Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about DC 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 USA FIT DC (formerly DC FIT)?
    We will take registrations from May 11 to July 15th. 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 DC 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 DC? USA FIT DC is an award-winning, 24-week running and walking program, formerly called DC FIT (thus the URL). This same program is currently being held in over 50 cities throughout the U.S. and internationally. USA FIT DC will begin its next season on May 20th with a final registration on July 15th.
  4. Who should join? USA FIT DC 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 DC season? The official USA FIT DC season is the five months prior to the Marine Corps Marathon. This usually runs from mid-May until the MCM in October. This is when we hold our seminars and provide training schedules for our members.
  6. Where is the training? We are meeting at the Long Bridge Park, Crystal City, Arlington, VA. Training in VA, DC, and maybe we can get as far as MD. Mid week runs may occur at additional locations.
  7. Can walkers participate? Walkers are welcome! We have a wonderful walking program that will enable you to complete the Marine Corps Marathon or another fall marathon. Schedules for walkers are posted for half marathons and for marathon walkers are catered based on your fitness and the race you are walking.
  8. Are you affiliated with a charity? USA FIT DC 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 30 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 DC consists of up to five pace groups: Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, and Red (walkers). 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. In 2016 the group used 2 colors with Blue at sub 20 minute miles and Green being 20+ minute miles. Every year this changes to fit the needs of the runners. The color groups helps create friendly grouping of similar skills.
  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 Red 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 seminars? After each seminar, you will break off into your color groups for a brief talk and question-and-answer with your coach. In addition through out the sessons we invite guest speakers to come and provide insight into Yoga and other related activities.
  14. What happens on any given Saturday? We run or walk with our groups before after each coaches seminar. The coaches seminar will start at 11:00am 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. Additional guest seminars will occur for the whole group post running. 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 USA FIT Houston. For over 30 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. Currently USA FIT DC has no shoe store sponsor.
  17. How can I sign up? Signups are open for the 2017 season in May. 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? USA FIT DC’s 24-week training program costs only $120 for new members and $90 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 DC T-shirt
    • Discounts at sports apparel stores (When available)
    • Social activities and more!
  20. When are the in-person sign-up sessions? In-person registration for USA FIT’s season took place at Long Bridge Park
    475 Long Bridge Dr, Arlington, Virginia 22202 (Main Parking Lot). They were at 9:00AM on the following dates: May 20th, May 27th and June 3rd. Online registration is open till June 10th.
  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.
  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 all orientation sessions? If possible, we’d like you to attend all sessions. 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; 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 USAFIT DC include entry into the marathon? No, your payment to USA FIT DC only covers the cost of your participation in the training program. We are not affiliated with the Marine Corps Marathon in any way — we just train for it. We will provide information about how to sign up for the 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. Weekday group runs are not currently planned but are encouraged.
  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 or running buddies about what you missed. 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, 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. USAFIT has programs in nearly 50 cities around the U.S., 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@dcfit.net.