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Walking MORE’s Half-Marathon: Training on the Road

Follow along as dietitian Elisa Zied trains for her first 13.1-mile race and blogs all about it. Do you tweet? Join the conversation by using the hashtag #morefitnesshalf
by Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN

My Curling Team - Photograph: Lyn Famiglietti

Over the long President’s Day weekend, I had an amazing opportunity to visit Prague for a nutrition conference. Although I missed my family tremendously as they went skiing with close friends in Vermont, I spent a wonderful four days catching up with friends and colleagues (including one of my long-distance training partners who will join me at the More Half-Marathon). We attended jam-packed sessions to stay updated on all things nutrition and learned about a different culture. (Boy, do they love their ham, Wiener schnitzel and dumplings!)

As I’m approaching the middle of my training for the half-marathon, I knew traveling to Prague (the flight alone was nearly nine hours) and adjusting to the six-hour time difference would inevitably put a wrinkle in my fitness routine. But because I knew the itinerary for the conference beforehand, I did my best to pack well and plan ahead to fit in at least a little bit of exercise.

Because of a sudden change in my schedule prior to leaving, I did my long weekly walk—nine miles—on Wednesday instead of on Monday. I took Thursday (a travel day) off, and planned to do at least some formal exercise four times while in Prague. Even though it would have been nice to sightsee with friends, we had so little free time and I felt I’d be happier if I prioritized my exercise. It really makes me feel good and I truly believe that because I exercised, I slept and handled jet lag better than I might have otherwise.

When I arrived in Prague on Friday, I took a one-hour walk on the treadmill followed by a one-hour nap (much needed after the overnight flight during which I slept a mere four hours). On Saturday, during a short break, I did 20 minutes of equipment-free exercise—squats, lunges and crunches—in my hotel room. At 6:00 AM on Sunday, my friend and colleague Jim White held a great 30-minute cross training session on an outdoor patio. Eight of us lunged, squatted, kicked and punched (the air, not one another!) in a light drizzle and moved to music (Jim was smart enough to bring the hotel clock radio). We had a blast!

Although we didn’t exert ourselves too much, that afternoon we all spent two hours curling—a game that originated in Scotland in which you slide heavy stones with handles towards a target (in our case, a hockey puck). Even though we didn’t work up a sweat, and our team came in 11th place (the 12th place team forfeited!), we all enjoyed silly-time together.

I took Monday off and ended my trip with an early-morning, 45-minute walk on the treadmill before heading to the airport.

I’m proud to have fit in the fitness I planned on my trip. Although I sat a lot and I wasn’t as active as I normally am, I had a wonderful time in Prague. The friendships and camaraderie I enjoyed and the great information and discussion I was fortunate to be a part of were well worth the slight derailment to my usual fitness routine.

What I completed in Week 6: February 13-19, 2012
Monday: 4-mile walk on treadmill
Tuesday: 20 minutes weight training: 3 sets of 5 arm exercises and 150 crunches
Wednesday: 9-mile walk outside
Thursday: REST
Friday: 3.8-mile walk on treadmill
Saturday: 20 minutes weight training: 3 sets (20 reps each) lunges and squats and 100 crunches
Sunday: 30 minutes cross training with Jim White, 2 hours curling

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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