Winter Marathon Training

Join us on the Lakefront and at Morton Arboretum this winter as we prepare for April/May Marathons

Program Dates:

January 1, 2017 to May 5, 2018 (18 Weeks, Targets late April/Early May marathons) **First long run will take place on Saturday 1/6/18

Meeting Days / Times / Locaitons:

  • Group Long Runs:
  • Mid-Week Runs / Speed Training:
    • Wednesday's Speed Training @ 6:30pm at Wilson Track / Montrose Beach (Chicago)
    • Wednesday's Speed Training @ 6:30pm at NovaCare Naperville (Naperville)

Program Benefits:

  • 18-Week Training Plan: CARA Director of Training Leah Bohr provides an 18-week training plan with our traditional novice plan as intermediate and advanced plan 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 CARA coaches who have national certifications and years of proven coaching success long before we bring them into CARA. 
  • Group Training: Group long runs and speed training. Gain support, security and camaraderie with the support CARA, Chicagoland's largest provider of group training programs.  
  • Pacer Led Runs: CARA member pace group leaders who are experienced runners committed to guiding you every step of the way. 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, plus run/walk paces. 
  • NovaCare Rehabilitation Injury Hotline: Gain access to CARA's exclusive 24/7 Injury Hotline with Novacare Rehabilitation's trainers ready to support your injury questions.
  • Expertise: A weekly info packed newsletter from CARA Director of Training Coach Bohr.
  • Hydration Support: Hydration stops serving Gatorade Endurance Formula and water during your group runs.
  • SWAG: CARA runners receive a long sleeve training tech shirt.


Register for Waveland

Register for Morton Arboretum

Registration Type


Training Program Registration & CARA Membership (New or Renewal Memberships)*


Training Program Registration (Current Active CARA Member)


Add Morton Arboretum Annual Pass ($60 Value)**

+ $25


Registration Terms:

  • Program registration does not include entry or registraiton fees for marathon race.
  • *Includes 2018 CARA membership good through 12/31/18.
  • **The Morton Arboretum requires a membership or admission fee to access the area where the training program will occur. A single day access is $14 or a year long membership is $60. CARA has negotiated a discounted rate for membership that can be purchased through the training program. Discounted Morton Arboretum pass only available to runners training at Morton Arboretum.

Group Leaders: *all group leaders must be active CARA members to access the application

Apply to be a group leader for Waveland here. 

Apply to be a group leader for Morton Arboretum here.

Weather Policy:

When hazardous weather is present or probable during a CARA program or event, CARA will communicate related announcements through the front page of (see twitter feed). Or you may receive updates directly on twitter by following @CARAruns or at A twitter account is NOT needed to see announcements. CARA will begin making announcements at least 60 minutes prior to the start of a program or event if there appears to be a potential for changes. Participants are encouraged to consider their individual situations when choosing whether to participate when there is the potential for hazardous weather, even when CARA has chosen to proceed. Given the nature of Chicagoland weather, not all conditions are foreseeable, and program and event coordinators may make changes on-site at programs and events. Please keep in mind that safety will be the primary focus of weather related decisions.

CARA's evaluation will weigh present conditions as well as probable conditions that could be present during and immediately after a program/even

Examples of hazardous weather that changes could result from include, but are not limited to:

* Lightning strikes within 6 miles

* High heat or humidity

* Snow accumulation greater than 12 inches over a 12 hour period

* Icy conditions

* Severe cold of below zero degrees (with wind chill)

* Tornado watch or warning

* Flooding /flash flood warnings

* Extreme winds