Essentials of Distance Running

Essentials of Distance Running Training Program

Fleet Feet Sports

Essentials of Distance Running


sponsored by Adidas & Nathan

Sponsored by Adidassponsored by Nathan

10 Weeks / Differentiated Training

Register for Essentials and receive $25

off 2016 Relay, Half or Full Marathon Training Program



Confirm your registration here.

Essentials Discount Day & Heart Rate Clinic:  Saturday, October 3rd at 1:00 pm

Training Begins:  Monday, October 5th

First Group Workout:  Thursday, October 8th

Weekly Training Sessions:  Thursdays Oct 8th  – Dec 10th at 6:30pm (no group run on Thanksgiving) – Pittsburgh locations

Price:  $75  (includes $25 credit toward 2016 Relay, Half or Full Marathon Training program)



There is more to building speed and endurance than simply running as fast or as far as you can at every training run. If you are currently running 4-5 days a week but have never differentiated your workouts, this program is for you.

Master the specific “toolbox” workouts used by elite athletes by following personalized heart rate information from your Garmin to become a stronger, faster runner. 

Participants will work to pinpoint their individual heart rate goals for training sessions based on their workout efforts and be assigned a training program level appropriate to their ability.*



*Three levels of coached weekly Threshold training workouts for runners of all abilities

Essentials 1:  Perfect for newer runners trying to increase their speed or distance, who are able to comfortably run 4 miles, have achieved a minimum weekly base mileage of 15-20 miles and who have completed a 5K in over 30 minutes. 

Essentials 2 Perfect for runners who need to develop endurance and speed for longer distance events like the half and full marathon.  For runners able to comfortably run a minimum of 4 miles, who have achieved weekly base mileage of 20 miles, and can complete a 5K race in 30 minutes, or less.

Essentials 3:  For experienced runners who are able to comfortably run a minimum of 6 miles, have achieved weekly base mileage of 30 miles, and can complete a 5K race in 25 minutes, or less.


Participant Requirements

1.  Desire to become a better runner.

2.  For safety reasons, runners must be visible from front and behind and bring and wear a reflective vest and headlight or blinking light to every Thursday night workout.  


Plan Amenities

  • 10-week training plan including differentiated run workouts
  • Thursday night coached training sessions (Pittsburgh locations)
  • Speed Interval workout plan for track or treadmill
  • Weekly long runs on Sundays with Fleet Feet Flyers
  • Individualized threshold targets based on your heart rate*
  • Email access to coaches
  • $25 toward 2016 Relay, Half or Full Marathon training program (discounts cannot be combined)
  • Tech training shirt from Adidas
  • EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT DAY on Saturday, October 3rd at Fleet Feet Sports for program participants only!  Save on reflective & safety gear, personal lights and Garmin.

Wearing reflective items and/or using personal lights are required for this training program for safety.

*Although a Garmin GPS watch is not required, using one will allow participants to track assigned heart rate goals.  Participants without one will be coached by perceived exertion.   

Training with Heart Rate Clinic 

Saturday, October 3rd at 1:00 pm to provide detailed information about using a Garmin GPS with heart rate for training.

What to Expect

  • Runners with shorter-distance race experience will build base mileage and increase their pace.
  • Runners who have not yet integrated specified workouts (speedtempo and distance) into their training regimen will increase their endurance and pace.
  • Runners with half and full-marathon experience will improve their lactate threshold and hit the ground running for winter training.
  • This is a late fall/winter program.  In the case of severe weather, weekly group workouts may be cancelled.  Plan to adjust your planned training paces at outdoor sessions based on unpredictable road and trail conditions. 



Register for  Essentials of Distance Running and EQT 10-Miler and get both fall training programs for just $99 - a $25 savings!

For details about EQT 10-Miler Run, Race or Relay training programs, click here.



Karen-- Certified CoachKaren Harr, Certified Running Coach

Karen is Fleet Feet Sports’ Training Director and has competed in dozens of races including 17 marathons.  She has run the Boston Marathon six times and is a RRCA certified coach.


Kevin-- Certified CoachKevin Bright, Certified Running Coach

Kevin has coached Fleet Feet’s Marathon Training and No Boundaries Couch-to-5K programs and is a RRCA certified coach.  He is an avid runner, yoga practitioner and discovered running after embarking on a dramatic life transition to fitness. 

Jen-- CoachJen Haffner

Jen was an All Northeast Conference Runner as a member of the Saint Francis University cross country and track teams. She recently placed third place overall for women in The Liberty Mile race in Pittsburgh and 17th overall female at the 2014 Pittsburgh Marathon.  

Testimonials from previous participants

“Returning to running through No Boundaries in July 2013, reignited a dream of
finishing a marathon. I knew that I needed structure and a support system. Essentials is
a great program that helps you decide whether you can commit to the training required
for long distance running. The best part is that while the plan is structured, the speed,
tempo and easy training goal times are personalized to your actual running ability based
on recent race performance. Completing Essentials was a turning point! It built
confidence and helped me decide to continue on with marathon training leading to
crossing the finish line at the 2014 Pittsburgh Marathon. Anyone that is considering
running a half or full marathon will benefit from Essentials! “

---Cindy Y (2013 participant)

“The Essentials program really helped take my running to the next level. Over the
summer, I had developed a good base with running, but I wanted to go further and
faster. I researched online, but was overwhelmed by all the information. The support
and advice I received gave me direction and I felt more confident as a runner. I was able
to accomplish my 5k goal and used the same principles throughout my half and full
marathon training.”

---Teresa C (2013 participant)

Essentials of Distance Running More Info »

Program Start: May 12, 2016
Program Fee: $75
Register »

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