Registration now open!

Virtual: Summer Marathon Training


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June 6 to October 9, 2022


Virtual training program targeting the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and other fall marathons


Virtual - Run anywhere you are! Interested in group training? Go HERE.

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The marathon is challenging, but you can enjoy the support of CARA's popular program where you are to help you successfully reach the finish line.

As Chicago's premier 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.

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:

  • 18-week training plan with five options (Novice, Novice II, Intermediate, Advanced, and Run/Walk)

  • Additional 6-week pre-season training guide to prepare you for the season

  • Video guided marathon tailored strength training plan

  • Training guide and weekly education newsletters

  • Marathon Kick-Off Clinic and Final Miles education resources

  • Ready to Run 20 Miler entry included with "Local Option"

  • Included access to the Michelob Ultra Marathon VIP Experience on Bank of America Chicago Marathon race day

  • Private toilet access at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon start corrals

  • Rush Physical Therapy Injury Hotline

  • Access to a private online group for program participants


Target Race/s:

  • Bank of America Chicago Marathon

  • Training plan adjustments available for other fall marathons by request


Program Fees & Registration

Virtual "Local Option" Training: $145

  • Save 15% - CARA Supporter Level Members


Virtual "Out-of-Area Option" Training: $105

  • Save 15% - CARA Supporter Level Members

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. To avoid online payment fees, send a check for the amount owed to CARA, 1100 W. Cermak Rd. #231, Chicago, IL 60608. Provide full name, e-mail, phone number and note that check is for virtual summer marathon training program fees. CARA will then contact to complete registration.


FAQ / Policies

Is there a packet pick-up?

No, there are no physical items to receive with the virtual program. All deliverables are provided digitally.

What training level is needed to participate?

CARA has a proven record of serving beginning runners, and long-time runners alike. Before starting our Novice Plan, we recommend that you can complete 3-4 runs per week, including at least one run of 6 miles. A 6-week pre-season training guide will be provided to assist in your preparations for the beginning of the training program.

Can I cancel my registration?

Participants may choose to voluntarily exit the program. Participants who exit the program by the date two weeks (May 23, 2022) prior to the start date of the program, may receive a full credit of fees paid towards any single CARA program or event of any kind of equal or lesser value. Credit valid through the end of the following calendar year. To exit the program, e-mail No refunds will be issued for any reason, including injury, illness, change in availability, or changes to target race.

Can I enter the program after the start date?

Yes, participants are welcomed to enter the program late. The deadline for registration is 4 weeks prior to the program's end date. Fees are not prorated for late entry.

Is there a CARA member discount?

Yes, a 15% member discount is applicable to CARA Supporter Level members (Individual, Family or Student packages) with an active membership for the program year. Registrations without a member discount includes a CARA Friend Level membership. Learn more about CARA Supporter Level member benefits HERE.

How old do I need to be to participate?

There is no age minimum for virtual programs.

May I participate in group runs?

No, virtual program participants do not have access to training program group runs.

Are there discounts for charity runners?

Yes. Members of Team CARA (CARA's 's charity team) receive free training through CARA when fundraising for the target race or other pre-approved race. CARA's charity team leader will provide a special discount code to team members. Learn more HERE. CARA partners with nearly 50 different local and national charities. Members of any charity team should contact their charity's team leader to see if their charity has partnered with CARA to receive free or discounted training program fees and if so, to receive instruction to register for free or discounted training rates. Team's not currently partners with CARA are encouraged to contact As part of our mission, CARA provides over $65,000 in subsidized training for charity team runners each year. A special discount code is needed for charity team discounts.

Do I receive a shirt or apparel item?

No, the virtual program does not include a shirt or apparel item.

COVID-19 Safety

Participation expectations are 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 COVID19. 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.