This post is sponsored by BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK.
My husband, Brad, and I just ran a half-marathon – his first, my fourth – together! Running a half-marathon over the age of 45 is different than running when you’re younger. Even though it’s still the same distance – 13.1 miles – when you’re older it seems longer and it feels harder.
These 10 tips for running a half-marathon when you’re older aren’t technical tips like “run 10 miles 3-weeks before the race.” That’s not a bad idea but these tips are more general – and hopefully will inspire you to run your first half-marathon or your first kilometer or mile or 10K! Whatever you’ve always dreamed of running…
10 Tips for Running a Half-Marathon
1. Start slowly – If you’ve never run before, take it slow. Try jogging around the block or across the parking lot – from your car into a store – and ease your way into it. Feel the proof that slow and steady wins the race – of life. We don’t have to win any races, we just want our jeans to fit!
2. Increase your mileage – There’s nothing wrong with LSD runs – (long, slow, distance) – and in fact that’s my favorite type of run! Figure out when you need to run a half-marathon and then work back from there. It took us about 4-5 months of slowly building up our mileage to prepare for the race.
3. Running is inexpensive – After purchasing shoes, your biggest expense is behind you – or is it below you? Being active, healthy, and fit doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or involve driving to a gym. With a warm-up and stretch, tie those running shoes and you’re out the door. I don’t have fancy gear or hi-tech rain-wear even though it does rain quite a bit. Shorts and t-shirt are all you need!
4. Find a partner – Everything is more fun with a friend! Consistent exercising – whatever it is – is easier to do if you have a partner or 2 in it with you. Even on days I wanted to skip a run, I knew that Brad wouldn’t let me. On days when he wanted to skip, I wouldn’t let him. Working together towards our common goal kept us going. It also gives us uninterrupted time to talk…
5. Get registered – Now that you’ve got a running partner, find a race to do and go register! Having a running goal with a date on the calendar helps keep the running in focus and it’s something to look forward to. Running and exercising can get monotonous so make it fun with different workouts, new routines or a new running loop.
6. Eat right – Eating healthy foods is important to do every day but especially when embarking on a new exercise routine. Feel good all around with healthy, whole foods + fresh air + exercise. Sign me up!
7. Refuel – While eating right is important, post-run refueling is key when adding mileage. Because I like to keep things simple, including what I refuel my body with, BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK is just the right balance for me – taste, indulgence (it IS chocolate!), and nutrition. Calcium, vitamin D, protein, and potassium – it’s got it all and chocolate milk goes down so easily after a run. I always enjoy a glass – or two – after a long run and workout. Still need convincing? Here’s the science behind it.
8. Rest – Even my friend Pam Anderson, the mom behind ‘Three Many Cooks’ and a fellow runner (find her interview on ‘Secrets of Marathon Chefs on Runner’s World‘) agrees, when you’re putting in more miles and longer runs, you need to rest more and that may include a nap. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. There’s no glory in running every day only to get injured. Getting and staying healthy takes longer as we get older.
9. Keep the weight off – Most days, I feel like I’m battling with my jeans – so that they’ll button! Regular, consistent exercise feels great mentally but it also keeps my waistline in check. There’s no secret to losing weight or keeping it off after weight loss….it’s eating right and exercising. And, sadly as we age, eating less to stay the same size. Darn it!
10. Enjoy – After the race – yes, I ate the biggest batch of guacamole and chips you’ve ever seen and I took a nap. The next day, I could barely get up from a chair or walk down the stairs. I was in pain but it felt so good! Brad finished his first half-marathon in 1 hour + 52 minutes and I finished in 2 hours + 1 minute. Not bad for a couple of 48-year-olds – and even better – we impressed our teenagers. Talk about a good run!
Get out there and go for it! I’ll cheer you on – but first, I need a nap.
What are you training for? Ever run a half-marathon?
Go Gingham related links:
How to make walking poles – they’re re-purposed ski poles – great for upper body workout while walking
I love to hula hoop – hooping fool love!
My winter workout routine and I get up and go!
Exercise at home – and skip the gym
More related links:
BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK is working with Apolo Ohno for the upcoming IRONMAN – he’s training and you’ll be inspired by his journey! In this video, he’s running in Carlsbad, California where I just ran with my college running friend, Jen.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK. Thank you for supporting brands that help support Go Gingham. This is being disclosed in accordance with the FTC’s guidelines.Disclaimer: The information listed here is based on my own research, knowledge, and experience. None of what you read here should replace the advice of your doctor or other medical provider.