Training

OFFICIAL TRAINING GROUP

The official Grandma’s Marathon training group, led by certified coach Tony Stensland, is designed to prepare you for a successful race day.

Whether you’re participating in the marathon or half marathon, this is the perfect place to gain confidence while feeling the camaraderie and support of other, like-minded runners!

ABOUT TONY STENSLAND

Tony Stensland is a certified coach with USA Track & Field (USTAF) and Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), and he also holds a Level 3 Certification from the Lydiard Foundation.

Stensland has seen great success with both groups and individuals, helping hundreds achieve personal running goals ranging from first-time marathoners to Boston Marathon qualifiers.

A Duluth area resident, Stensland has been coaching runners since 2009 and has long been involved with Grandma’s Marathon while holding a deep passion for helping his runners become the best versions of themselves.

FORMAT & BENEFITS

PRICE: $189 
(This price does not include the event entry fee. Training group participants must register for their event of choice on their own.)

WHAT YOU GET: Group runs, event-specific training plan, and individual support and resources from a USATF- & RRCA-certified coach. Participants will have the option to select beginner, intermediate, or advanced training levels for either the half or full marathon.

GROUP RUNS: There will be a total of 65 group runs in the Duluth-Superior area over 22 weeks, beginning in January — Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. (7:00 a.m. beginning in April).

MONTHLY SPEAKER SERIES: Guest speakers will focus on different topics throughout the training cycle. 

TIMELINE
Registration Opens: October 1, 2023
Optional Informational Meeting: January 9, 2024 | 5:00 p.m.                         Grandma’s Marathon Office (351 Canal Park Drive, Duluth, MN)
1st Day of Training Group: January 23, 2024
Last Day to Sign Up: March 1, 2024
Race Day: June 22, 2024 

COMMUNICATION

Email will be the primary form of communication.

 

Every Sunday, group participants will receive an email from your coach with details about the coming week’s workouts. Participants may always reach out to their coach directly with questions about the training program.

 

Participants will also be invited to join a Facebook group to connect and interact with other members of the training group.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE’S BAD WEATHER?
If it’s necessary to cancel a group run due to inclement weather, participants will be notified as soon as possible via email.

 

WHERE WILL MOST GROUP RUNS BE HELD?
All group runs will be held in the Duluth-Superior area, but the most often used locations will be the Rose Garden, Canal Park, and Lester Park in Duluth.

 

CAN YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE TRAINING GROUP IF YOU’RE NOT RUNNING A GRANDMA’S MARATHON WEEKEND EVENT?
Yes. The signup for your marathon weekend event is separate, so everyone is invited to participate in the training group if desired.

 

WHAT IS THE REFUND AND/OR TRANSFER POLICY?
Training program fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.

For pre-race training and coaching programs along with apparel and other useful tips and tricks available
through our partners, please see below.

ASICS RUNKEEPER GO

Whether you train better on your own or as part of a group, the ASICS Runkeeper Go training app is here to offer the support you need ahead of race day.

As part of your registration for Grandma’s Marathon weekend, you will receive an exclusive, one-year free trial of the ASICS Runkeeper Go premium subscription, with access to features like:

  • Tailor-made training plans based on your individual goals, experience, and schedule
  • Run comparisons and advanced insights into your progress
  • Guided workouts to help motivate you along the way

If you don’t already have a Runkeeper Go account, please follow the instructions below using your mobile device to claim your one-year free trial after registering:

  1. You will receive an email after registration that sends you to the app store and prompts you to download Runkeeper.
  2. After downloading the Runkeeper app, you will be prompted to create an account.
  3. Once your account is created, you will automatically have your free trial of Runkeeper Go added to that account (as long as you initially accessed the app through the specific link sent in the email).


NOTE: Your path to claiming your free trial of Runkeeper Go should follow the screenshots as seen to the left.

If you already have a Runkeeper Go account, please follow the instructions below using your mobile device to claim your one-year free trial after registering:

  1. You will receive an email after registration that sends you to the app (you will skip ahead to the screenshot second from the right, as you do not need to create an account).\
  2. You will see a the splash screen (furthest to the right) indicating that you have unlocked your free trial of Runkeeper Go.


NOTE: Your path to claiming your free trial of Runkeeper Go should follow the screenshots as seen to the left (you will skip the first three as you don’t need to create a new account).

In addition to your free trial, ASICS will be sending our participants specific training plans leading up to our race weekend in June. Those plans are tailor-made to your specific event and will be sent out mid-winter to early spring (depending on which event you’re participating in).

Put the worries of training aside, and let Runkeeper Go help you focus instead on the fun part of reaching your finish line in June!

GEARING UP FOR GRANDMA’S

Doing the right things today can help you stay out of the medical tent on race day. We’d like to see you at the finish line, not anywhere else.

To help in that effort, our major sponsor Essentia Health offers our participants year-round support. Led by our Medical Director Kathryn McLellan and Medical Liaison Cristina Nistler, Essentia Health has a team of experts to provide you with advice on proper training habits, rest and recovery, nutrition, strength training, and much more.

Each year in Duluth, Essentia Health hosts a “Gearing Up for Grandma’s” event aimed at helping our participants physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare for their race weekend in June.

Check out the full 2024 “Gearing Up for Grandma’s” program, or click HERE for a video library of more helpful tips and tricks from doctors and experts at Essentia Health.

GEARING UP FOR GRANDMA’S

DATE
TIME
COST

LOCATION


PARKING

Saturday, January 13
8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Free (Open to the Public)

Essentia Health 1st Street Building Lobby (Building A)
420 E. 1st Street, Duluth, MN 55805

On-Street Parking (Meters in Effect)
Medical District Parking Ramp ($12/day)
302 E. 1st Street, Duluth, MN 55802

2024 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

7:30 a.m. – Doors Open
8:00 a.m. – Group Training Run (5K led by Tony Stensland)
8:30 a.m. – Breakfast Served
9:00 a.m. – Welcome & Guest Speakers

  • Chris Lundstrom (Coach, Minnesota Distance Elite)
  • Scott Keenan (Founder, Grandma’s Marathon)
  • Kathryn McLellan, MD (Essentia Health)


9:45 a.m. – Prize Drawing (5 FREE Entries to 2024 Grandma’s Marathon weekend event of your choice)
10:00 a.m. – Expo & Individual Q&A Starts

  • General Medical (Kathryn McLellan)
  • 3D Gait Analysis (Cristina Nistler)
  • Physical Therapy (Joey DeVlieger)
  • Minnesota Distance Elite (Chris Lundstrom)
  • History & Heroes (Scott Keenan)
  • Shoes & Apparel (Tortoise & Hare)
  • Official Training Group (Tony Stensland)
  • Race Information (Grandma’s Marathon)
  • Apparel Sale (Grandma’s Marathon)


10:45 a.m. – Prize Drawing #2 (5 FREE Entries to 2024 Grandma’s Marathon weekend event of your choice)
11:30 a.m. – Event Ends

NOTE: We will not be holding our traditional blowout apparel sale during the 2024 Gearing Up for Grandma’s event. All apparel for sale at the event will be new, full-price 2024 items. We plan to have a traditional blowout sale at our warehouse in Duluth in spring 2024, on a date TBD.

A video library of helpful tips and tricks from Essentia Health physicians, nutritionists, and physical therapists can be viewed HERE.