Four Essentials for Your First Half Marathon


Half Marathon pic
Half Marathon

Retired US Navy captain David Schnell sits on the board of directors of Walden Family Services, a nonprofit serving foster youth. An avid runner in his free time, Captain David Schnell has run several half marathons.

Running your first half marathon will feel a lot different from running a 5K or 10K. To get you started, here are four essentials you’ll need for completing your first half marathon:

i) Good shoes and socks 
A good pair of well-fitting running shoes is an absolute must if you want to avoid injuries such as shin splints and joint pains. Opt for well-fitting and -padded shoes that complement your stride, to minimize stress on your joints during the run. Add a pair of partial-wool socks to reduce the chances of developing blisters.

ii) Bottled water 
Hydration is a must on long runs. Being even slightly dehydrated will negatively affect your performance. Drink as much water as your sweat rate and the weather demand, and carry more bottled water on hot and humid days.

iii) Chafe protection 
Anti-chafe body lotion prevents chafes from developing in your underarms, thighs, and toes. Apply some to make your running comfortable all the way.

iv) Nutrition packs
When you’re running long distances, you will deplete your body’s levels of glycogen. Carry an energy drink or nutrition gel or chew to power up.


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A U.S. Navy veteran with more than 26 years of experience as an officer in increasingly challenging roles, including the command of two naval warships, David Schnell has a vast background in executive leadership, management, and team building. David Schnell’s military service offered him the chance to develop a wide range of skills in business management, crisis management, financial planning, and problem solving. He served in multiple deployments to the Arabian Gulf, provided combat support to ongoing military operations in the Middle East, and led thousands of sailors from a variety of different professional backgrounds. During his naval career, David Schnell served as Commanding Officer on board the USS Peleliu, an amphibious aircraft carrier and flagship for an expeditionary strike group, and the USS Ford, a guided missile frigate in support of an aircraft carrier strike group. During both commands, he led a total of 1,250 sailors and oversaw the security of 1,800 Marines in combat and support operations. David Schnell also held several staff positions in Washington, DC, including Staff Officer to the Chief of Naval Operations Deep Blue Directorate, where he offered technical guidance and expertise on emerging warfare concepts, and Branch Chief to the Joint Staff in the War on Terrorism Directorate, where he worked on anti-proliferation issues concerning weapons of mass destruction as well as biological and chemical agents. Schnell retired honorably from the Navy as a Captain and currently works in San Diego as Executive Director of Christ Kitchen, an organization that provides thousands of meals to people who are homeless and families in need. David Schnell also serves on the board of Walden Family Services and is a counselor with Royal Family Kids Camp, two organizations that offer assistance, support, and developmental activities to foster children.

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