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12 Saturdays | Starts August 24 Lakeland, FL 33801 US Directions


Training Only

Distance Training

$20 Registration ends August 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT
Open to ages 14+.


Share your love of running with others!


2024 Distance Group Training Schedule

The Distance Program kicks off on Saturday, August 24, and will meet every Saturday through the Lake to Lake 10k on November 2.

Our group runs will start promptly on Saturdays at 7:00 AM. To reduce heat impacts, as the mileage gets longer, the start time will change to 6:30 AM and then to 6:00 AM.

Meeting Location (north side of the parking lot):
Lakeland Library Lake Morton Location
100 Lake Morton Dr, Lakeland, FL 33801

Check-In: 6:45 AM
Announcements: 7:55 AM
Group Run Starts: 7:00 AM

Attendance is not mandatory. In addition to the Saturday in-person sessions, there will be an online community where LRC coaches will share training information, and participants can ask questions and support each other. 

*Runners must be at least 14 years of age and have a current 5k time of 50 minutes or less to participate in this program.


About the LRC Distance Program

We are thrilled to have you on board for this exciting journey towards the Lake to Lake 10k or half marathon of your choice. This year's program has been designed using a scientific body of knowledge aimed at minimizing the risk of injury while maximizing your potential.

To foster accountability, community, and encourage ongoing communication, we have a dedicated Facebook group for all participants. Joining this group will provide you with a platform to share your progress, ask questions, and gain valuable insights from both the experienced runners and those who are embarking on this journey for the first time. 

The Lakeland Runners Club is a proud member of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), which is a testament to our commitment to promoting the sport of running and fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all participants. We adhere to the RRCA's best practices and strive to provide you with top-notch running experiences.

Over the 10 weeks, our coaches will guide you through a comprehensive training program. Whether you're a seasoned runner looking to improve your personal best, a beginner aiming to complete your first 10k, or here to have fun and support the group, this program is for all of you!


2024 Coaches

Sarah Kozul
Sarah started running in 2010 to celebrate turning 40 by training for a half marathon. Sarah has been coaching groups since 2013, and is a Galloway run-walk-run and RRCA certified running coach. She enjoys exploring new routes and she has run more than 50% of Lakeland's streets. The marathon is Sarah's favorite distance and using the principles we'll cover in this program, lowered her marathon pace from 13:05 per mile at her first marathon in 2013 to an 8:44 per mile in 2018 at her 19th marathon. She continues to use run-walk-run method for many of her training runs and incorporated the method into her two Boston Qualifying marathons. Along with coaching the 10k program, Sarah is currently training for marathon #22.

Leading the Tuesday evening group interval workouts - Brian Heipp
Brian started running in 2013 to support his wife’s training for her first half, the 2014 Red Ribbon Half Marathon. He is a RRCA certified running coach and leads The Pack morning and LRC Tuesday night workouts. Brian trains and runs varying distances from 5K to the marathon, and qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2017. He garners the most satisfaction from group runs and mentoring others in the sport to incrementally improve themselves.


Overview of the 2024 Training Program

YOU are the captain of your ship (even if you are here because of friendly peer pressure 😊). YOU know YOU better than anyone, and one of the keys to success is making small changes to what you are already doing, and not try multiple new things just because someone else is or encourages you to. Remember that other people are a terrible yardstick to measure yourself against. Celebrate what you and others are able to accomplish, and don't let comparison be a thief of your joy. All of us have different home and work lives and those accompanying stresses, and many have invisible disabilities and past injury histories - be kind to yourself and to others. 

We adhere to the recommended training philosophies and paces set by the RRCA. It's up to you to manage your plan and your paces. If you prefer the run-walk method, then use it (more on this method in week one)! We cross the same start and finish mats regardless of the pace or method used to cover the distance. 

Our goals for all our participants:
1. Beat your body up as gently as possible - we are all training for the same finish line in life.
2. Arrive at the Lake to Lake 10k (or your goal race) START line as healthy or healthier than you are today.
3. Make new friends, benefit from, and contribute to our 10k training group.
4. Grow your training and racing knowledge and experience.
5. Learn more about the Lakeland Runners Club and its mission, and be persuaded to volunteer at a future LRC race or training program.

We know everyone's time is precious and our training cycle is in the heat of summer. We will send an email weekly on Sundays and post to social media about our next training topic and Saturday long run (LR) plan. It is up to you to read the information and arrive early or join in the FB discussion if you have questions. If you need to run early because that's when the long run fits your life, then do that. We recommend that you choose a few Saturdays to practice like its race day, arriving 30 - 60 minutes early, going through your preparations and warmup. 


Training Options

We have created a system of training options to accommodate a wide range of abilities and goals. 

When choosing your plan remember that you can always back down from a plan, but we do not recommend stepping up because it increases the risk of injury. We want you to beat your body up as gently as possible as you work toward your goals. You should finish most of your runs feeling like you can go back out and repeat it. 

A copy of the full plan will be made available to registered participants by August 21st.

Things to consider before choosing a plan: 
1. Review your recent training history. Is your training consistent? Do you miss days due to fatigue or other commitments? 
2. What is the longest distance you will run the month prior?
3. Do you have a history of injuries? Speedwork is great, but can also cause injuries - proceed with caution choosing Plan B or C.
4. Is the Lake to Lake 10k a goal race or just one your calendar of events to run this fall?

Each plan has two options for the Saturday long run. You'll choose your Saturday plan (LR 1, LR 2, or LR 3) based maximum distance you'll want to run during this training cycle: 6.5, 10 or 14 miles.
LR 1 is the minimum required to run the 10k (6.5 miles) - choose this if you haven't run more than 3 miles regularly in the past 2 months.
LR 2 is a longer distance that will help build endurance (10 miles) - choose this if you regularly run 3 - 5 miles and want the extra benefits that come with higher volume.
LR 3 is a half marathon plan (14 miles) for anyone who wants to incorporate this training into a half marathon cycle (aligns with St. Pete Run Fest).

Runners will also have three options to choose for the weekday schedule. All week day runs will be 60 minutes or less.
• Plan A
is 2 weekday runs with no workouts.
• Plan B is 2 or 3 weekday runs with 1 workout
• Plan C is 3+ weekday runs with two workouts. 

If you are using Plan B or Plan C, the Tuesday workout can be the one written on the plan or you can join Coach Brian at the Tuesday evening group for interval workouts. 

Consult with Brian or Sarah if you aren't sure which combination is the best fit.


Educational Topics 

Week 1 - Safety: guidelines for group runs and running alone.

Week 2 - Training Progressions: volume vs speed, pace charts, using run-walk-run

Week 3 - Training You: differences for age and gender

Week 4 - How You Move: form, mobility, stretching, strength, cross training 

Week 5 - What You Wear: shoes, tech, apparel

Week 6 - Injuries: prevention and comebacks

Week 7 - Nutrition: fueling & hydration for longer distances

Week 8 - Realistic Goal Setting: setting A, B, C goals

Week 9 - Peaking & Tapering: the hay is in the barn/you can't cram for a race

Week 10 - Race Instructions: minimize race day stress 

Week 11 - The Long Game: where to go from here


and we think you should know...

Pace groups. Depending on the size of the group and where your pace falls on the normal distribution of paces, there may or may not be someone that has the same training pace as you. If you want to make sure you have a training buddy - invite a friend to join the program with you! 

Map Skills. We will be doing out-and-back routes using two primary routes and adjusting as necessary for local events. The turnaround intersections will be marked on the map each week. Out-and-backs make the routes easier to remember, you'll get to see everyone at least once on the run. It's helpful for our volunteers and coaches to know when everyone is headed back in. Because the Lake to Lake course is net downhill for the first half and uphill the second half, we will finish with a climb back to the library each week. This helps you physically and mentally prepare for race day.

Your coaches are running coaches. We are not doctors, physical therapists, registered dieticians, or certified personal trainers. We will give you general advice on these topics as they relate to running, but we cannot diagnose or write treatment plans for you.

Shoes. If you can't remember how old your trainers are, or you've been running consistently for 3-6 months haven't gotten a new pair, a new pair may be necessary to reduce injury risk and general aches caused by worn-out gear.




Training Program Shirt

Group shirts will be ordered after registration closes. They should be available by mid-October for pick up in person at a Saturday group run. 



The safety of our participants is our highest priority. Training will be held rain or shine and will not be cancelled except for cases of severe weather or unsafe road/trail conditions. Less threatening conditions may cause alterations of the course or post-event activities to ensure participant, volunteer, and community safety. We are a nonprofit organization and all net proceeds are used to further the Lakeland Runners Club’s mission in the community. As such, no refunds or credits will be given in the case of cancellation due to weather. We promise to make every effort to produce a fair, safe and exciting training program. 


100 Lake Morton Dr
Lakeland Library Lake Morton Location
Lakeland, FL US 33801

Program Contact Info

If you have any questions about this program, click the button below.



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