Whether you're setting up for your first half marathon or you're trying to smash your PR, having a training plan is essential for success (even if that just means crossing the finish line). Not sure where to start? Here are four free apps that have half-marathon-specific training programs (and more!) to get you well on your way to race day success.
Runkeeper asks you to start by setting your goal with either running or walking, then choose a distance from one mile to 5k, all the way through an ultramarathon (Runkeeper has some pretty unique options like fun run and even a kids' run). From there, set your date. There are time-specific free plans, for example: trying to run a sub-2:30 half marathon? Runkeeper will set you up for 16 weeks of daily training instruction to beat that PR.
There are race-specific programs as well, but there's a fee for those. If you're training for the San Francisco Half Marathon, for example, the app has eight-, 12-, and 18-week training plans specific to that course. Because they're premium plans, they'll cost you $10 per month or $40 per year, depending on your payment choice.
The Nike+ Running program is based on distance and skill level, and they're optimized for weekend race dates. Under the Coach function in the app, you start a program for a 5k, 10k, half, or full marathon. From there, choose beginner, intermediate, or advanced, and Nike creates a daily schedule, including rest days and cross-training days, when you'll be encouraged to swim, bike, or take a yoga class. Each day of running will have a goal distance, but the time is totally up to you. Nike's program is capped at 12 weeks, so if your race date is too far out, it'll tell you to get five miles per week in until your training program is ready to start.
MapMyRun Trainer Powered by Under Armour
MapMyRun and Under Armour team up to provide free training plans designed by Olympians, from 5k to 50k. In the half marathon program, you can choose from the "Walk-Run," "Couch to Half," or "Current Runner" plans. After you've chosen a program, pick your long run day of the week, how many runs you'd like to complete per week, and your event date. Track each run from the dashboard, and the app will break down how to run and for how long each day (ex: walk two minutes, run three minutes, repeat).
MY ASICS Run Training
With the options of 5k, five mile, 10k, 10 mile, half, or full marathon, the Asics training app creates a very personal plan. Set your date, your goal time, your previous experience (how long you've run before), your PR, age, and gender — Asics then comes up with a prediction based on all your information. You can share your plan on Facebook to cement your commitment to your plan publicly. The more your run, the more the app will assess your pace and adjust your plan to be entirely specific to your needs. Each run day will have a goal pace with notes and instructions.