Training for a half marathon: An added challenge

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

Only 3 more weeks until the big race day! Last week had a training week similar to previous weeks with several short 4-mile runs, one 6-mile run, and one long run at the end of the week. I decided to cut one of the 4-mile runs each week to give my body a chance to recover. This week I had an added challenge.

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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)

Running has become a regular routine that I've been able to work into my daily schedule. However, last week, I had the entire week off for a vacation. I decided to go on a cruise, but had to remind myself that even though I was on vacation, I couldn’t fall completely off the grid with my schedule at this point in the training. Our ship included a jogging track and a very well maintained fitness center, which I did make sure to use several times during the trip. I’ll be honest, I did a lot more cardio and cross-training in the fitness center instead of my usual mileage during a regular training week. The jogging track was a decent size, but the major challenge was the weather. New Jersey has been fairly cool these past few months, so I'm accustomed to running in cooler temperature. Suddenly I was running in 80-90 degree heat with the sun, even in the early morning. The view was gorgeous, but I was not prepared for the temperature difference or the drastic wind resistance. The important thing for me to remember was that I needed to still maintain my activity level throughout the week so I didn’t waste a week so close to the race. That said, I focused on weight training and leg exercises in the fitness center.

Even though I will miss running over the ocean and all the beautiful weather, I’m ready to get back to my regular training schedule and wrap up one last long 12-mile run before I taper off prior to the race. It’s almost here and I can’t wait!

This week's training:
Monday: OFF
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday:OFF or crosstrain
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: OFF

How do you stay on track with training when vacation falls in the middle? Better yet, how do you prepare for drastic changes in temperature?

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

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