Fleet Feet's long runs are early Saturday morning with rotating locations and varying mileage according to your pace group and goal race. Their track workouts are on Tuesday evenings at a local junior high school. I really enjoyed being a part of this program but my fiance requested that I switch my long runs to Sunday mornings so that I would not wake him up so early on Saturdays. I knew that there were two other major running stores in the St. Louis area offering half marathon training programs, one of which offers long runs on Sundays, so I agreed to try a different program for my Spring 2016 half marathon training.
On a cost scale, Fleet Feet is the most expensive at $140. Their program offers:
- Individualized training program with a suggested workout for each day for your pace and goal race
- Discount card for in-store purchases (I believe it was 5%, but I never used it)
- Training t-shirt
- At least one coach in your pace group
- Saturday long runs at rotating locations
- Tuesday track workouts
Big River Running offers three programs which cost $99, $50, or FREE depending on which level you choose. I chose the $50 or SILVER program which seems to offer exactly what Fleet Feet was offering me minus a training t-shirt, for almost $100 more! Even if I ordered the training team sweatshirt, I would still pay less with Big River Running program.
The newest kid on the block, True Runner, offers a FREE half marathon training program with Wednesday track workouts and Saturday long runs.
You get less of an individualized program with both of the free training options above, but you still get some guidance for track workouts and long runs and most importantly (for me at least), you still get the camaraderie that group training offers.
I am very anxious to see how the Big River training program compares to Fleet Feet. So far my experience has been great. A few days after I signed up, I received a survey to help determine by pace group and learn about my running history and goal race. Then a day or two later I received my training plan via Google docs. I have already emailed one of the coaches several times with questions (this is included in my package), and received quick responses every time.
Our kick-off meeting is January 6th with our first long run bright and early on January 10th. On January 11th, I also start a 6-week evening boot camp. Prior to all of that I also have two 5k's lined up, so it time to get back in the gym and stop eating all these sweets and drinking holiday mochas and lattes. Ugh!
Happy Holidays everyone and happy training!