Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Training for a half marathon: Hydrating and energizing

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) Danielle Pellegrino Stauts / For Philly.com

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

If you told me a few weeks ago that I would be running over 10 miles for a long run, I probably would have laughed and said yea, right. But after my long run of 10.7 miles this week, I had the biggest sense of accomplishment and couldn’t believe my progress!

Some weeks are better than others, and last week I had a few days where I was really lacking in motivation. After working all day, the last thing I wanted to do was run 6 miles. But taking a look at my overall goal and remembering how many hours it's taken to get there help me get ready. Last week’s schedule included three 4-mile runs, a 6-mile, and a 10-mile run at the end. After the second run of the week (6 miles), my knees felt like they belonged to the Tin Man and I decided to take a few days off to cross-train. Cardio wise, I’ve felt great on my runs, but I also didn’t want to risk injuring my knees just a few short weeks before the race. I did skip the last two short runs on the schedule, deciding to save my legs for the long run. I’m glad that I listened to my body because I was able to run my 10-mile over the weekend without any problem.

Now that I’m up to a more significant mileage, I’ve been more conscientious about preparing for the weekend long run. Running 10 miles without any water or support was my biggest concern, so I enlisted my parents to help me with my training. My dad is a long-time marathon runner and has been helping me along the way with some useful tips to having a successful run- including water breaks and maintaining my energy level. I planned out the mileage, figuring out when I would need water and  also tried out some Gatorade Energy chews to finish out the 10.7 mile run. I was able to maintain my pace and be consistent throughout the entire length of the run.

More coverage
  • Week 7: No pain, no gain?
  • Week 6: I'm halfway there!
  • Week 5: Testing my commitment
  • Only a few miles stand between me and my half marathon distance! Can’t wait to see how these last few weeks of training goes and how it all comes together on May 18.

    This week's training:
    Monday: OFF
    Tuesday: 4 miles
    Wednesday: 6 miles
    Thursday: 4 miles
    Friday: OFF
    Saturday: 3 miles
    Sunday: 11 miles

    How do you hydrate and energize for long-distance runs?

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

    If you haven't yet registered for the Wild Half Marathon, click here. Philly.com readers get $10 off registration before May 1 by using promo code PHILLYDOTCOM at checkout.

    Jennifer Fontanez
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