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Winter Half Marathon Training

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Nov. 13, 2023 to February 3, 2024

  • Saturdays - Long Runs

  • Wednesdays - Track Workouts


Group training targeting winter half marathons. Primary Target race is F3 Half Marathon


Chicago (Waveland)

Lisle (Morton Arboretum) 

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Winter months can be challenging, but CARA's "Power of the Group" will provide you the support, community, and accountability you need to successfully run through the winter, and reach your 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 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.​​

  • 6-week pre-season guide (NEW for 2024!)

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

  • Training guide and weekly education newsletters

  • 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

  • Video guided strength training plan

  • Coach led speed workouts (Wednesdays)

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

  • Rush Physical Therapy Injury Hotline

  • Access to a private STRAVA group for program participants


Target Race:

  • F^3 Lake Half Marathon - February 3rd


Important Dates:

Oct 2- Nov 12: Pre-Season Guides Available to Registered Participants

Nov. 13: Official Program Start Date

Nov. 15: First Track Session

Nov. 18: First Long Run

Nov. 21: Speed Workout Moved To Tuesday, November 21

Dec. 3: Deadline To Add Packet Mailing 

Dec. 31: Program Registration Deadline

Feb. 3: Target Race - F^3 Lake Half Marathon


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 - Waveland*
Waveland Parking Lot

Saturdays 7:30 a.m.

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Morton Arboretum

Saturdays 7:30 a.m.

Group Track Workout Locations

Wednesdays @ 6:30 p.m. at Montrose Beach Wilson Track (Chicago)*

*Workouts are only located at Montrose Beach location

training locatons


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 Executive Director 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 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 Executive Director 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.

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