The Winter Marathon Training Program (WMT) provides runners with coaching support and training partners in preparation for a spring marathon. While the marathon is the primary focus of the WMT program, the coaches would be happy to provide guidance to participants targeting other race distance, such as ultra-marathons. You do not have to be a fast runner to participate in our program. Each participant will be assigned to a pace group based on ability. The WMT Program is great for bonding with fellow runners and for maintaining and building your fitness through the winter.
Prerequisites: This program is designed for participants currently running at least 25 miles per week. This is a relatively short marathon training program. Participants should have a consistent mileage base of at least 25 miles per week and be able to comfortably run 12 miles at one time. Also a plus, is a good attitude and the determination to complete a marathon. 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: The program will build up to an average weekly mileage of 40-50 miles per week and a long run of 22 miles. Participants of all paces are welcome. The program has benefitted participants with sub-4:00 hour marathons to participants with projected 6-hour marathons. We believe that any participant who meets the minimum mileage requirements, and who makes a commitment to train consistently, can get to the starting line of their marathon, injury-free.
During registration, you will be asked to provide at least one recent race time, preferably at a shorter distance than a marathon. This will help us to place you in an appropriate pace group. If you haven’t run in a while, you will be encouraged to participate in an upcoming race so that you can provide a finish time.
The program will offer two group workouts per week. Groups will meet on Sunday mornings for a long run starting at 7:30 AM, which will take place in various locations, as well as on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM at the Winston Churchill High School track, located at 11300 Gainsborough Road, Potomac, MD.
We aim to provide you with as much variety in long run routes as possible. But given the inevitable snow and ice we may encounter once winter hits in earnest, that may not always be possible. The Program Directors reserve the right to cancel any run based on treacherous winter conditions (driving and/or running). We generally wait till the last possible moment before cancelling. The Program Director reserves the right to cancel any run based on treacherous winter conditions (driving and/or running); however, we will likely NOT cancel based on forecast alone, without verification.
Most communication will be done by email so that participants aren’t standing around in the cold listening to the coaches talk. It will be important to have an easily accessible email address and to be able to check it frequently, so important messages aren’t missed.
Cost: Online registration is $85. This does NOT include entry into a goal race, but does include a premium. Total registration will be limited to 150 participants
Program Dates: Wednesday, December 6, 2023 – Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Target Race: There is no target race for the program, although we anticipate that many participants will target the Rock n Roll National Marathon, Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, or B&A Trail Marathon in March. The training is equally applicable to other spring marathons, such as Lower Potomac River, Boston, Myrtle Beach, One City Newport News, Little Rock, and Pittsburgh (among others).
Head Coaches: Keith Evans, Donald Chung, and Libby Miller
Keith is a RRCA-certified coach who has run race distances from 3K up through 314 miles. He regularly competes in both road and trail races. He has coached in 5k, 10k and marathon programs and continues coaching at the MCRRC Run Performance Lab (formerly called the Stride Clinic).
Donald has coached with the First Time Marathon Program, Experience Marathon Program, and Advanced Marathon Program. He ran his first marathon in 1991 and since then has run over 60 marathons. He is currently attempting to complete a marathon in each of the 50 states. He has completed 39 so far.
Libby is a RRCA-certified coach who is an avid marathoner. She’s coached with the Winter Marathon Program and the First Time Marathon Program and also serves on the MCRRC Board of Directors. When she is not out running, she can be found on the trails with her two rescue dogs. Her favorite part of the marathon is the months of training leading up to the big day and the Sunday long run.
If you have additional questions, please email the coaches directly at winter_amt @mcrrc.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Otherwise, please click here to become a valued member.
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.