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 !! Register HERE starting May 13th!

Experienced Coaches

To help train you and the group on Tuesday evenings and provide you timely feedback and advice to help maximize your potential !

 Training Plans

15 week Training program that targets a Half or Full marathon – leading up to Baltimore or MCM or your target Fall marathon. Three specific Plan levels depending on current fitness level and race goals

Featured Speakers

We will feature expert speakers to help educate you on running form, shoe types, Injury Prevention, Nutrition, Race Preparation and other import running and race related topics !


Group Workouts + Fun !

Ready to work hard on challenging workouts AND have fun while training with your fellow group participants and coaches?

Race Goal Success!

Armed with enthusiasm and following the training principles and coaching guidance, you will be well positioned to achieve your goals !

Premium! + Post Party !

The best part? You’ll receive a high quality premium to remember this experience! This year’s premium is a 20oz Yeti cup with lid – perfect for water or your favorite post-run beverage of choice.   And a post training pizza party to celebrate success !!

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.
    • Currently running at least 20-25 miles per/wk (base mileage) if targeting a FULL marathon, including a long run of AT LEAST 10 miles at start of program.
    • Currently running at least 10-15 miles per/wk (base mileage) if targeting a Half marathon
  • 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 (June 25th) to assess current fitness level and to group participants appropriately for optimal training and success

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
    Aimed at those currently running 10-15 miles (half) 20-25 (full) a week and are ready to take the NEXT STEP and attempt their first half or full marathon in the Fall.
  • The PR Plan
    Best suited for runners who have completed the distance once or twice before, and are ready to take the NEXT STEP to improve strength, endurance and speed … and set a personal best or PR !
    Most beneficial for experienced runners with multiple marathon finishes in the bag, and are ready to take the NEXT STEP to improve on all aspects of training, especially higher mileage averaging 60-70 miles per week.

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!

Please Note – you are required to be a current member of the Howard County Striders road runners club (RRCA). If you are not yet a member, please register here –  – and Welcome to the Striders !!

Program Logistics

DURATION : The Next Step Half/Full Marathon program runs about 16 weeks from June 25th  (time trial)  through October 22nd.  Please note!  There will be no training on Tuesday, July 2nd!  The first training run will be July 9th.

DATE, TIME, LOCATION: Groups will meet Tuesday evenings at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, MD at 6:30 p.m. The first session starts on June 25th at Centennial High School and will include program orientation and a 5 mile time trial.  Training start time will switch to 6pm when it begins to get dark earlier.

COST: Early registration (May 13 – May 20th) : $90.   From May 21st – June 25th : $100 or until sold out at 100 participants (and this program WILL SELL OUT, so Don’t Delay !!  There will be no refunds or waiting lists)

So what are you waiting for? This is where your “next step” endurance training begins!!

Click to Register Now!

(Registration opens May 13th)

Testimonials (Why we Participate !) ... "In 2012 the Next Step program got me on the path to running my first ever half marathon and full marathon, in 2015 the Next Step program helped me to achieve a PR at the Marine Corps Marathon - the workouts are challenging but do-able, and the coaches are engaging and have a breadth of knowledge that can benefit runners of any skill level. Whether you’re looking to run a new distance or pr your current distance, Next Step is the way to go!" - Chad N "The next step half/full program is one of the best experiences I have had with a training group! The coaches are knowledgeable, motivating and supportive. I have met so many great friends by participating. I have even learned to love the hills!" - Paula S. "Next Step makes Tuesday nights more than just an evening. The coaches prepare challenging work outs which seem to be insurmountable, yet somehow, we all do them. With the coaches knowledge and encouragement and by following the practice schedule provided, I got faster. This was my goal! I prepared for and ran two good marathons! But this was not even the best part of Next Step. There is nothing quite like running and pushing goals with people to turn fellow runners into friends. The "Power of the Pack" is a power to be reckoned with!" - Lynda A


Coming soon!