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Summer/Fall Distance Training Program

coaches-sized.jpgHas 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 Overview

The =PR= Training Programs' Summer/Fall Distance Training Program has tracks for the marathon and half marathon/ten miler distances. The program gears toward major local fall races including the Army Ten Miler and Marine Corps Marathon, but also typically includes many runners preparing for earlier or later races including Chicago, Steamtown, Baltimore, NYC, Richmond, Philly and others. The program provides everything you could need for a great race experience and is designed for both for new and experienced runners. Kickoff events will be held the week of 6/8 and the first group runs are informal on the weekend of 6/13-6/14, with training schedules beginning the week of 6/15 and the first "official" group long run the weekend of 6/20-21. The program continues through the end of October (and coaches make modifications/distribute additional suggestions and extension plans for runners with goal races in November.)

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!

GearedUpandReady-sized.jpgWe 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 SS 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. Receive special participant discounts at =PR= stores while you are in the program.

- 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.


mcmimage.jpgThe Distance Training Program is available in ASHBURN, BURKE, DC, and RESTON, on either Saturday or Sunday morning depending on location. (We may be adding an additional location, but these are confirmed.) All training sites begin with an information session, coach meet and greet, and informal first day run the weekend of JUNE 13-14. All sites will meet at 7:00 AM for the first weeks. Thereafter, at certain times, the start time may change again for certain weeks with especially long runs, moving to 6:30 or earlier. 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 fall when team practices and field usage, etc., can cause conflicts.)  Beginners may choose to skip speed sessions, but all are invited to attend them.

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/group workouts as scheduled and available, and participant benefits including a technical shirt, 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 Distance Training Program, which offers great value at the regular price given the amount of time the winter training entails.

Upcoming Session and Registration Information

There are four available training sites for the Summer/Fall Distance Training Program:  Burke, DC/Georgetown, and Reston.*  A few =PR= stores (including Arlington) may also begin offering weekend morning informal group runs, enabling runners to have additional options to run with a group on the weekend should they have conflicts with the scheduled DTP run.

Ashburn-based Distance Training Program: Meeting at the =PR= Ashburn Store at 20630 Ashburn Road (near the W&OD and Carolina Brothers). Runs will take place on the W&OD with occasional "field trips."Location is convenient for runners from Loudoun County as well as western Fairfax. Weekend sessions meet SUNDAYS at 7:00 AM (Session time will move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs and we ask everyone to arrive 15 minutes early so the run can start promptly.) Optional Weekday Speed Session on Tuesdays (at Ashburn =PR= Store or Stone Bridge HS at 6:30 PM)  Note: if the Sunday session is not convenient, consider the Saturday program in Reston.

Burke-based Distance Training Program: Meeting at the =PR= Burke Store at 5715 Burke Centre Pkwy (intersection of Ox Road and Burke Centre Pkwy). Runs will take place on Burke trails with occasional "field trips." Location is convenient for runners from southern/western Fairfax County and Arlington/Alexandria runners who seek a Saturday long run day. Weekend sessions meet SATURDAYS at 7:00 AM (Session time will move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs and we ask everyone to arrive 15 minutes early so the run can start promptly.) Optional Weekday Speed Session in BURKE on Tuesdays (at Burke Store or Robinson HS in conjunction with the Burke 101/201 program) at 6:30 PM) Note: if the Saturday session is not convenient, consider the Sunday program in DC.

DC/Georgetown-based Distance Training Program: Meeting 34th & Water Street in Georgetown (under the Whitehurst Freeway at the park area near the start of the Capital Crescent Trail.) The Sunday meeting time allows for available off-street parking. Early start times mean metro is not open yet (though a walk across the bridge enables use of the Rosslyn station to head home post-run.) 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. Weekend sessions meet SUNDAYS at 7:00 AM. (Session time will move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs and we ask everyone to arrive 15 minutes early so the run can start promptly.) Optional Weekday Speed Session in DC on Thursdays (at Wilson HS at 6:30 PM) OR in Arlington on Wednesdays (at W-L HS at 6:30 PM.)

Reston-based Winter Training Program: 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, Vienna/McLean, Chantilly, Centreville, and more. Sessions meet SATURDAYS at 7:00 AM. (Session time will move earlier as program progresses to accommodate longer runs and we ask everyone to arrive 15 minutes early so the run can start promptly.) Optional Weekday Speed Session in Reston on Tuesdays (at South Lakes HS at 6:30 PM.)  Note: if the Saturday weekend session is not convenient, consider the Sunday program in DC or join an informal weekend run when needed.


Registration is now OPEN for the DTP (and Running 101/201 sessions which are a great way to build volume and prepare for your summer/fall training.) Click HERE to go to the registration tool.

Note:  We prioritize your safety and seek to maximize your learning and development as an athlete as you participate in the Winter 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.

*Note that all locations will only be held if there is sufficient interest. Should the program not be held at a given location, all registrants will be offered the opportunity to participate at another location or to receive a refund.


It finally feels like SPRING (at least sometimes….) Good time to make the commitment to that spring/summer/fall goal and get started with a Running 101 program, get faster/stronger with a Running 201 program, or plan ahead for your fall distance race and register for the Distance Training Program!

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