Next Step Females in Training (FIT) – Spring 2024

The Females-in-Training (FIT) program is designed for women of all ages who want to learn to run in a supportive, non-coed environment. FIT is primarily for women who are fairly new to running or coming back to running after a break. The FIT coaches will support and guide you so that you will be ready to run a 5K (3.1 miles) distance by the end of the program. If you are already running, you are welcome to participate if you do not run faster than a 10-minute pace for your typical run. If you are already faster than this pace, we encourage you to try one of the other Striders programs. All runners must be at least 18 years of age to participate in the program.

We want running to be a way for you to meet your fitness goals while having fun and developing friendships with women who are also embarking on their running journey.

Fitness, Fun and Friendship

The FIT Motto

Training Program Structure

Participants will be divided into smaller training groups with coaches who will provide them with training that is best for their current fitness level and running method preference. We offer two types of training groups:

Group 1 – Run/Walk

Incorporates a run/walk method where short run segments are followed by a walk segment. This run/walk method is highly successful for both new and experienced runners

Group 2 – Mostly Running

Primarily running groups split by pace with only limited breaks for water or coaching

In all groups, weekly workouts will gradually increase in distance and pace. Pre-run warmups will take
place at the school followed by runs primarily on nearby paved trails. In addition, participants are
expected to run on two other days of the week to build endurance. Please note that while we offer
run/walk groups, running is a key component of the program. It is not a program for those who wish to
walk only. And we run in rain, but not during thunder or lightning!

Howard County Striders will also monitor COVID guidelines and will adjust as needed to remain in
compliance of any/all group gathering requirements for the county. We ask that all participants be
cognizant of this in order to be flexible with groupings as needed.

Training Program Location

The program will meet at Oakland Mills High School

Training Program Dates

FIT will begin on Wednesday, April 10 and continue through Wednesday, June 12. The program meets every Wednesdayfrom 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

OrientationIn-Person! Learn more about the program, coordinators and coaches, get answers to frequent questions, and learn how to select proper footwear and other running apparel.
This session is not mandatory, but it is recommended for those who have never participated in the F.I.T. program in the past.
6:30pmFeet First
Wilde Lake Village Center
Registration ClosesRegistration may close early if registration limit of 80 participants is met
Baseline RunTimed 1-mile run or run/walk to determine group placement
6:00pmOakland Mills HS
First Group Run
6:00pmOakland Mills HS
Last Group RunRefreshments and celebration to follow!
6:00pmOakland Mills HS


The program fee is $50 and includes:

  • Weekly training sessions with FIT coaches
  • Weekly email communication with coaches
  • Access to our FIT members-only Facebook page
  • Short pre-run presentations by local experts
  • Several Saturday meet up runs
  • End of season premium
  • Lots of Fitness, Fun and Friendship!

Participants MUST be a member of the Howard County Striders to participate!

Training Program Participation Fee
Howard County Striders Membership


For more information, please email FIT coordinator Helen Kottis