Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about USA FIT Bay Area:

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 Bay Area?
    We will take registrations through August 31, 2018. 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 Bay Area 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 Bay Area? USA FIT Bay Area is an award-winning, 28 week running and walking program. This same program is currently being held in over 50 cities throughout the U.S. and internationally. USA FIT Bay Area will begin its next season on July 07, 2018 with a final registration on August 31, 2018. We have training programs for both half and full marathons.
  4. Who should join? USA FIT Bay Area 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. Typically, the program is for a person who has the goal of completing a full or half marathon.
  5. When is the USA FIT Bay Area season? The official USA FIT Bay Area season is the six months prior to the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon. The program usually runs from July until January.  This is when we hold our seminars and provide training schedules for our members.
  6. Where is the training? We meet at University Baptist Chuch at 16106 Middlebrook Dr., Houston, 77059
  7. Can walkers participate? Walkers are welcome! We have a wonderful walking program that will enable you to complete the Aramco Half Marathon on January 20, 2018.  You can also participate in the USA Fit Half Marathon taking place on February 3rd.
  8. Are you affiliated with a charity? USA FIT Bay Area 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 24 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 Bay Area consists of four pace groups: Red/Yellow marathon training group, Blue half marathon training group, Purple (walkers) Half marathon training group and Orange goal pace training group.   After you complete the run your pace, predict you time, 5k  you will be placed in the group that best suits your training pace. For example, if you signed up for the marathon training and you ran a 8-11 minute per mile pace then your program will be tailored , you will be a member of the Red/Yellow group. This system works because it allows you to train with those who are at your ability level.  Then there is Orange.  The Orange group was developed for those runners whith a marathon goal time in mind.    There is a beginner and an advanced program.  There is a program 5 and 6 day a week program, but is a little bit more intense.  But follow the program and you will definitely meet your marathon goal time.  Orange training begins in September. In the meantime you will be training and preparing with the offseason schedule just to keep your base.
  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? Most 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 and/or coaches.
  14. What happens on any given Saturday? The color groups warm up. We run or walk with our groups before each seminar. The seminar will start about 8:oo am  or when everyone gets back from their run/walk.  Then you can meet with your color group 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 24 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? One of our key sponsors in On the Run. We hold regular events at the store and many times they will offer discounts. USA Fit also offers discounts.
  17. How can I sign up?   In person registration for the upcoming running season scheduled for July 7 will be open soon.  You will have access to 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 during the beginning of the running season.  We will keep you posted on these dates.
  18. How much does it cost? USA FIT Bay Area’s 28 week training program costs only $140 for new members and $110 returning USA FIT members.
  19. What is included for the sign-up fee?
    • Ability-based group workouts and coaching
    • Weekly seminars
    • Weekly training schedules
    • USA FIT 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 Bay Area’s season takes place at University Baptist Church at 16106 Middlebrook Dr., Houston, 77059.  Registration will take place at 7:00 am on the following dates:  July 7, 14 and 21, 2018 from Uiversity Baptist Church located @ 16106 Middlebrook Drive, Houston, 77059.
  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 Bay Area 2018-19 season will be:
    • July 7, 2018  from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and July 14 and 21, 2018 from 7:00 to 9:00 am at University Baptist Church
    • 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.  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 Bay Area; the second seminar is a mandatory session on “Hydration and Warm Weather Running.”
  22. 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.
  23. Does entry into USA FIT Bay Area include entry into the marathon? No, your payment to USA FIT Bay Area only covers the cost of your participation in the training program. We are not affiliated with the Chevron Houston Marathon / Arramco Half Marathon in any way — we just train for it. We will provide information about how to sign up for multiple marathons that are in the Houston area.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. What if I want to find out more? Send us an e-mail at