Winter 5K Run / Walk Program

The Winter 5K Run/Walk Program is a program for any participant looking to get outside and start the new year on the right (or left) foot. Whether you have never run a 5K (that’s 3.1 miles) and are looking for a new challenge, haven’t run in years and are being smart by ramping up slowly, or just finished a marathon and want some group accountability to stay flexible and fit despite the winter being your least favorite season, this program is for you!   The workouts are targeted for time – not distance – and the commitment is only a few days per week.

Prerequisites:  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:  This 10-week program is a time-based plan that uses walking and running intervals to help you finish a 5K or 10K (depending on your group) or to simply maintain your mileage and fitness as your recover from your fall distance training.

The training plan will be divided into three phases:

  • Phase 1: Foundation – This phase will get you started with intervals and help to achieve consistency with your run/walk training.
  • Phase 2: Strengthening This phase will help improve your ability to run longer without getting too winded before your walk breaks, which should lessen, depending on your group.
  • Phase 3: Race Preparation – In this phase, you will begin covering the 5K distance (or further depending on group) with confidence.

Participants walk/run steadily at the group’s assigned pace. When you register, you will be asked to select one of the following five coach-led pace groups. You can always switch to a faster or slower group later if that works better for you.

  • Purple Pace Group (walking only)
  • Green Pace Group (5K pace greater than 13 minutes per mile and will run/walk the 5K race)
  • Red Pace Group (5K pace greater than 13 minutes per mile and will run the 5K race)
  • Yellow Pace Group (5K pace is 11-13 minutes per mile and will run the 5K race)
  • Blue Pace Group (5K pace is less than 11 minutes per mile and will run the 5K race)

Groups will meet on Sunday mornings at 8:00 AM in various locations in Montgomery County. We will run by time, not distance, so that everyone finishes together. Groups will also meet on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM at the Winston Churchill High School track. There will be a short presentation (indoors!) and then we will warm up together and conduct the workout in our assigned pace groups.  Participants should aim to complete 1-2 additional runs per week independently or plan to meet up with some new running friends from the program to conduct these workouts. Remember to always bring water!

Note On Weather:  We do run in rain, sleet, or snow.  You can’t predict the weather.  Training during adverse weather conditions helps to prepare you for what you may face on race day.  It may rain, be hot or even snow on race day. The Program Directors reserve the right to cancel any workout based on treacherous winter conditions (driving and/or running.) You, as a participant, also have that right. Please do what makes you comfortable.

Cost: Online registration is $50 for MCRRC Members and $55 for City of Rockville residents who are not MCRRC members.  This does NOT include entry into a goal race, but does include a premium.

Program Dates:  Sunday, January 14, 2024 – Sunday, March 24, 2024

Target Race:  The MCRRC Piece of Cake 5K on Sunday, March 24, 2024 though participants may choose alternative events.  Running a goal race is not required to participate and those who just want to train with a group are welcome.

Orientation: Orientation will include an introduction to our coaches, program structure and training schedule.  You do not have to be registered to attend orientation.  If you are unsure if the program is right for you, please plan to bring your questions to orientation!

Date/Time: TBD via Zoom

Location: Zoom

Head Coaches: Travisha Gunter and Craig Mathson

Travisha joined MCRRC in 2011 and since then has been a participant and/or volunteer in many of the club programs. In 2014, she started coaching. Since that time, Travisha has coached with the Beginning Women Runners, First Time Marathon Program, Fall 10K Program, and Winter 5K Program, ensuring her running journey continues across all seasons and distances.  As an RRCA-certified coach and a veteran of MCRRC running, she is excited to bring her discipline and enthusiasm to help runners set and achieve their goals as they kickoff a new year in the Winter 5K Program. Travisha is looking forward running with you.

Craig joined MCRRC in 2017 and has experience coaching in several of the club’s programs including the Winter 5K, Spring 8K, Fall 10K, and both Winter and Summer Half Marathon programs. He is an RRCA-certified coach and has run several 5K to half marathons over the last few years.

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 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.