Monday, November 27, 2023

The Fit Life: Vol. 15

Have you thought about running a half-marathon (13.1 miles) or even a marathon (26.2 miles)? But does that thought run out of your head because you don’t think it’s possible?

Maybe joining a group of runners with the same goals in mind would help make it a reality.

Veteran runners Carol Virga and Tom Vladimir, owners of The Runner’s Edge in Boca Raton, are in the 18th year of offering their marathon and half-marathon training program. It’s six months of training for $125 ($100, if you’ve done the training before).

For the fee, you not only get the camaraderie of other runners, but also personalized coaching; a 16-week daily schedule of runs, including Saturday long runs; food and drinks after runs; 10 percent off the store’s running gear while you’re in the program; a subscription to the South Florida Running Forum; and more.

Don’t worry if you’re not a high-miler now. You don’t have to be to join the training program. At the very least, runners who sign up for the half-marathon training should be able to run 3 miles at a time and 10 miles a week. Marathon trainers should have a base of 5 miles at a shot and 15 miles a week.

Interested? You can do it. I ran my first marathon at age 40 and didn’t think I could. It’s a matter of putting one foot in front of the other.

To test the training waters, attend the Runner’s Edge orientation and information meeting at 7 p.m. July 18 . The program’s first run will be 6 a.m. July 20.

Carol Virga, who is among the program’s coaches and who ran a 2:43 marathon to qualify for the 1992 Olympic Marathon Trials, says the marathon and half-marathon training program offers something for runners of every pace.

“Last year we offered a run-walk option, which was hugely successful, and we will be offering that option again this year,” Virga says. “For $125, you can run with the group for six months. If you participate both Thursday night and Saturday morning, that would be roughly 48 runs with us, which puts the cost at $2.50 per session. We also write running schedules, offer advice and coaching, provide water and Gatorade along the 20-mile measured course and provide beverages, fruit, bagels, bathrooms and a shower at the start and finish. Each participant will also receive a CoolMax training singlet. Really, it’s the best deal in town!”

Runner’s Edge is at 3193 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Call 561/361-1950 or visit

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