Running seems simple. Just strap on your shoes and go, right? But once you start racking up the miles, things get more complicated. How do you stay injury free? What should you pack for a big race? How do you stay motivated when the training gets tough? We’ve collected the most helpful resources to help answer those questions, so you can keep it simple out there.
Where To Run
At home or when you’re traveling, sometimes figuring out where to run is the crux of the workout. Mapmyrun.com shows routes used by other runners near you, and it also generates routes for you using your own starting point and target distance.
If you prefer trails, hit up EveryTrail.com. While it covers road runs and paved trails, too, EveryTrail will also guide you off the beaten path.
If you’re the competitive type, Strava can turn your training runs into virtual races—even if you run by yourself. Using your phone or GPS device, Strava tracks your workout and compares your effort with past workouts and other people’s times. You can even compete with other runners on leaderboards or join group challenges.
Do you love having a personal cheering section? The Nike+ Running App works much like other run tracking programs, but it also lets you post the start of your run to Facebook, and then lets you hear real-time cheers for each corresponding “like” or comment your post receives.
RunKeeper also tracks your workouts—mileage, pace, calories burned, elevation—and can also give you audio updates while you’re running, so you don’t have to interrupt your pace, or your favorite song, to check your stats mid-run.
Are you a zombie freak? There’s even a running app for that! Zombies, Run! sucks you into a game and storyline—mashed up with your own music—that will keep you motivated by the thought of brain-eating hordes.
Few things are as big of a bummer as a running injury. But staying in tune with your body and addressing issues before they become full-blown injuries can help you stay strong. Runner’s World’s Where Do you Hurt feature makes it easy to self-diagnose and start your own prevention and rehab programs.
The Running Injury Clinic also hosts an online interactive assessment with easy-to-understand summaries of common running injuries.
Running shoe shopping can make your head spin. Should you go minimalist or motion control? Trail runners or race shoes? By narrowing down your running style, Active.com’s guide to picking running shoes will help you decide which pair is right for you.
Once you’ve narrowed your shopping choices down, check out RunBlogger’s shoe reviews to compare comments about specific shoe models. This is especially helpful if you order shoes online, since fit and sizing can be challenging.
Not sure what to wear to run in snow? Packing for a trip to the desert? Wearing the right layers makes all the difference for staying comfortable—and performing your best. Runner’s World’s What To Wear guide lets you enter specific info for each run—temperature, conditions, personal preferences—and produces a guideline for what combo should keep you comfy.
Sometimes, even when it comes to running, there is strength in numbers. If committing to group challenges helps you stay motivated, Konkura is an online network that hooks you up with other athletes to hold you accountable while you work toward specific goals.
Athlinks is another social network for endurance athletes, focusing more on rivalry and competition through its massive database of race results.
If you’re looking for real, live running partners instead of the virtual kind, check out Running in the USA and Road Runners Club Of America. They’ll hook you up with local running clubs for group runs and a supportive community.
Looking for a race in your area? Or a destination race to build a vacation around? Competitor.com’s race calendar will give you plenty of ideas, from 5Ks to adventure races.
If you’re trying to estimate your finishing time, the race pace calculator at Active.com makes it easy.
When it come to race day, stoke is high—and so are nerves. To make sure you’ve got everything dialed-in, check out Runner’s World’s race day checklist.
Share YOUR Favorite Resource
Do you have an excellent running resource? We would love to know what helps you stay active and on target with your routine. Join the conversation on Facebook, or tweet us using #BodyGlide. We can’t wait to hear from you!