How the Nike Run Club App Prepares You for Your Big Race

Nike Running has you covered from your first 5K to marathon PRs

Though basketball and skateboarding are the main pillars of sneaker culture as we know it now, running serves as a foundation for many brands — especially Nike.

Before the Swoosh made its debut, the company was known as Blue Ribbon Sports. Started by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, the track runner and track coach would come together to start Nike. 

From the Cortez to the Tailwind to the waffle outsole and more, Nike’s early innovations and creations were centered around running. Half a century later and running is still a main focus for the Swoosh.

In the last five years alone, Nike Running has skyrocketed in both performance and aesthetics with its multitude of creations. From Eliud Kipchoge breaking the two-hour marathon record in Vienna to the announcement of the Nike Air Zoom AlphaFly NEXT% 2, the brand’s running department is taking over the sport one stride at a time. 

But you don’t have to be a sub-two-hour marathoner or a super tech-focused consumer to enjoy the benefits the brand has to offer. 

As Bill Bowerman said, “if you have a body, you are an athlete.”

In that same vein, if you run, you’re a runner. 

My running journey started as a freshman in high school with cross country & track (after all, my social handles @LTOnDaTrack speak for themselves). For the last decade, my relationship with running has gone back in forth. Sometimes great, sometimes not so great. Countless 5Ks, a pair of half marathons, and hundreds of thousands of steps have accrued through my running years. But a marathon? I’ve come short of. Whether injuries or lack of motivation, being a marathon runner has been a goal.

This year, with the help of Nike and the Nike Run Club app, that goal was achieved. 

While most marathon training programs start around the 18 or 16-week mark, I started mine around 12 weeks out from one of the six world majors — the Chicago Marathon. 

No matter what level of a runner you are, the Nike Run Club app, its workouts, and its schedule can meet you where you’re at and also push you to where you need to be.

Living in Arizona and training in its unrelenting summers was a challenge in and of itself. That meant waking up at 5 a.m. for weekly workouts and sometimes 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. for those long runs. 

But through it all, the Nike Run Club and virtual coaches were with me every step of the way.

The marathon training plan consists of two recovery runs, two speed workouts, one long run, and two rest days. The flexibility of the plan allows you to pick & choose your workouts and what days. For me, Sundays and Mondays were for recovery, Tuesdays and Thursdays for speed, Wednesdays and Fridays for rest, and Saturdays for long runs. 

The app also has auxiliary workouts such as core, yoga, and others to build strength, endurance, and aid in recovery. Though optional, a few of those every now and then help in the long run (pun intended). 

Throughout the 12 weeks, I completed 54 of the 60 runs expected within the training program. From 15-minute recovery runs to the eventual 26.2 race, miles were logged and progress was made.

Despite my running background, I was still nervous about running a marathon. Running 26.2 miles isn’t normal or easy. 

But the workouts helped me prepare my body and my mind for the big race. 

And, of course, a wide range of Nike products aided in the process as well.

For my recovery runs, I alternated between a pair of the Nike Air Pegasus 39 and a pair of the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run FlyKnit 2. For speed workouts, I stuck to the Air Pegasus 39. For my long runs and my race, I used the Pegasus 39 and the Nike Air Zoom AlphaFly NEXT% 2. 

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

Each shoe served a different purpose.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

The Invincible features an incredible amount of Nike’s responsive ZoomX foam for a plush sensation. The Nike Air Pegasus 39 – the workhorse as I like to call it – features two Zoom Air units and a sleeker design making it great for easy runs and tough workouts alike. The Nike Air Zoom AlphaFly NEXT% 2, however, stands in a league of its own.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run FlyKnit 2

Its double Air units in the forefoot, ZoomX foam, carbon fiber plate, AtomKnit upper, and its aerodynamic and lightweight execution make it the perfect race day with the right amount of energy return and propulsion-like feeling with every step.

Nike Air Zoom AlphaFly NEXT% 2 “Proto”

From my first workout in July to my race in October, the Nike Run Club app and its dedicated marathon training plan helped me not only get to the starting line but cross the finish line.

I officially became a marathon runner on October 9, 2022, with an official finishing time of 5:12:04. While I could’ve raced better, Nike’s training program prepared my body from head to toe and made a running dream a reality.

Whether you want to run a marathon or just get out there and knock out a 5K, the Nike Run Club app has something for every athlete, every runner.  

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