Training for your first marathon is going to be an enormous challenge, and will require complete dedication. Ideally, when you start you'll have the best training partners and programs out there to make sure you're prepared for that challenge. Unless you’re rich or a celebrity sports-personality, however, you’re probably not going to be able to afford that level of training. Fortunately, iPhone’s ever resourceful app developers have created some amazing software that delivers professional training right to your handset. These 10 apps will put you through your paces in preparation for your first marathon, so that when you get to the starting line you’re prepared to go the distance.
Couch to 5K – Since this will be your first marathon, you’re probably bursting to get out there and start training. This app will make sure that you get through your first training session. A mistake that many new marathon runners make is overdoing the first few training sessions. Couch to 5K is designed to ease you into a routine, with training designed by Active.com trainers. The app is available for $1.99 and comes with a great workout journal to log your progress.
Fleetly – If competition is what drives you, Fleetly is the perfect training app. You can earn points for completing your workouts, as well as compete against athletes at all levels. Although you will use this free app for your marathon training, Fleetly supports training in every competitive sport you can think of.
RunKeeper – Successful marathon runners know that pace is important, so make sure you include RunKeeper in your arsenal of training apps. Using GPS and a variety of technologies, this app tracks your pace, heart rate and much more, creating effective logs that help tailor the perfect workout routine to get you in the best shape.
Nike Training Club – This free app from Nike provides users with access to exclusive workout material from celebrity trainers. Nike Training Club is promoted as “Exclusively for Women,” but these great workouts are ideal for anyone who is training for a marathon. Expect to see lots of familiar faces, as there are also a number of workouts led by celebrity trainers.
My Fitness Pal, Calorie Counter – All your training may be for naught if you're not actively keeping an eye on your diet. This free app will keep track of your calorie intake and help you achieve your ideal weight for competing in a marathon.
FitnessBuilder – Like other fitness apps, Fitness Builder has a multitude of built-in training modules to increase your fitness level. What’s different about this app, however, is the drag and drop feature that allows you to create your own personally-tailored workouts. There are also daily, weekly and intelligent workouts, which have been designed to ensure you receive the best training. The app is linked directly to the Fitness Builder website, where you can also stream videos and fitness news directly to your handset.
Boot Camp Challenge – Designed by an ex-army drill sergeant, this app will give you the edge that you need over the competition. Despite the name, Boot Camp Challenge is not solely designed for hard-core fitness fanatics. There are training programs for beginners also, which get increasingly harder as your fitness improves. The app is available from the iTunes store for $3.99.
Kinetic GPS – This app is both simple and incredibly intuitive. With Kinetic GPS you can easily track your speed, distance, altitude and much more with a touch of the screen. The app does have an extensive training program, too, which was developed by a former London marathon runner. For $3.99, this is one app that you will want as your virtual coach.
Fitocracy – Motivation is something that every athlete needs, and Fitocracy delivers. This is not just a fitness app, it is a game that pushes you to unlock more challenges by completing fitness tasks and quests. Fitocracy is a community-focused app, so you can converse with and compete against other athletes from around the world. This app won’t lighten the load of your wallet, however, as it is free from the iTunes store.
All-In YOGA – You may be asking what yoga has to do with running a marathon. Well, you will need to keep your muscles supple and flexible if you want to endure the distance. There are over 40 ready-made yoga programs available with the app; however, you can also create your own. Over 3000 poses, which include photos, videos and detailed instructions, coupled with over 30 breathing exercises make this free app a great accessory to your training regimen.
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