Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Training for a half marathon: Countdown to race day

Training for a half marathon is hard work. We follow Jennifer Fontanez as she follows a 12-week training schedule. (Danielle Pellegrino Stauts / For Philly.com)
Training for a half marathon is hard work. We follow Jennifer Fontanez as she follows a 12-week training schedule. (Danielle Pellegrino Stauts / For Philly.com)

Jennifer Fontanez is a kindergarten teacher in South Jersey who is training for her first half marathon.

In less than a week I will be at the boardwalk, listening to the ocean, oh, and also running the Wild Half Marathon!

Last week was the first of two taper training weeks, which I definitely enjoyed. The schedule had much shorter training runs to give my body a much-needed break; the long run at the end of the week was only 6 miles. I have been keeping track of my general run time to make sure I am staying on pace and have seen a huge improvement. At the start of training, three miles felt like it took forever, and I was also running about a 10:50 mile for the 3-mile. At that pace for a short distance, it had me wondering how long it was going to take to run the half marathon. However, last week I ran my 4 mile and 5 mile runs at a 9:57 mile pace. That is a huge improvement and reminded me just how much training has prepared me for the big race.

There’s a few other things that I've been paying attention to other than the running (but admittedly still related!). I've been eating right and staying consistently hydrated. Also, while there’s plenty of great new things to check out at running expos, I have been heeding others' warning: Do not try anything new on race day!

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    This week's tapered schedule will keep me warmed up for race day. There will also be plenty of stretching and one light leg day early in the week, which has always been a part of my regular training routine. The last two days leading up to the race will be off days to save my energy.

    Training schedule:
    Monday: OFF
    Tuesday: 3 miles
    Wednesday: 5 miles
    Thursday:3 miles
    Friday: OFF
    Saturday: OFF
    Sunday: RACE DAY! 13.1 miles

    See you at the race!

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    Run with me! Follow me on twitter as I continue with the next week of training: @fitfunjen203.

    Jennifer Fontanez
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