Essentially, its a 1/2 Marathon training program that takes place Nov - Jan. The goal is to go and do the Key West 1/2 on Jan 31st, but doing that 1/2 is optional. The Key West 1/2 Marathon sounds like a really small race (which may be fun) but I'm not so sure I'm into it. For now I'm actually just doing this winter program for "fun".
Anyway, this "Winter Warriors" program is run by Chicago Endurance Sports. Although I have never done anything with CES, several of my friends have used them for marathon training, and many of them have gone back year-after-year. I have heard a lot of good things about them!
Here are some of the things the program comes with:
- A warm place to start and stop (a local running store) that also has a RESTROOM
- A personalized daily running schedule
- Professional coaches
- Coached training 2X a week (Wed and Sat)
- Pace leaders
- "Fun team social activities"
So some of the stuff (like "fun team social activities") I can take or leave. What I'm really just looking forward to is having long runs on my calendar. I know that I will do the long runs, and that I'll have to run in between Saturdays in order to make it through those long runs :)
Running in the city in the winter is tricky. Not only is it usually icy and freezing, but the lakefront path closes all of the water fountains and restrooms. That means if you want to run a long run (I did a 20-miler in December a few years ago) you have no way of going to the restroom or getting something to drink. Its nice to run with an organization that is going to help us out with that stuff. In addition, since I'm only training for a 1/2 I wont be doing a 20-miler any time soon. Yay!