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March 13 - June 4, 2023 (12 Weeks)

  • Saturdays - Long Runs

  • Wednesdays - Speed Workouts


Group training targeting Bank of America Chicago 13.1


Chicago (Waveland) and Lisle (Morton Arboretum

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CARA's "Power of the Group" will provide you the support, community, and accountability you need to successfully reach your spring race start line ready for success.​


As Chicago's premier group training program, we have helped tens of thousands of runners successfully complete their goals. Whether you're a newcomer or an experienced runner, our program provides training plans that meet you where you're at.


You will never have to do it alone. Your pace group leaders and fellow participants will give you the “Power of the Group” that has led CARA runners to the finish line more than any other program in Chicagoland running.


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.​

Program Details

Program Benefits

  • 12-week training plan with four training options (Novice, Novice II, Advanced, Run/Walk)

  • Training guide and weekly education newsletters

  • Video guided half-marathon tailored strength training plan

  • Group training long Runs (Saturdays) led by group leaders for 7:30 to 11:30 pace/per mile run, and 12:00 to 13:00 pace/per mile run/walk

  • Coach led speed workouts (Wednesdays)

  • Hydration support at training runs, including water and Gatorade Endurance

  • Rush Physical Therapy Injury Hotline

  • Custom CARA training hat (while supplies last)

  • Access to a private STRAVA group for program participants

Suggested Race/s

  • Bank Of America Chicago 13.1 Half Marathon (June 4)


Packet Pickup:

Important Dates

  • March 4, 2023 - Packet Pick Up Begins 

  • March 13, 2023 - Training Plans Begin 

  • March 15, 2023 - First Speed Workout 

  • March 18, 2023 - First Long Run 

  • March 26, 2023 - Packet Pick Up Closes

  • March 28, 2023 - Deadline to purchase Morton Arboretum Membership 

  • June 4, 2023 - Suggested Race - Bank of America Chicago 13.1

Group Long Run Locations

CARA training group long runs are offered at both a city and suburban location. Participants have access to both locations through the season and are not restricted to only their primary registration choice. However, those attending a run at Morton Arboretum will need a Morton Arboretum membership or a single-day timed entry pass in order to access the grounds. Morton Memberships can be purchased as part of the program registration or directly from the Morton Arboretum. (Click location maps for google map)

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Chicago - Wavleand*
Waveland Parking Lot

Saturdays 7:30 a.m.

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Morton Arboretum

Saturdays 7:30 a.m.

*Note: Training location is returning to Waveland Parking lot, away from its Diversey Harbor location where it has been located in recent years.

Group Track Workout Locations

CARA training group track workouts are offered at locations throughout the city and suburbs. Participants have access to all locations through the season. Locations marked with (*) use a greenway/trail for workouts.

Program Fees & Registration

Group Training: $165

  • Save 15% - 2023 CARA Supporter Level Membership

Virtual Training: $85

Members receive discount by logging in with membership username/password during registration.

Online registration payments are subject to a service fee by our registration provider. 

Interested in our Virtual Spring Half Marathon Training program? Click HERE for more details. 



CARA training programs rely on dedicated volunteer site coordinators, group leaders, and coaches to support program participants, and provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all.


Site coordinators are recruited from experienced program group leaders. Those interested in becoming a site coordinator now, or in the future as openings are available, should contact CARA Director of Training Tim Bradley (

Group leaders are the backbone of CARA training programs. Group leaders keep runners safe, organized, on-pace, and motivated during training runs. Those interested in becoming a group leader can learn more HERE.

Coaches are needed to support CARA track workouts. Experienced coaches may be tabbed with leading a workout, where others can assist with workout organization and timing while learning. Those interested in becoming a coach or assistant coach should contact CARA Director of Training Tim Bradley (​

Hydration Volunteers are needed to support hydration stations at training locations. Volunteers may volunteer for a single date, or a season. Interested volunteers can check out opportunities on our volunteer page.

COVID-19 Safety

CARA has extensive operational preparedness plans to meet all safety and gathering guidelines provided by state and local authorities. Our plans have been widely accepted and were adopted by the Road Runners Clubs of America as a national framework for a return to group running during COVID-19.

Participation expectations will be as follows:

  • Participants are expected to wear a mask or face covering when gathering pre- or post-run until they are two weeks post full vaccination for COVID-19. Per CDC guidance, fully vaccinated participants are not required to wear a mask or face covering while gathering pre or post-run.

  • Do not participate if you are feeling sick or ill, and or have a fever, or if you are unvaccinated and have been in contact with someone unrecovered from COVID-19.

  • Persons from high-risk groups for COVID-19 complications should consult their physician before participating.

  • Participants are encouraged to avoid traditional forms of physical contact (handshakes, high-fives, hugs, partner stretching, etc.), as well as close group gathering (group pictures, etc.).

  • Do not spit or blow nose while running in the group.

  • Do not share personal items, such as hydration, energy gels, towels, etc.

  • Participants may be required to exit programs/events temporarily or permanently should their actions not meet expectations and or they are creating risk for themselves or others.

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