Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Training for a half marathon: One week down, eleven more to go

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

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

One week down, only eleven more to go! I finished the first official week of the Wild Half Marathon training schedule on Sunday, and it’s going very well. The schedule was very similar to my previous work-outs, which made me feel confident about the gradual increase of mileage as we get closer to the big race.

Week 2's training schedule:

  • Monday: OFF
  • Tuesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday: 4 miles
  • Thursday: 3 miles
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: 3 miles 
  • Sunday: 4 miles
More coverage
  • Ready. Set. Train: Preparing for a half marathon
  • Which do you prefer: Indoor or outdoor runs?
    Doesn't matter as long as I'm running


    Most training programs recommend that runners preparing for a half marathon be able to run a 5k distance prior to a training schedule. I had spent about two weeks leading up to the start of training doing a combination of cross-training, running and weight training. Some of my favorite strengthening exercises for building leg muscles include: squats on the Bosu Ball, lunges, and kettle bell single arm swings. These exercises have helped build my muscles and prepare me for the run schedule. I can also already feel my endurance improving even on my "short" run of 3 miles. The first week's long run was 4 miles, which is actually now the furthest I have ever run continuously. It felt great to run those 4 miles straight through, and it didn’t even seem like I had added too much to my mileage. So far I haven’t needed to stop running at all, but we will see how I feel about that as we start to increase to the mileage.

    As a new runner on a schedule, one of the biggest challenges I am currently facing this week, and probably the next few days, is the weather. With all the snow and ice, it is difficult to run outside and I'm worried about injuring myself. I have typically limited my running to nicer weather, so trying to convince myself to run in colder temperatures can be a challenge. I prefer to run outside as much as possible, but when the freezing temperatures don’t allow it, I’m stuck on the treadmill.

    What are your thoughts on training with a treadmill compared to an outdoor run? Are there certain advantages to outdoor training or having control on preparing for the race?



    Run with me!:

    Join the Wild Half Marathon & 8k Facebook group to get your training started and follow me on twitter as I continue with the 2nd week: @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.

    Jennifer Fontanez
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