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CRC Training: Quarter, Half, & Full Marathon Program


There's nothing quite like the feeling of crossing the finish line of a long race with your arms held high. If you've been dreaming of reaching that finish line, the Columbus Running Company is here to help!

Our CRC Training Program is a free, fun way to prepare for your next big race in a group setting. You'll receive a training plan, weekly coaching emails, motivational support, access to group runs & walks, and plenty more. Whether you're a first-time quarter marathoner or a Boston-qualifying marathoner, we're here to boost your training. 

For Details on Our Modified 2020 Summer Season, Check Out Our "Meet the Coach" Video: 

For full details - and to register yourself for one of our two annual seasons - just select a season below:

  • Cost: Free

  • When: June through the October 2020 racing season (training begins Sat, Jun 13) 

  • Training Locations: Training will be done on your own until group runs & walks can resume.  At that time, we will begin to host group training sessions at all five CRC shops (Short North, Dublin, Pickerington, Powell, & Westerville)

  • Group Run & Walk Schedule: Once in-person training resumes, our primary training session will be held Saturday morning (Short North, Dublin, Pickerington, Westerville) or Sunday (Powell). There will also be weekday speed workouts available. The complete group workout schedule is here.

  • Race Focus: AEP Ohio Columbus 10k, Big Bad Wolfe 20 Miler & 10 Miler, Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Indy Monumental, Air Force Marathon & Half, Detroit, and any late-summer-to-fall race 
  • "Meet the Coach" Video: Interested in learning more about the program? Check out the video above as Coach Eric lays out program details, expectations, and more.

  • Cost: Free

  • When: January through the April-May 2020 racing season (training begins Sat, Jan 11) 

  • Training Locations: All four CRC shops (Short North, Dublin, Pickerington, Westerville)

  • Group Run & Walk Schedule: Our primary training session is held Saturday morning. There are also weekday speed workouts available. The complete group workout schedule is here.

  • Race Focus: Choo Choo 9 Miler, Cap City Quarter & Half Marathon, Flying Pig, Pittsburgh, Indy Mini, and any spring-to-early-summer race 

  • Meet the Coach Nights: Interested in learning more about the program? Join us for a low-key info session (no RSVP required):
    • Mon, Jan 6th, 6:45pm in the Pickerington CRC (1250 Hill Road North)
    • Tues, Jan 7th, 6:45pm in the Short North CRC (765 N High Street)
    • Wed, Jan 8th, 6:45pm in the Dublin CRC (6465 Perimeter Drive)
    • Thurs, Jan 9th, 6:45pm in the Westerville CRC (50 N State Street)
  • Register here to join the program, receive weekly coaching emails, and access all training plans 

  • Download your training plan here

  • FAQ & group run / walk schedule at bottom of page


As you train with CRC, you'll have the option of sharing those miles with us.

Long Run or Walk Day:

We will begin our season virtually - meaning that everyone will receive their training plans and guidance, but we'll be logging miles solo.  Once we can resume in-person training sessions, you can then join us at any of the following Columbus Running Company locations for a long run or walk hosted from the store:

  • Short North - Saturday morning - 765 N High Street   Columbus, OH 43215
  • Dublin - Saturday morning - 6465 Perimeter Drive   Dublin, OH 43016
  • Pickerington - Saturday morning - 1250 Hill Road N   Pickerington, OH 43147
  • Powell - Sunday morning - 141 Greenside Street  Powell, OH 43065
  • Westerville - Saturday morning - 50 N State Street   Westerville, OH 43081

The group run & walk begins at 7am from Memorial Day until Labor Day (summer).  We meet at 8am after Labor Day until the next Memorial Day (fall through spring). 

All paces & abilities are welcome. We'll break into informal pace groups and we'll head onto the path as a group. You can select your own distance, and we'll have a pre-selected route for everyone to follow. Just turn around at your halfway point & head back to complete your workout for the day. For those following one of our training plans, we'll have a workout board with reminders about goal mileages to keep you on track for race day. 

The full schedule of group runs & walks is available here.

Speed Work:

Again, we will begin our season virtually.  Once we're able to resume in-person runs & walks, we'll be offering speed workouts for our intermediate & advanced members. Some of these workouts are offered year-round, while others are offered from mid-March through late-October. At these gatherings, we'll provide a specific workout to help push you to maximize your running potential. Speed workouts are led by coaches at four locations:

  • Short North - Meets on Wednesdays at the Short North CRC at 6:00pm year-round 
  • Dublin - Meets on Tuesdays at Karrer Middle School's track at 6:00pm from mid-March to mid-October
  • Pickerington - Meets on Wednesdays at the Pickerington CRC at 6:30pm year-round 
  • Westerville - Meets on Tuesdays at Walnut Springs Middle School's track at 6:00pm from mid-March to mid-October

Again, the full schedule of group runs & walks is available here.

Further Training Options:

Looking for company on your other weekday runs or walks? Beyond the two group workout options each week, we highly encourage club members to link up on further days with the running buddies that you'll make through the CRC group runs & walks. The running & walking community is as strong as you make it, and it just takes a few visits to the Saturday morning runs & walks to find your new partners.  


How are you adjusting for the COVID-19 crisis?  

Our program is switching to a virtual experience, at least for the early weeks of our training. You can download a training plan, sign up for coaching emails, and start accessing coaching information as you train on your own starting in June. Once we can resume modified in-person group runs & walks, you'll be able to opt into the group trainings or continue to train purely on your own.  

What if Iʼm preparing for a race other than the groupʼs primary goal event?

Youʼre welcome to use the CRC training plan for any race of your choosing. Just count back from your race day, and start with week #1 of our training plan. Weʼd love for you to come share the miles with us, even if your weekly mileage doesnʼt match the groupʼs 100%. Thereʼs still strength in numbers, and the training group will pull you along.

I canʼt make it to every training session. Can I still take part in the group?

Of course. Join us when you can, and put in those solo miles when you canʼt. Weʼre here to help you prepare for that big race, one way or another. Some people register and do every mile on their own. Whatever works for you!

How do the group trainings work?

On weekends, the group meets at 7am (from Memorial Day to Labor Day) or 8am (rest of the year). We host group runs & walks from every Columbus Running Company location, and you can find the full schedule here. Weʼll make a course announcement after gathering everyone together, and the run & walk will begin shortly after that. For our larger locations, the start of the group run is organized into pace corrals, similar to the start of a race. If youʼre looking to run 10 minute miles, simply line up alongside the sign for those 10 minute miles. Weʼll have maps available for each route.

I'm nervous about group trainings.  What do you recommend?

Runners & walkers are a low-key, inviting group. We recommend that everyone give the group workouts three tries. The first time might feel a little overwhelming, as you learn the ropes, but the second time is much easier. By the third time, you'll be a pro. We hear a lot of people who worry about being the slowest participant out there. As beginners, we all started from that same point, and we'll have a big mix of abilities throughout the season. If you're willing to step outside of your comfort zone a bit and meet a lot of new people, we'll find others for you to share the miles with all season long.

What paces and ability levels are in the group?

Every season, we have a mix of both beginners and experienced runners & walkers. Paces range across the board as well.

Iʼve struggled with motivation in the past. What does CRC offer to help keep me going?

First off, a group dynamic helps a TON when it comes to keeping your motivation going.  As you get to know others, peer pressure is going to keep you coming back.  On top of that, weʼll be in touch via our coaching emails throughout your training season to keep you excited about coming out on Saturday mornings to share the paths with us.

This all sounds super awesome. What do I need to do to get started?

Aww, thanks. Fill out the online form to join us, come to a Meet the Coach night, and then lace up the shoes to join us every Saturday morning from now until race weekend. Good luck.

I've raced these distances before and I'm ready to push myself harder in training. What options are there for me?

CRC offers training options for all levels.  If you're ready to push your training to the next level, check out CRC Advanced Training.  We're here to help you break through to that next tier in your training and racing.



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Gear, Training Programs, & Races