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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