Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about USA FIT Albany:

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 USA FIT Albany?
    We will take registrations through June 4, 2016. Once we are past the registration date, we cannot take any new members.
  2. I’m not a member. Do you allow drop-ins? USA FIT Albany 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 USA FIT Albany? USA FIT Albany is an award-winning, 20-week running and walking program. This same program is currently being held in over 50 cities throughout the U.S. and internationally. USA FIT Albany will begin its next season on May 21, 2016 with a final registration on June 4, 2016.
  4. Who should join? USA FIT Albany 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 USA FIT Albany season? The official USA FIT Albany season is the five months prior to the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon/Half. This usually runs from May 21, 2016 – October 9, 2016. This is when we hold our seminars and provide training schedules for our members.
  6. Where is the training? We are meeting at the back parking lot of the Rudy A Ciccotti Recreation Center at 30 Aviation Rd, Colonie, NY 12205. Please note that we do have a few destination runs that will have us meet in other locations in the Capital District during the season.
  7. Can walkers participate?  We will not be offering a walking program this season.  Joggers and runners of all levels and speeds are welcome.
  8. Are you affiliated with a charity? USA FIT Albany 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 about 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? USA FIT Albany consists of five pace groups: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red and this year Team Fit an advanced program for half marathoners 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 two- 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.
  12. Why should I walk or run my two or three mile time trial slower when I can go faster? Simply because you are training for a marathon, not a two- 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? Each weekend, 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 before after each seminar. The seminar will start at approximately 8 am every Saturday. 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. Before the weekend, you will be given the starting time for your color group (available on this site and in the e-newsletter you’ll be receiving).
  15. Who created our schedule? Our schedule comes from the great folks 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 for the 2016 season the third week in April.
  18. How much does it cost? USA FIT Albany’s 20-week training program costs only $150 for new members and $110 for returning USA FIT members.
  19. What is included for the sign-up fee?
    • Ability-based group workouts and coaching
    • Training log
    • Weekly seminars
    • Weekly training schedules
    • USA FIT Albany T-shirt
    • Discounts at sports apparel stores
    • Social activities and more!
  20. When are the in-person sign-up sessions? In-person registration for USA FIT Albany’s season takes place at the back parking lot of the Rudy A. Ciccotti Recreation Center. Sign-ups are at 7 am on the following dates: May 21, 2016 and May 28, 2016.
  21. What happens at the sign-up session? The sign-up sessions include sign-ups, an orientation seminar, and a short time trial run or walk which helps place you in the correct training group. Everyone is strongly encouraged to 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 USA FIT Albany 2015 season will be:
    • May 21, 2016 at 7 am at the back parking lot of the Rudy A. Ciccotti Recreation Center, 30 Aviation Rd, Colonie, NY 12205.
    • May 28, 2016 at 7 am at the back parking lot of the Rudy A. Ciccotti Recreation Center, 30 Aviation Rd, Colonie, NY 12205.
  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 online 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 of 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 USA FIT Albany; 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 Q&A, 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 USA FIT Albany include entry into the marathon? No, your payment to USA FIT Albany only covers the cost of your participation in the training program. We are not affiliated with the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon/Half, Palio, Wineglass Marathon/Half or other races we train for in any way — we just train for it. We will provide information about how to sign up for the races.
  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 only four days a week. Your long run  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  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 pace unless instructed to do otherwise. On the weekends, we do 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  about what you missed. We always recap our key topic in the newsletters. In our experience, the success of our members is directly proportional to their ability to attend our weekend trainings. If you do have to miss a week, check this website for the next week’s schedule.
  29. Can we participate in races during training? Sure! In fact, we will recommend several races for the group to participate in 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@usafitalbany.com.
  33. What is Team Fit? This training is more rigorous than our Classic training and will require more consistency and commitment from the runner. Half  marathon runners of all pace groups are welcome to join but we highly recommend that you are able to pace at 10.5 minutes or better. Because the workouts are longer and more intense, runners should have a three-month base before starting in order to decrease risk for injuries.Running base requirements:
    • Half Marathon distance: Participants should be able to do a 4-6 mile long run and run an additional three days a week for 20-30 minutes prior to the start of the season.