Long-distance running carries a certain aura to its name. As the original Olympic sport, a weighty tradition courses through it. When we refer to a grueling task or hard-won goal, we label the work necessary to complete it a “marathon.”
This is not coincidence. Running long distances is hard and requires long, disciplined training. It is not a 24-hour cram session. It’s about establishing a process and trusting that process when everything in your body demands you not to. Anyone who has finished a marathon—running or otherwise—that the reward is always worth it, even if it’s not in the way they expected.
But you must walk before you run. That’s why most people begin with half-marathons. If you’re thinking about training for one, we would like to point you in the direction of some fun races like the Star War Half Marathon, the Hershey Half Marathon, and the Wine Country Half-Marathon.
In the meantime, here are some apps that will help you train to achieve your half-marathon goals.
This comprehensive app allows you to do exactly as it says: map your route and track distance traveled, incline, calories burned, and more. A great feature of this app is its community, where users upload their own running routes for other members to try out.
Perhaps better served as a social network for runners, this app uses GPS tracking to monitor your distance and route (so it won’t work for you treadmill runners). However, this app allows you to keep notes like weather, your feelings post-run, and the route itself, so you can track your progress as you train.
Training and then possibly running for a half-marathon requires dedication. And somedays, you just don’t have it. MilePost is a running inspiration app that helps you maintain focus and serves as a jumping-off point for those days when you’d otherwise have given up.
While distance running may enable you to eat all the carbs you finally want, it doesn’t mean you can stop watching what you eat. This app will serve as a mobile food journal that includes more than two million foods with their nutritional value. Use this to stop yourself from indulging too much during your training.
Though your first half-marathon or marathon race will be about finishing, eventually you’ll want to race against your own time. McRun will help you do just that. Tracking your mile time, McRun extrapolates what your final time would be whether you’re running a 10K or a half-marathon.