FAQs


Training Preparation


Packet Pickup

Training


Charity Information


Shoe Tags


Miscellaneous

If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 312.666.9836. We’re here to help you reach your race goals!




Training Preparation

How will I know if I am physically prepared for Half Marathon Training?
Runners entering a half marathon training program should be able to complete a long run of at least four miles or 45 minutes by the start of training and should have built up to a routine of running a minimum of 15-20 miles per week.

Remember to always consult with your physician before starting a new fitness program.


Packet Pickup

What is in my packet and why do I need it?
Your training program packet includes your program technical top, shoe tag and sponsor freebies.

Where can I pick up my packet?
Packet pickup is available at the training site at the first and second long run.

Can someone else pick up my packet?
Yes, a friend or family member can pick up your packet for you at the first or second long run.


Training

How long is the first training run for the Summer Half Marathon Training
Program?
The first long run for the Summer Half Marathon Training is four miles.

Where are the hydration stations and how many are there?
Hydration stations will vary with the increase in distance. They will be regularly spaced throughout the run. Your Group Leaders and Site Coordinators will send you information closer to training with these details.

What training pace should I select for my long run?
Many runners are confused about the proper pacing for long runs. You risk injury and burn-out by running your training runs too fast. As a rule of thumb, you should run long runs approximately one minute slower than the pace you plan to run during the half marathon or one to 1-1/2 minutes per mile slower than your present 10K race pace.

Shorter, faster running should be reserved for during the week!! The long run is a crucial component of half marathon training because it teaches the body, both mentally and physically, to tackle the challenges presented in completing the race. Your body must learn to tap into and utilize energy reserves from fat storage sites after the glycogen (fuel stores in the muscles, converted over from carbohydrate food sources) have been depleted. Through long run training, the capacity to store more glycogen within the muscles increases. An increase in glycogen stores translates into the ability to maintain one's pace during the race and delay the onset of fatigue. Conversely, when you run out of glycogen, your pace will significantly decrease. You must be accustomed to running for very long periods of time and “time on your feet” as it is often referred to, has mental benefits as well. You gain confidence that you’ll be able to finish strong on race day.

To find your optimal training paces, plug in your current 5k, 10k or half-marathon time: http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/index.php/site/calculator

For more information contact training@cararuns.org.

Where can I train?
Please refer to the program dates and locations

Will we run in inclement weather?

  • Rain: We will run in rain.
  • Lightning: We will not run if lightning is present. If the run has not started, we will wait a reasonable amount of time to determine if the bad weather will pass, or if the run should be cancelled. If lightning occurs during a run, seek shelter, such as an underpass or building. Stay away from open areas or trees.
  • Heat and Humidity: We will run in hot weather. We will slow our pace and stop more frequently at aid stations. If the heat is severe, the run distance may be shortened. Please be alert for signs of heat related illness such as light headedness, cramps, headache, chills or lack of sweat. Alert your Group Leader if any symptoms occur.
  • Snow: We haven’t had to deal with snow in the summer before, but we’ve had some crazy weather this year! We will run in snow. We will not run if more than one foot of snow has fallen in the past 12 hours. Runs may be shortened if substantial portions of the running route are covered in snow or ice.

Will I be notified if CARA cancels a training run?
If we have advance notice that we will be cancelling a run, you will be notified by email. However, many scheduled runs are cancelled the morning of (due to unforeseen weather circumstances). In this case, please check the CARA Facebook Page, Twitter Account.You can also contact your Site Coordinator if you have any questions about a weekend long run.

What other training opportunities are available outside of the long run?
Runners in the Summer Half Marathon Training Program can take advantage of mid-week runs and speed work at a variety of locations throughout the city. Click here to learn more about mid-week runs or speed training.

How long is the training program?
The  Half Marathon Training Program is 12 weeks long. The first long run is Saturday, April 24.

Can I use this program for any summer half marathon?
The Summer Half Marathon Training Program is targeted at a mid-July half marathon however it can be adapted to a number of races. If you have questions, please contact Leah Bohr, Training Program Manager.

The program has already started. Can I still join?
Yes! Runners are welcome to join CARA training programs at any point. Please note, prices for the Summer Half Marathon Training Program are not prorated.


Charity Information

Which charity organizations does CARA work with?
We train runners for more than 60 charities. You can find our full list of charity partners here.

Shoe Tags

If I lose my CARA shoe tag, can I replace it?
Do your best to hold on to your shoe tag! They are expensive to replace, but it can be done. Just stop by the CARA office (549 W. Randolph, Suite 704, Chicago) and purchase a replacement I.D. shoe tag for $50. CARA can also mail you a replacement tag.

Remember your I.D. shoe tag must be worn at all times during your weekend training runs.

What is a shoe tag and why do I need it?
The shoe tag is a plastic tag that attaches to your running shoe with a small Velcro strap. It shows that you’re a registered runner with CARA. It is also how the hydration workers will know that you can get hydration at each of the stops. Lastly, and most importantly, it has space on the back for your name and emergency contact information. FILL THIS OUT! Accidents do happen in training and we want to make sure you get the medical attention you need.


Miscellaneous

Do I have to wear the technical top I received from CARA?
You are not required to wear the technical top. It’s just a perk of the program. We do hope you like it and will wear it often, though!