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.

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

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?


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.

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