Marathon Training



The program that has helped 10's of thousands successfully run the marathon.

Training Plan

An 18 week plan, expert-designed, with five levels to choose from: Novice, Novice-II, Intermediate, Advanced, and Run/Walk.

Pace Groups

Experienced and encouraging group leaders for paces 7:30 to 13:00 per/mile.


11 training site options in the city and the suburbs. Along with weekday track workouts and group runs at select locations.


Education, resources, motivation, training tech-shirt, Ready to Run 20 Miler, NovaCare Injury Hotline, and More!

Experience CARA's "Power of the Group" on your marathon journey!

CARA group training will provide you the support, community, and accountability you need to successfully reach the start line ready to race your fall marathon. 

The CARA program has helped tens of thousands of runners complete 26.2. Our popular 18-week program has long been Chicago's premier group training program, serving newcomers and experienced runners alike.

CARA runners enjoy access to training sites across the city and suburbs. With CARA training you will never have to go it alone. Your pace group leaders and fellow participants will give you the Power of the Group that has gotten CARA runners to the finish line more than any other program in Chicagoland running. 

Program Announcements

CARA announced changes to the 2020 program in response to COVID-19 and related local, state, and federal guidelines. Please review program information in full for a complete understanding of these changes. (Last updated 5/13/20)

© 2019 by Chicago Area Runners Association Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 36-3054942