Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Houston 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 Houston FIT?
    We will take registrations up to three weeks after the first Saturday run.  Once we are past this date, we cannot take any new members.
  2. I’m not a member. Do you allow drop-ins? Houston 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, and training runs/walks.
  3. What is Houston FIT? Houston 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. Houston FIT will begin its 2015 Fall Program in May, its 2015 Winter Program in July, and its 2016 Spring Program in February.
  4. Who should join? Houston 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.
  5. When is the Houston FIT season? Houston FIT has three seasons:  Spring, Fall and Winer. Each season begins six months prior to their target marathon. The Spring program usually begins the first week in February and ends the last week of April.  The Fall Program usually begins the second weekend in May and finishes in mid November.  The Winter program usually begins the first weekend in July and finishes with the Houston Chevron Marathon and USA Fit Marathons in January.
  6. Where is the training?  Spring and Fall FIT meet at Luke’s Locker and Winter FIT meets at Memorial Park.
  7. Can walkers participate? Walkers are welcome! We have a wonderful walking program that will enable you to complete either the Fall Marathon/Half Marathon or Winter Marathon/Half Marathon you are targeting.
  8. Are you affiliated with a charity? Houston 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  25 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? Houston FIT consists of five pace groups: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, and Purple (any participant completing a mile in more than 13:45 minutes per mile). You will be placed in the group that best suits your training pace. For example, if you train at a 9-10 minute per mile pace, you will be a member of the Yellow group. This system works because it allows you to train with those who are at your ability level.
  11. What color group will I be in? Our first two weekend runs are one- or three-mile pace finder walks or runs. Your time for pace run/walk will place you in a color group. You should walk or run at a pace at which you feel you could keep going for a little bit beyond those one or three miles. If you couldn’t keep walking or running after completing our initial pace finder, then you are going too fast. All walkers are in our Purple group regardless of pace.
  12. Why should I walk or run my one or two mile time trial slower when I can go faster? Simply because you are training for a marathon, not a one- or three-mile race. Walking or running too fast will seriously compromise your training season. If you find your correct training pace from the beginning, you will complete the marathon in less time, you will experience fewer injuries, and you will have a lot more fun.
  13. What are the weekly seminars? On specified weekends, after the group run, we’ll hold a 15-20 minute educational seminar. Topics will all be health- and fitness-related and will be led by industry professionals. After each seminar, you will break off into your color groups for a brief talk and question-and-answer with your coach.
  14. What happens on any given Saturday? We run or walk with our groups.  If a seminar is scheduled, it will promptly begin at 8 a.m.  After the seminar, we usually meet with our color groups for a few minutes to talk with the coaches, ask questions, make plans for the next week, etc. Each week, you will receive any newsletter you have signed up for.  This newsletter will include key program information, your starting times for your run on the next given Saturday.
  15. Who created our schedule? Our schedule comes from the people at Houston FIT. For over 25 years, they have been training people all over the country just like us. Everybody has a different marathon philosophy, but ours has been tested literally tens of thousands of times.
  16. Do we get discounts on shoes? There will be more information to come.
  17. How can I sign up? Signups will open soon for the 2015 season. You can sign up online by clicking on the red “Register Now” button at the top of the page, or in person at one of our sign-up sessions.
  18. How much does it cost? Houston FIT’s 26-week training program costs vary depending upon the program you are participating in and how many programs you sign up for. (Fall, Winter or Combined/Year Round).  You’ll receive an additional discount if you are a returning members. Current pricing is:
  19. What is included for the sign-up fee?
    • Ability-based group workouts and coaching
    • Weekly seminars
    • Weekly training schedules
    • Houston FIT technical T-shirt
    • Discounts at sports apparel stores
    • Social activities and more!
  20. When are the in-person sign-up sessions? In-person registration is posted in the news and announcement section of the web site and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/usafithouston?ref_type=bookmark.
  21. What happens the first Saturday run and sign-up session? The sign-up sessions include sign-ups, an orientation seminar, an opportunity to meet the coaches, and a pace-finder run. Everyone is strongly encouraged to attend the first Saturday session and run. 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 current Houston FIT 2015- season are (To Be Determined):
    • Memorial Park by the volleyball courts starting at 7:30 a.m.  – 
    • Memorial Park by the volleyball courts starting at 7:00 a.m.  – 
  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, 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 about 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 Houston FIT; the second seminar is a mandatory session on hydration and warm weather running.
  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 question, 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 Houston FIT include entry into the marathon? No, your payment to Houston FIT only covers the cost of your participation in the training program. We are not affiliated with the marathon in any way — we just train for it. We will provide information about how to sign up for your target marathon or half marathon.
  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, conversational pace unless instructed to do otherwise. On the weekends, we run for 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 speak with your coach or running buddies about what you missed. In our experience, the success of our members is directly proportional to their attendance at weekend training. If you do have to miss a week, check this website or your weekly newsletter for the next week’s schedule.
  29. Can we participate in races during training? Sure! In fact, the entire group will be participating in three races this season. 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.
  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.
  31. Could I win the marathon? Of course you could. However, most likely you’ll get a nice T-shirt, a finisher’s medal, bragging rites, and a lot of cheers from spectators and coaches.
  32. What if I want to find out more? Send us an e-mail at info@houstonfit.com.