Home / Training Programs / Winter / Winter Half-Marathon Program (Dec – Mar)

Winter Half-Marathon Program (Dec – Mar)

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.

Registration is CLOSED.

Program Overview:

Goals and Purpose of Program:  The Winter Half-Marathon Program is designed for runners who are accustomed to running middle distances and who want to prepare for their first distance event or improve their past half marathon performance times. The program meets twice per week and does long runs as well as speed work and hills to get you ready!

The formal program runs for 10 weeks and welcomes new distance and experienced runners. We start our long runs at 8 miles and gradually building to prepare for a half marathon. We will be offering an optional and more informal pre-program build up and weekly group runs beginning on Sunday, December 8, 2019. The formal program will begin on January 5, 2020.

We train runners of varying ability levels including beginners. You do not have to be a fast runner to do our program or complete a half marathon though it is important that your base going into the program is sufficient to support the increasing mileage. We will put people of similar ability together in pace groups, based on race times and other criteria. The program gradually builds up your average weekly miles.

Prerequisites: You must be a member of Montgomery County Road Runners Club in order to participate in this program.  Runners should have a weekly mileage base of 15-20 miles and should be able to comfortably run 7 miles without stopping.  Runners should be prepared to run 8 miles at the first long run on January 5th.  If you don’t have the mileage base required please consider another winter training program or working on your own to build up your mileage for MCRRC’s Summer Half-Marathon Program in 2020.

Runners must come to each workout properly dressed for the weather conditions and with proper hydration.  A fuel belt or similar is recommended to allow runners to easily carry water on Sunday long runs.  Reflective gear may be recommended on select Wednesday evenings if the track is closed due to snow or ice and we are able to do an alternate workout on the roads.

Cost/Premium Info: The program cost is $80.  This does NOT include entry into a goal race but does include a premium.  The training plan is designed to prepare runners for the B & A Trail Half Marathon
on March 15th; however, it may also be adjusted for runners who may wish to run Rock n Roll, Shamrock,
or Cherry Blossom. Running a goal race is not required to participate and those who just want to train with a group are welcome. Additionally, program registration does NOT include club membership. If you are not currently a member, you will have the opportunity to join the club during the registration process.


Dates/Target Race:

Dates: Optional Pre-Program, December 2019. Formal Program January – March 2020

Target Race:B & A Trail Half Marathon.  As noted above, the training program is also applicable to
other spring half marathons.

Note: The Annapolis Striders, who organize the B & A Trail Half Marathon, have been kind enough to
set aside a block of entries with a small discount code for our group. If you plan to run B & A, please
wait to register until we provide you with additional registration information.

Program Staff:

Head Coaches/Directors: Ken Earley and Karen Kincer


About Ken:  Ken is the current President of MCRRC and is an RRCA Certified Coach who has run frequently with XMP and other MCRRC programs.   He is an amazingly consistent runner, known for winning 4th place (never 3rd, never 5th) in his age group.   Ken might run faster if he weren’t so busy motivating the other runners around him by telling them fabulous stories to amuse them through their races.  Ken and his wife Mary jumped full speed into parenting by adopting two children from Ethiopia several years ago and quickly became the typical crazy, scattered American family.

About Karen: Karen is also an RRCA Certified Coach and is coming full circle with her running.  After begging not to be cut from her junior high track team, she was captain of her college cross country and track teams and started running longer distances with MCRRC in her mid-20s, first with the FTM Program.  She was MCRRC’s Runner of the Year in 1999 and has since been through pregnancies, days of pushing a triple jogging stroller, fast races, injuries, and is now happy to just be able to run.

Ken and Karen previously served together on the MCRRC Board of Directors.   For the last several years they have coached opposing teams in the City of Rockville’s Youth Track and Field Program.   They are hoping that the runners in Winter Half Program will have better listening skills than the younger athletes they coach but will exhibit just as much joy and pride in their accomplishments come race day.


Date/Time: Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 8:00 AM – Attendees are encouraged to run the Jingle Bell Jog at 9:00 AM, following orientation.

Location: Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Drive, Rockville, MD 20850 – Room TBA

Workouts/Pace Groups:

Pace Group Information:  We’ll need a current race time and some information on your recent mileage to properly place you in a pace group.   Note: A current race time should represent a hard effort race time.  Please do not list a time from the race you ran with a friend so you could chit chat and catch up over 6.2 miles. Those races are great but they don’t help us understand your fitness. If you don’t have a hard effort race time please run the Jingle Bell Jog after orientation.

We are still recruiting pace coaches for this year’s program and aim to have coaches available for runners doing long slow distance between 8 and 13 minutes per mile.  Faster and slower runners are welcome in the program and will be provided all the information necessary to complete the program at their pace but we may not have pace coaches available to run with them.


Sundays @ 7:30 AM, various locations – Long Run – A schedule with locations will be provided however please understand that weather conditions may cause us to change Sunday long run locations from time to time.  Our aim will always be to provide a safe location to conduct the run.

Wednesdays @ 6:45 PM, at a TBA track location in Rockville, MD

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.Participants are also encouraged to join MCRRC-info , the club’s listserv for delivering important club information including race announcements or changes, track closures due to weather or other issues, etc. When joining any of the Yahoo groups, please include your first and last name in the “comment from user” field so that your membership to the group can be verified.

Volunteer Requirement: MCRRC is a volunteer organization. The staff for this and all other training programs as well as that of all the races we conduct are volunteers. To support the club, participants in this program will be asked to volunteer for at least one, if not more, club races or events.

Disclaimer: The program director reserves the right in their 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.