In the midst of the wedding activities, trying to finalize the plan, getting up to speed with new clients at work and trying to have some semblance of a social life, the beginning of the next bout of marathon training is right around the corner and I need to make my training plan! As I start to assemble it, I thoughts I’d share some of my favorite FREE online resources and books that I used when first getting the hang of things. There are a lot of sites out there that will charge you for plans, but honestly, with so many free plans I’d beg you to check these out before putting down the cash, or use your money to get two specific books.
Please note that when I find a plan, I still tailor it to fit what works best for me. Never think that what is prescribed in a plan is set in stone. Be flexible and make it your own!
Take a look at the sites and books below, and tell me, what other resources do you use?
- Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training: (SITE) Hal is a renowned coach and athlete, and a staple when it comes to training plans. This site is great as it offers free training plans for novice to advance runners – even training plans for multiple marathons.
- Cool Running: (SITE) Cool Running dubs itself as a “complete online resource for runners of all abilities and experience levels.” The articles are good and they offer training plans for the 5K to the marathon, including speed work.
- Boston Athletic Association: (SITE) When I was training for the Boston marathon, I used a combination of the BAA marathon training plan and a few of the others mentioned throughout. With BAA being the holy grail of races, I pretty much trust what they have to say.
- Runner’s World: (SITE) When I trained for some of my earlier marathons, I devoured all of the resources on Runner’s World. This plan was what I used for my first marathon.
- Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger: (BOOK) Don’t let the title scare you away, this book has a TON of great info for any runner and some solid training plans in the back. Pfitz is well-known across the running world for his solid plans, so I’d definitely recommend putting out the $13 to add it to your running library.
- Run Faster by Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald: (BOOK) Brad is a former Olympic Trials athlete and now coaches some of today’s top runners. For 10 bucks, this book teaches you to be “your own coach” based on Brad’s strategies. While different from Hal and Pfitz, it still has a ton of information and a variety of training plans.
- Race-Specific Training Plans: With any marathon of decent size, their sites usually have a section dedicated to training plans. Take advantage of this as you paid for it!
- Friends: Once I make a training plan, I share it with some of my other running friends to be my gut check. Am I crazy? Did I miss something? Am I going to burn out? I know that they will keep me in check.