fairly early on and the first time round it took me 8mins 30secs to reach a particular gate. For my extra 4 mile loop I decided to push harder up the same hill and I was pleased to see I’d done it in 7mins 29secs.

I returned home feeling really encouraged that I’m running well!

Sunday - Run on the Gleniffer Braes

This time I was back up for one complete loop which with the stem is 11.75 miles. My legs felt good and I kept a steady pace going.

I was listening an episode of Trail Runner Nation which featured an interview with Andy Dubois. Andy was excellent and gave so much practical and helpful advice. I would love to interview him for a whwrace podcast.

A couple of many things I could mention were …

  • Importance of sleep in training. 8-9 hrs is recommended!
  • On long runs finish with a faster effort. Andy encourages his clients to finish a 3-4 hour run with 20-40mins of faster pace. He says this helps with their pacing because if they know they have to put in that effort at the end then they will pace it more sensibly early on. Genius!

My average pace for the 11.75 miles run was 9:45 so once again I was really pleased with the run. That took me to 50.24 miles for the week and 797.46 miles for the year so I’m ahead of my red line which is what I need to do to achieve 2017 miles for the year.

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