1. I have never run or walked an organized race event before, can I really train to run or walk my first marathon, half marathon, or 15K?
Many of our runner and walkers have never been avid runners before, and is just how we like it. Most people even with no prior experience can finish a marathon provided they follow a structured, progressive training program start to finish, without falling off of the training program. (However a base of 6 miles running is required for the marathon program specifically)It is a matter of future commitment more than a matter of previous experience. We are extremely confident in our coaches, philosophies, and programs, they are designed to be used with any ability level. As long as you commit to the training, we will get you in the right group to succeed.
2. I don't know the first thing about running gear (shoes, socks etc.) diet, training techniques, or body maintenance, will there be information given on these topics?
Absolutely! Many of our participants will be relative beginners at running and/or walking, so don’t feel like you are the only one. We will provide clinics on all of these topics and have experts come in to teach you all that you will need to know concerning the information regarding training for a marathon. We will teach you more than most avid runners know before the program is through. Information clinics will typically be held on Saturdays at Fleet Feet Sports after the group run.
3. I feel like I might be very slow compared to others, what if I can't keep up with the rest of the group?
Our programs are designed to teach you to finish, not to necessarily do it fast. Don’t worry about your speed. You will be in good company as many of our runners intend to walk portions of each event. Our group is large enough that you will always be around people your speed. We promise! In fact we will work walking intervals into some our programs. The goal is to finish a event, and that is lofty enough. You can worry about breaking world records when you attempt your second (or next) event!
4. I won't be able to join the program until late, can I still join the training program after it starts?
You can join our marathon or half marathon programs up to two weeks into the start of the program. After that you will be too far behind to catch up to the rest of the training schedule. Our goal is to keep you safe while you train, and starting more than two week behind schedule would just not be safe. Even if you come in one week late, it will be very important that you stick to your training to get back up to speed. It can be done, you will just have to be diligent.
5. How long is the training program and when and where do they meet?
The full and half marathon program is 16 weeks. As a group we meet Saturday mornings at 7:00am and Tuesday evenings at 6:30pm at Fleet Feet Sports. But remember, you will be given an entire schedule to follow on your own each week, you'll run more than just Saturdays and Tuesdays. Occasionally we take training field trips and will run from other locations around town, typically parts of the actual race course, but you will be given plenty of notice before that time. Most meetings will last between 1 and 3 hours depending on how long that days workout is. The longest workouts will always be on Saturdays. Our educational clinics will also be on Saturdays after the workouts so schedule some extra time for that if you plan on attending the clinics, which you should, because they are awesome!
6. What if I have to miss a Saturday group run or two because of my personal schedule, will I fall far behind?
Missing runs and walks is part of training and part of life. And that's O.K., just plan for it let our Head Coach know which workouts you can’t make and she will get you all the missed information you need. As long as you make up the run or walk missed on that Saturday, you will be fine. If you miss several workouts and fall behind let Coach Mary know. She can help you get back but it will take some serious effort. Don't ever try to make up several runs to quickly, you will do more harm than good. You should try to attend as many Saturday workouts as you can, however. And remember, the long run and walks are extremely important in your training.
7. What should I do if something starts to hurt or I think I get an injury coming on during training?
Our main goal is your safety through training, and through our PAR-Q registration evaluation we will make sure you are up for the training challenge. We are proud to say our training participants don't usually suffer significant injuries. That said, bumps and bruises along the way are very common when training. Our partners at Oxford Physical Therapy are the areas best medical professionals and have been working with Cincinnati area runners and athletes for years. We have been partners with them for over 10 years and put our full trust in them to take care of our runners and walkers for every program, and they always impress us! As a training program participant you will have full access to injury screenings and seminars with Oxford Physical Therapy. If something comes up, let us know and we will get you to them ASAP.
8. I heard the Flying Pig Marathon is hilly and not very easy, will it be okay to run as my first marathon or half?
All marathons are hard, and if you live and train in Cincinnati the hills will not be unfamiliar to you by the time race day comes around. As a runner or walker you will learn to embrace the earth's natural terrain. The Flying Pig Marathon or Half is an awesome first marathon, it is well run, organized and our home town event. Don't let the hill rumors detour you.
9. Do I have to wait until the free, no obligation information sessions to have my questions answered? What if I can't make any info. sessions?
Nope, email all of your questions to frank@fleetfeetcincy at any time! Our Training Program Coordinator, Kirsten or Owner Frank, will get back to you very quickly. This is group training but we pride ourselves in the individual attention we provide every single one of our participants. Always feel free to call the store for general question too.
10. I have run several marathons before and don't consider myself a new or inexperience runner, is this group for me?
We train runners of all ability levels and experience. And we also believe some of the most experience and long time runners have the most to learn when it comes to the newest training techniques and methods. Yes, every year we have a great group of experienced runners, walkers and fast runners who train with us. Plus it gives Frank (owner) a group to run with on Saturdays!
11. I am a run walker and/or have used the Jeff Galloway method of training in the past, are your programs run/walk friendly?
Yes! We embrace the run/walk method of training and use it extensively in our No Boundaries beginner 5K Training Program. Typically we encourage people to use this method to slowly work their way up to just running. But others choose to run/walk as their permanent method, and that is okay, we will teach you the most effective to do it.
12. Am I crazy for signing up for a marathon or half marathon?
Absolutely not! People run marathons and half marathons for a lot of reasons. Some do it to test themselves. Some do it to get in shape. Some do it for another person or cause dear to them. Some do it as a vacation get away! Some have no idea why they are doing it, but do it nonetheless! The one common thing we can promise is that it will change your life… in a way that will make your life so much more enjoyable, regardless of the reason you started to do it in the first place. Ask someone who has done it. Don’t take our word for it! It is an accomplishment you will remember for a lifetime. Although it may seem like a crazy thought at this point we promise it will be the time of your life!