Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about USA FIT NE Ohio:

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 Northeast Ohio FIT? We are taking registrations through the middle of June to accommodate people who have completed Spring marathons or half marathons. Once we are past the registration date, we cannot allow new runners to join unless their fitness level matches where we are on our current training program for safety reasons.
  2. I’m not a member. Do you allow drop-ins? NEO FIT 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.
  3. What is Northeast Ohio FIT? Northeast Ohio FIT (NEO FIT) is an award-winning, 23-week running program. This same program is currently being held in over 50 cities throughout the U.S. and internationally. Northeast Ohio FIT will begin its next season on April 15, 2017 with a final registration  mid June 2016. NEO FIT started in the Cleveland/Akron area in 2004.
  4. Who should join? NEO 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.
  5. When is the NEO FIT season? The official NEO FIT season begins six months prior to the Akron Marathon running from mid April to late September. This is when we hold our seminars and provide training schedules for our members.
  6. Where is the training? We will be meeting at the Harriet Keeler Memorial Picnic Area in the Brecksville Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks (located off of Chippewa Creek Drive in Brecksville Reservation, west of Riverview Road in Brecksville).Directions to Harriet Keeler Memorial Picnic Area, Brecksville Reservation:
    • Access I-77 from the north or south
    • Exit at Rt. 82 East (Royalton Rd.) to Rt. 21 (Brecksville Rd.)
    • Cross Rt. 21 (Brecksville Rd.) and the entrance to Brecksville Reservation will be on the right.
    • Harriet Keeler Picnic Area is about ½ mile on the left side
  7. Can walkers participate? Northeast Ohio FIT welcomes walkers who are willing to try walking and jogging in order to finish the Half Marathon in 3-4 hours and the Full Marathon in 6-7 hours.
  8. Are you affiliated with a charity? NEO 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 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 over 25 years ago with 50 runners, two guys, and an idea that runners needed some guidance and training to achieve their marathon goals. NEO FIT started in the Cleveland/Akron area in 2004.
  10. What is an ability-based color group? NEO FIT consists of 3 groups: Blue/Green, Yellow, and Red. You will be placed in the group that best suits your training pace. For example, if you train at a 9-10 minute per mile pace, you will be a member of the Yellow group.
  11. What color group will I be in? Our first two weekend runs are 1 – 3 mile pace finder runs. Your time for the 1 – 3 miles will place you in a color group. You should run at a pace where you feel you could keep going for a little bit beyond those 1 – 3 miles. If you couldn’t keep running after completing our initial 1 -3 mile pace finder then you are going too fast. Can’t run 1 or 2 miles yet? No problem! You’ll start in the Red group!
  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 two-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? Each weekend, before the group run, we’ll hold a 10-15 minute educational seminar. Topics will all 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.
  14. What happens on any given Saturday? We run with our groups after each seminar, so the start time for the run will vary weekly. The seminar will be held almost every Saturday morning. After the seminar we usually meet with our color groups for a few minutes to talk with the coaches, ask questions, make plans for the next week, etc. Our goal is to be finished with the run and seminar/questions by 10:00 AM each Saturday. Before the weekend, you will be given the starting time, which available on the website and through a weekly email.
  15. Who created our schedule? Our schedule comes from the great folks at Houston FIT. For over 25 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? Yes, you do! As a NEO FIT member you will receive discounts at Vertical Runner and some local races. Discount information will be distributed throughout the season. Make sure to attend the weekly training seminars and runs to find out about current discounts.
  17. How can I sign up? Signups are open for the 2017 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? NEO FIT’s 23-week training program costs only $115 for new members and $90 for returning NEO FIT members.
  19. What is included for the sign-up fee?
    • Ability-based group workouts and coaching
    • Training log
    • Weekly seminars
    • Weekly training schedules
    • NEO FIT technical T-shirt
    • Discounts at sports apparel stores
    • Social activities and more!
  20. When are the in-person sign-up sessions? In person sign ups for the NEO FIT season will be:
    • April 15, 2017 @ 9:00am
    • April 22, 2017 @ 8:00am

    We will be meeting at the Harriet Keeler Memorial Picnic Area in the Brecksville Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks (located off of Chippewa Creek Drive in Brecksville Reservation, west of Riverview Road in Brecksville).

    Directions to Harriet Keeler Memorial Picnic Area, Brecksville Reservation:

    • Access I-77 from the north or south
    • Exit at Rt. 82 East (Royalton Rd.) to Rt. 21 (Brecksville Rd.)
    • Cross Rt. 21 (Brecksville Rd.) and the entrance to Brecksville Reservation will be on the right.
    • Harriet Keeler Picnic Area is about ½ mile on the left side
  21. What happens at the sign-up session? The sign-up sessions include sign-ups, an orientation seminar, and a 1 or 2 mile pace finder run which helps place you in the correct ability-based 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 NEO FIT 2016 season will be:
    • April 15, 2017 @ 9:00am
    • April 22, 2017 @ 8:00am

    We will be meeting at the Harriet Keeler Memorial Picnic Area in the Brecksville Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks (located off of Chippewa Creek Drive in Brecksville Reservation, west of Riverview Road in Brecksville).

    Directions to Harriet Keeler Memorial Picnic Area, Brecksville Reservation:

    • Access I-77 from the north or south
    • Exit at Rt. 82 East (Royalton Rd.) to Rt. 21 (Brecksville Rd.)
    • Cross Rt. 21 (Brecksville Rd.) and the entrance to Brecksville Reservation will be on the right.
    • Harriet Keeler Picnic Area is about ½ mile on the left side
  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. We cannot accept credit cards at our in-person sign-ups, so please sign up online with your credit card online or bring cash or check to the in-person sign-ups.
  23. 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 Northeast Ohio FIT; the second seminar is a mandatory session on “Hydration and Warm Weather Running.”
  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 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.
  25. Does entry into NEO FIT include entry into the marathon? No, your payment to NEO FIT only covers the cost of your participation in the training program. We are not affiliated with the Akron Marathon in any way — we just train for it. We will provide information about how to sign up for the Akron Marathon or other Fall Marathons or Half Marathons.
  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, the entire group will be participating in one race during 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.
  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 info@neohiofit.com.