Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ready. Set. Train: Preparing for a half marathon

Jennifer Fontanez is a kindergarten teacher in South Jersey.
Jennifer Fontanez is a kindergarten teacher in South Jersey.

Jennifer Fontanez is a kindergarten teacher in South Jersey who enjoys working out... but not so much running.

While most people are just about to call it quits on their list of New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve decided to add a half marathon by running the Morey's Piers Wild Half Marathon on May 18. It’s going to be 13.1 miles of fun in the sun as I put a 12-week online training program provided by the Wild Half Marathon’s digital training group to the test.

Here's how it works: Each Friday, the running plan for the coming week will be posted. The plan includes rest days and daily distance runs. The training is set up on the assumption that participants run regularly and are comfortable running a 5k (approximately 3.1 miles).

Here is the 1st week’s plan starting Monday, February 24:

  • Monday: OFF
  • Tuesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday: 3 miles
  • Thursday: 3 miles
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: 3 miles
  • Sunday: 4 miles

A little about me:

Like many others, I’ve participated in 5k runs, but have never trained for a race as long as a half marathon. Never the athletic type growing up, I made a personal goal 5 years ago to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle. With a combination of spin classes, a personal trainer, and strength training I managed to get myself in shape and able to run a 5k comfortably. The personal trainer is no longer around, so I work hard to hold myself accountable. I’ve added sprinting and jogging to my workout repertoire, but have been focusing more recently on the elliptical trainer, high cardio classes (such as kickboxing and piloxing), and yoga. As any trainer will tell you, it’s important to mix up workouts. With this in mind, I’ll be focusing most of my training on a combination of a weekly running schedule, cross-training, and those much needed rest days.

In my head:

As running isn’t even my favorite workout, I’m also mentally preparing myself to see 13.1 miles as just a number. Adding 10 miles to a usual 3-mile run in just twelve weeks seems daunting, but with weekly training, it comes down to just an extra mile or two a week. Setting daily running goals is going to help prepare me to tackle the half marathon on the day of the race. The ultimate goal is to have all the training and hard work pay off when I complete the half marathon feeling strong.

Let’s do this!:

Join me and many others in training over the next 12 weeks by liking the Wild Half Marathon & 8k Facebook group. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter as I post regular updates of my weekly 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.

For all you new and veteran runner friends out there, what is the biggest challenge you’ve encounter when beginning a new training program?

Jennifer Fontanez
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