Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about USA FIT Bend:

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 Bend?
    We will take registrations through Thursday April 23, 2015. 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 Bend does not have a drop-in program unless you are a visiting member of another USA FIT program.
  3. What is USA FIT? USA FIT is an award-winning, 24-week Marathon training program. This same program is currently being held in over 50 cities throughout the U.S. and internationally. USA FIT Bend’s current season runs March 28 – Sept. 6, 2015, and registration is open through April 23, 2015.
  4. Who should join? USA FIT Bend 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 Bend season? The official USA FIT Bend season is the 24 weeks prior to the Sunriver Marathon and runs March 28 – Sept. 6, 2015.
  6. Where is the training? Locations change on  a weekly basis; make sure you check out our weekly newsletter or Facebook page to get the latest info.
  7. Can walkers participate? We’ve have had great walking groups in years past! Each season, we build the walking program around the specific needs of the participants who show up at kick-off day. We encourage walkers to bring a friend who goes their pace to share the benefits of the program.
  8. Are you affiliated with a charity? USA FIT Bend 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 Bend consists of three pace groups: Green, Blue and Yellow. You will be placed in the group that best suits your training pace. For example, if you train at a 8:30-10-minute-per-mile pace, you will be a member of the Green 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 Saturday group workout is a one- or two-mile pace finder run. Your time for pace run/walk will place you in a color group. You should run at a pace at which you feel you could keep going for a little bit beyond those one or two miles. If you couldn’t keep 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 run my one or two mile pace finder slower when I can go faster? Simply because you are training for a marathon, not a one- or two-mile race. 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 Saturday, before 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 or USA Fit Bend coaches. 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 after each seminar. The seminar will start at 8 a.m. in the beginning of the season and 7 a.m. when it gets hot — every Saturday. After the seminar, we usually meet with our color groups for a few minutes to talk with the coaches, ask questions, and make plans for the next week. Before the weekend, you will be given the starting time for your color group (available on this website 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? Our title sponsor FootZone will host a USA FIT Bend night in May with discounts for our members. Keep an ear open for this fun event!
  17. How can I sign up? Signups are open for the 2014 season. 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 Bend’s 24-week training program costs only $125 for new members and $100 for 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 Bend T-shirt
    • Sponsor discounts
    • Social activities and more!
  20. When is the in-person sign-up session? In-person registration for USA FIT Bend’s season takes place at FootZone, 842 NW Wall St. in Bend. This kick off session is at 8 a.m. on Saturday March 28, 2015.
  21. What happens at the sign-up session? The kick off morning includes registration, an orientation seminar and a short pace-setting run or walk which helps place you in the correct training group. Everyone is strongly encouraged to come to this kickoff session.  Plan for approximately 1.5 hours. Sign up for the USA FIT Bend 2014 season will be:
    • FootZone, 842 NW Wall St in Bend – 8am
  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. You can also pay by cash or check at the in-person sign-up.
  23. Do I have to attend the kick off morning session?  It is strongly recommended. We’ll cover all the details about how the program works the first week and put you into your groups. In addition, you get to meet all of the coaches and members and become part of the family.
  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 answer, but we know not everyone can make it to week 1. The week 2 seminar will include 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 Bend include entry into the marathon? No, your payment to USA FIT Bend only covers the cost of your participation in the training program. We are not affiliated with the Portland Marathon in any way — we just train for it. Check out for information on signing up for the race.
  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.
  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, we encourage our members to participate in the local running community. 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