So, this post is pretty self-explanatory. There are some really great resources out there that I use to plan my runs and to get better at running in general that a lot of people might not know about, or might not think to use for this purpose. So here they are:
Absolutely indispensable. This website is awesome. I actually only started using it two months ago, because I had checked it out once years ago and didn’t like it. However, they’ve made some serious improvements, and it’s AMAZING. Straight up. It’s much easier to map a route on than mapquest.com (which I had done for a while, but I don’t recommend trying). You can set it to follow roads and it will stay right on those roads or paths (they include bike paths and walking paths!!), or you can freehand draw your run. If I decided to run circles on the athletic fields, I could get my distance on the run. If I had a smart phone or a GPS watch, that would probably be more accurate, but this version – mapmyrun.com in combination with my trusty $40 Timex – gets the job done pretty darn accurately. I may have developed a bit of an obsession, however, so beware.
I am a girl who likes to be prepared. I study excessively, always overpack, and have an emergency stash of almonds in my backpack at all times. Likewise, I always try to be prepared for the weather on my runs. Weather.com helps me decide when in my day I’m going to run on the rare occasions that my class/work schedule hasn’t assumed that responsibility already, and it helps me to pick out the best possible running clothes for the day. Rainy weather? Spandex shorts it is. Hot and humid? Sports bra and breezy shorts. Totally freezing? Fleece-lined spandex (yeah, I have those. Thanks Nike!). There’s a reason weather.com is always one of the first tabs opened on my browser while I eat my oatmeal.
This website is a great resource for anything you could possibly want to know about running. I trust the information that I read here, and use it to look up everything from shoe reviews to new exercises for my group fit classes, to interviews with my girl crush, Kara Goucher (ahh she’s just so adorable and fast!!!). They really have everything, so check it out. It rocks.
Need to find a local race? Wanna check results from last year’s race? Use Coolrunning.com. It’s pretty much synonymous with racing, so if you’re into running competitively I’m sure you’ve used it before. But if you’re new to the running world or just considering beginning to dabble in the sport, check it out. Find yourself a 5k to train for, there’s even a Couch to 5K running plan on the website (which inspired one of my group fit classes!) that will get you running 3 miles in no time. You can search for races by length, type, location, date…all sorts of stuff like that. This is where I found the marathon relay I ran earlier this summer (see picture)
Okay, so I don’t really use this website to run. But for anyone running for a cause, Crowdrise.com makes accepting donations incredibly easy. Plus they’ve got a great sense of humor that you don’t find in websites (as if a website can have a personality…this one does!). You just need to make sure that the organization you’re running for is a recognized charity by the IRS. I’ve got an account set up to accept donations for the Ski Team while I train for the marathon. The one snag is you actually have to tell people about it and work to raise awareness so that the money follows (that’s where I’ve been slackin a little this summer – too busy!)