Hit the road with these top websites, apps and podcasts to get you out onto the open road with a spring in your step

Perhaps you’re a newbie on your first Couch to 5k jaunt in a pair of old trainers that haven’t seen the light of day since that brief foray into Zumba back in the mid-noughties. Or could you be a fun runner keen to up your mileage? Or, perhaps, a seasoned pro training for a marathon or even an ultra? Whatever stage you’re at in the field, we’ve picked some of the best websites, apps and podcasts to get you out onto the open road with a spring in your step.

Couch to 5k


The Public Health England Couch to 5k app is a no-frills, simple way to get you moving and out the door. Choose your virtual coach to guide you, from motivating Olympian Michael Johnson to quietly reassuring Jo Whiley and start on Day One with a mere 30 seconds of running. You can listen to your own music in the background and simply be alerted when it’s time to run or walk. Nine weeks later you will have worked your way up to a full 30-minute, approximately 5k run. It’s a proven method that feels unintimidating to beginners. There are more in-depth analytics apps, but to get you into your stride, it’s a great free resource.

Strava


Strava takes the engagement elements of social media and the analytical tracking of an activity tracker app and creates a hybrid, beloved by cyclists and runners alike. It offers in-depth GPS tracking, syncs with your running watch and if you want to get competitive, you can join in-app Challenges which will pit you virtually against thousands of other users to complete a task, from hitting a certain number of miles a month or feet of elevation in a week. See where you rank on the leader board and let it spur you on to your next PB. Type in your location and find local clubs, or other running enthusiasts and perhaps find a new running buddy in the process.

WeavRun


Do you love a power ballad to get you through that final lap? Or a bit of upbeat techno to help you pick up the pace? Then the WeavRun app might just be for you. It cleverly remixes pop songs to match your pace as you run, so your soundtrack is always synced to your stride. We don’t quite know how it works either, but it definitely does and tests have shown it can help you run both faster and longer.

Runner’s Need


As you would imagine, Runner’s Need has all you might need, as a runner. There’s a multitude of kit, tech gadgets and accessories, as well as nutritional support and a ‘recycle my run’ scheme where you can get a £20 voucher when you recycle your old trainers with them. There are thirty UK stores too, many of which offer gait analysis from in-store experts to help you find the right footwear for you.

Runner’s World


The online bible for runners, Runner’s World is the UK’s largest running website. Its content covers everything from strengthening exercises to training plans (great if you’re looking to progress up a gear, from 5k to 10k for instance), as well as events listings, inspiring real-life runners stories’ interviews and great recipes to keep you fuelled and ready for your next race.

Find a Race


Ready to enter your first race? Findarace.com is an extensive online directory of sporting events across the UK. It’s not just running; there’s cycling, triathlons and open-water swimming too. If you’re looking for running events, there are plenty to choose from: 5k fun runs, charity colour runs, off-road trail runs all the way up to Ultras. Filter by month, city and duration and book your place directly through the site.

Marathon Talk


Do your friends zone out when you start talking about your long runs and pacing? Geek out in peace with the Marathon Talk podcast where you’ll be in good company with presenters, international runner Martin Yelling and Head of Global Operations at ParkRun, Tom Williams. Each episode they interview a different runner, from veterans to world-class athletes. Great for picking up tips, ready for your own 26-miler.
https://marathontalk.com/

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By Lydia Mansi
February 2020

Lydia Mansi

Lydia is our resident expert on beauty.

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