When I first started running competitively almost 5 years ago, I had close to zero knowledge on the subject. I just wanted to get out there and feel my feet hit the pavement and the wind on my face. Looking back, I sort of regret not reading enough on the subject and mentally preparing myself for what was ahead.
I consider myself an average runner. I don’t aim to be the best out of everyone out there, but I do try to beat my own times. I keep track of my workouts using a personal excel sheet. I’d rather not pay for an online “trainer” to help me with those. Joining an actual running group (i.e., RoadRunners) is a much better alternative in my opinion.
LoveToKnow.com posted a list of Top 10 Running Web Sites. The top two are definitely in my top four (RunnersWorld.com and Active.com). Runner’s World has a great set of blogs, and Active.com is a wonderful sign-up service. However, they failed to mention my other two favorite sites:
- MapMyRun.com: An excellent resource for those of you who can’t afford a pedometer. You can map out your running route via the embedded Google Maps application, keep a training log, share stories/photos, and participate in forums (there is a large community here, some focusing on beginning runners). The only downside is that their events page is very limited because users post events.
- RunWashington.com: This is my primary means of searching for local and distant races. They also offer race registration (directed to Active.com) and provide official race results after the race.
After training 6 months for the Marine Corps Marathon last year (with the Montgomery Count Road Runners), I encountered IT band problems in my right knee (but went on to complete the race anyway!). The pain was excruciating. As a result, I searched for blogs that focused on health and injury. My favorite is Ask the Running Doc written by Dr. Lewis G. Maharam. Although not every topic applies to me, I certainly learn a lot about preventative measures.
I hope you find this information useful and, better yet, hope you get out there and try running if you haven’t before! My advice: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. And pace yourself!