Training for a half marathon: I'm halfway there

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

I’m halfway through this training program and getting psyched for the race in 6 weeks! The training program that I am following for the Wild Half Marathon and 8K is designed for beginning runners who are able to run a 5K comfortably prior to the start of training. The program has weeks that are more intense than others, but so far I am able to accomplish the training without too much difficulty.

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

This week's running schedule:
- Monday: OFF
- Tuesday: 4 miles
- Wednesday: 6 miles
- Thursday: 4 miles
- Friday: OFF
- Saturday: 4 miles
- Sunday: 9 miles

As a new runner, one of the things I hadn’t taken into consideration before is form. Proper form and technique in any exercise routine is critical in order to avoid injuries and get the most from the workout. For the past few weeks, I have been paying attention to my form, pace, and overall feel after the run. Sometimes I felt like I could walk faster than I was running, which drove me to focus on moving forward and not wasting my energy. I came across some great information on Competitor’s website about common running mistakes and realized I had made each and every one. Speed was never my priority, but after looking into how to have decent running form, I realized I could still be faster than before and improve my training. Tweaking my form has definitely made a difference, as this week I tried adding some sprints and hills to my 4-mile run schedule. I felt great after my 8-mile run and feel like my training is starting to all fall into place.

Focusing on form has enabled me to also settle into my running pace with more ease. Typically, when I run a shorter mileage I feel like I am so focused on just completing the run that it takes me longer to feel ‘settled’ into a pace. When I run further distances, at this point anything over four miles, I am able to really get into my running groove and enjoy the run.

Only six more weeks till I’m running down the boardwalk at Morey’s Piers for the Wild Half Marathon!

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. readers get $10 off registration before May 1 by using promo code PHILLYDOTCOM at checkout.