2014 Mini Training Program FAQ

Here is the Mini Training Program FAQ:

 Note: Feel free to substitute the word "walker" for the word "runner" below.

  1. What has changed for 2014?
  2. What is a "pacer"?
  3. How do I decide which pace group to join?
  4. What happens if I want to move to a faster or slower pace group?
  5. How accurate can I expect a pace group leader to be?
  6. How far is the first Tuesday evening run?
  7. How far is the longest Tuesday evening run?
  8. What routes do we run?
  9. What happens if the weather is bad?
  10. Why is the Indy Runners Mini Training Program better than other local training programs?
  11. What can I expect at a seminar?
  12. What support is offered along the training course?
  13. What should I do if I get injured while training for the Mini?
  14. Are there any other opportunities to run with a group outside of the formal Tuesday training runs?
  15. Can I get a refund?
  16. Does participation in the Indy Runners Mini Training Program include an entry in the Mini?
  17. What if I still have questions?

1. What has changed for 2014?

We seek feedback from our program participants in order to make the program bigger and better. This year, we've concentrated on the experience of our walkers. You will noticed a much wider array of paces. The former 14:00 min/mile walking group, which generally included runners, speed walkers, and some combination thereof has been moved to a new combined 13 and 14 min/mile running group. (A 14 min/mile walk is a very brisk walk.) Feel free to continue using any combination of running and walking in this group, or any other groups for that matter. Instead of having the 15:00 min/mile group be the slowest walking group, we will now accommodate walkers from a 15:00 to 20:00 min/mile pace at the beginning of the program, with the expectation that slower walkers will speed up as they become more fit so that you can meet the 500 Festival Mini Marathon's time limit of 4 hours (18:19 min/mile pace). The longest training walks will now take place on Saturday mornings. See the main Mini Training Program page for further details and schedule. Why did we make these changes? Two things. You asked for slower walking groups, and we continue to aim to be "A Place For Every Pace!".

2. What is a "pacer"?

Each group will be led by at least one pace group leader (also called a "pacer"). The pacer's job is to lead his or her group at the prescribed pace, for instance, 10:00 mins/mile. This helps you get used to running a particular speed.

3. How do I decide which pace group to join?

Choose a pace at which you feel comfortable running or walking three miles for the first run/walk. You are then welcome to change pace groups in later weeks.

Are you unsure of your pace? Consider running or walking a couple marked miles before the program begins. Most outside tracks have 1/4 mile laps. The Monon Trail also has marked miles.

We also recommend wearing a watch the first week or two of the program to help determine your pacing.

4. What happens if I want to move to a faster or slower pace group?

The training pace group that you join the first night is simply a starting point. You are free to change pace groups as often as you would like. Pacers will hold up signs indicating their pace at the beginning of each run/walk. This makes it easy to find the correct group.

5. How accurate can I expect a pace group leader to be?

No pacer is perfect, but each will do his/her best to run/walk close to the prescribed pace. Issues like snow and ice will of course result in a slower run/walk that week. On long runs/walks, the time spent running/walking is more important than whether your run/walk is at an exact pace.

6. How far is the first Tuesday evening run or walk?

Be prepared to run/walk three miles outside.

7. How far is the longest Tuesday evening run or walk?

The longest Tuesday run will be 11 miles. The longest walks will occur on Saturdays, with the same longest length of 11 miles.

8. What routes do we do?

The routes may change from week to week based on construction, path conditions, etc. However, the shortest runs are expected to go through the Butler University campus with the rest of the runs occurring primarily along the scenic Central Canal Towpath. The very longest runs will head by the Velodrome. Walks may or may not use the same routes as the runs.

9. What happens if the weather is bad?

If the ground conditions are questionable, pacers may lead their groups at a slower than prescribed pace. Runs/walk will be canceled (there will likely be no make-up run/walk) if the conditions are too dangerous for running/walking. Notice of this will typically be posted on the Indy Runners web site and Facebook page as early as possible. Unless the front page of the web site says that a run is cancelled due to the weather, expect to run/walk. Cold or rainy weather will typically not cancel a training run/walk.  A thunderstorm or other severe weather will.

10. Why is the Indy Runners Mini training program better than other local training programs?


  • While each Mini training program is different, we feel that ours offers the best deal for the money.
 
  • The Indy Runners Mini training program is well established in the community. This will be program's 29th year in existence.

  • We have pacers leading each group. Many other programs have you run on your own.

  • We run primarily along the Central Canal Towpath. It has a crushed limestone surface which is softer than asphalt and allows for quicker recovery.

  • We have seminars led by knowledgeable professionals.


11. What can I expect at a seminar?

Each seminar has a speaker who is in some way connected to running. Speakers over the last few years have included a former Mini Marathon winner talking about her experience, local running store owner discussing shoe and apparel selection, Mini Marathon race director discussing the changes for that year's race and what to expect on the big day, athletic trainers discussing the importance of stretching and flexibility, and many other knowledgeable people.

12. What support is offered along the training course?

Beginning with the 7 mile run, one or more water stops will be available on the course.

13. What should I do if I get injured while training for the Mini?

An expert with St. Vincent's Sports Medicine will be available following many of the runs. Feel free to see him/her concerning any injuries you might have.

14. Are there any other opportunities to run with a group outside of the formal Tuesday training runs?

Club runs at other locations include Fishers on Thursdays, downtown Indianapolis on Wednesday evenings, Broad Ripple on Saturday mornings, and Fort Harrison on Sunday mornings. Indy Runner group runs also occur on Tuesdays at the same time and place when the training program is not in session. See here for the complete details. 

15. Can I get a refund?

Sorry, there are no refunds.

16. Does participation in the Indy Runners Mini Training Program include an entry in the Mini?

No. Registration for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon is totally separate from our mini training program.

17. What if I still have questions?

Feel free to contact the program director Chris Galloway by email at minitraining@indyrunners.org.  During the training program, you can also ask your questions at the front desk or talk with your pacers who are happy to help out.