Chances are you have some kind of running/smartwatch. You may also have a FitBit (or something like it), and I bet you have a couple running apps on your phone, too. Then, you may have a paper training log, an online training log, and probably a couple other methods of keeping track of your mileage and tracking your shoe mileage as well. So, let's explore some of the apps and software out there to help you as your strive to reach your goals in 2017.
- Garmin's online software can be a bit of a pain, but one huge perk is the ability to create workouts and upload them to your watch. You can set times, distances, etc so your watch will alert you when it's time to switch it up on your run. This is perfect for fartleks, repeats, etc. If you haven't given this a try, check it out and see what you think. If you have a compatible watch, it should be able to store several workouts.
- Garmin also has an app for your phone (see below) that makes uploading your info post run really easy. The connection feature is a fun way to see what your running friends are up to as well.
- If you use a Garmin watch/device, you might as well give their app and software a shot. See what you think.
- TrainingPeaks offers solid training plans for those who are willing to really put some work in and understand that faster results aren't handed to you from 2 or 3 slow runs a week. TraingPeaks plans really seem to stress consistency. The plans do cost, but they're pretty good!
- You'll find all different levels of plans for beginners to advanced. People who have followed them have seen decent results. Many are very similar to what you'll find in plans from The Fit Club coaches. Consistency, long runs (assuming you're training for something longer) and speed work. They're quite reachable and will help you get into good shape.
- The tracking software is compatible with many other apps/devices as well. So, if you finish a run with your Garmin (or other compatible device), that info will also upload to TrainingPeaks
- Track your shoes - we all know it's important to make sure your shoes are in good shape and that you should be keeping track of how many miles you have on them. TrainingPeaks allows you to do this.
- See your weekly, monthly, yearly mileage, etc.
- Track your other workouts (spin, yoga, rowing, strength training, hiking, etc). You can do this via their app as well.
- While it's not a running tracking software per se, you can set up your training log any way you'd like. Track your mileage, set yearly goals, keep track of the miles on each pair of shoes, and see your paces. Plus, keep notes of your workouts so you can look back and see how you're doing. For those who like to set up your own format, Excel is probably your best bet.
Garmin Mobile Connect
- Livetracking? Yes please! If you have a Garmin device with bluetooth, you can set your device to send your workout to your phone via bluetooth when the devices are in range. Then, if you use another training log (perhaps your workplace has something, or you use TrainingPeaks), Garmin will sync with that log as well.
- Need a cheerleader? Nike+ has created it's app to cheer you on every time you receive a "like" on Facebook or comment. Plus you get the basic time and distance tracking. Nike+ has long been a good app for new runners.
-Want to listen to a story? This app is for you. Pick a story close to the length of your run and head out the door.
- Track your calories and see the breakdown of your diet. This app is very helpful in staying on track with your weight loss goals.
Runner's World Go
- No matter what your goal may be, this app has a lot of features to help you along. Maybe it's your first race, or maybe you're training for Boston - whatever it is, this app will provide you with tracking tools and expert knowledge from coaches and runners who understand the importance of consistent training
- Compete against your pals in challenges. Plus, Strava hosts a fully featured GPS tracking device for safety and tracking mileage. Check out the segment rankings as well.
- New destination? MapMyRun will be very helpful to you. Check out nearby routes created by other runners when you're traveling, or take a look at your own routes in your hometown.
- Earn money for your favorite charity every time you run, walk, cycle, etc. Corporate sponsors agree to donate a few cents to these charities based on your activity.
- Tracking more than just your runs, this app is great for cyclists as well. It is quite accurate and has training plans as well as coaching features for those striving to get better at their sport.
- Compete with your friends, track your steps/activity, track your sleep, and set goals for yourself.
- Did you know you can use the app without a FitBit tracker? Although we have to admit, the tracker is fun.
- Create custom workouts for yourself based on your workout/fitness level
- This one is great for veterans and newbies alike. This is a great app for tracking calories, and watching what you eat (aka - don't be fast, fake, and cheap).
- You may have known of this app as GymPact. It allows you to wager money on whether you'll complete a workout, go to the gym, etc. How does it verify this? You have to check in to the venue. If you meet or exceed your goals, you will earn some cash. If not? Pay up.
Paper Training Journals
Believe Training Journal
- Created by professional runners Lo and Ro, this journal is a powerhouse of information. There are killer workouts in here (we actually use some of them). This journal stresses the importance of speed work and long workouts if you want to get faster. This is a personal diary and a workbook plus training journal all rolled into one. It doesn't disappoint.
- This journal will discuss nutrition, goal setting, psychology, recovery, competition, and more.
- This is a great chance to reflect on your attitude toward running, your running partners, your goals, your body, and more. Are you finding yourself in a rut or being particularly negative? This will help you sit down and think about why. Have your running buddies mentioned you're getting a big head and being a bit of a know it all? This journal will help you remember that humility is an admirable trait. Struggling with self-confidence? Record your workouts and explore why.
- This workbook/journal won't disappoint. Check out the different editions.
- Yes. The one you picked up from Target. Sometimes, it's beneficial to have a blank slate to track what you find necessary. Write notes about your workout, track your distance and time, and layout the pages however you'd like. It's fun to look back on your notebooks throughout the years and re-live your running journey.
We all have different goals and are on different journeys. Just because my training doesn't match yours doesn't mean I am wrong or you are wrong. Just because my tracking doesn't look the same as yours doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong. Just because we do different activities for cross training doesn't mean I am right and you are wrong. We are here to build each other up and to support each other along the way. Maybe your goal is just go finish a half marathon or maybe it's to run a 3:30 marathon. Maybe you're a little lost and you don't have a goal or you've given up on a goal and you're searching for something new. Everyone goes about tackling their goals in a different way, and all we can ask is that you are supportive of each other. We are all working toward different things, and hopefully some of the above tools will help in your training journey.
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!