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Dec. 26, 2022 to April 30, 2023

  • Saturdays - Long Runs

  • Wednesdays - Track Workouts


Group training targeting spring marathons


Chicago and Lisle

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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 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 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

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

  • Training guide and weekly education newsletters

  • New! - Video guided 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 NEW ERA CARA winter training hat

  • Access to a private STRAVA group for program participants

Important Dates

Dec. 17 - Packet Pickup Begins 

Dec. 26 - Training Program Plans Begin 

Dec. 28 - First Group Speedwork Sessions 

Dec. 31 - First Group Long Run

Jan. 15 - Packet Pickup Ends 

Packet Pickup Information:

Location: Old Town Fleet Feet

Dates: Dec. 17 to Jan. 15

Hours: ALL Business Hours


Location: Elmhurst Fleet Feet

Dates: Dec. 17 to Jan. 15

Hours: ALL Business Hours 

Group Long Run Locations

CARA training group long runs are offered at locations throughout the city and suburbs. Participants have access to all locations through the season and are not restricted to only their primary registration choice. (Click location maps for google map)

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Chicago - Waveland*
Waveland Park

Saturdays 7:30 a.m.

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Morton Arboretum

Saturdays 7:30 a.m.

*Note: Training location is returning to Waveland Park, 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 the location below...


Program Fees & Registration

Group Training: $175

  • Save 15% - 2022 CARA Supporter Level Members

Virtual Training: $90

  • Save 15% - 2022 CARA Supporter Level Members

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



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 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 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.

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