The Weekend Runner: Free Training Resources

Running can be an expensive hobby. There are good shoes to buy, equipments to be upgraded,  and races are getting expensive. Not to mention gym memberships or personal trainers! There are some running expenditures worth investing, however, I am also a big believer that the best things in life are free. I have compiled my top 4 favourite free training resources to help you train for an upcoming race of any distance. Keep in mind that all of these resources are only useful if you utilize your most important asset of all: mental and physical consistency to stick to the training plan.

1)     Apps

Ideally, I would like a Garmin or Suunto to keep track of my distance, elevation, and calories when I run. Thankfully, there is a cheaper substitute if you already have a smartphone: free apps. Plus, most running apps will include a free training program for any race. There are plenty of free apps in the market, my personal favourite is Run Keeper. I love Run Keeper because it is simple to use, yet it is pretty accurate and detailed in tracking my daily runs.


The interface. Picture courtesy of Runner’s World.


2)     Free downloadable training programmes

If you don’t have a smartphone or prefer a hard copy of a program, head to Hal Higdon’s website . Print the program of your choice, and stick in on your wall. Now your running schedule is all sorted out! I love having hard copies of a training program because it serves as a constant reminder whenever I look at it on my bedroom wall.

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Print screen of the website. Different types of programs to suit your needs.


3)     Join a running club

The social aspect of running is important because it is a motivation factor. Your running buddies are your support system, and nothing like some friendly competition to keep you going! Check around your neighbourhood if there are any running groups. Alternatively, observe and network in races; “Hey, you run pretty fast! With whom do you train with?”

Or if there aren’t any running clubs around, just form your own group!

IMG_9306The usual faces from Track Tuesday.


4)     Youtube

Youtube is a world of tutorials, from make up gurus to cooking shows. It is no surprise that some elite athletes have their own youtube channel, so watch their videos to improve on your form and fine-tune your techniques. Plus, their achievements are inspiring to keep you motivated. Besides professional runners, there are some regular runners as well who does reviews on what’s hot and what’s not in the world of equipments, gels, energy bar, etc., and some document their personal experience in popular races such as the Boston Marathon. My personal favourite are Sage Cannaday and The Ginger Runner.

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Sage Cannaday is the professional athelete behind VO2Max Productions.


Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 8.20.48 PMI love Ginger Runner for being very candid and open about non-athletes who just simply enjoy running, just like you and me.


For cross-training days, there are plenty of videos of HIIT, weights, or yoga for you to follow. I love Fitness Blender or Lululemon for their tutorials. They provide step-by-step training clips, so now you have a personal trainer right at your fingertips!

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Thanks to youtube, you can now work out at the comfort of your home.


I hope the resources are helpful if you are a runner on a budget like I am. The road to obtaining your personal best timing, conquering a new distance, or improving your fitness level need not be expensive and complicated.


Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.