Training for a marathon is a massive commitment, and just finishing one is a huge accomplishment. We’ve got a list of some of the best marathon training apps to help you prepare for this big event.
As a long-time runner myself, I’ve never run a marathon. I’ve never even thought of running a marathon… until this year.
I go back and forth between running and cycling when it comes to endurance sports. I completed a long-haul cycling even earlier this summer, so I figured it was time to see if I could also train for a marathon.
This review is based on my own research in attempting to find the best marathon training apps. Let’s dive in!
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4 best marathon training apps
This is why you’re here, after all, so let’s jump right in.
1. Marathon 26.2 Trainer by C25K
This app is designed to take you from beginner runner to marathon finisher. Its unique, 20-week plan incorporates a run/walk ratio to get you marathon ready.
You may hear “walking” and think this app isn’t on par with other marathon training apps. Believe it or not, using a combination of walking and running in the beginning is pretty typical for most trainees.
By incorporating a combination of walking and running, the overall distances seem less overwhelming, plus the risk of injury when first starting out is less.
When starting a workout, you’ll be prompted with audio cues throughout your run to keep you on track.
It’s important to know that the app and its workouts are not highly customizable. This is because you’re guided through a structured program over 20 weeks designed to get you marathon ready.
If you want something customizable, this may not be your best choice.
- Incorporates audio coach and alerts
- Map your run after each workout
- Offers integration for indoor running on a treadmill
- Access to a community of other runners
The app is free as a trial but then offers in-app purchases to unlock its full features. Marathon 26.2 Trainer is compatible with both iOS and Android.
2. TRE: Running Coach & Training
The TRE app is aimed more at runners with some experience but hoping to get stronger, faster, and just better when preparing for a race or event. Don’t worry, though, because they have some beginner’s programs.
What’s excellent about TRE is that it has different options for training programs depending on what you’re looking for. Some of their programs include running techniques, strength training, mobility, and injury prevention.
Of course, there are specific half marathon and full marathon training programs as well as 30 Day challenge programs for all runners.
- Free weekly training videos and workouts with racing trips and other advice
- Ability to search workouts based on time or goals
- GPS tracker for all runs
- Interactive programs with coaches and other runners on their community forum
- Integrates with the Apple Health App
This is a super-comprehensive app because it highlights the importance of strength training, mobility, and injury prevention. It goes far beyond just plain running, so I think it’s one of the best marathon training apps out there right now.
It’s free to use but does include in-app purchases for additional features. TRE Running Coach & Training is currently only available for iOS devices.
3. ASICS Runkeeper – Distance Run Tracker
This app comes highly rated (4.8 stars) with over 315,000 reviews. Whether you’re new to running or are training for a specific event, Runkeeper has a program for you.
The app comes with virtual coaches that help to propel you toward your goals. You can also turn on audio alerts to list stats during your actual run (e.g., pace, distance, time, etc.)
All runs can be tracked with GPS and can also be integrated with your Apple Watch.
If you want even more personalized training programs, you can sign up for the Runkeeper GO premium membership, which costs $39.99 per year.
You can put in a distance or race, from 5Ks to marathons, and get ultra-customized training plans to help you get stronger, faster, and stay injury-free for race day with the premium version.
- Audio-guided running workouts
- Personalized plans depending on training distance
- Offers in-app challenges with other users
- Participate in virtual running groups
ASICS Runkeeper is free but does offer in-app purchases. This includes upgrading to the premium version. The app is available for both iOS and Android.
4. Run With Hal – Training Plans
The Run With Hal app is one of the best marathon training apps out there, and it’s ultimately the one I ended up personally choosing.
The app is based on the coaching of Hal Higdon, a well-known runner, and author. If you’re in tune with the running world, you know who Hal Higdon is.
I think the most standout feature of this app is its customizability based on your own personal schedule. This is so important for me as I’m often traveling and don’t always have consistent days each week to train.
You can put in any training goal that ranges from completing a 5K to a marathon. You can then select the days you are able to train each week, and the app creates a program that emphasizes the most important workouts on the days you know you can train.
Your goals are always updated based on time available or time off (e.g., a vacation) that may interrupt one of your training weeks.
The app is constantly evolving based on your feedback on availability and goals. For example, I can ask the app to always schedule my longest runs on Saturdays since I know I am always home and have the most time.
- Smart and adaptive plans based on your life’s schedule
- Customizability based on days you can/can’t run each week
- Training plans for the novice, intermediate, and advanced runners
- GPS recording available for all runs
The app is free to download, but if you want all of the customizable features (which I recommend), there are three subscription options:
- $6.99 for one month
- $35.99 for six months
- $59.99 for 12 months
Run With Hal is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Committing to a marathon is a huge and massive goal for many runners. If you aren’t very experienced, the thought of trying to train for one may seem overwhelming.
That’s where a marathon training app comes in. Signing up with one of these takes away the guesswork and the stress of planning a training program on your own.
We hope you found this review helpful and that one of these four marathon training apps may be your perfect match to help you reach your running goals.