2020 Indy Runners & Walkers Spring Half Marathon Training Program


Half Marathon Training Program LogoIndy Walkers Logo

Why Choose the Indy Runners and Walkers Spring Training Program?

Some program changes took place in 2019 and will be continuing in 2020. Check out the following changes!

  • The STP is now included for all Indy Runners club members! That's right. Your 12 month Indy Runners membership fee now includes the STP!
  • Additional training runs/walks! The Spring Training Program will take place on Tuesdays from January through the Mini Marathon and Saturdays from March 7, 2020 through the Mini Marathon. In January and February, the week's longer runs will be done on Tuesdays from Hinkle Fieldhouse. As mileage increases, long runs will shift to Saturday mornings by the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple. Tuesday runs will continue and will be complemented with clinics and workshops. Tuesday workouts will be shorter, but high-quality workouts with optional speed training, helping to build speed and efficiency.
  • The Tuesday training runs/walks will continue to be led by experienced pacers. The Saturday runs/walks will take advantage of a larger, diverse group of runners and walkers. Participants are encouraged to team up with those like paces for the Saturday long runs. For the first time, we will be recruiting Pace Group Leaders for Saturday runs, as well.

What Hasn't Changed?

  • Our long history of supporting runners and walkers of all levels, dating back to 1986
  • Largest training program in central Indiana (300+ participants per year!)
  • Only training program providing a full array of running and walking pacers
  • Tuesday runs primarily held along the Central Canal Towpath, a "softer" crushed limestone path
  • Multi-level training schedule which allows you to train with others at your own pace
  • Recovery snacks after runs/walks
  • Knowledgeable guest speakers delivering informative seminars
  • Opportunity for consultation with sports medicine professionals and experienced runners
  • Local running store discounts (Runners Forum)
  • Indy Runners is the most comprehensive and largest running club in central Indiana
  • Social events
  • A printable training schedule to follow!

Indy Runners memberships are good for 12 months. We use RunSignup.com for membership and Spring Training Program registrations. If you have a RunSignup account, please log-in, then complete the membership registration. If you don't have an account, one will be created as part of your registration process.

Even if you are a member of Indy Runners, you must still register for our Spring Half Marathon Training Program to take part in this program. This is important and helps us with planning.


Register    Get the FAQ    


General Information

For beginning runners and walkers through the fastest competitors, the 35th Annual Indy Runners and Walkers Spring Half Marathon Training Program (STP) has a training pace to help you achieve your goal for the 500 Festival Mini MarathonSam Costa Half Marathon, the Geist Half Marathon, or any other spring half marathon around that time. While our training program schedule will be geared toward the 500 Festival Mini Marathon, alternate suggested distances can be made available for the last few weeks leading up to other half marathons.

Our training program groups runners and walkers of similar paces for weekly group runs and walks leading up to the race. Every Tuesday evening, participants will meet at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. Runners and walkers will be lead by experienced pacers along the scenic canal towpath bordering the White River or through campus paths.

Starting the week of March 7, 2020, the weekly long run/walk will move to Saturdays in Broad Ripple, but shorter (still important) training runs/walks will still be held on Tuesdays!

Training Program Contact Info

If you have any questions about this training Program, please contact the training Program director at halfmarathontraining@indyrunners.org.

9:00 Minute Pace Group


Tuesday activities (kickoff expo/packet pick-up and weekly runs/walks) take place at Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse (Gate 1) located at 500 West 49th Street. There are no Tuesday night home basketball games during Spring Training. All runs will take place on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings in 2020.

Saturday Spring Training Program runs/walks (starting March 7, 2020) will meet by the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple at the corner of E. Westfield Blvd. and Winthrop Ave. (near Brugge Brasserie). The regular Saturday club runs/walks occur on Saturdays leading up to and following the training program. Come join us!

Hinkle Fieldhouse

Kickoff Expo and Packet Pick-Up

The kickoff expo and packet pick-up is Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Come to check out our sponsors, pick-up your training packet, and meet your pace group leaders. If necessary, you may also pick-up your packet prior to the first training session from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. We strongly recommend doing so on January 14, 2020 as things will be hectic for the first training run.

What to Expect the First Week (Runners)

The first training session will be on Tuesday, January 21 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The runners will start at 6:00pm. Please arrive no later than 5:45 p.m. to find a place to park. If the parking lot in front of the fieldhouse is full, you may park along the neighborhood streets to the south. There are restrooms available for changing, etc., prior to the training session.

The training distance on January 21st will be 3 miles. Please come prepared to run the full distance.

What to Expect the First Week (Walkers)

The first training session will be on Tuesday, January 21 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The walkers will start at 5:45pm. Please arrive by 5:30pm to find a place to park. If the parking lot in front of the fieldhouse is full, you may park along the neighborhood streets to the south.

Walkers entering the program should already be capable of 2.5 miles at 20 minute/mile pace or faster. In other words, 50 minutes for 2.5 miles. Unsure of your pace? Time yourself on the Monon Trail (miles are marked) or find an outdoor track (typically 4 laps to a mile). Identify your pace then work on distance and speed over the fall and winter. Don't wait until January to begin preparation. Your chances for success are significantly enhanced when you show up on January 22nd knowing you've met or exceeded the minimum requirements!

We want to assure anyone who has dreamed of completing the 500 Festival Mini Marathon or other spring half marathon that we have a roadmap for you. We firmly believe that everyone who completes the walking program at Hinkle will surpass the 500 Festival Mini Marathon requirement of 18:18 minutes/mile for a 4 hour half marathon. You may start out slower, but we are confident our training will quicken your pace as you become accustomed to the longer walks. If you are walking another spring half marathon, be sure to note the minimum pace required so that we can assist you to be prepared to walk that pace.

We will note your pace at the first training walk. (Consider bringing a watch if you have one). This will be used for aligning everyone with the appropriate pacer starting on week 2. Our 2020 walker goal is this: Provide the environment and support to all walkers so they have the best opportunity to complete the program and finish the Mini. If we do our part, and you put in the work and complete the training, success is almost assured!

To enhance your experience, walkers will often take alternate routes from the runners to avoid trail congestion.

Weekly Runs and Walks

The training program includes a weekly run or walk on Tuesday evenings from late  January through April 2020. The walkers start at 5:45pm. The runners start at 6:00pm. The training program also includes a weekly 8:00am run or walk on all Saturdays from March 7, 2020 through the end of April.

Suggested Indy Runners Races for Spring Training

Indy Runners puts on several races during the first half of the year. We highly recommend participating in a couple of these races as part of your half marathon training. Club members preparing for a spring half marathon are strongly encouraged to run the Sam Costa Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) in March and 10 Miler associated with the Butler Bulldog Jog in early April. Both races are timed perfectly for race preparation toward the 500 Festival Mini Marathon. (See the details below!)

Sam Costa LogoSam Costa Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon

The Indy Runners Training Program has been designed to encourage participation in Indy Runners’s Sam Costa Half and Quarter Marathon, Indiana’s oldest road race. Strategically located at the midpoint of our preparation, the Sam Costa on March 21, 2020 provides an authentic racing experience for both novice and experienced runners and walkers. 

The week preceding the Sam Costa will have a shortened, relaxed training distance to facilitate maximum participation by our program members. All of our walkers, and those runners beginning or restarting their training, are strongly encouraged to enter the Sam Costa Quarter Marathon. For the veterans in our group, the iconic Sam Costa Half Marathon may be your choice. In either case, we want all of our training partners to have the Sam Costa experience as an integral part of the Indy Runners Training Program!

Butler Bulldog Jog 5K and Indy Runners 10-miler

Indy Runners and Butler University present our new race: the Butler Bulldog Jog 5K and Indy Runners 10-miler! It will take place at the Butler University Health and Recreation Complex next to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, April 11, 2020 at 8:00am. There will also be a 1 mile dog walk at 8:30am. Proceeds will benefit Butler HRC student wellness and grant programs as well as Indy Runners giving back initiatives including our scholarship program and various community projects. The dog walk will also benefit the Indianapolis Humane SocietyGet more details...

Pace Groups

Would you like to be considered for a pacer position? Contact the Program Director at halfmarathontraining@indyrunners.org. We will tentatively have pacers on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Sign up for either Tuesday or Saturday or both. Contact us to learn about our incentive program.

We need pacers for the following groups (mins/mile):

Running Pace Groups:

7:30 mins/mile

8:00 mins/mile 8:30 mins/mile 9:00 mins/mile 9:30 mins/mile

10:00 mins/mile

10:30 mins/mile 11:00 mins/mile 12:00 mins/mile 13:00 - 14:00 mins/mile


Walking Pace Group

15:00 - 20:00 mins/mile

Our training program is participant friendly with a wide array of walking paces!


Ultra Level Sponsor


Marathon Level Sponsors

Saint Vincent Sports Performance Logo

Hot Box Pizza Logo


Half-Marathon Level Sponsors


5K Level Sponsors

 Body One Logo


Mile Level Sponsors

 WandaLandQuilts Logo