Marathon Training Guides: A List Of The Best Online Resources

By: Kayla Keddal |

Planning to train for a marathon? Or thinking about training for a marathon? Wherever you stand, making the commitment to train is one of the most challenging parts, and finding a training plan that works for you can be just as tough as there are so many options. But, whichever road you choose, you have to feel good about all the work you’ll be putting in.

Searching for the right training plan can be a stressful task. So to make things a little easier for you, we compiled a list of popular, online marathon training programs; each offering something a little different, but all with the intention to help you reach your goals. Take a look, find your match, and hit the ground running!
Author of the popular book, Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, Hal Higdon also has a website that provides training schedules and advice from the “novice supreme” to “advanced” runner. There are even detailed guides available for senior marathoners and third-time marathon veterans, designed to reduce injury and improve performance. Hal’s website isn’t stingy with specifics, but if you need major structure imposed on your training routine, you are able to purchase a daily personal trainer online to keep you on track through preparation.
This is another site that provides daily training runs and mileage maps for the beginner through the competitive runner. The site even has a pace calculator and distance conversion tool (FYI, for those of you know still don’t know what a 5k is, it’s 3.1 miles). Also, CoolRunning offers a free running log where you can track your mileage, along with other useful resources such as injury prevention and race day tips, and e-newsletters.
This very simple, yet functional site also provides various ways to track your mileage and training progress. Complete with weekly running schedules for both half and full marathon distances, this site makes it easy to enter your workout data and stay on top of your plan. LogYourRun even provides daily weather forecasts and route tracers that estimate your run mileage.
Runners World is a great place to find specific training schedules, and pacing based on your personal time goal. Each plan provides a day-to-day training guide, complete with diet, mileage, and pacing instructions. Beginner through advanced calendars are available, however, if your desired goal time is not featured, you may customize your own through the site. A SmartCoach program allows you to adjust the calendar to your goals and fitness level to meet your personal training needs.
Olympic runner, Jeff Galloway, provides an online resource that focuses on runner safety first. If you are nervous about running your first marathon event, or are recovering from a previous running injury, preparation is the best defense. Training programs for all levels of experience are available on this site, emphasizing a balance of training and rest. Tips for avoiding conditions like plantar fasciitis and other running-related injuries are included, as well as advice for both physical and mental preparation.

If you are looking for a smartphone app to guide your training runs, there is an overwhelming number to choose from. Here are some of the more popular ones worth checking out: RunKeeper, MapMyRun, Endomondo, Strava, Runtastic, Nike+, Wahoo Fitness, iSmoothRun

No matter how you decide to train, always remember why you made the commitment. Stick to the plan, stay motivated, and train hard!