Spring Half Marathon Training

Enjoy CARA's Power of the Group as you prepare for spring half marathons, and other distances. CARA's group training program offers you the support, community and resources you need to successfully reach your winter running goal. 


Program Dates:

February 24 to May 17, 2020 (12 Weeks)

Meeting Days / Times / Locations:

Program Benefits:

  • 12-Week Training Plan: CARA Director of Training Coach Tim Bradley provides a 12-week training plan with our Novice, Novice-II, and Advanced options so you can train at the level right for your fitness and lifestyle. You will have confidence knowing your training program is led by coaches who have national certifications and years of proven coaching success.

  • Training Guide: CARA's hardcopy training booklet packed full of training program info, training schedules, and more!

  • Social Media Community: Access to the CARA training program social media group where you can interact with coaches and fellow training program runners.

  • Group Training: Group long runs and speed training. Gain support, security, and camaraderie with the support of a group!

  • Pacer Led Runs: Experienced and supportive CARA member pace group leaders who are committed to guiding you every step of the way. The weekend long runs will be led by friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced CARA group leaders - we offer pacers at each 30-second pace interval, from 7:30 to 12:00 min/mile, run/walk and "12:00+".

  • Coached Speedwork: Mid-week speedwork led by nationally certified coaches.

  • NovaCare Hotline: Gain access to CARA's 24/7 Injury Hotline with Novacare Physical Therapist ready to support your injury questions.

  • Expertise: An info-packed weekly newsletter from CARA Director of Training Coach Tim Bradley.

  • Hydration Support: Stations serving Gatorade Endurance and water at your group runs.

  • SWAG: Runners receive a unique, high quality, embroidered CARA winter hat.

  • Discount Entries: Special training program registration rate opportunity for CARA's Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler (April 18, 2020).


Training Program Registration Fees
Group Program Registration - $160 (CARA Supporter Level Members Save 15% / $24)
Virtual Program Registration - $80 (CARA Supporter Level Members Save 15% / $12)

Important Dates:

  • Feb. 15: Packet Pickup Begins (Details HERE)

  • Feb. 24: Training Plans Begin

  • Feb. 26: Group Speedwork Begins

  • Feb. 29: Group Long Runs Begin

  • March 8: Packet Pickup Ends

  • April 18: Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler

  • May 9: Final Group Long Run

  • May 13: Final Group Speedwork

  • May 17: Target Race

Terms / Details:

  • CARA Supporter Level membership discount requires an active 2020 membership (individual, family or student type). 

  • Program registration does not include entry or registration fees for half-marathon race.

  • Program registration for non-CARA members includes a 2020 CARA "Friend Level" membership. Participants can upgrade to 2020 CARA "Supporter Level" membership within the registration form and immediately receive a 15% program discount and all CARA Supporter Level member benefits.

  • Fees are not prorated for late entry.

  • Refunds: No refunds will be issued for any reason.

  • Credits / Deferrals: Group program participants may withdraw from the program prior to picking up training program packet and prior to the first day of training (Monday, week of first group session) for any reasons and receive a credit to any CARA program or event of equal or lesser value. Credit expires at the end of the next calendar year. Complete terms and conditions will be provided upon request. No credits or deferrals for the virtual program after the training guide has been sent.

  • Virtual program runners do not receive access to group long runs, group speedwork, hard copy training guide, or winter hat. There is no packet pick-up for the virtual program. All deliverables are provided digitally.

Indoor Space:

  • Group long runs in Chicago will gather indoors at Amita Health St. Joseph Hospital Chicago inside the cafeteria through the main entrance doors (Door 1). Group long runs in Lisle will have access to indoor restrooms at Morton Arboretum.

Access / Parking:

  • Chicago: Group long runs in Chicago will gather at Amita Health St. Joseph Hospital Chicago.  If you arrive prior to 7:20 a.m., you may gather in the Cafe (to the left through Location “1”). If you are in the cafe, at 7:20 a.m. please depart for the Medical Office Building Patio for the run start. If you arrive after 7:20 a.m., please go directly to the patio. Post-run, you are welcome to finish up and gather at the Cafe. Discounted parking during group long runs is available ($5) at 2900 N Lakeshore Dr; the parking garage is just North of the main entrance and can be accessed via Inner Lake Shore Drive or Oakdale Ave. Metered lots are available at the Diversey Driving Range. Free street parking is available nearby on Cannon Drive. During group speedwork, free street parking is available on Wilson Drive.

  • Lisle: Group long runs in Lisle will have access to indoor restrooms at Morton Arboretum.Morton Arboretum membership is required to enter the Arboretum where group runs are held. CARA offers subsidized membership to Morton Arboretum within the registration form. 

Group Leaders:

  • Volunteer to be a group leader? You are encouraged to apply. Group leaders must be active CARA members to access the application. Learn more about group leading HERE.

Weather Policy:

  • Please review CARA's weather policy HERE.