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Q:

Best Coaching App for Track Rats: Runkeeper

I have a marathon coming up in a few months. How can I get online coaching tailored to my ability? Oh, and how can I get it for free?

Runkeeper.     Photo: Courtesy of Runkeeper

A:BEST FOR TRACK RATS
The Runkeeper app offers four good marathon plans for everyone from beginners to advanced runners. The plan starts 16 weeks before race day, and you follow it five days a week. Total running per week is between 35 and 60 miles. Using it is simple: Fire up the app and choose one of the suggested workouts. For instance, one day the coach has you doing repeated 800s with time targets for each. The rigor of the program is great—so long as you don’t lose your lunch on the track.

THE COACH
Jeff Gaudette, a former elite with Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, has a 2:22 personal record in the marathon.

THE VOICE
The stentorian computer voice is at turns bossy and disparaging. Maybe not someone you want to spend the next 800 miles with.

Free; for iPhone and Android.

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