Over the years I have found some great internet resources for running. Here is a list of ones that I use regularly or that I think may be useful for runners. Unless specified, the site is free!
Hal Higdon Training – Beginning runners will often get to the point where they will want a training plan. Higdon’s plans range from 5K run/walk plans to full marathon plans. The plans are tried and true, and they range from beginner to advanced plans. There are paid apps that can supplement the plans, but the plans are available online for free.
Athlinks – Once you start racing, Athlinks is a great place to keep track of all your race results and also keep a race calendar. You can also see how you compare against others your age. Your results are verified using the official results from the race, at least one week after the race. If your race is not listed, you can add a race and a link to the results. The race will usually be added to your profile within a week after the request.
McMillan Running – So you have run a 5K. How fast can you run a half marathon? What paces should you run in training? Greg McMillan’s running calculator can give you these answers. The race estimates should be taken with a grain of salt, they assume that you are training heavily. But it will give you an idea of what you can do given ideal training. There are also many informative training articles on the website. For a monthly fee you can join McMillan’s RunClub, giving you access to hundreds of training plans and advice from McMillan coaches. One time custom plans can also be purchased on the site.
Runner’s World Community Forums – Do you have a running related question? Many answers await on these forums. There are categories for beginners, different races by length, and even a forum for women runners. For the most part, forum users are helpful and friendly, especially if you are truly interested in running, learning, and you are open to different opinions. You may get a snarky response if you post something like, “I have never run before. Can I run a marathon in 3 months?” But these questions can also be entertaining. 🙂
Facebook running groups – There are many closed Facebook running groups, which you can join by simply asking. Most of the groups are extremely supportive and composed of beginning as well as veteran runners. You may see the same questions asked multiple times and your feed may be overloaded with posts. This may or may not be motivating for you. 🙂 It is easy to turn off notifications for the group and read posts and participate at your leisure. An example of one group is Favorite Run Community.
Race Raves – This is still a fledgling site but it can become an awesome resource for runners. You can read and post reviews for races and set up your own “staging area” to keep track of your upcoming races and PR’s.
Active and Running in the USA – Looking for a race in your area or a race on a certain date? These are 2 of the main resources for locating or registering for races. There is also the “old fashioned” way of Googling the date, location, and the type of race you are seeking. That is actually the way that I have found some smaller races.
Map My Run – Map My Run/Walk/Ride/Fitness, they are all the same site. 🙂 You have a 10 mile long run coming up and you want to plan a route in advance. This site will let you easily map a route and also show you the elevation for your route. It is helpful to know the area in advance so that you are not mapping a run onto a busy highway. Basic membership is free, with some advanced features available at extra cost. The corresponding phone app feeds the site and is a good basic GPS tracking app. I have a Garmin watch but I feed my Garmin data into the site because it is an easy way to track all my fitness activities. The site was recently acquired by Under Armour but it has not changed much. There are also challenges that you can participate in that are sponsored by the site or through “friends” on the site.