When I got into trail running I was a total newbie. I started running for stress relief. My first exposure to trail running, ironically, was when I lived in a big city. In 2011 I had moved back to my home state, Colorado and started a Ph.D. program in neuroscience and structural biology at UC Denver. I was stressed, strapped for time and losing my sanity.

Thankfully I found a group of awesome ladies to train with in the early hours before I headed into the lab. It was with these women that I was introduced to trail running. I fell in love quickly with trail running, and in one short year of starting running, I had my first break out season, winning the US Skyrunner Championships in 2014.

But I didn’t do this alone. I had help. It took at lot of hard work, but I had guidance. For me it started with a community of runners and finding a really good coach. For me that coach was Adam St. Pierre, who I met at one of my first 50-mile races. Adam, like myself is a coach for CTS, providing some of the best coaching resources out there. Through coaching and being coached, i’ve been able to learn about the sport of ultra running, how to race at my best and live a life that supports my training goals and lifestyle.

But, there’s more that I want to share with you. I’ve teamed up with Vert.Run, a company rooted in running as a means for exploration and discovery. They are helping thousands of people start trail running and get out the door to run your first trail race. So here’s where I come in. I’ve collaborated with Vert.Run to develop a training plan to run a 50km. I started trail running when I lived in a city so I’ve created a plan, with tips and advice, to help you run a 50km no matter where you live!

photo credit: Kirsten Kortebein

So go check it out! It’s called the Explore Plan with Hillary Allen on the Vert.Run homepage. Go over and check them out and get started with thousands of other users who have discovered trail running. If you’re living in a city and have big goals to train for an ultra marathon in the mountains, now you can! Go check out the training plan with Vert.Run and start training for your 50km!

photo credit: Kirsten Kortebein

Having a coach and a community of runners provides so much more than a training plan. With guidance, support and a place to ask questions you can learn, become a stronger athlete and live a balanced life. So this is your year to get a coach, there are plenty of resources out there. I am so happy to collaborate with Vert.Run on this plan. It’s a great place to start, and if you find yourself needing more personal and day-to-day guidance from a coach, head on over to CTS and look me up. I’d be happy to start working with you in 2020!

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