Half/Full Marathon Next Step Training Program – 2024

Are you ready to take your Half or Full marathon endurance training to the “Next Step”?

If so, you’re in for a fun ride this Summer and Fall!

Program will be limited to 110 total participants

Registration opens May 27!


Participant Information

Please be advised this program is NOT intended for brand new runners, nor for anyone 18 years of age or younger. Rather, the Next Step is to take your running to the Next Level. As such, there are certain minimum essentials required to be successful :

Minimum Base Mileage

  • If targeting a FULL marathon:
    • Able to run at least 20-25 miles per/week (base mileage).
    • Able to perform a long run of AT LEAST 10 miles at start of program
  • If targeting a HALF marathon:
    • Able to run AT LEAST 10-15 miles per/week

Minimum Pace

You need to be able to maintain a pace of 13 minutes or faster pace of constant running.  Runners who are unable to maintain this pace on the time trial, may be asked to switch programs to one of a shorter distance.  We will not be including a walk/run or Galloway style training option for this program.

Time Trial

We will conduct a 5 mile time trial for all participants on the first day of the program to assess current fitness level and to group participants appropriately for optimal training and success

Training Program Structure

Based on your fitness level and goals and objectives, you can follow one of the Training Plans that will best suit you :

The BUILDER Training Plan

For runners who: 

  • Currently run 10-15 miles (half) or 20-25 (full) a week
  • Ready to attempt first half or full marathon in the Fall

The PR Plan

For runners who:

  • Completed the distance once or twice before and are ready to improve! 


For runners who:

  • Completed the distance multiple times and ready to improve! 

If you fall into any of the above categories and are determined to put the time into working hard, we want to help you reach your goals!

Training Program Location

The time trial is on June 25th at Centennial High School. The program will meet weekly at Wilde Lake High School. Nearby running routes include:

  • Lake Kittamaqundi
  • Howard Community College
  • Wilde Lake neighborhoods
  • Paths at the beginning of the Bagel Run

Training Program Dates

Next Steps Half/Full will begin on Tuesday, June 25 and continue through Tuesday, October 29. The program meets every Tuesday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.

You must arrive to be ready and start training promptly at 6p each session!

June 25Time Trial at Centennial High School
July 9First practice at Wilde Lake High School
October 22Last practice at Wilde Lake High School
October 29End of program celebration (location TBD)

Training Program Pricing

  • 16 weekly training sessions with experienced coaches
  • Weekly communication with coaches
  • Expert speakers on running form, shoe types, injury prevention, nutrition, race preparation and other important running and race related topics
  • Premium with Striders / Next Step logo
  • End of season celebration
  • Lots of Fun and Support!

Registrants must be a HCS member!!

See links below to register to the program and as a HCS member!

Early Bird
Howard County Striders Membership

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


Contact the program coordinators: