Sure, some of us are born to run, but for everyone else, let’s face the facts: Running is hard. It’s tedious. And some days, it feels like we’re at a complete standstill while the rest of the world is logging negative splits.
While there may be no such thing as a “perfect” race, there are ways to set yourself up for success — from technique to cross-training — and yes, find fun on the run again. Whether you’ve completed 100 marathons or have your sights set on one (someday), these resources can help get you hit the ground running this fall. Start with strength, speed work or race day strategy — the choice is yours.
50 Running Resources to Get Better, Faster, Stronger
Speed won’t develop overnight. But committing one or two days per week to intervals, fartleks and other running drills, will help get you closer to your goals. Are you changing up the pace as much as you should? And is your form as efficient as it could be? Get the tips you need, plus other insights to start shaving minutes (maybe even an hour!) off your previous PRs.
A Runner’s Guide to Speedwork
5 Expert Tips to Master Proper Running Form
How to Run More Efficiently (Read: Faster!)
5 Running Tweaks That Took an Hour Off My Marathon Time
20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout to Get Fit, Fast
Run Faster With This Mobility Warm-Up
To go the long haul, runners can’t just rely on endurance and technique. When fatigue sets in, form will often break down — and without a strong foundation, injuries are inevitable. Strength training for runners will mean honing in on the glutes, hips and core — and addressing any muscle imbalances that may already exist. It’s not supposed to be easy, but it’s always worth it.
Why Runners Need to Strength Train
6 Core Exercises to Make You a Stronger, Faster Runner
The Strength Training Workout Every Runner Needs
5 Ways to Test for Muscle Imbalances and Avoid Injury
The 8 Biggest Myths About Weightlifting — Debunked
While running free of unnecessary gear and gadgets can be, well, freeing, having the right essentials can make the task at hand far more productive. Find out which shoes, GPS watches and weatherproof gear you’ll want to strap on this season — and what to leave behind.
The Best New Running Watches and Trackers
Running Gear You’ll Need to Get Through the Cold
7 Secrets to Finding Your Perfect Running Shoe
5 High-Tech Running Shoes for Every Type of Runner
It’s your peak mileage week, and you’re about ready to give up. Don’t throw in the towel just yet! It’s possible your training plan could use some adjustment, or, maybe it’s time to step away from the pavement and vary up your workouts. When all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with some extra motivation (or distractions) on those long runs. A running buddy can be just the trick, or try a podcast that’ll work your brain — in addition to your legs!
Hit a Running Plateau? Get Past It With These Tips
13 Awesome Podcasts to Get You Through a Long Run
The 11 Best Running Camps in the U.S.
The Most Popular Running Routes in All 50 States
The weather’s crappy; everything hurts; there are a million-and-one things on your to-do list that sound more appealing than hill repeats. When the going gets tough, it can help to remember there are incredible athletes overcoming the odds each and every day. That’ll put those sprints in perspective! Whether you turn to accomplished athletes, friendly running bloggers, or motivational music from Meb, inspiration can come from all around us, and sometime from within.
Instant Runspiration: 20 Epic Instagrams to Follow
Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It
Run Like a Pro With Meb Keflezighi’s Workout Playlist
10 Lessons Learned While Running 100 Marathons
There’s no denying that running can take a major toll on the body. As much as you may want to kick those feet up after a hard-fought 10K, there’s still a little more work to be done. A cool-down walk or jog, foam rolling and active stretching are all essential in aiding the recovery process and getting you back on the track, treadmill or pavement, STAT. Is your post-workout routine what it should be?
5 Hip Stretches You Need to Relieve Tightness Now
7 New Recovery Tools You’ll Love to Hate
The Truth About Lactic Acid
5 Foam Rolling Moves You Aren’t Doing (But Should)
Photo: St Georges Marathon
Build a Bucket List
So maybe you won’t get around to all these races, but there’s no harm in trying! From mud runs to charity events to marathons on every corner of the globe, there’s truly something for everyone (even if it just starts out as a “someday” pin on your Pinterest board). If there’s a will, there’s a way!
50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.
30 Best Marathons in the Entire World
15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S.
Most Epic Trail Races Across the U.S.
15 Best Spring Marathons in the U.S.
The 10 Most Iconic Spartan Races
If nutrition isn’t a part of your training game, it’s time to change that. A balanced diet, and understanding how and when to fuel can be the difference between hitting a wall or setting a new personal best. The “runger” is real, but it can be tamed.
The 10 Nutrients Athletes Need Most
Should You Eat Before a Workout?
How to Tame Your Runger
The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Eating
How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for You
Photo and Recipe: Emily Miller
Seamless will only get you so far. Maybe you’re not an ace in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t whip up a few runner-friendly sports drinks, energy bars and protein shakes to help nourish and fuel you to go the distance.
9 Homemade Sports Drink Recipes
13 Quick and Easy Protein Shake Recipes
14 Healthy DIY Energy Bar Recipes
11 Delicious Homemade Protein Bar Recipes
Training for a big race can be all encompassing, and sometimes the things that matter most can take a back seat. So how do you balance the anxiety and so-called runner “crazies” with…everyday life? This one’s not easy: You’ll need to dig deep before toeing the line.
Is Marathon Training Hurting Your Relationship?
7 Common Fears of Runners (and How to Get Past Them)
Is Your Race Training Giving You Anxiety?
When It’s OK to Drop Out of a Race
Ready, Set, Go!
The prep work is done and it’s just you and the starting gun. Or is it? Between the crowds, the elements, and the course’s many unknowns, there’s a whole lot to factor in (and even more you’ll need to just roll with) on race day. These tips will help get you ready for anything. We wouldn’t have it any other way!
13 Race Day Tips for Newbie Runners
A Runner’s Guide to Hydration (And How Not to Overdo It)
12 Secrets from the Pros to Achieve a Personal Best
Carbo Loading for Runners: How to Prep for Race Day
How to Taper for Your Best Marathon Yet
Which running tips, tricks and training tools have helped make you a better competitor? Share your comments below, and we’ll see you at the finish line!
Originally published November 2014. Updated February 2017.