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  • Stacey McGowan Holloway

West Highland Way Training Plan: Take Two



I am very late to planning this year due to 3 things

1. Recovery from my first ever running related injury. A grade 3 (complete) ligament tear in my ankle in early September.

2. The Lewis Pugh Training Camp over Xmas holidays – 10 days of swim running in winter in the Outer Hebrides.

3. Directed my first race the Tyndrum 24 which took up all my energy and time outside of my day job, plus been exhausted since!


So, after inviting nearly 100 new followers to my Strava should probably get the training started for my 2ndWest Highland Way Race!


Two years ago, I started ‘pre-100mile training’ in mid-October. I gradually built up from 2-3 runs a week to 4-5 runs a week and up to 25miles a week. In January I began 100mile training with 20miles as the longest run. I also included 20mile hikes. So, I have less running base, and I am 1 month behind compared to last time. But, my base is bigger to start from and I have mountains on my doorstep rather than flat fenlands.

So looking back to two years ago…


Feb – longest runs 29k, mostly walk commuting

Week 1 = 50k

Week 2 = 60k

Week 3 =30k

Week 4=30k


March – longest run 30miles

Week 1 = 100k (with sub 2hr half marathon)

Week 2 = 75k (with a marathon)

Week 3 = 47k

Week 4 =60k

Week 5=90k (with a 30mile run)


April – longest run 53miles

Week 1 = 15k (recovery week)

Week 2 = 50k

Week 3 = 35k

Week 4 =100k (with 53mile run)


In May I had a niggle so mostly recovery and hiking until the big day(s).

This year it will be different, most of my training (80%) was time on feet training. i.e walking to work and junk miles on the flat last time. This time will be a lot more focus on long mountain days, hill reps and I will not run further than 42miles in training to reduce risk of niggles.


Looking back at what I need to improve on this is less stopping at checkpoints, more speed work in training and getting used to running at night. I will do at least 2 night runs including a night run reccing the race course for my second night section (KLL to Finish).

I also noted I was ill before every big run, so I will be looking after myself better and reducing my taper from 2.5 weeks to 1.5weeks.


As I will have more hills my weekly distance will not be more than what I did in 2018 and I will start Feb off averaging 35k a week.


My week will look like…

Monday – Rest day

Tuesday – S&C and easy run/walk commute

Wednesday - Ben Lora Hill run/hill reps or turbo or pool reps

Thursday – Run commute

Friday – S&C

Saturday – Big Mountain day or Long run

Sunday – small mountain day or easy 10k


Key long runs

Late Feb = 15miles

Late March = marathon distance

Late April = 35-40miler

Early May = night running


Still feeling really unconfident on my ankles after the injury so taking it easy atm. Today was meant to signal the START of training, but been really struggling atm and motivation is at rock bottom. Will try again tomorrow and hit a new trail with the Taynuilt Runners! Do join us Sunday 2nd Feb – 10.30am What3words address is ///cold.thrashed.worlds)

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