Although running is a very simple sport (just put one foot in front of the other and repeat, right?), I've found there is still a lot to learn. I am the type of person that always wants more information, so I am constantly doing research and trying new things. And since running is something I love, all of the research is actually fun for me!
Here are some of my favorite running resources:
- RunnersWorld.com - Let's get started with the granddaddy of all things running, shall we? Runnersworld.com has articles on every running subject. Want to read an interview with Ryan Hall? Want reviews of the newest minimilast shoes? Want a good recipe for a protein-filled dinner? Runnersworld.com has all that and more. And don't forget about all of the information in the comments from readers!
- Runner's World Magazine - Maybe I don't need to split this out, but I use the magazine differently than I use the website. I go to the website when I have something specific to look up, but I go to the magazine to get inspired, discover something new, and be entertained. I will read the entire magazine, which means I'll read articles that wouldn't usually peak my interest - a great way to be exposed to something new! Purchasing a magazine is a treat and a splurge for me, and I love curling up with the latest Runner's World. I always read the last page first (the "I'm a Runner" article), followed by looking over the advertised races, and then ogling the "Rave Run". I like that there are little articles/bits of advice that I can read when I have a quick second, and also longer stories that I usually read before bed. Ok, I'll quit gushing. You probably already know how great the magazine is anyway.
- CoolRunning.com - Cool Running was probably the first running forum that I discovered, and I was hooked. I love that there are discussion boards for just about every topic. There is even a specific "Newbie" discussion board which makes participating much less intimidating for those just starting out. And, of course, Cool Running is home to the infamous Couch to 5K program. There are always people doing it, which means you can easily find someone to support, motivate, or join you in the challenge!
- Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide - I read this book (by Hal Higdon) from cover to cover while training for my first marathon and loved it. There are training plans, fueling tips, inspiring stories, and solid information. Reading it while training made what I was doing a bigger part of my life. It comforted my worries and made me feel like I was getting closer to my goal even when I wasn't running.
- Hal Hidgon's Training Plans - Hands down, I think Hal has the best training plans. He offers 4 levels for a half marathon and 7 levels for a full marathon. (Novice I, Novice II, Intermediate I, etc.) The ones I've used have been very straightforward and easy for me to tweak to fit my needs.
- Running Blogs - NoMeatAthlete.com is my absolute favorite running blog. As a vegetarian runner, that might not be surprising. But Matt definitely appeals to the masses. He likes to try out new trends, he's smart, he challenges himself, and his blog is easy to read. I actually have been looking for more running specific blogs to subscribe to...do you have recommendations?
- Gmap Pedometer/Map My Run- I can't tell you how many times I've used gmap-pedometer.com. I use my Garmin to keep track of my mileage while I'm running, but sometimes I like to find out how far away something is before I plan my run. That way I'm able to decide if I can run to or from somewhere...say, to meet my friends at happy hour or home from my parents' house.
- Trial and Error - Sometimes the best way to learn something is to just try it. You can read running guides for a decade straight, but that still doesn't mean you'll get it right. You need to get out there and see what works for you! Almost every marathon training program I read suggests at least 5 days of running each week. But I know I can't do that. How do I know? I tried it and it beat me up too much. I've also tried running 3-4 days per week with great success.
- Running Club - Surrounding myself with other runners has dramatically increased my running knowledge! No matter your question, someone will usually know the answer. We've talked about everything including which races to do, what physical therapist to see, what stores have Gatorade on sale, and which stretches we like. We also share GU, play look-out during bathroom breaks, and hash-out life problems over the course of our long runs. I love running club!
Please share your favorite running resources...especially blogs! (Don't be afraid to promote your own!) I'm always eager to learn more.
Missed the previous Running Week Posts? Check the out here!: