Useful sites/tips for runners.
These sites are probably useful for bikers too!
For mapping your route:
- GMap Pedometer: A neat little hack that uses Google Maps and can track your route along streets or freehand. Comes with calorie approximator and shows you mile markers. This is my most recent find and has been incredibly useful!
- GMaps, the original yo!: Before I found GMap Pedometer, I used good old GMaps to plot my route. It’s freehand and you can also save a series of maps for future reference. Super useful if you don’t follow streets during your route.
- MapMyRun: So I tried using this back in 2007 when I first started running (wow, has it been that long?), but the interface kinda sucked big time. They’ve had many improvements and it’s a good tool for looking at where other local runners go. Like GMaps, you can log in and save maps. The bonus is being able to search for other runners’ maps.
So you’re new and don’t know what to do:
- If you have no idea what you’re doing, check out the online sites for magazines like Runner’s World. They have sections specifically gears towards beginners and answer a lot of questions like, “How do I find shoes?” and “How fast can I increase my speed/mileage without hurting myself?”
- Check out the “Couch to 5K” training program from Cool Running. It’s one of the best programs for people who have seriously never run before in their lives. I can personally vouch for the usefulnes of this program (I started on it myself) and I know plenty of other people who have also used this with much success. It starts out nice and easy, but if week 1 is still too hard, you may want to just have a couple weeks of just walking to break yourself into it. I cannot endorse it enough!
- Get yourself some good shoes for god’s sake! When you start running, it’s a good idea to have a good foundation to help prevent injury and downtime, so check out some local running stores. Also remember that sometimes the shoes that are best for you aren’t necessarily the best looking and it’s better to feel good running than it is to look good. Yelp is a good tool, but if all else fails, look for a Fleet Feet shop. Also remember that if it seems expensive going to a store like that, you can always buy the replacement pair online for much cheaper.
To supplement your running:
- Since you’re healthy and taking your body out for a run every so often, it only makes sense to make sure that you’re eating healthy too. You don’t have to lay off the burgers completely, but maybe a few more vegetables and nutrients would be good to help your body run as well as it can! I kinda like going to Cooking Light and Spark Recipes to browse through and get some good ideas for meals.
- This link is a bit female-centric, but Self Magazine has a great site with tips for strength exercises and recipes too. If you subscribe the printed magazine, it’s a nice reminder to keep your body moving and it has lots of encouraging articles to help get you motivated.
- If running partners motivate you, check out Exercise Friends or a local running club for a running mate. If you know that someone else is counting on you to go running with them, it makes it harder to be lazy and blow off a workout!
I know it seems tough starting a brand new workout program. It’s tough keeping it up sometimes, just because you get bored and need constant stimulation. We’re people, not machines and we need a little variety in our lives, but you can totally do it if you keep at it. Keep up the good work!