Experienced Marathon Program (XMP)

The Experienced Marathon Program (XMP) is designed to train runners with previous marathon and other long distance running experiences to enjoy their training and improve their outcomes. The training schedule is designed to fit most of the fall marathons beginning in mid-September and ending in late November. Participants of any pace are welcome; it is not an intimidating program. In addition to marathon goals, participants often use the program to train for shorter distance races. Some train with the program for their first marathons; a number of participants run multiple marathons in the training season. While there are many metrics to measure success, each year a number of participants run PR’s and/or Boston Qualifying times.  Yet the program is designed for slower runners as well. Each participant has their own training goals, and meeting those goals measures the success of the program. The overall objective of the program is for each individual to meet or exceed their purposes for training with the program.

Prerequisites:  The program is open to runners with experience in long distance training.  MCRRC Membership is required for participation in this program.  If you are not a member, you will have the opportunity to join MCRRC during registration.  Participants must be 18 or older to register.

Structure: A training schedule that covers the entire season will be provided to each participant following registration. The training schedule will accommodate multiple marathon weekends with appropriate build-ups and tapers. The schedule addresses all days of the week over the 7-month period from May thru November utilizing 5 to 6 running days per week, although in the past some participants have managed with a 4-day per week schedule, with guidance from the coaches. The coaches will adjust the training schedule for individual participants as requested.

All participants will be assigned to pace groups based on recent race data. The pace groups typically range in size from 10 to 20 runners and are designated using the “long, slow distance” (LSD) pace.  Each pace group normally has a 15 second LSD pace “window” recognizing the minor spread of abilities and conditioning within each pace group.  In the past, LSD pace groups have ranged from a 7:00-7:15 minute per mile LSD pace to an 11:45-12:00 minute per mile LSD pace.  These paces have historically led to marathon finishing times ranging from 2:45 for the faster groups to 5:30 on the slower end. Some pace groups will have assigned coaches; others may not. Every group will have runners experienced in training with the program.

Each pace group will be provided with six different training paces to be used on assigned training days. The various paces will be designed to improve endurance, lactate threshold and oxygen efficiency – all critical components to achieve best marathon performance. Three training days per week are specifically dedicated to (1) group long run endurance training on Saturdays, (2) group speed workout training on Tuesdays and (3) tempo marathon pace training on Thursdays.

The Saturday morning group long runs typically start at 6:30 AM, often from Bethesda, using primarily the Capital Crescent Trail, Rock Creek Trail or the C&O Canal Towpath. The long runs typically buildup to four 20-mile runs before reaching a 3-week marathon taper. Tuesday evenings are speed training days, typically run at a designated track such as Montgomery College or Winston Churchill High School, starting at 6:30 PM. The Thursday tempo runs are normally organized by individual runners with help from the coaches and typically include marathon paced miles.

The May portion of the program will be informal and will build up to the heart of the training program, starting in June and running through November. This informal part of the schedule has been added to assist participants in “catching up” their training to ease into the typical first XMP long run of 14-miles in early June.

Cost:  Online registration is $125 and is non-refundable.

Program Dates: Saturday, May 6, 2023 to Saturday, November 18, 2023


Date/Time: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 6:30 PM.

Location: Montgomery College – Room PE209.  See campus map.

Head Coach/Director: Harold Rosen

Harold was a participant in the first year of the XMP program in 2002 and has coached in the program since 2003.  He is RRCA certified (Level II). Harold has run 35 plus marathons.  This is his 12th year directing the program.

Co-Director: Brad Stewart

Brad has trained with XMP each year since 2013 and began coaching with the program in 2016. He is RRCA certified (Level II). In addition to coaching, Brad has served as a member of the MCRRC Board of Directors, including as Chair of the Board and President of the Club from 2018 into 2023.

Program Registration

Registration is Open!

Please Note

A CURRENT MCRRC MEMBERSHIP is REQUIRED to participate in this program. Please note that membership is NOT included in your program registration. PRIOR TO JOINING this program, you must become a member. If you are unsure if you have a CURRENT MCRRC Membership, please contact office@mcrrc.org for assistance. Otherwise, please click here to become a valued member.

Communication Methods
We will use a private, online group to facilitate communications. Everyone will be required to join this group to participate in the program. Instructions on how to join this group will be provided by the Program Director.

The program director reserves the right in his sole discretion to refuse admission to the program or dismiss any individual from the program whom the program director believes is unsuited for running the specified distance or is unable to meet the demands of the training schedule, or is disruptive to other program participants. Those individuals will be denied entry into the program or dismissed from the program as appropriate. The program director also reserves the right to limit the number of participants in the overall program or in individual pace groups. MCRRC has a No Refund policy. Program registration fees cannot be refunded due to injury, schedule conflict or any other reason.