Twenty years of Team In Training
Team In Training


ph: (312) 651-7350
Local Staff Contacts

651 W. Washington Blvd., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60661


Below you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.  If you don't see an answer for your particular question, contact us at (312) 651-7355, fill out our online Tell Me More form, or meet TNT staff in person at an upcoming information meeting.

The Basics

What is Team In Training (TNT)?

Team In Training (TNT) is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) groundbreaking charity sports training program.  More than 500,000 participants, from first timers to seasoned athletes, have trained with TNT and achieved their best at marathons, half marathons, triathlons and 100-mile century bike rides.

What benefits do I receive as a TNT participant?

  • Great people. Our certified coaches provide exceptional training and clinics on fitness, nutrition, gear and injury prevention. Your teammates are there for you every step of the way. It's like having a personal trainer plus the companionship and support of a team.
  • Amazing destinations. Choices include endurance sport event locations like San Francisco, Walt Disney World, Washington D.C. and outstanding local events right here in the Chicago area.
  • Fundraising support. From your own Web page to our helpful staff and fundraising clinics. Your lodging, entry fees and pre-and post-event activities are all covered for an unforgettable weekend experience.
  • A lifesaving cause. For many, the greatest benefit of all is knowing you will be making a difference in the fight against blood cancers.

How does TNT support LLS?

TNT has reached a remarkable milestone of raising $1.4 billion to support blood cancer research and patient services.

The Mission

What is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society?

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. We have invested nearly $1 billion in research since 1949 - approximately $70 million in 2012 - specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, LLS distributed over $44.2 million in co-pay assistance and patient financial aid.  

What is LLS's mission?

Your fundraising supports LLS's mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. This mission is carried out through funding leading-edge medical research, patient assistance programs, community outreach and education programs and advocacy for legislation addressing patient issues.

What are blood cancers?

Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are cancers that originate in the bone marrow or lymphatic tissue as the result of an acquired genetic injury to the DNA of a single cell, which becomes malignant and multiplies continuously. This abnormal accumulation interferes with the production of healthy blood cells.

Can I participate in TNT in memory or honor of a particular person?

Yes, you are encouraged to participate in TNT to honor or memorialize someone special in your own life. You will have the opportunity to share their story at group trainings, include their name and picture on your TNT website, and even carry their spirit with you on your event day by writing their name on your race singlet, cycle or tri jersey.

I don't know anyone with a blood cancer. Can I still participate in TNT?

Many TNT participants come into the program without a direct personal connection to someone with a blood cancer.  That is why everyone in TNT meets our Honored Hero, a blood cancer patient or survivor who shares their personal story with our participants to give them an understanding of and connection to the mission of LLS.


What is the cost of participating in TNT?

Apart from the non-refundable, one-time $100 registration fee, there is no set personal cost to participate in TNT. If you do not reach your fundraising minimum through donations from others, we do expect that each participant cover the difference between their minimum and what they are able to raise before their event.

How difficult is the fundraising?

Your fundraising campaign is supported by members of the LLS staff and devoted fundraising mentors who help you create an individualized plan to reach, or even surpass, your minimum. Expect that you will invest time and energy into your fundraising campaign.

What kind of support do I get from LLS staff and fundraising mentors?

We provide you with a personalized fundraising web site, sample fundraising letters, ideas for events, supplies like coin boxes, posters and more. You will be in touch with your LLS staff contact and fundraising mentor throughout your training season and can rely on them to help you brainstorm, answer questions and provide advice and guidance.

Am I financially liable for reaching my minimum when I sign up?

You are not financially liable for the fundraising minimum when you first register for TNT. You have time to test-drive the program and see if it is right for you. Approximately 5-6 weeks into the program, we will ask you to recommit to your goal of reaching your fundraising minimum, and it is only at this point that you accept responsibility. Should you choose to leave the program at this point, you do so at no personal cost.

What if I can't raise the money?

We ask that our participants reach their fundraising minimum two weeks before the departure date for the event so that we can confirm travel arrangements (if a travel event). If you have not reached the fundraising minimum at this point, you will be asked to accept a charge to your personal credit card for the difference before your event.

Can I fundraise with a team?

For friends or family, corporate teams or other large groups we offer the ability to fundraise as a team using a team fundraising website. Each participant will be responsible for reaching their individual fundraising minimum. Funds donated on the team website can be automatically split between all the members of the team.

What is included in my fundraising minimum?

There are different levels of fundraising with the Team In Training program. Included in all levels of fundraising are: race entry, training program, training shirt, race singlet, fundraising and training manual. For our local events there are hotel fundraising goals and non-hotel fundraising goals.

What if I just want to fundraise whatever I can and do my race?

If you would like to participate in the event of your choice while fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and you do not want to sign paperwork or have a specific fundraising minimum, we can accommodate you. We will set you up with a personal fundraising website and invite you to fundraise whatever you would like.  Fundraisers who choose this route will not have access to the TNT training program, will not receive training supplies and will not have support from LLS staff in fundraising or in making arrangements for their event.


How do I train for my event?

The basic elements of TNT are the same for marathon and half marathon, cycle and triathlon training. We offer fully supported Saturday morning and mid-week group training sessions led by a staff of experienced coaches from the date of your kickoff party until your event. During the rest of the week you will follow a training schedule designed by your coaches and catered to your particular experience level.

What are the Saturday group training sessions like for...

  • Marathon or Half marathon?
    Participants choose one of several training locations each Saturday, conveniently located in Chicago, the North, West and South suburbs.  Trainings start at 7:00 a.m. in the summer and 8:00 a.m. in the winter months. The training season starts at roughly 40 minutes of running, walking or a combination of both, and scales up in mileage to 20 miles for a full marathon and 12 for a half, before tapering down in preparation for your event. Group trainings are supported with water and sports drink stops.
  • Cycle?
    The cyclists meet together in one location each Saturday, starting at 8:00 a.m. The location rotates weekly between a North, West and South suburban location. Trainings begin at 25 miles and gradually scale up in mileage to 80 miles before tapering down in preparation for your event. Group trainings are supported with food and water stops and reliable Support and Gear (SAG) vehicles to transport bikers in case of injury or equipment malfunction.
  • Triathlon?
    The triathlon team will train together in one location each Saturday, starting at 8:00 a.m.  The location will vary between the city and suburbs and is based on the training/clinic for that week. For safety the triathlon team will not bike in the city.

How long is a typical Saturday training for...

  • Marathon and half marathon?
    Participants can expect to be training for a length of time dependent on their running pace. A faster runner may complete the training run at a 8:00 to 9:00 minute/mile pace. Slower runners, run/walkers and walkers may complete training at upwards of 18:00 minute/mile.
  • Cycle?
    Participants can expect to be training for a length of time dependent on their cycling pace. A faster cyclist may complete their training ride at 20-25 mph, while a slower cyclist may fall in the range of 12-18 mph.
  • Triathlon?
    Participants can expect to be at training for two hours. Many of the triathlon trainings are in conjunction with a clinic (swim, bike maintenance, run technique, injury prevention).

What are the mid-week group training sessions like for...

  • Marathon or half marathon?
    During the summer months, participants meet on Wednesday night at 6:30 pm for a coach led workout in their local area (Chicago, North, West, South suburbs, Bloomington, Peoria or Champaign, IL).  Mid-week trainings prioritize stride mechanics, building strength and improving form through hill running and track workouts. 
  • Triathlon?
    Participants choose one of three training locations each Wednesday evening (depending on location), conveniently located in Chicago, the North and West suburbs. Swim training is led by TNT coaches and focuses on improving swim stroke and endurance. While TNT is not a learn-to-swim program, if participants are comfortable in the water and can swim a length in the pool, TNT participants will be able to complete distance with the coaching provided.

Is training compulsory?

No, regular attendance at training is not compulsory. We understand that people have different schedules and busy lives. While we strongly recommend group trainings as a great way to learn the basics of your sport and benefit from excellent coaching, we understand that some participants may not be able to train with the group. Triathlon participants are requested to attend at least one group swimming session before their event to demonstrate competency.

What do I do when I'm not at group training?

You will receive a comprehensive training schedule and manual that guides you on how to best prepare for your event on days when you are not at a group training session. Some days are built-in rest days, other are shorter workouts or prescribed cross-training. You will have a schedule available to you based on your experience level.

I'm already an endurance athlete. Can I train on my own?

If you already maintain a personal fitness regimen, you are more than welcome to continue your own training. We advise contacting your coaches to let them know what you are already doing. They may have advice about how to best pair your personal regime with the demands of the event you chose.

I've never done an endurance event before. Can I start without any previous training?

Many of our participants are beginners to their event, sport or to exercise in general. Our coaches are accustomed to working with first timers who are coming from a largely sedentary background, and our beginner training programs are designed to gently ease you into your chosen activity. You don't have to be in shape to do TNT. You do TNT to get in shape!

Can I do the program if I don't have a gym membership?

Yes. Any of our training programs can be completed without a gym membership. Our coaches may make suggestions for how to use weights, treadmills, cycle trainers or other gym equipment to enhance your training, but the basic elements of our sports - running, walking, cycling and swimming - can be done without any special equipment. If you are training to complete a triathlon without any swimming background, we strongly recommend that you regularly frequent a pool. In the summer months a public pool can replace a more expensive health club membership.

What stuff do I need or have to buy to participate? Do I have to buy a new bike?

For a marathon or half marathon the only equipment that you must have is a good pair of running shoes. You can start the program with whatever athletic shoes you have available, and our coaches and partner stores will coach you on how to get a specialized pair for your event. Cyclists only need a working bike, bike helmet and water bottle to participate. Whatever bike you currently own is good enough to complete your ride, and our coaches can help guide you if you decide to upgrade to a more expensive racing bike. Triathletes will need to have swim goggles, swim suit (any style for pool swimming), a bike with water bottle cage (any type of bike - mountain, hybrid, road or triathlon), bike helmet, tube change kit and running shoes. Please note: for safety reasons bikes should have brakes and working gears.

Travel and Guests

Can you lower my fundraising minimum if I don't want the hotel etc.?

For certain select events we offer fundraising minimums with and without travel expenses included. As a general policy, TNT does not alter fundraising minimums for each participant who would like to book their own lodging. 

Can I bring a guest along on my event?

Yes, TNT participants are encouraged to bring friends or family members along to their events to cheer them on.  Guests are welcome to use our group travel arrangements including accommodations and special dinners.


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