Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about the Katy Fit...
- I just found out about Katy Fit, can I still join?
- I'm not a member. Do you allow drop-ins?
- What is Katy Fit?
- Who should join?
- When is the Katy Fit season?
- Where is the training?
- Can walkers participate?
- Are you affiliated with a charity?
- What's the catch? When do I have to sit through the sales pitch for a new condo in Galveston?
- How did all this come about?
Questions about the program...
- What is an ability-based color group?
- What color group will I be in?
- Why should I run my Pace Finder at an easy pace when I can go faster?
- What are the seminars about?
- What happens on any given Saturday?
- Who created our schedule?
- Do we get discounts on shoes?
Questions about signing up...
- How can I join?
- How much does it cost?
- What is included for the registration fee?
- You must be kidding. All this for $120?
- When are the in-person registration sessions?
- Where are the in-person registration sessions?
- What happens at the registration session?
- Can I pay with a credit card?
- Should I attend both orientation sessions?
- I can't make it to the first weekend -- should I still register?
- Does entry into Katy Fit include entry into the Houston Marathon?
Questions about the training...
- How much training does this program involve?
- What does 20 on the weekly schedule (during the week) mean? Are we running 20 miles?
- Do I have to be there every week?
- Can we participate in races during training?
- What if I travel during my training? Can I attend other USA FIT city programs?
I just found out about Katy Fit, can I still join?
Yes you may join during our registration period that typically runs from May to July. After July we normally close registration, but will take some experienced runners on a case by case basis.
I'm not a member. Do you allow drop-ins?
Katy Fit does not have a drop-in program. Our all-inclusive membership covers our seminars, medical advice, coaching, and training runs/walks. Visiting members from other USA Fit programs are always welcome!
What is Katy Fit?
Katy Fit is an award-winning 27 week running and walking program. This same program, currently being held in close to 40 cities throughout the country with expansions targeted internationally as well, winning rave reviews and growing every year.
Who should join?
Katy Fit 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 - running or walking. Whether you have only dreamed of completing a marathon or have done several, this program has something to offer you!
When is the Katy Fit season?
The official Katy Fit season is the six months prior to the Houston Marathon. This usually runs from July until January. However many Katy Fitizens run informally during the off season.
Where is the training?
We meet at Terry Hershey Park, between Hwy 6 and Eldridge on Memorial Drive. Check our maps link for directions.
Can walkers participate?
Walkers are welcome! We have a wonderful walking program that will enable you to complete the marathon. Please be aware, however, that the Houston Marathon requires all participants to complete the course within six hours (which requires a 13:45 per mile or better pace). Many Katy Fit walkers may choose to train for a half marathon instead, or choose a different, more walker-friendly marathon. Your coaches can provide more details.
Are you affiliated with a charity?
Katy Fit 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 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.
What's the catch? When do I have to sit through the sales pitch for a new condo in Galveston?
No catch -- really! Katy Fit is basically a running club and training program. But maybe that's like saying a Mercedes is just a car. :-) We don't sell Amway or condos in Galveston. Katy Fit has members of all shapes and sizes (including folks that probably sell Amway or invest in real estate). But what makes us special is that we all come together to run and walk and share our war stories and our victories. Check out our discussion page for a taste of the camaraderie and support. We hope you'll decide to join our club.
How did all this come about?
It all began in Houston about twenty years ago with about 50 runners, and a couple of guys with an idea that runners could benefit from some guidance and training to achieve their marathon goals.
What is an ability-based color group?
Katy Fit consists of 5 groups: ATP, Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, and Purple (walkers). All walkers are in our Purple Group regardless of pace. Runners will be placed in the group that best suits your personal training pace, and we hold Pace Finder runs on the first two weeks of our training season to help you determine your training pace. Experienced walkers or runners may also choose two new options. For a change of pace and scenery, you may choose to participate in our Trail group. Experienced runners who wish to improve their marathon finish time, or perhaps qualify for the Boston Marathon can choose our ATP group. We also offer half marathon groups for most of the above color groups.
What color group will I be in?
All walkers are in our Purple Group regardless of pace. For the runners, we will hold Pace Finder runs on our first two weekends, and your time for that Pace Finder run will help us place you in a color group. If you are an experienced runner, we're looking for an easy 5K pace. If you are a beginner, you should run the Pace Finder at a comfortable pace, such that you could continue running longer than the Pace Finder distance. If you couldn't continue running after completing the Pace Finder, then you have gone too fast.
Based on your Pace Finder run we will place you in a color group as shown in the table below. For example, if your pace for the Pace Finder is between 8.5 and 10 minutes per mile, you will be a member of the Yellow group, and you will do your long runs at a pace of between 9.5 and 11 minutes per mile. This system works because it allows you to train with those who are at your ability level. The Katy Fit color groups are defined in the following chart. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Why should I run my Pace Finder at an easy pace when I can go faster?
Simply because you are training for a marathon, not a short run. It may sound like an odd statement to make, but it is true. Walking or running too fast on your long training walks / runs will seriously compromise your ability to complete the training. If you stay at your correct training pace from the beginning, you will complete the marathon in less time, you will be far less likely to suffer an injury, and you will have a lot more fun.
What are the seminars about?
Most weekends, after the group run, we'll make some announcements, then hold a 10-15 minute seminar. Seminar topics will be health and fitness related, and will be led by knowledgeable professionals. After each seminar, you will break off into your color groups for a brief talk and question-and-answer with your coach.
What happens on any given Saturday?
You will find the starting location, starting time and distance for each Saturday workout on the Schedule page of the website. We meet our color groups at the park, warm up and stretch a bit and then run or walk with our groups. After the run or walk, we'll usually have a short meeting with our color group for a few minutes to talk with the coaches, ask questions, make plans for the next week, etc. Then, on most weeks we'll have a short seminar to cover an important topic such as Hydration, Safety, Nutrition, etc. After that, some members will usually stick around for a few minutes to ask questions of the coaches, talk with their friends, and generally socialize. And a group of hardcore Katy Fitizens will often retire to the nearest Starbucks for more camaraderie.
Who created our schedule?
Our schedule comes from the great folks at USA Fit. For over twenty years, they have been training people all over the country just like us. There are lots of different marathon training philosophies and associated programs, but ours has been tested literally tens of thousands of people over twenty years. We can say with confidence that it works!
Do we get discounts on shoes?
As a Katy Fit member you will receive a coupon in your registration packet for a discount at Luke’s Locker.
How can I join?
Registration is generally open from May to July of each year, and you can click on sign up link at the top of our home page or come out in person the first two Saturdays in July.
How much does it cost?
Katy Fit's 27 week training program costs only $120 for new members and $90 for returning USA Fit members. The Advanced Training Program (ATP) is $145, because of the additional meeting times, and additional coaching requirements.
What is included for the registration fee?
- Weekly, proven training schedules
- Seminars on important training topics
- Individual time with coaches
- Katy Fit technical-wear training shirt
- Discounts at Luke’s Locker
- Social activities and more!
You must be kidding. All this for $120?
No, we're not kidding. Isn't it great? Now why don't you do your good deed for the day and tell a friend about Katy Fit?
When are the in-person registration sessions?
Registration is open the first two Saturdays in July.
Where are the in-person registration sessions?
Registration is available at Terry Hershey Park.
What happens at the registration session?
The registration sessions include in-person registration, an orientation seminar, and a pace finder run or walk which helps place you in the correct ability-based group. Everyone is strongly encouraged to attend both of the orientation/registration sessions (Weeks 1 and 2) as the seminars will cover different information. The registration session takes approximately 1.5 - 2 hours.
Can I pay with a credit card?
When online registration is open, you can pay via credit card. Only cash or check are accepted for the in-person registrations.
Should I attend both orientation sessions?
If possible, we'd like you to attend both sessions (Weeks 1 and 2).
I can't make it to the first weekend -- should I still register?
Yes, you should still register! We'd like you to attend the first week, but we know not everyone can make it to Week 1. That's why we have another registration the following week. The Week 2 seminar will be a quick overview of Week 1, but we also have an army of Assistant Coaches ready to answer any question you have from the previous week (and any seminars that you miss during the season). They have all been through the program and can answer all your questions. Go ahead, challenge them. They're amazing.
Does entry into Katy Fit include entry into the Houston Marathon?
No, your payment to Katy Fit only covers the cost of your participation in our training program. We are not affiliated with the Houston Marathon in any way, we just train for it! You can find information on how to register for the HP Houston Marathon here.
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 4 days a week. Your long run or walk will usually take place on Saturday with your group, with the exception of the number Houston Marathon warm-up races, which are scheduled on Sundays. 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.
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 "20" on a Tuesday, you should run or walk 20 minutes. Do this at a comfortable pace unless instructed to do otherwise. On the weekends, we walk or run a specific distance, so the schedule will say something like 4 miles. Your coaches will advise you on how to pace yourself for each workout.
Do I have to be there every week?
No, many members are unable to make every weekend session. The weekend seminars are important, but you can always ask your coach or training partners about what you missed. However, those long runs/walks are a lot easier when you're doing them with the group! And in our experience, the success of our members is directly proportional to their ability to attend our weekend training runs/walks and seminars. When you do have to miss a week, check our Schedule Page for the next week's schedule.
Can we participate in races during training?
Sure! In fact, many in our group will be participating in two "warm-up 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.
What if I travel during my training? Can I attend other USA
FIT city programs?
Absolutely. USA Fit has programs in almost 40 cities around the country, and you are welcome to attend any USA Fit meeting.
Could I win the Houston Marathon?
Of course it's possible that you could. However, most likely you'll get a nice t-shirt, a finisher's medal, a mug, bragging rites and a lot of cheers from spectators and coaches. And that my friend IS winning!
What if I want to find out more?
Send us an e-mail at email@example.com Thanks!