1. Partnerunning programs at a glance

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A few questions on Crossing the Line.

What do I need to do to be eligible?

It is simple. Complete your training review each week. This provides discipline for your training and helps you improve your performance. It demonstrates you have been training, indicates your injury free status when you reach the starting line and maintains your eligibility for Crossing the Line.

How do I claim my Crossing the Line Guarantee?

The post race review enables you to request your Crossing the Line Guarantee. Any problems please email

Why don’t you guarantee finishing times?

There are too many variables to guarantee finishing time. Each course is different and conditions such as hills, wind and temperature make a difference. Furthermore race strategy, diet, taper and race preparation are amongst the variables that help or hinder race performance. These factors are beyond our control and whilst we are certain our programs will enable you to finish it is not possible for us to guarantee exact finishing time.

Why do I have to start my race injury free to claim the Crossing the Line Guarantee?

We advise against running when you are injured. Our programs will ensure your reach the finish line when your start injury free and we guarantee them on that basis.

Injuries that are easy to recover from can become chronic and threaten your ability to keep running if you do not treat them and allow adequate time for recovery. We are committed to long term sustainable running and fitness.

If your are injured our Pay it Forward Guarantee allows you to restart your training when injury free rather than risk further injury by running when injured.

Can I use the Crossing the Line Guarantee to Pay it Forward?

Yes absolutely. If you don’t make it to the finish and want to repeat the program for free you can. We encourage you to take this option so we can assist you identify what went wrong and to succeed in your next attempt. This option is also useful if you become ill during your event. Food poisoning and headaches are two examples of illnesses that can appear during a race.

Does the Crossing the Line Guarantee give me my money back?

Yes you can repeat the program or claim a full refund if you complete the training as indicated by your weekly training reviews, start the race injury free and do not cross the finishing line.

What if I decide I am going to miss my race goal and pull out of the race before I reach the finish line?

Mmm. If you think you might just give up because you will not make your goal time we probably are not the ideal run coaches for you. Our credo is based on never giving up and once we start we finish if at all possible and would only stop if unsafe to continue.

That said if you do decide to give up you can still claim the Crossing the Line guarantee under the same conditions as everyone else. We won’t ask any more questions and will rely on you to decide if you deserve a refund.

What if I get timed out and asked to leave the course by the race organizers?

If this happens, and in some events where they have tight cut off times it can, we leave it to you. If you want to Pay it Forward you can. If you think you deserve a refund then just claim it and we will send it to you. It is your choice.

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How does the Partnerunning Academy Guarantee work?

Partnerunning Academy Programs are designed for you to successfully complete your event. We measure our success by your success and we guarantee your success.

As a participant in a Partnerunning Academy Program you are covered by two specific guarantees. These are the Pay it Forward Guarantee and the Crossing the Line Guarantee.

Pay it Forward enables you to repeat or restart your training program if you have to defer or change your race. Crossing the Line enables you to repeat your training program or claim a refund if your start your race injury free and fail to cross the finish line.


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How does the Crossing the Line Guarantee work?

We have finished every race we have started. 100%. We fondly recall the shift from early marathon days when we worried if we would make it to the finishing line to developing confidence in our training system so we now know we will make it in all but the most unusual circumstances.

The Crossing the Line guarantee is pretty straight forward. If your complete your training program and start your event injury free we guarantee you will finish. If you don’t finish your race you can Pay it Forward and repeat the program free of charge. Alternatively you can claim a refund. We guarantee you will finish. We do not guarantee your finish time as there are too many variables (e.g. wind and hills) involved.

As an example let’s say you have completed all your training including your weekly training reviews. You start the London Marathon if perfect fitness. As you cross London Bridge you are knocked over by a giant gorilla costumed Elvis impersonator running to raise funds for charity. You hit the ground with cuts, bruises and a strained knee. Sadly you can’t go on. We can’t imagine how horrible that would be but for any reason if you start injury free and don’t make it to cross the finishing line you can repeat the program or claim a refund.

Or another example: Imagine you have done your training and completed your weekly training reviews. You are in great shape and on the starting line in you big race. Maybe it is in Honolulu, Paris, Sydney, Disneyworld, Singapore or Rio de Janeiro. It was a touch warm when you left the hotel and the sun is starting to rise in the sky. Tragically and for  unknown reasons you suffer in the heat. Medical staff advise you not to continue and you spend the next few hours on an intravenous drip. The Crossing the Line guarantee covers you in this situation and you are entitled to Pay it Forward or to claim a full refund.

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Three questions on Pay it Forward.

What do I need to do to be eligible?

It is simple. Complete your training review each week. This provides discipline for your training and helps you improve your performance. It demonstrates you have been training and maintains your eligibility for Pay it Forward.

How do I claim my Pay it Forward Guarantee?

The weekly training review enables you to request your Pay it Forward Guarantee. Any problems please email

Does the Pay it Forward Guarantee give me my money back?

No, Pay it Forward does not involve a refund. The purpose of Pay it Forward is to enable you to train for your event and to overcome the challenges of injury and changes in your schedule. When you Pay it Forward we do more work not less.

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How does the Pay it Forward Guarantee work?

We have run more than 45,000 miles (70,000 plus kilometers) side-by-side. In 2012 we will ran our 80th marathon together and we have lost count of the number of 5k, 10k and half marathons we have run. Every now and then we enter a race and enthusiastically start training only to discover we can’t make it to the starting line. Sometimes this is due to changes in family and work commitments. On a couple of occasions we have not made it to the starting line due to illness or injury.

The disappointment of not making it to the start is hard to describe and we hope you don’t experience it. However if you do all is not lost. Our Pay It Forward Guarantee means you have not lost your investment in your training program. All you need to do is let us know when completing your weekly training review and we will activate Pay it Forward.

Pay it Forward means we put your training program on hold and you can start again at no additional cost when you enter your next race.

As an example let’s say you have been accepted into the New York Marathon. You have paid for a Partnerunning Academy Marathon Training Package and after 2 months training your boss says you can’t have the time off to travel to New York but promises you can go next year. No problems. Notify us when you complete your weekly training review and we will reset the start day of your training program to the following year. We will even send you a maintenance program and provide a return to running consultation if injury is the problem.

To be eligible for the Pay it Forward Guarantee all you need to do is complete your weekly training review every week and let us know when you need to pay it forward.

Here is another example of Pay it Forward in action. It is the week before your first 10km race. Your training has gone well and you are looking forward to the big day. Out for your last training run a dog darts out from behind a tree and you swerve to miss the dog but step in a hole and sprain your ankle. Your ankle feels swollen before you hit the ground and your first 10km scheduled for a few days later is no longer possible. We can’t help you get your race entry fee back but your Pay It Forward guarantee will enable you to start your training program again when your ankle is better and you enter your next race.

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What is the difference between the Partnerunning Academy and Partnerunning Community?

The Partnerunning Academy provides all training programs. These include Run Start, Walk Start, Run/Walk Conditioning, 5km, 10km, Half Marathon and Marathon programs. Partnerunning Programs are another main feature of the Partnerunning Academy. The Academy also includes programs to support runners in areas such as diet, travel, goal setting and applying running lessons to other parts of life.

Most Partnerunning Academy Programs run for 2 to 5 months although you have access to the training program for up to 6 months. Partnerunning Academy Programs provide access to individuals. Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze packages are designed to provide an option to suit your training requirements and budget.

The Partnerunning Academy also provides corporate and fitness trainer group memberships. For example if your company is entering a team in a running event each participant can have a personal training program while we provide group coaching and development. For personal trainers your can enrol a number of your clients in individual programs while coaching them as a group.

The Partnerunning Community includes everything provided by the Partnerunning Academy plus much more. An increasing range of resources (pdf, audio and video), individual member’s pages, race reviews, webinars and the Ask Sue and Andrew service are amongst the many features in the Partnerunning Community.

Partner and Premium Members of the Partnerunning Community include membership for your partner at no additional cost. Partnerunning Community Memberships are paid monthly or annually in advance. You can discontinue your membership at any time. At less than $1 per day the Partnerunning Community is an excellent investment in your running and relationship success.

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Can I ask questions during the program?

Every program is designed to encourage you to ask questions. Answering questions and solving problems for runners is the focus of all things Partnerunning. All programs have access to forums for questions and answers. There is also a meeting place for online conversations with other runners. A Frequently Asked Question service is also available for easy access to popular questions and challenges.

Platinum, Gold and Silver members of the Partnerunning Academy have access to live webinars which include Q and A. Private coaching and consultation is available to Gold and Platinum Members.

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Can I train with a partner?

We encourage you to train with a partner.  For many people it helps with motivation, commitment and discipline. Sharing the experience can be very rewarding. Travelling to compete in a running event with your running partner is a great way to enjoy the experience and share expenses.

Life partners enjoy even more benefits of training together as the shared interest has a positive impact on “couple confidence and support”, diet, sleep, energy, gifts and holidays.

Many people report challenges when training with a partner including “we run at different speeds”. Enabling people to run together is what we are all about. The Partnerunning Academy and the Partnerunning Community provide many tips and techniques for successful partnerunning.

There are many different approaches to partnerunning. One of these is training with an online partner and by participating in a Partnerunning Academy program we look forward to being your online training partners.

The Platinum Partnerunning Academy Package includes training and coaching for couples. This gives both partners access to all features of the Partnerunning Academy. The Gold, Silver and Bronze Packages are for individual programs but there is nothing to prohibit you training with a partner.

For many people wanting to train with a partner our most popular option is the Partnerunning Community which offers a choice of membership levels. Each membership provides full access for two people. Members of the Partnerunning Community have “all you can train” access to the Partnerunning Academy which is one reason it is so popular.


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How much time will my training take each week?

The amount of time required to train depends on the event your are training for, your race time goal, the speed at which you run, the amount of cross-training you include and your current level of fitness. As a general guide we suggest you budget an average of an hour a day.

For many of our programs we recommend either running or cross training 5 or 6 days each week. The shortest training session we suggest is a 20 minute walk and the longest a 36km run or run/walk.

Estimated minimum weekly training time requirements are:

  • Run Start – 3 hours
  • 5km – 4 hours
  • 10km – 5 hours
  • Half Marathon – 6 hours
  • Marathon – 8 hours

With a mix of cross training including indoor cycle, core strength, swimming and weight training you could easily add another 4 to 6 hours.

Time spent training is a wonderful investment in your quality of life. In addition to improving your running and fitness it is an excellent way to deal with the demands and stress of day-to-day life. Time spent training can be even more productive when you train with a partner or friend.

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How do I decide what time to train for?

Deciding what time to train for can be daunting for many runners. Trying to go too fast on your runs often results in injury and disappointment. Not having a time to aim for makes motivation and good training difficult.

We recommend the first time you run in an event your race goal should be to finish. You can set time goals in subsequent events. This does not however mean you should not select a race time to train for.

Your most recent time for a 1,600 meter or 1 mile run is a good predictor of the fastest time you should train for. Depending on your speed and other commitments you may choose to train for a slower speed. Experience has show that as a new and developing runner you can expect to improve 3% to 5% on your predicted time during a training program.

A few examples include:

  • If your 1600m time trial is 9m 04s you can expect to run a 30 minute 5km.
  • If your 1600m time trial is 7m 42s you can expect to run a 55 minute 10km.
  • If your 1600m time trial is 6m 40s you can expect to run a 1hr 45 minute half marathon.
  • If your 1600m time trial is 6m 09s you can expect to run a 3hr 30 minute marathon.
  • If your 1600m time trial is 10m 33s you can expect to run a 6hr marathon.

One of the first steps in each Partnerunning Academy Training Program  is helping you select the time to train for and we have multiple programs for each distance including:

Training Program Runs per week / Months
Run Start or Walk Start Focus is on time running rather than speed. E.g. run for 20 minutes.
5km From 19 minutes 30 seconds to 45 minutes
10km From 39 minutes to 90 minutes
Half Marathon From 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours 20 seconds
Marathon From 3 hours to 7 hours

Each program also includes a To Finish Option. Standard programs are:

5km 10km Half Marathon Marathon
19 minutes 30 seconds 39 minutes 1 hours 30 minutes 3 hours
23 minutes 30 seconds 44 minutes 1 hours 37 minutes 3 hours 15 minutes
25 minutes 49 minutes 1 hours 45 minutes 3 hours 30 minutes
30 minutes 55 minutes 2 hours 3 hours 45 minutes
38 minutes 59 minutes 2 hours 15 minutes 4 hours
45 minutes 69 minutes 2 hours 30 minutes 4 hours 15 minutes
To Finish 79 minutes 2 hours 45 minutes 4 hours 30 minutes
90 minutes 3 hours 20 minutes 5 hours
To Finish To Finish 6 hours
7 hours
To Finish

For more information on selecting a training program download our Runners Guide to Selecting a Run Training Program.

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How do I decide what event to train for?

This is a great question which we break down into two parts. Which distance and then which specific event. Your answer will be guided by a range of factors including running experience, health and fitness, injuries, time to train, family and work commitments, budget, holiday time, where you live and personal preference.

There are no right or wrong answers with the exception of attempting to increase you distance too quickly. Can you go from no running to marathon? Absolutely, but it all depends on your starting fitness and the time allocated for training. As an example if you are a very fit cyclist with no injuries you will progress much quicker than someone who is very unfit and has a sore back.

So can you go from zero to marathon? Here is our suggestion:

  • In 4 months – No, the risk of injury is too great.
  • In 12 Months – Most likely
  • In 18 Months to 2 Years – For most people this is the best time frame to go from no running to marathon.

If your intention is to go from zero running to the marathon then we have a special package for you. Please contact us for details.

For new runners starting with a local 5km run or walk is an excellent entry point. From there you can progress on to a 10k either in your town / region or a nice holiday destination. For many people the 5k or 10k is their distance and they stick to it. These are great distances to run year in year out and keep in great shape.

If you have conquered the 10km then a half marathon is a great step up and of course you can call the half marathon your distance or use it as a milestone on the way to the marathon and beyond.

A good way to decide which event to train for NOW is based on the number of times you run per week and your most recent long run. Our recommended criteria are:

Training Program Runs per week / Months Recent long run
Run Start or Walk Start No running No Running
10km At least twice a week for 2 months
Half Marathon At least three times a week for 4 months 10km
Marathon At least three times a week for 4 months 10km

Partnerunning Programs include tips and recommendations on finding and selecting the best event for you. Once again it is personal choice. Three of our favorite marathons that we run as often us we can are Ross in Tasmania (100 marathoners), Honolulu Marathon (25,000 marathoners) and New York Marathon (40,000 marathoners). From a quiet countryside event to the beautiful island of Hawaii and on the excitement of New York City, each race is different. Each one is magnificent.

For more information on selecting a training program download our Runners Guide to Selecting a Run Training Program.

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Can I expect any other costs on top of my training/coaching fee?

There are no other fees or charges associated with your Partnerunning Academy program other than your training/coaching fee which you can pay monthly or in a single upfront payment.

The other expenses you can expect to incur when completing a successful running campaign are determined by your choices and may include:

  • Running shoes
  • Socks
  • Run clothes
  • Race entry fees
  • Travel to your race including transport and accommodation
  • Massage
  • Watch, glasses, cap, run belt and other equipment

Most people do not report an increase in food expenses but may modify their diet.

Another expense you may incur includes medical and physiotherapy services in the event you are injured. In our experience dealing with injury is an important part of successful running.

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How much does my Partnerunning Academy Training Program cost?

One of the great attractions of running is the diverse and inclusive nature of the world wide running community. Regardless of income and financial resources almost everyone can afford to enjoy running.

To cater for as many runners as possible and to meet individual needs we have four levels of coaching and program participation, each with a monthly or single upfront payment option.

Details of all programs, including a comparison is available on the features and pricing pages.

  • Platinum Training Programs are tailored to your needs and start at $597 per month.
  • Gold Training Programs are $147 per month
  • Silver Training Programs are $47 per month.
  • Bronze Training Programs are $27 per month.

Marathon and Half Marathon programs involve a single payment or 4 monthly payments for 6 months access to the Partnerunning Academy.

Run Start, 5km and 10km programs involve a single payment or 3 monthly payments for 6 months access to the Partnerunning Academy.


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What happens between the time I sign up and when my training starts?

Partnerunning Academy Training Programs are unique in their approach to helping you develop as a runner as well as training to run your event. In addition to helping you complete your event we have designed your program to provide a “whole” of event experience by including important running education. The material provided is in direct response to questions from runners and soon to be runners.

The Partnerunning Academy philosophy is to increase your awareness of all things running and in time to thrive as your own head coach. In keeping with this we provide you with several pre-training modules and instruction on finding your way around your training portal on the Partnerunning Academy.

You have access to the pre-training material throughout your program and we encourage you to revisit it as required. Topics include training fundamentals, goal setting and race preparation.

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How many weeks is a Partnerunning Training Program?

The length of Partnerunning Academy Training Programs depends on the event you are training for. Standard programs include:

  • Run Start, Conditioning and Maintenance programs are 8 weeks plus one week review.
  • 5k programs are 8 weeks plus one week review.
  • 10k programs are 10 weeks plus one week review.
  • Half Marathon (21.1k) programs are 16 weeks plus one week review.
  • Marathon (42.2) programs are 16 weeks plus one week.

Run Start, 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon programs provide access to the Partnerunning Academy for 6 months.

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When does my Partnerunning Training Program start?

As quickly as our automated sign up system can send you your login details you can access the pre-training material. This provides an outline for the program and material on goals setting, training fundamentals and other educational material.

At the same time we send you a short survey on your running background. This survey includes two key questions. When is your event? And what is your time goal? Within 24 hours of you completing the survey we load your personal program tailored for your time goal and race day.

  • Run Start, Walk Start, Conditioning and Maintenance programs start on the Monday following your sign up.
  • 5km training starts 8 weeks before your race.
  • 10km training starts 10 weeks before your race.
  • Half Marathon starts 16 weeks before your race.
  • Marathon training starts 16 weeks before your race.

If the length of your training program is greater than the time until your event we will contact you to discuss your situation. If we agree it is possible for you to complete the program we will adjust your program accordingly. If we think you do not have adequate time to train for your event we will refund your money or transfer you to another program.

Most people will have a waiting period between the day they sign up and when formal training commences. Your preliminary material includes a 4 week program to prepare you for week one. If you require more than this please let us know.

In summary all programs receive preliminary material as soon as you sign up and you start training:

  • Immediately for Run/Walk start, Conditioning and Maintenance programs
  • 8 weeks before your 5k event
  • 10 weeks before your 10k event
  • 16 weeks before your Half Marathon
  • 16 weeks before your Marathon

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How do Partnerunning Academy Training Programs work?

Your training program comprises three phases:

  1. Before Training Starts
  2. The Training Weeks
  3. Race and Review

Here is a summary of how it works:

Before Training

  • After you sign up we provide access to the pre-training materials.
  • One of the first things to do is select your time goal so we can provide your detailed program. We also align this with the date of your race so you receive training notifications in the correct sequence.

The Training Weeks

  • At the start of your program you will receive a full schedule of all run training activities. This allows you to plan for the weeks ahead. Some people like this however others prefer to receive the program each week. We do that too so you are covered both ways.
  • A few days before each training week your program is available in the Partnerunning Academy and we send you an email to remind you. This includes your weekly diary, training schedule and run education materials.
  • Each week you also receive a running tip and reminder about key training issues.
  • At the end of each week we encourage you to complete the weekly review which is done online. You receive a copy and it is an opportunity to ask any questions.
  • Regular webinars are held and depending on your training package you may also have private coaching and consultation sessions.

Race and Review

  • At the end of your training we conduct a post race / training review and help you decide “what next?”

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