Running Your First Half Marathon at 50+

By on January 1, 2013

By Holly LaChappell –

It was an early mid-June morning and I had just taught a Sculpting class for women aged 50 something+. The next class offered was spinning. I was about to jump on a spin bike, when I heard a whisper to my heart, “It’s so beautiful out. Why don’t you go for a run?” Hmmm, I thought. Why don’t I go for a run? The high school is so close. In the next five minutes, I found myself running around a beautiful track. I ran series of stairs, then the track again. At the end of the work out, I marveled I just ran three miles!

I felt so good, I ran again two days later around the track and surrounding trails. I looked online for some sort of training plan. The plans were endless but so was my enthusiasm! I wanted to inspire my daughters and son to always exercise and be fit, so we signed up to do a 5K run through Disneyland! The official training coach for Run Disney is Jeff Galloway (www.jeffgalloway.com), a former Olympian. I checked out his training plans and I was so impressed. He touts a run- walk program which anyone can do based on how fast (or slow!) you run a mile. For example, I run for 4 minutes and walk 30-60 seconds. This allows you to use different muscles and not over stress your running muscles. The alternate run-walk also allows you to have short goals to achieve while achieving more stamina and a lower heart rate.

I also ordered his program for my Smart phone and listened to Jeff’s coaching three times a week during my runs. He gives tons of helpful tips and motivation. He even talks about right brain and left brain motivation and how tapping into our right brain (our creative side) helps us to creatively solve our challenges while we run. As a side note, I finished writing the last two chapters of my new book Reigning Fire: Discovering Holy Spirit Grace and Hope in Your Fiery Trials in my head while I ran!

This summer, I started to realize through my training runs, I could actually participate in a half marathon while I was still 50! I ran two 5K runs and two 10 K runs in preparation for the BIG day. The day I trained and ran a half marathon was my greatest accomplishment! I knew I was going to make my goal in the half marathon race.

My best tips for you are: stay as consistent as you can in your training runs. Practice everything you will do, wear and eat before your races. If you have not tried it before a race, do not try it on race day! I wear a hydration belt with two 10 ounce water bottles. I use an electrolyte replacement and eat bars at miles 1, 4 and 8. I also drink water at the last water station. I also take as many people’s prayer requests I can in my head and pray for them as I run. If I start to get tired, I start to praise and worship God for making it possible for me to run. I thank Him for the other runners, for the beauty of the day and for the hundreds of volunteers making this run possible. I thank Him for greater endurance and strength in Him and a lower body fat percentage because He encouraged me to run!

God speed to you! Enjoy yourself and be blessed as you run your first half marathon!

 

Holly LaChappell is a Fitness Instructor, Christian writer, educator and speaker. Currently she serves as a Teaching Speaker and Leader in Women’s Bible Study at Twin Cities Church. She also volunteers at A New Day, a non-profit Counseling center as a Lay Counselor. She has a passion for loving people and leading them to Jesus’ transformational heart healing.

About Holly LaChapell

Holly LaChappell is a Christian writer, educator and speaker. She served with her church’s Women’s Ministry for eight years as a Special Events Coordinator. Currently she serves as a Teaching Speaker and Leader in Women’s Bible Study at Twin Cities Church. She also volunteers at A New Day, a non-profit Counseling center as a Lay Counselor. Holly has the privilege of speaking at Conventions, Retreats and workshops encouraging people to live a deeper and more joyful relationship with Jesus. Her life experiences include owning a flower shop, teaching Kindergarten and Home Economics to Jr. High students. She has a passion for loving people and leading them to Jesus’transformational heart healing. She recently ran her first 1/2 Marathon at the young age of 50! She lives in Grass Valley, Ca with her super supportive husband Jeff. They have three wonderful grown children. http://hollylachappell.wordpress.com

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Running Your First Half Marathon at 50+