As Chicago's premier group training program, CARA has helped tens of thousands of runners successfully complete their goals. Whether you're a newcomer or experienced runner, our program provides training plans that meet you where you're at.
You will never have to go 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.
CARA offers six group training programs for marathon and half-marathon goals, along with corresponding virtual program options.
Half-Marathon Training Programs
Note: Winter Half-Marathon and Spring Half-Marathon programs were merged into a single 18 week program for 2021.
CARA training programs are offered at locations throughout the city and suburbs. Options at each location vary by program.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Group leaders are the backbone of CARA training programs. Group leaders keep runners safe, organized, on-pace, and motivated during training runs. Those interested 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 (email@example.com).
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.
CARA Montrose (Sunday)
CARA Montrose (6:30)
CARA Lincoln Park
CARA Morton Arboretum
Ann Marie Phaneuf
CARA Montrose (6am)
CARA Oak Forest
CARA Morton Arboretum
CARA coaches lead training program track workouts.