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These training programmes have been developed for Legend of the Peaks by a legend of Athletics in New Zealand, Rotorua local and all round top bloke, Kim Stevenson. Kim is an accredited Athletics NZ coach and long time whānau friend and ex PE teacher of Tak and Tu Mutu.


The best training programmes will almost always be ones that are developed specifically for the individual and with a focus on achieving their goal, whatever the sport. You are more likely to achieve better results working with a qualified, experienced and proven coach. 

There are many options for coaching and there are many factors that may influence who you choose to support your journey to achieve your goals. Some of those options include group runs, clubs, online coaches, one to one coaching and more. Some of the factors that you may need to consider are budget, relationship with a coach or an organisation, proximity to services and availability.

Our programmes have been developed by a highly experienced, Athletics NZ Long Service award winning coach. He has trained champions who have competed on the world stage. Please note that while these programmes have been developed to the highest level, the author would like to it to be clear that the best results will be achieved by having a qualified and experienced coach assess your ability, where you're at and what you as an individual need to do to compete in a festival like Legend of the Peaks.

We are very grateful to be able to provide these programmes free of charge and wholeheartedly thank Kim Stevenson for pulling these together.


Below are the summary of the programmes, designed for each of the Legend of the Peaks events. These have been categorised in to their specific distance category with a summary here on the website and a detailed programme for all distances, except the 2km, available as a downloadable PDF to anyone who has entered in the Legend of the Peaks. These will be live from Wednesday August 2nd. Keep an eye on your emails for details.




KIDS FOREST RUN presented by MITEY - 2 kms, 45m elevation gain 

To be ready for this event you need to do simple training.  Just 5 minutes of easy running 3 to 4 times a week. Like a “run around the block” or somewhere you like to run.


Don’t run fast or push yourself. Just run a bit more than a jog and finish feeling as though you could have done some more. Over time you will find the runs easier so just increase them a minute or two.

A typical week could look like : Sunday : 5 minute Run, Wednesday 5 Minute run, Friday : 5 minute run.

If you do another sport. That’s great. Just organise your runs so either they are on another day or you can finish your practice or game with a 5 minute run.

5K TRIG LOOP - 5 kms, 145m elevation gain, 1 peak


TITOKORANGI 10K - 10 kms, 435m elevation gain, 2 peaks


This is a 10 week training programme.


If you are already training just adjust your programme to suit this event which involves a lot of climbing and descending.

If you have never trained for an event before then the first 6 weeks should be aimed at two aspects:

1) Getting running

2) Getting consistency of training, which we do by keeping runs simple but regular.

Some people’s ability to adjust to training varies. We call this “trainability”. Some of you will adjust quickly and can crank up the workload without major problems. There are also those of you who will take longer to adjust. Don’t fret just be patient and keep the work consistent.

MOERANGI HALF MARATHON - 21 kms, 1090m elevation gain, 2.5 peaks


NEW ZEALAND FOREST MARATHON - 42 kms, 2000m + elevation gain, 4 peaks

This is a 17 week training programme.

These event are going to be really tough with the Marathon climbing over 2000m. Both events also have cut offs so a good background of solid training is essential over the next few months.

It is advisable you keep a diary of your training. Whether you document in writing or set up something on your computer, it does not matter.  Strava is very popular in this regard. If you are documenting your work it is important you write down what you did and also how it felt and what the conditions were like.

If you are not already in a running “group”. Check out any in your area or set up one yourself. Nothing like getting out with friends, it helps pass the time and is also very supportive.

Note the rest days ... However you could make one day a Cross training day if you are keen.

Half Marathon specific programme:

You will need some background of running before trying to do this schedule. If you are very keen to do this but have no background go back to the 5 & 10km schedule and see how that goes for a few weeks and then move onto here.


Full Marathon specific programme:

If you are already training and have a programme, just adjust your programme to suit this event which involves a lot of climbing and descending.

If you have some background in running, the Half Marathon schedule is fine to support  consistency. The weeks would be the same but it is important you build up the Sunday runs in particular. 


The purpose of long runs is to build Endurance, that means not only muscles, blood and oxygen, but also joints and "mentality". 1 hour runs build endurance, 1.5 hr runs build more, 2 hour runs even more, but at some point at or around 2 hours the long runs start to do enough “minor damage”  so that afterwards it takes longer to recover, such that any further gains are counteracted by missed training due to longer recoveries. Once you have built up to it, 2 hour to 2 hr 20min runs are just long enough, They can be done weekly.


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