Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Training for a half marathon: Testing race day wear and chews

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.

Last week finished up my last of the intense training with a long run on the weekends. After 10 weeks, I’m pretty happy to start with my two taper weeks prior to the race.

The weather has been warming up, so I decided to try out what I will likely be wearing the day of the race to make sure everything is comfortable. When you’re running long distances, suddenly the littlest thing can become a huge annoyance and interfere with your focus.

I’ve been running with the same headphones and armband since the start of training, but for the first time, during my 12-mile run, at mile 10 my headphones were bothering my ears. I have to run with music so I made the adjustment to alternating the earbuds to give my ears a break during the last two miles of the run but still be able to hear the music. I also decided to try out a pair of running shorts I have worn in the past, but never for long distance. The shorts are tagless, because a little tag can suddenly feel like a razor when you’re running with it that far of a distance. The tagless part was great, but after my run I discovered the seam in the back had apparently been irritating my skin and I was left with an abrasion on my back. I still haven’t decided if I want to just wear them the day of the race since I didn’t notice it anyway during the run and deal with a second abrasion after the fact, or find new shorts and hope for the best with a half-marathon run in them.

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    At mile 11, my right knee started feeling a little off, so I decided to take two one-minute walk breaks throughout the entire mile. Without them, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to run through it to the end and still finish feeling strong.

    Overall, I felt great during my 12.3 mile run and had a consistent pace. I only stopped twice for water and made sure to sporadically use my Gatorade Prime Energy chews which help me maintain my energy throughout the run.

    All my training fell into place during this weekend’s run and I am feeling pretty good about adding that extra little bit to the mileage to run the Wild Half Marathon at Morey’s Piers! It’s time to taper the training and get ready for the big race.

    This week's training:
    Monday: OFF
    Tuesday: 4 miles
    Wednesday: 5 miles
    Thursday:4 miles
    Friday: OFF
    Saturday: 3 miles
    Sunday: 6 miles

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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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