Frequently Asked Questions

 Questions about Austin FIT:

Questions about the program:

Questions about signing up:

Questions about the training:

Other questions:


1. It is past the registration date. Can I still join Austin FIT?

Because training mileage increases every week, registration closes one month after the program has begun. However, admittance after that time can be granted at the discretion of Austin FIT’s management after evaluating a potential member’s level of fitness.

2. I’m not a member. Do you allow drop-ins?

Austin FIT does not have a drop-in program unless you are a visiting member of another USA FIT program. Our all-inclusive membership covers our seminars, coaching, training runs/walks, and other benefits. If you would like to visit the group before joining, please contact the program Organizer at info@austinfit.com.

3. What is Austin Fit

Austin FIT, an affiliate of USA FIT, is an award-winning, 26-week running and walking program. This same program is currently being held in over 50 cities throughout the U.S.

Austin FIT has three different training programs. Running programs may have different start dates:

There are two 26-week training programs; one 18-week training program; and one 8-week 10K program within Austin FIT Running:

  • Summer Training Program (training for fall half and full marathons) starts June 10, 2017 at 6:30 AM.
  • Fall Training Program (training for winter half and full marathons) starts August 26, 2017 at 7 AM.
    • Summer & Fall Half/Full Marathon Training location at: 150 E. Riverside Dr., Austin, Texas
  • Spring Training Program (training for Cap10k, 10-milers,  half and full marathons) starts March 3, 2018 at 8 AM
    • Spring Training and Cap10K Training location TBA

Visit our program pages to learn more about our Running Program and Team Fit.

4. Who should join?

Austin FIT is perfect for anyone who has a desire to challenge themselves, wants to exercise and make new friends, wants to increase their body strength and stamina, wants to look and feel better, or simply wants to get involved in a healthy lifestyle sport. Whether you have only dreamed of completing a full or half marathon or have done several, this program has a group and schedule to offer you.

5. When is the Austin FIT season?

Here is general information about the two six-month Run training seasons:

  • Summer Season: June – December, training for San Antonio, Chicago, New York, MCM, Dallas/BCS, and other fall races
  • Fall Season: August – February, training for the Austin Marathon & Half Marathon, 3M Half Marathon, Houston, New Orleans, and other winter races

Each season is six months in length and meets Saturday mornings.

Runner’s meeting location is at 150 E. Riverside (TxDOT parking lot). There are additional weekday training options around Austin as well. Seminars are held on Saturday mornings, and tips are available in the weekly newsletter.

6. Where is the training? Runners meet at the TxDOT building at 150 E. Riverside Drive. View the map.

7. Can walkers participate? For information about the Walking Program, please visit – www.usafitaustinwalking.com.

8. Are you affiliated with a charity? Austin FIT is not associated with a charity, and you do not need to raise money to participate in this program. There are several good marathon training programs where raising money for a charity is part of the program. While these can be effective and rewarding, we realize that it’s not for everyone, and it may be impossible to do year after year. Some of our members choose to raise money for a charity, but it certainly isn’t a requirement.

9. How did all this come about?

It all began in Houston nearly 30 years ago with 50 runners, two guys, and an idea that runners needed some guidance and training to achieve their marathon goals.

10. What is an ability-based color group?

Austin FIT consists of different pace groups: Green, Yellow, Red and Orange. (See www.usafitaustinwalking.com for the walking pace groups.) You will be placed in the group that best suits your training pace. For example, if you train at a 9:00-9:59 minute per mile pace, you will be a member of the Yellow group. This system works because it allows you to train safely with those who are at your ability level. We encourage groups running together and have pace coaches to keep you on track during Saturday’s long runs.

      • Green (8:00-8:59 min./mile pace group)
      • Yellow (9:00-9:59 min./mile pace)
      • Red (10:00-10:59 min./mile)
      • Orange (11:00-13:30 min./mile)

Another important aspect of Austin FIT is that we allow and even encourage members to move from one pace group to another, anytime they feel that they may want to slow down or speed up or to better their training experience. Moving from the full to the half or half to full marathon groups is also allowed, as members oftentimes change their training goals.

11. What color group will I be in?

Our first two weekend meetings, we have a placement run/walk of the following distances:

      • 1 Mile – New to running
      • 2 Miles – Half & Full Marathon runners

Your time for pace run/walk will place you in a color group to start with. This is a placement run or walk, not a time trial. You must run/walk at a pace at which you can carry on a comfortable conversation. Your time will place you in a color group. If you couldn’t keep running/walking after completing our initial pace finder, then you are probably going too fast. You can always move around to find the right pace group for you at any time throughout the season.

12. Why should I walk or run my placement run or walk slower when I can go faster?

Because you are training for an endurance event, it is important to determine your training pace, which will be slower than your racing pace. Walking or running too fast can seriously compromise your training season and put you at higher risk for overtraining injuries. If you find your correct training pace from the beginning, you will experience fewer injuries, and you will have a lot more fun.

13. What are the weekly seminars?

Austin FIT Summer and Fall programs will have six major seminars after the Saturday workouts at the beginning of the season. They will be available in our weekly newsletter if you happen to miss them. Topics will all be health and fitness related and will be led by knowledgeable professionals.

14. What happens on any given Saturday?

We run/walk with our groups and coaches. Each pace group is led by an Assistant Coach, and each color group is led by a Head Coach. All the coaches run or walk the routes with our members to help pace, guide, educate, and motivate during the workout. We meet on Saturdays for quick announcements (occasionally a raffle drawing), and then all groups break up into their color groups and meet with their Assistant and Head coaches to discuss the route and other information about the training. Each group is led through a series stretches and foot drills after the workout with their coach. The group finishes with breakfast at various locations around Austin.

15. Who created our schedule?

Our schedule comes from the good folks at Houston FIT. For over 24 years, they have been training people all over the country just like us. There are two training schedules offered by USA FIT: the original schedule and the advanced training schedule. Everybody has a different marathon philosophy, but ours has been tested literally tens of thousands of times.

16. Do we get discounts on shoes?

Yes, you do! As an Austin FIT member, you are eligible for discounts at Ready to Run (3616 Far West Blvd #120).

17. How can I sign up?

Austin FIT’s Summer program (training for Fall half and full marathons): Online Registration is open and continues through the end of June. In-person registration (cash or check only) is available on Saturday mornings at TxDOT. Please arrive 15 minutes early if you need to register in-person.

Online Registration opens one mont prior to each program and continues through the end of the first full 5 weeks of that program. In-person registration (cash or check only) is available on Saturday mornings at TxDOT. Please arrive 15 minutes early if you need to register in-person.

18. How much does it cost? 

Classic program: (Training for all ability levels)

  • One Season
    • New Member – $135 (One Season Only – Summer, Fall or Spring)
    • Returning Member – $105 (One Season Only)
  • Two Seasons (Summer and Fall)
    • New Member – $180
    • Returning Member – $150
  • Annual Membership (Summer, Fall and Spring)
    • Returning Member Annual – $195
    • New Member Annual – $225
  • Team FIT – additional $50/season – receive 2 additional coached workouts on Tuesday/Thursday  mornings at 5:30 a.m. in downtown Austin and a more rigorous schedule for those wanting to PR or get faster
    • One Season (Summer or Fall)
      • Returning Member w/Team FIT – $155
      • New Member w/Team FIT – $185
    • Annual Membership w/Team FIT (Team FIT offered Summer & Fall only)
      • Returning Member w/Team FIT – $270
      • New Member Annual Membership w/Team FIT – $300
  • End of season transfers
    • Summer to Fall Transfers – $50
    • Fall to Spring Transfers – $50

Why is our cost so low when you get so much? We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to join our group and train. We believe that cost should not deter you from becoming a runner or walker, reaching your goals, and experiencing this amazing journey.

19. What is included for the sign-up fee?

  • Goal-oriented 26-week training program in a fun, friendly, non-intimidating environment
  • Easy-to-follow weekly training schedules for all abilities. Coach-led and coach-supported Saturday morning long run and walk workouts with USA FIT certified and experienced coaches for all pace and ability levels
  •  Educational seminars on important training, nutritional and racing information
  • Austin FIT technical training shirt and safety shoe tag
  • Weekly informative newsletters, special guest speakers, and raffle drawings
  • Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay socially connected during the season
  • Informal weekday workouts in various locations around Austin
  • Social group events including: Saturday breakfast, happy hours, and parties (holiday and end of season)
  • Great discounts
  • Sports Medicine Professionals on-site on Saturday mornings
  • Team FIT: At an additional fee, Team FIT is an Enhanced Training Program, offers two weekday coached workouts for runners (11:00 pace and faster) seeking a more rigorous training schedule.

20. When are the in-person sign-up sessions?

You can register on-site at TxDOT during the program kick-off on Saturday morning. Look for posting for any special orientations that usually include great promotional discounts just for Austin FIT members.

21. What happens at the sign-up session?

The sign-up sessions include sign-ups, an orientation seminar, and placement run or walk which helps place you in the correct training group. Everyone is strongly encouraged to come to both of the orientation/sign-up sessions (weeks 1 and 2), as the seminars will cover different information. The sign-up session takes approximately 1.5 – 2 hours. Sign ups for the Austin FIT programs will be held in the TxDOT parking lot at 150 E. Riverside.

22. Can I pay with a credit card?

Yes. Register online by clicking on the red “Register Now” button at the top of the page to pay with a credit card. We cannot accept credit cards at our in-person sign-ups, so please sign up online with your credit card online or bring cash or check to the in-person sign-ups.

23. Do I have to attend both orientation sessions?

If possible, we’d like you to attend both sessions (weeks 1 and 2). We will cover all the details of how the program works the first week and put you into your groups. The content of the first two seminars is also different. The first week is information about Austin FIT; the second seminar is a mandatory session on “Hydration and Training in Warm Weather.”

24. I can’t make it to the first weekend. Should I still sign up?

Yes, you should still sign up! We’d like you to attend the first week for the reasons outlined in the previous Q&A, but we know not everyone can make it to week 1. That’s why we have another sign-up the following week. The week 2 seminar will be a quick overview of week 1, but we also have Coaches/Assistant Coaches ready to answer any question you have from the previous week.

25. Does entry into Austin FIT include entry into the marathon?

No. Your payment to Austin FIT only covers the cost of your participation in the training program. We will provide information about how to sign up for your target race along with any race discounts.

26. How much training does this program involve?

Realizing that most people lead very busy lives, this program is one that can easily fit into your schedule. For the most part, the program calls for running or walking only four days a week. Your long run or walk will usually take place on Saturday with your group. The day after your long run/walk is always a rest day. During the week, you run or walk for time only (i.e., 30 minutes), not for distance.

27. What does 20 on the weekly schedule (during the week) mean? Are we running 20 miles?

During the week, we run for minutes. So if the schedule says “30” on a Tuesday, you should run or walk 30 minutes. Do this at a comfortable pace unless instructed to do otherwise. On the weekends, we do miles, so the schedule will say four miles. Listen to your coaches for guidance on running these miles each week.

28. Do I have to be there every week?

While those long runs and walks are a lot easier when you’re doing them with the group, we know there are times when you won’t be able to make a weekend meeting. The seminars are important, so be sure to read the weekly newsletter to catch up on what you missed. In our experience, the success of our members is directly proportional to their ability to attend our weekend trainings along with consistency during the week. If you do have to miss a week, check this website for the next week’s schedule and communicate with your coach.

29. Can we participate in races during training?

Sure!  You certainly don’t have to be competitive about it, but it’s fun to run or walk in a different place, get a race number, and cross the finish line. If you are training for a marathon or half marathon and have never done a race, we encourage you to run or walk a 5K or 10K prior to your goal race. Communicate with your coach about your racing schedule and goals so they can help adjust your training schedule on Saturdays.

30. What if I travel during my training? Can I attend USA FIT programs in other cities?

Absolutely. USA FIT has programs in over 50 cities around the world, and you are welcome to attend any USA FIT meeting anywhere. Please email: info@austinfit.com to connect with another USA FIT city Organizer.

31. Could I win the marathon?

Hey, you never know…but most likely not.  However, you’ll get a nice T-shirt, a finisher’s medal, bragging rights, and a lot of cheers from spectators and coaches.

There are some people who will finish a marathon and skip the training. However, we believe that the journey is what makes this an amazing experience! Setting a goal, working hard for six months, waking up early on Saturday mornings, sacrificing your toe-nails, improving your overall health, and making a ton of friends along the way is WINNING! We are about the journey, not the end result. However, if that end result is a first-time finish, a 30th-time finish, a PR, an age-group win, or even an overall win, then that is awesome too!

32. What if I want to find out more? Send us an e-mail at info@austinfit.com.