Norton Sports Health Training Program


Register for the Training Program!

This FREE miniMarathon and Marathon Race training program returns to in-person in 2022 and features 15 weeks of training runs for individuals, as well as training tips and more, courtesy of the Norton Sports Health team.

Runners have the opportunity to talk with professionals about nutrition, training methods, and injury prevention and education.

All registrants receive:

  • A FREE downloadable training manual
  • Opportunities to talk with training & medical experts during the in-person Training Program Kick-Off on Thursday, January 13th
  • Access to training experts to help get you ready for race day
  • Weekly training runs with Stephanie Fish from Norton Sports Health

Get Started with the Training Program! 

Join the Training Program Facebook Group to connect with other runners, get the latest updates, ask questions and join the virtual Weekly Check-In’s with and Stephanie Fish, the Norton Sports Health expert and Program Leader.


Join the Facebook Group


Plus, make sure to sign up for Text Alerts and Training Run updates! Just Text ‘nortonrun’ to 37492. (caps do not matter, but no space between words does.)

Training Program Schedule

All official training runs take place on Saturday mornings at 8:00 AM and supplemental training workouts happen on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 PM* (*with the exception of 2/15 and 2/22, which will start at 6:30 PM). Training run locations will change week to week, so you’ll get to be familiar with different parts of the race course!

The first Training Run happens on Saturday, January 15 at 8:00 AM. 

Find the Training Program locations week to week below:

  • 1/15/22 – Swags Sports Shoes South
  • 1/22/22 – PWC Pavilion at Beckley Egg Lawn
  • 1/25/22 – Big Four Station, Jeffersonville, IN
  • 1/29/22 – Big Four Station, Jeffersonville, IN
  • 2/1/22 – Iroquois Park Amphitheater
  • 2/5/22 – Seneca Park
  • 2/8/22 – Big Four Station, Jeffersonville, IN
  • 2/12/22 –  Swags Sports Shoes South
  • 2/15/22 – Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Complex* (Starts at 6:30 PM)
  • 2/19/22 – PWC Pavilion at Beckley Egg Lawn
  • 2/22/22 – Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Complex* (Starts at 6:30 PM)
  • 2/26/22 – On Your Own Training
  • 3/1/22 – Hogan’s Fountain at Cherokee Park
  • 3/5/22 – Seneca Park
  • 3/8/22 – Iroquois Park Amphitheater
  • 3/12/22 – Big Four Station, Jeffersonville, IN
  • 3/15/22 – Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Complex
  • 3/19/22 – On Your Own Training
  • 3/22/22 – Hogan’s Fountain at Cherokee Park
  • 3/26/22 – Swags Sports Shoes South
  • 3/29/22 – Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Complex
  • 4/2/22 – On Your Own Training
  • 4/5/22 – Iroquois Park Amphitheater
  • 4/9/22 – Big Four Station, Jeffersonville, IN
  • 4/12/22 – Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Complex
  • 4/16/22 – Seneca Park
  • 4/23/22 – Swags Sports Shoes South


Plus, Virtual Tuesday Training Talks return in 2022!

Stephanie Fish offers additional virtual support on Tuesdays at noon (12:00 PM via Zoom) during the Training season with Tuesday Training Talks. Learn about everything from improving your speed to how to prevent injury, with expert guest speakers.


  • 1/18/22 – Nutrition & Hydration Importance w/ Sports Nutritionist, Chris Boyd
  • 2/1/22 – Cross Training 101 w/ Norton Sports Performance Experts
  • 2/15/22 – Pace & Speed Work How-To’s w/ Coach Tim Holman 
  • 3/15/22 – Pain & Injury Talk w/ Elliot Mattingly from KORT Physical Therapy
  • 3/29/22 – Long run, rest, & tapering tips w/ Norton Sports Health Experts
  • 4/12/22 – Expect the Unexpected w/ Director of Mental Performance, Dr. Vanessa Shannon
  • 4/26/22 – Race Day FAQ’s w/ the KDF Race Director

Please note: You need register 24 hours in advance in order to receive the Zoom link.

Register for Tuesday Talks 



Download the Training Program Manual

This guide, created by Norton Sports Health experts and doctors is packed with everything you need to help you go from beginner to race ready.

Get tips for starting your training, nutritional information, cross-training suggestions, and more! Plus, get a week-by-week Training Schedule for both miniMarathon and Marathon lengths, to make sure you’re able to build up to your chosen distance. 


Download the Official 2022 Training Manual

Get the One-Page miniMarathon Training Schedule

Get the One-Page Marathon Training Schedule

What is the Norton Sports Health Training Program?

The Norton Sports Health Training Program is a FREE 15 week program designed to help runners prepare to complete the Derby Festival miniMarathon or Marathon. The training program offers week-by-week scheduled runs for mileage and a training program manual with a week-by-week suggested mileage schedule, along with nutrition, cross-training ideas, and health and safety tips.


Are there weekly training runs this year?  

Training runs will once again be offered in-person as a group this year, both on Saturday morning and on Tuesday evenings. You’ll be able to find a full schedule of the training runs on the Norton Sports Health Training Program webpage and in the Norton Sports Health KDF Training Program Facebook Group once times, dates and locations are finalized.


Will there be Health & Safety Precautions taken with the Training Program this year?

Yes. As with all Festival events this year, we will adhere to local, state, and federal COVID-19 safety guidelines to ensure the safety of participants, attendees, volunteers and organizers. The Festival continues to closely monitor developments with COVID-19 and update our policies and procedures as the guidance evolves. More specific safety measures include:

  • Staggering the Training Program Kick-Off to limit the number of guests in the venue at one time.
  • Guests will be asked to adhere to the most up-to-date masking guidelines for any events happening at indoor venues, including the Training Program Kick-Off.
  • Norton Sports Health training runs take place outside, where participants can also be socially distanced if needed. *For any Tuesday conditioning runs at an indoor track, we will adhere to any additional track guidelines around masking, and other safety precautions.


When and where are the weekly group training runs?

Training runs are held on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings each week from January-April, at different locations around Louisville. Specific details will be posted on our website & in the Facebook Group once times, dates and locations are finalized.


What if a Training Run gets canceled or delayed for weather?

You can also find the latest information on the Norton Sports Health KDF Training Program Facebook Group, or you can sign up for text reminders and updates! Just Text ‘nortonrun’ to 37492. (caps do not matter, but no space between words does.)


I have never participated in an organized road race event before. Can I really train to run or walk my first marathon or half marathon?

Many of our runners and walkers have never participated in an organized road race before, and that’s okay. Most people, even with no prior experience, can finish a full or half-marathon provided they follow a sanctioned & structured training program start to finish. It’s more a matter of being able to commit to following the program each week, than to have previous experience running.


I feel like I might be very slow compared to others, what if I can’t keep up with the rest of the group?

Don’t worry about your speed. You will be in good company as some of our runners intend to walk portions of each event.  Our group is large enough that you will always be around people in your speed range. The weekly training runs are a great community where no runner or walker is left behind.


Can I use the Norton Sports Health Training Program to train for the Virtual Race Options? 

Absolutely! Whether you run your Virtual Race all at once or over multiple days, you can follow the Training Program to help get you into running shape.


I don’t know about running gear, diet, training techniques, or body maintenance, will there be information given on these topics?

Absolutely! Many of our participants will be relative beginners at running and/or walking, so don’t feel like you are the only one.

For those new to the sport, we highly recommend attending the Norton Sports Health Training Program Kick-Off on Thursday, January 13th in-person at the Kentucky Derby Museum.   Runners will have the opportunity to view a virtual kickoff video prior to the in-person kickoff that may answer many of your questions. Norton Sports Health doctors and other sports training professionals will cover a variety of topics. These same doctors and professionals will be in attendance at the in-person kickoff on January 13th.

With the  training program, you’ll also receive a self-guided official manual from Norton Sports Health, which will be available at the kick-off and for download on our website afterwards. This training manual is designed to help walkers and runners of all levels train safely, while enjoying their time preparing for their first half or full marathon. The manual includes tips for safe walking and running, injury prevention, cross-training and nutrition. Plus, there are complete training calendars to help you stay on track.


I won’t be able to join the program until late, or I won’t be able to attend all the training runs, is that okay?

You can join the training program after the official kick-off in January, however we strongly encourage that you start your training from that first week and doing your best to keep up with the training runs on your own schedule. This will ensure you’re adequately trained to complete your race.