The Scoop on Race Training

by April Durrett on Sep 24, 2009

There are a variety of approaches to race training, and the most appropriate will depend on the needs of your clients and your business. Discover how different trainers structure and market race training and why it’s beneficial for you and your clients.

Program Models

One-on-One Training. Lori Pine lives in a community that conducts several running events throughout the year. She trains clients for these races at In Motion Fitness in Chico, California. Clients work one-on-one with Pine for $45–$70 per session, depending on the package they purchase.

Group Training Through a Fitness Facility. After running her first marathon with Team in Training, Pam Benchley realized the power that group dynamics had in helping people prepare for a run. So Benchley, a group exercise instructor and personal trainer at Chautauqua Health & Fitness in Dunkirk, New York, teamed up with runner Amanda Oddo-Tonelli to train a group for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. “We trained for 5 weeks,” says Benchley. “We met once a week for group runs and provided ‘homework’ for the rest of the week, including walking/running, cross-training and rest days. We charged only $40 to cover the cost of the race registration, a T-shirt and snacks. The rest of the money went to the charity.”

Training in the Community. Personal trainer Lisa Pozzoni trains women to run using the EZ8 running camp method in both Avondale and Mesa, Arizona. “Once a week I focus on agility/plyometric/speed drills and the other session on endurance training. I normally time each woman’s mile on the first and last night of camp so they can see their progress,” explains Pozzoni.

For most of the year, Pozzoni charges $190 for twice-weekly and $130 for weekly sessions for 8 weeks. “To help retain clients during Arizona’s hot summer, I charge just $80 a month for twice-weekly and $50 a month for weekly meetings.”

Online Training. To help new moms complete their first 5K, Farel Bischoff Hruska, national fitness director for Stroller Strides® in San Marcos, California, offered online training through “I put together a free training program for the 20 weeks leading up to a Mother’s Day 5K of their choice,” says Hruska. “It included what they would do every day: run, strength train, cross-train and/or rest. I also included articles about running form, tips for injury prevention and information about choosing the right shoe. They could post videos, share their accomplishments and struggles and ask questions on a blog.”

Business Benefits

Race training can strengthen your business and career in the following ways.

It Creates an Extra Profit Center. “The running camps provide about 30% of my income,” Pozzoni notes. “I work with personal training clients in their homes, but the camps draw a different clientele.”

It Adds Variety to Your Work. Pozzoni loves leading the camps because she gets to be outside and help women become fit at a reasonable cost.

It Gives a Competitive Advantage. “I feel confident that our race training program will continue to expand and increase our personal/group training sales,” explains Benchley. “I think we’ll sell more club memberships, too, since we are the only club in the area to offer such a program; it really sets us apart!”

It Promotes Your Business Mission. Hruska explains why her online race coaching benefited the company she works for. “Our Stroller Strides mission statement is to ‘help moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life™’, and the online training gave us another outlet to support and encourage moms.”
For more tips on establishing a race training program, please refer to the full article, “Offering Training for Races,” in the online IDEA Library or in September 2009 IDEA Fitness Journal.

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About the Author

April Durrett

April Durrett IDEA Author/Presenter

April Durrett is a contributing editor for IDEA Fitness Journal.