Resources for Beginning Runners (and Walkers)

We are making great progress on our Half Marathon registrations. As of the close of business yesterday, we had 60 people signed up. My goal is 158, so we are 38% of the way there. (Note that I am keeping a running total of the signups in my right sidebar.)

Runner on Treadmill

Today, I wanted to share a few running resources I have found helpful. First, I have created a simple Excel spreadsheet to help you plan out your training regimen. This is a 13-week program; however, there is nothing sacred about this time-frame. I have seen at least one 10-week program.

Keep in mind that the data in the spreadsheet is customized for me. If you use it, you need to take into consideration your own fitness level, goals, and time remaining until the Big Race. If you haven’t run at all, you might want to try the The Couch to 5K Running Plan at Cool Running. My daughter, Mindy, has just started training for the half, and is reporting good results from this program.

Second, I received an email on Wednesday from Tom Green, who runs a running Web site called Runners’ Lounge. It is a community-based site where runners can connect and talk about running. The site allows users to:

  • Create profiles and talk about their training, racing, and their running lives

  • Share stories, give advice, and offer useful resources and encouragement to other runners

  • Build the community and the site content using profiles, customized groups, forums, rating systems, and wiki-formatted resource lists to share running information openly

  • Store their favorite running stuff—details of their daily running, articles, inspirational quotes, web sites, blogs, widgets, their running log, and more

  • Add and comment on running products, events or running resources, plus share their own media, including books, podcasts and video

  • Have a voice in the world of running and a place to come home to where they can connect with other runners

Best of all, it’s free. I registered and started logging my runs this morning. You can see my complete profile here.

Third, Marathon Rookie is a site I have recommended before, but it is worth mentioning again. I used their Half Marathon Training for Beginners guide last year. But this is only the beginning. The site also offers advice on nutrition, hydration, motivation, weight training, cross training, etc. It’s a treasure trove of running resources.

Fourth, Jeff Galloway’s site is also excellent. His walk-run method was extremely helpful to me. It made my training regimen manageable and gave me the confidence I needed to finish. He also has a specific training program for the half marathon.

Fifth, I’d like to mention Danny Dreyer’s ChiRunning book and site. If I had to recommend one book on running, this would be it. Danny offers “a revolutionary approach to effortless, injury free running” (the book’s subtitle). If you’ve had trouble running in the past or suffer from hip, knee, or foot pain, you must read this book. I blogged about it here several months ago.

Finally, besides a great pair of shoes, I bought an Apple iPod Shuffle that has become part of my essential gear. You can buy one from for about $75. It’s worth every penny. My wife, Gail, likes to listen to music, but I listen to books on tape. It’s a great way to do two things at once: feed your brain and strengthen your body. I blogged about it more extensively here.

What are some of your favorite running resources or gear?

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  • Scott Winter

    Mike –

    The official Country Music Marathon site gives you access to a free online training schedule from New Balance that may be helpful as well. I signed up for it yesterday.

    Also, are you counting spouses with the workforce number? My wife plans to participate with me. If not, maybe you could add a counter for all non-employee participants (you had previously opened it up to authors and agents) just to see how big the total number of people are participating that are affliated with TN.

  • mark

    I also use audiobooks, but I like the ipod nano, with the Nike+ kit. It helps keep track of the miles & the online challenges are very inspiring on those days when you just don’t feel like getting out the door.

  • Michael Hyatt


    I was not counting spouses in the workforce number; however, I have now changed the table, so check it out (see the right sidebar). I am now including spouses, and authors & agents.



  • Mary E. DeMuth

    My favorite pieces of equipment are my Asics running shoes. LOVE them.

    Thanks for these sites. I needed that training schedule!

  • Mindy


    You might want to say a little word about training to those from your office who are starting this venture having never run at all. Hmmm…sounds like myself. Some of the training looks overwhelming when it starts you running 3 miles. Those who are a beginner in the truest sense of the word might try the “From Couch to 5K” program on It obviously isn’t training your for a half-marathon, but it is a good starting point and very doable. I’m doing it with great progress…and fun!

  • Michael Hyatt


    Really good point! I assume you are talking about the Excel spreadsheet. I will make a further clarification the post.



  • Hydrateme

    I find a device called ‘AquaJoe’ to be a great help in longer training runs. It lets me turn water into sports drink under any conditions. Check out the product video at

  • eric wright

    I like the website

    It allows me to map out any run; showing me the distance and the elevation. I can then save those runs and return to them later.

  • Scott

    @Mindy, I re-launched my own running regimen 2 years ago after about 10 years of no running by following the very same “Couch-to-5k” plan you are using. It worked very well for me. I’m now hooked on running.

    You’ve inspired me to tackle my own half-marathon. I have mapped out my training for the next several months. I’ve chosen this plan from Hal Higdon’s site:

    I will be running my first half-marathon — the Wurzburg half-marathon — in April:

  • Bill

    Thanks for the fully customizable training spreadsheet Mike!

    Simple but very effective. I plan to modify it for my upcoming 1/2 marathon in April.

    – Bill

  • W. Mark Thompson

    Good stuff.

    I’ve been keeping up with runs, this is the first month I’ve broken 100
    miles. Also, since I’ve started running (then added biking) I’ve lost
    15 pounds. If you find it, I don’t want it back. I’ve used to help me with this:- iPhone app: I used to use the LoseIt! phone app. But it was limited in the food availability. This new app has what seems to be everything. I haven’t looked up something yet that hasn’t been there. I set my weight, my height, and my goal(s). As long as I keep under the calories that are set for me, I’ll lose weight.- This is a GPS-abled app that I use on my phone… which I take with me to listen to audios. It keeps up with all my miles over the months. The first link above is from that app. You can set routes to run/ride on. It’s free but does have a paid version. The free version is more than enough. Love this app.Then there’s my shoes and my bike. No need for links there. Those are a little more personal. Try a few.  :)