Greater Pace

Written by Kai Wen (Singapore)

Kai Wen is married with 2 kids and works in the maritime industry for 20 years. A defining moment in his life made him took charge of his health and lost 40kg in 1 year with God’s guidance. Currently training in endurance sports like Marathon and Triathlon, pushing his physical limits.

October 8, 2023

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” 

Galatians 5:16 (ESV)

Many of us track our PACE.

Pace is an important metric for many runners.
Sustaining a certain pace for a prolonged period is essential to monitor and improve as an endurance runner.

I recently ran a half marathon in Singapore (2XU) on 16 APR 2023.
It was a bittersweet experience as it was my first long distance race ever (21.1 km).
I set a goal of finishing it in 2 hours 30 minutes. 

Many rookie runners tend to run the first few kilometers way too fast (and I did too).
In the end, I suffered some cramps at the 10 km mark and resorted to slowing my pace.
I ended up walking a fair bit to complete the race.

“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

Galatians 5:17 (ESV)

I finished my first half marathon in 2 hours 37minutes instead. 

I embraced the outcome, knowing that I am coming back from a knee injury I suffered in FEB 2023.
I am very grateful that I completed this experience and I will train harder next time.

Back to pace…To run a sub-2 hour 30 minute half marathon, you must sustain an even pace of 7:06 min/km.
This assumes that you are running on a track or a fairly flat course.
However, most races have some hills, may have challenging weather conditions, or may be run on a trail instead of a road.
We also cannot forget any personal issues we may be experiencing, nutritional challenges, fatigue, or personal health matters such as injuries.
Anything can happen that can derail your race plan.
However, with consistent practice and training on sustaining a desired pace can prepare us for anything the race will throw at us.
Running 21.1 km cannot be done by human will alone (e.g., brute force and speed).
You must prepare and learn how to pace yourself.

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

Galatians 5:18 (ESV)

Developing steady pacing in running is very similar to building our faith with the Lord.

It is having consistency in building our relationship with Him that makes us resilient for whatever life throws at us, ONE STEP AT A TIME.

It is not having a huge evangelistic event that will increase our faith tremendously.
It is the small daily chats we have with Him that grows our trust in Him.

It is not having periodic church camps where we rededicate our faith.
It is our daily quiet time with him.  

Our faith is not built upon “once and for all.”
It is a daily commitment.
It is all about pacing!

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:25 (ESV)

Prayer & Reflection:

  • What is something that you can commit to the Lord daily?
    Is it having quality time with Him daily?
    Or to “pause” your hectic life schedule to allow Him to speak to you? 
  • Make a 5 minute commitment to him and gradually build up your faith.

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