Knoxville 1/2 Marathon Training Program with Coach Mary

It’s been a busy Fall for the CFK Endurance team! We’ve seen athletes racing many different distances all the way from 5ks to 100 MILES, both on-road and off.  Many athletes have completed their first race of any distance, and some have even won races!  Many have overcome obstacles, done things they never thought possible, and have continued to set bigger and bigger goals through training.


All of these types of races require different things, but the one thing that’s super important in all training programs is consistency.  For running that doesn’t just mean consistently running, but also core strength, mobility, and nutrition during training and on race day, all of which is provided through Coach Mary’s Endurance programs.


 “But Coach, I HATE running!  I just want to be good at CrossFit!”

Have you ever noticed how much of CrossFit relies on running or endurance, aka aerobic capacity, to do well?  After completing the Endurance Program many athletes report increased endurance in regular WODs and less fear when running is involved!


So if you missed out on any of the fun this fall, don’t worry. There’s always a race to be run! First up in the new year is the Covenant Health Knoxville Half and Full Marathon. Training will start the first week of January, and the race will take runners through the streets of Knoxville on a very challenging (but fun!) route through this city.  Run your city!!


Check out the details below, and look for details on the Grayson Highlands Trail 1/2 Marathon to come in the new year!

Knoxville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon on March 25th

12-Week Half Marathon Training Program – January 2nd – March 25


Cost: $250

How to register: Email coach Mary


  • Bi-weekly group training sessions with coach Mary
    • Training sessions will mix short interval, long interval, and time trial efforts
    • Athletes will receive instruction & coaching on running technique, pacing & strategy, mental approach, and mobility necessary to perform their best on race day
  • Weekly custom scaling for your Crossfit WODs
    • Integrate mixed-modal training with your running in order to maintain and build core strength for faster finish times!
    • Find balance between disciplines to help you become a more healthy and durable athlete
  • Race-Day coaching
    • Everyone needs a helping hand on race day! Mary will be on the course to help you pace, get you water, and cheer you on to the finish!

**If you’re up for the full marathon, please contact Mary directly for an individualized training program sure to propel you to that PR!

About Coach Mary


“Set a goal and if it’s easy to achieve, then we’ll set a bigger one,” words endurance coach, Mary Cates says often. Her goal is to build faster, stronger and healthier athletes and help them on the road to success.


Mary started running track in middle school and ran competitively through high school and college, but it wasn’t until she graduated that she understood the need for balance as an athlete. “I’d only focused on running. Putting up as many miles as I could, and over time, my body was starting to rebel against me a little.”


A few years later, Mary faced a different challenge, battling cancer and again, trying to find that balance of staying active while keeping her body as healthy as possible in order to fight her disease. It was during that time that Mary tried her very first Crossfit class. “It was so intimidating but there were so many things I struggled with, that I knew I really needed to stick with it.” And she did. She ran her first ultramarathon a few months after starting at CFK and fell in love with making the two sports work together.


Now Mary’s goal is to help other people run efficiently, build endurance and gain strength, but one of the things she’s most proud of is the CFK Endurance community. “We’ve become like a little family within an already amazing family. We go to each other’s races, no matter how far away, and we’re out there giving support and pacing to help people get to the finish. Our motto is that no one runs alone.”


When Mary’s not coaching athletes, you can find her spending time in the mountains or racing anything from the 5k to 100milers!