As challenging as running a marathon is, training for one is even more difficult. To make sure that you don’t have a miserable race day you’ve got to spend at least 16 weeks gradually increasing your mileage and building up stamina. That means you’re running a whole lot more than just 26.2 miles.
Experts say it’s best to train in all different kinds of weather and to mix up the kinds of courses you’re running, so you just might end up running up a hill in the pouring rain.
You also have to eat right, stay hydrated, learn to listen to your body’s needs, deal with blisters and chafing and possibly even come to embrace the post long run ice bath. (They help you to recover more quickly and really do become more bearable with time!)
But training isn’t just about testing your the limits of your body. There’s a lot of data you need to keep tabs on. Here’s a short list of some of the best apps to have on hand if you’re training for a marathon.
Activity Log Apps
Map My Run (Free)
There are a lot of different apps that track your activity—and honestly, they all do pretty much the same things. That being said, Map My Run is my favorite. Both the app and its website are very well designed and easy to use. It’s a great way not only to log work outs, but also to switch up your running routine.
The app tracks your route using your Droid’s GPS, so that you can venture off the beaten path and easily plot new training courses without worrying how far you’ve gone. If you tweet a lot (like I do) you can also set your phone to tweet your progress while you run. When you’re done with a workout, the app uploads your data to the website so you can monitor progress over time and share your accomplishments with friends.
How can an app improve your health? See how.
RunKeeper GPS Track (Free)
RunKeeper Pro is similar to Map My Run, but it has a very different interface and design. Like Map My Run, RunKeeper tracks your GPS, distance, speed, caloric output and activity history for running. RunKeeper, however, also logs your cross training activities, like cycling, hiking, skiing and swimming.
This app will also occasionally talk to you, reading aloud your stats at every mile marker. This feature means you can tuck your phone away, out of sight and mind, and still monitor your progress as you run. If you happen to be listening to music, RunKeeper will temporarily turn down your tunes so you can hear the voice commands. To track your training over time or tap into the app’s social networking features, you can upload your workouts to RunKeeper’s website.
Runtastic Running & Fitness (Free)
One of the most popular activity tracker. It is fully integrated with Android wear, which is a great thing for those who don’t like running with a phone in hand or pocket. The real voice coach keeps you motivated to reach your goal, it is either running a marathon, lose weight or just improve your fitness level. The pro version comes with detailed statistics, video instuctions, fitness plans and many more for $5.
Time Runner (Free)
Not a big fan of watches? Yeah, me neither. If you’re training for your marathon the Jeff Galloway way (with intervals) this app is a good way to keep the weight off your wrists. Users can program the app to vibrate or sound an alarm when it’s time for you to switch from a run to a walk or from a walk to a run. The app also tracks your chrono time and measures your average low and high pace stats.
MyPlate Calorie Tracker (Free)
While everyone certainly has their own reasons for why they run, some admittedly train because it’s a good way to keep pounds off. Calorie Tracker is a place to log what you’re eating so you can ensure that you’re staying healthy, but remaining on target with your weight loss goals. The app has more than 625,000 different kinds of foods in the database so that you can accurately keep tabs on pretty much everything you eat.
An overview of the LIVESTRONG.COM Calorie Tracker application for Android. The easiest way to track your daily food intake and watch you progress throughout the day. Get more info and Download it now: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.livestrong.tracker&hl
RockMyRun sticks the science to your running playlist. The selected songs are the results of serious experiments, where different songs were tested how they influence the motivation of runners. You can set programs to match the nature of your runs and choose any genre, pop, rock, house, classical and more.