Distance Training Program
Has a marathon, half marathon, or other distance event been on your "life list" of things you must do? Have you completed a long distance race before and gotten the bug? Do you seek a new challenge for your current stage in life? Completing an endurance event can be a life-changing experience. Doing it with others sharing that common goal can make the experience even more powerful. And doing it with the support and guidance of an experienced coach makes it much more realistic and manageable.
With the right program design, a good dose of personal commitment and discipline, and a little bit of luck, virtually ANYONE can complete a marathon or half marathon. Whether you are a novice athlete or an experienced runner, a Distance Training Program can help you get to the finish line, and/or get there faster than you have before or thought you could!
Summer/Fall Distance Training Program (DTP) Overview
The =PR= Training Programs' Summer/Fall Distance Training Program has options for marathon and half-marathon training. The =PR= Training Programs' Summer/Fall Distance Training Program is geared toward the Marine Corps Marathon, Army 10-Miler. It's also appropriate for other fall marathons like Chicago, Steamtown, NYC, Richmond, and Philly, and half marathons including VA Beach Labor Day weekend. The program provides everything you could need for a great race experience and is designed for both for new and experienced runners! The first group runs are informal on the weekend of 6/14-6/15, with training schedules beginning the week of 6/16 and the first "official" group long run the weekend of 6/21-22.
The program provides everything you could need for a great race experience and is designed for both for new and experienced runners with training plans structured based on your race experience and goals! Thinking about a TRAIL race or ultra that requires some trail training? Check out our new trail-based program this year as your primary training site, or as a way to mix up your training by attending from time to time at a trail location.
We know there are many group training options available in the DC Area; our goal is to provide the best experience and greatest value -- thanks to our partnerships with Potomac River Running Stores, and various other vendors, we've created a great package of benefits for all participants:
- Receive expert coaching from our knowledgeable coaching team -- our track record speaks for itself -- we've helped thousands of runners complete endurance events or complete them faster, achieving personal bests, Boston Qualifiers, and more.
- Train in comfort with some new technical gear, including a technical training shirt you'll receive early in the program. Attend various special in store events and get yourself geared up while you take advantage of some great savings as well.
- Attend seminars offered by leading experts on topics ranging from running technique to nutrition to race day strategy, and hear great info each week in your weekly update from your coach.
- Receive weekly email guidance and tips from your coaches covering everything from the week's specific plan to suggestions on form and technique, nutrition, sleep, and more!
- Enjoy other giveaways and goodies along the way.
The program is available in ARLINGTON, ASHBURN, DC, RESTON, and ROCKVILLE on either Saturday or Sunday morning depending on location. The new TRAIL program will meet regularly at Wakefield Park/Lake Accotink and have "field trip" runs once/month to other locations. All training sites begin with an information session, coach meet and greet, and informal first day run the weekend of JUNE 14-15. All sites will meet at 7 AM for the first weeks, and later move to 6:30 AM. Thereafter, at certain times, the start time may change again for certain weeks with especially long runs. We'll also be hosting Kickoff Happy Hour events in the week prior to program kickoff to offer another opportunity to meet coaches, set up carpools, enjoy some shopping and the chance to meet fellow runners over a tasty beverage....
In addition to the weekly group long run, participants also receive guidance on what to do on their own for days the group does not meet. Optional evening track/speed workouts are planned on weekday evenings at 6:30 PM throughout most of the program. (Speed workouts may change venues or end in the early spring when team practices and field usage, etc., can cause conflicts.) Beginners may choose to skip speed sessions, but all are invited to attend them. Speed sessions are slated for:
- Arlington on Wednesdays (at W-L HS at 6:30 PM);
- Ashburn on Tuesdays (at Stone Bridge HS at 6:30 PM);
- DC on Thursdays (at Wilson HS in Tenleytown at 6:30 PM);
- Reston on Tuesdays (location TBD due to potential SLHS construction);
- Rockville on Wednesdays (at Richard Montgomery HS at 6:30 PM);
- TRAIL speed site TBD -- trail runners may be encouraged to join in another speed session or complete speedwork on their own.
Participants are also welcome and encouraged to attend any weekly group run offered on various weekday evenings at various Potomac River Running Store locations (also at 6:30 PM.) Also, note that participants in any Individualized Training Program may always run long runs with the DTP at no additional cost.
The weekend sessions are most important, and are focused on improving your long run. You will gradually increase your run volume, being careful to run at a pace that will maximize your body's ability to recover and to use energy efficiently (coaches will provide guidance on appropriate pacing, and you may choose to train with a heart rate monitor to manage your effort level appropriately.) Some sessions will also focus specifically on your goal marathon pace.
The program cost for the =PR Training= Distance Training Program is $159 for the session. This cost includes 18+ weekly coached weekend morning sessions, optional weekly track workouts as scheduled and available, and participant benefits including a technical shirt, nutritionals, and other giveaways and social activities. Active participants in the Distance Training Program also receive special promotions from Potomac River Running Store and discounts on entry to all =PR= owned races.
Note that while there are sometimes returning participant discounts for some PR Training Programs, these offers are for programs that repeat many times over the course of the year (like Running 101) -- they are not relevant for the DTP, which offers great value at the regular price given the amount of time marathon/half-marathon training entails. EARLYBIRD pricing of $145 is available through May 1.
Upcoming Session and Registration Information
There are six available training sites for the Summer/Fall Distance Training Program. Note that the new TRAIL program will only be held if there is sufficient interest. Should the program not be held, all registrants will be offered the opportunity to participate at another location or to receive a refund.
Arlington-based DTP Session: Meeting initially at the =PR= Arlington Store in Ballston (intersection of Glebe and N. Fairfax), weekly runs thereafter will meet there, in Bluemont Park, or in Rosslyn Center (thereby giving us some variety in terrain.) Location is convenient for runners from Arlington, Alexandria, DC, Falls Church, and Vienna/McLean. Sessions meet SATURDAYS at 7 AM (Session time may move earlier as program progesses to accomodate longer runs.) Note: if the Saturday session is not convenient, consider the Sunday program in DC.
Ashburn-based DTP Session: Meeting at the =PR= Ashburn Store at 20630 Ashburn Road (a few minutes from Rt 7 or Route 28) in Ashburn. Runs will take place on the W&OD trail -- the access point is just a few minutes from the store lot. Runs on the W&OD with occasional "field trips." Location is convenient for runners from Loudoun County. Sessions meet SUNDAYS at 7 AM (Session time may move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs.) Note: if the Sunday session is not convenient, consider the Saturday program in Reston.
DC-based DTP Session: Meeting in Georgetown at 34th St and Water Street below Whitehurst Freeway near the start of the Capital Crescent Trail. Runs will take place on various DC trail options. Early morning start-time means metro may not be a good option, but parking is FREE on Sundays -- in past years, many carpools have formed, and you can find one at the Kickoff Happy Hour! The DC location is convenient for runners from DC, Arlington, Alexandria, and Maryland. Sessions meet SUNDAYS at 7 AM. (Session time may move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs.) Note: if the Sunday session is not convenient, consider the Saturday program in Arlington.
Reston-based DTP Session: Meeting at the =PR= Reston Store in Reston Town Center. Runs on the W&OD with occasional "field trips." Location is convenient for suburban runners from Reston, Burke, Vienna/McLean, Chantilly, Centreville, and more. Sessions meet SATURDAYS at 7 AM. (Session time may move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs.) Note: if the Saturday session is not convenient, consider the Sunday program in Ashburn.
MD-based DTP Session: Meeting at various locations in Montgomery County, including Carderock, Lake Needwood, Capital Crescent Trail. Location is convenient for northern DC and Montgomery County residents. Sessions meet SUNDAYS at 7AM initially. (Session time may move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs.) Note: There is no one main meeting spot for this group -- coaches will confirm which trail you'll run through weekly email communications.
TRAIL-based DTP Session: New for 2014. Meeting regularly at Wakefield Park in Annandale/Springfield, VA, the program will utilize the Accotink Trail, CCT, and other local trails. In addition, every 3-4 weeks the location will change to run a different area trail (from Fountainhead to Difficult Run to Algonkian Park), at times combining with the =PR= Trail Run series. Choose this program if you would like to run the majority of your runs on a trail surface. Participants may also choose to run at another training site from time to time if they are preparing for both road and trail events. (Other site runners likewise may run with the trail group from time to time.) Sessions meet SUNDAYS at 7 AM initially. (Session times will move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs.)
Registration is now OPEN! Click HERE to go to the registration tool! Early-bird pricing is available through 5/1 -- register by the earlybird deadline and your training fee is only $145!Note: We prioritize your safety and seek to maximize your learning and development as an athlete as you participate in the Distance Training Program and all group training programs from =PR= Training. Thus, depending on the situation, we may require that participants leave their iPods behind while in class. The final decision is made by each session's coach, but the overall program philosophy is that if you can't hear traffic, your coach, or your peers, at worst you are at risk, and at best you aren't getting everything you could from the program.