So, you’ve decided to train for an upcoming road race. Awesome! Like any other goal in life, a plan of action is a good idea. There are thousands of training plans available for all levels of runners. But technology has made training even easier with phone apps and computer programs that incorporate training plans with social media for motivation and incredible organization. Whether you are new to running and training for your first 5K, or an experienced runner embarking on a fall marathon, there is a training plan to get you ready! Below are a few popular picks, but if none of them seem to fit your needs, or you would rather stick with a free program, there are tons of other training plans on the market to explore.

C25K Couch 2 5K Training App, ($19.95): C25K is a nine week beginner’s plan of attack for tackling a 5K race. It consists of three 20-30 minute workouts per week. The workouts begin with walking and jogging for short periods of time and gradually work up to running longer and longer. The easy-to-use app keeps track of everything for you. It records goals, workouts with pace, distance, and GPS maps. You can also record how you felt during the run and connect with other runners training for similar distances. The extra motivation provided with the app definitely helps with your first race. If you have been running for a short time, and can already run a mile without walking, you may want to look for a more advanced training plan.

Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training Novice Plan App, ($9.99): Hal Higdon is a well known name in running and training. This app incorporates Higdon’s popular training plan with an interactive app that tracks your training, keeps records of your pace and progress, and maps your runs. The plan is designed for people with a basic fitness level, but assumes that you have the ability to run 3 miles. It consists of three running days per week, two regular runs and one long run, for twelve weeks. Your music can also be integrated into the programmed runs. The app graphs weekly and monthly progress and sends weekly summary emails to keep you on track. You even receive a reminder if you miss a workout.

Preparing for the 2013 Ft. Myers Marathon, ($19.95): This marathon training plan is a twenty-one week comprehensive training plan. From stretches to nutrition to recommended runs, Fitango covers it in all daily plans. The Fitango website has articles on training and nutrition, as well as numerous training plans specifically created for individual races. The Ft. Myers plan begins June 17, 2013. Once you sign up, your plan gives detailed information about the race including the course map and hotels, travel, and parking. Each day has a goal for mileage. You can enter your heart rate, distance, and time and the program will track your progress. Each day also has recommendations for stretches, rest, cross training, or nutrition. The website also has the option of connecting with “motivators” and discussing issues with other people training for the same race. Fitango also has the option to connect with fitness experts to answer any of your training questions.

Which app are you planning to try and what upcoming races are you training for? Sound off in the comments below!

By: Lianne Martin
To read more about the author, follow her on Twitter @sunshine_runner

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