After a month of building base fitness, the next rotation of the training programme focuses on increasing your endurance. Hout Bay Trail challenge may only be 40km (or there about), but it can take up to 8 hours for some, so you need to do the training.

Hout Bay trail has 3 major climbs so you need to start building some steep, long climbs into your runs. Practicing on the route, if you can, is optimal.

Once again I need to stress that this is a generic programme for the novice trail runner. But it can quite easily be adapted for the more experienced runner.

Enjoy and see you on the mountain!

Trail running tips for June / July

Tip 1: "Predictive running" - when running on a trail you will want to watch the ground about 2m in front of you to see where you are going to put your foot. But you also want to keep glancing about 10m in front, so that you can plan foot placements and lines to run, in advance. Choose which rocks or part of the path you want to hit, with which foot and then go for it. On a steep descent, if you are flying down, always choose a rock, step or something firm, about 10m ahead, so that if you start loosing your footing or start stumbling, you can stumble till then and then use that spot to regain your balance. This takes practice, so spend time on a technical piece of trail, experimenting and having some fun.

Tip 2: Focus on what you want to land on and not what you want to avoid Ė When you look at where you want your foot to be, thatís where you will land. So donít look at the loose rock or wet root, focus on the firm foot hold and your foot will land on it.

Tip 3: Donít forget to look up Ė While doing all your focusing on the ground, donít forget that trail running takes you under some low trees. So remember to take note of low branches and duck! Sometimes you need to turn your peak or cap backwards during these times, so that you have better vision upwards.

Tip 4: Use your arms for balance Ė Balance is all about maintaining your centre of gravity. If you take a sharp corner or feel like you are loosing your balance in one direction, put your arms out in the opposite direction. This shifts your centre of gravity and helps keep your balance.

Tip 5: Practice Ė Find a fun technical section of trail about 1km long and practice running it. You will get better at picking lines and you will find parts where you can jump over rocks or cut corners designed for hikers not for trail runners. Your feet will get quicker and your dynamic balance will improve. Have fun on these outings experimenting with ways of tackling rocks and climbs.

Training Programme

If you have any questions on the training programmes, please drop Tim an email ( and he will be able to help you.