Leadville Race Training

This year, part of the sessions for our spring training group will be geared towards training for the Leadville “Heavy” Half (14 miler) and the Leadville trail marathon. 

If you’ve participated in our programs in the past then you know that we organize 2-3 training runs a week at various trails across the front range with a weekly long run that gradually increases in distance until the big event day.  

The Leadville training will be similar, the programming is set months in advance with trails, routes and distances you should be doing in order to train specifically for this event including lots of power hiking workouts too!

Leadville group training and training plan: What to expect?

Training plan!
12 week plan to follow on your own outside of group sessions including a run/cross training pace + effort goals, track, interval and hill workouts for structure and accountability.

March Hill madness workouts:
You will have access to join all bi-weekly hill workouts at different trails across the front range with specific drills to help you run faster, longer and stronger on those steep inclines.
Includes work on fitness for getting uphill, power hiking, and proper form + technique for steep downhill grades to build confidence and strength to prepare those legs and lungs for hiking and trail running season. 

Live sessions:
10 week training group program with 2-3 coached runs a week.
Below are some examples of places we may be visiting for sessions and the specific objectives behind those sessions just so you can get a feel for what the program will be like:  

Green Mountain/North Table fire road repeats: 

The Leadville trail races entail a lot of old mining roads. This means sections on more level ground with steady and long inclines and descents. Coach Lauren’s training philosophy is train how you will race: Prepare your body for all of the physical and mental obstacles you will face so that on race day, you will feel strong and ready to conquer the world!

These hills vary in length but they have one thing in common: the tough 20%+ grade. We will work on pacing, uphill/downhill running and power hiking technique and fitness.

Red Rocks stair climbing, hill and trail running:

We will spend several long sessions doing laps up/down the stairs, roads and trails through the park. We will throw in some drills and exercises to work on leg and core strength to ensure you are a well-rounded and strong runner going into the race!  

Why stairs and roads? 

Over the last 5 years the Leadville course directors have had to reroute the course cutting out much of the singletrack in exchange for paved or hard packed gravel roads. This can be hard on the body and joints if you have not trained on these surfaces and learned how to properly mitigate the forces and load this repetitive pounding can cause.

Handpicked technical terrain and high altitude excursions: 

We will venture onto more technical trails that include loose rock (cabbage head) and skree on tired legs to better mimic the conditions you will encounter climbing and descending Mosquito Pass (13K). We will organize several training outings (carpool included) to high altitude locations to see how our body responds to the thin air so we know what to expect on race day.

Race weekend support!
We already have a bunch of women signed up for these races planning a weekend excursion to Leadville to race and cheer one another on!
Covid conditions pending we typically get a group VRBO and do dinners + hikes and explore the town. Your coaches and trailblazers will be there to do a pre-race warm-up, pep talk and take pictures of your big day!


Not bad considering this is 3.5 months of coached training and a training plan to follow developed by local experts!


I was so excited I signed up early……what should I be doing now?
The real training starts in March so right now you should be focusing on building a good base and strong foundation from the ground up. 

What does that mean? 
Putting in the boring miles, consistency, some hiking and most importantly strength + conditioning!  
Ideally doing a strength workout at least twice a week plus cross training (swimming, biking, yoga, etc) so that you have a strong structural system before heading into high volume and increasingly demanding weeks.
Your chain is only as strong as your weakest link; the off or early season is the time to work on the foundation that we can build upon. 

—-> Check out this post from coach Lauren with some training tips and places to train for the race here.

“If you want to run FAR, run together”

About your head coach: 

Hey there, Lauren Jones here.  I grew up in Colorado right in the foothills, running and hiking the trails right from my backyard. I did my first 14er when I was just 10 and haven’t stopped since! With 20 years of trail running under my belt I’ve completed many of the tougher trail races and routes in Colorado (including the Leadville trail marathon twice), Imogene pass and have some 10 top (overall women) finishes for trail races and obstacle course races. 

I also have my degree in exercise science and sports performance and am certified through the American College of Sports medicine. I have put together this plan with knowledge of the course and how to specifically train for the demands of the terrain, conditions and altitude.

I hope you decide to train with us this year!