COACH JOE COBUCCI
Coach Joe is a beloved member of the Team Challenge staff and has been a member of the Team Challenge family since joining as a participant for the Virginia Half marathon in 2010. Since that race he has progressively become more passionate and involved with the organization by returning as a mentor for the Las Vegas 2010, Virginia 2011, Napa 2011, Virginia 2012, Napa 2012 races. For the Nashville 2012 race season he joined the coaching staff as a coach for Nashville/Las Vegas 2012 events. Joe is a certified Team Challenge coach. He's raced in 28 half marathons and one full marathon. Joe's coaching motivation comes from meeting participants for the first time, hearing them say they can't run 13 miles and then watching those same people crossing the finish line happy and healthy with a smile on their faces. Joe has a special connection with those participants that live with IBD as Joe himself has been living with Crohn's for many years.
COACH RETT MCBRIDE
Coach Rett is the newest member of our Team Challenge coaching team. Rett brings 15 years of running experience. In that time, he has finished a marathon (LA, 2006) and participated in more than 15 half-marathons, oodles of 10Ks and gobs of 5Ks. This spring, Rett has numerous races on his calendar including the Atlanta Half Marathon. Rett has many years of experience as a teacher. He is an Instructor of Mathematics at Oglethorpe University and Georgia Perimeter College. In the classroom, Rett has a patient, easy-going style, that puts anxious math students at ease. He motivates students and promotes self-confidence with steady encouragement. As a Team Challenge coach, Rett hopes to utilize his skills as a teacher while sharing his enjoyment of running.
With the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon fast approaching, for runners eager to get into the thick of night time racing, here are 4 tips to help you prepare to take on the night:
Q: I’m not currently running or walking more than a mile or two at a time a few days per week. How will I be able to finish a half-marathon?
A: Your coach will design a program for you based on your current level of fitness, whatever it may be. You’ll gradually build your mileage over the course of the coming months until you can walk or run (or with a combination of walking and running) a ten-mile workout. From there, well over 99% of our participants complete their half-marathons.
Q: What kind of shoes do I need?
A: Everyone has different feet and biomechanics. The staff at your local running/walking specialty store will be able to fit you for these needs, as well as your mileage level, and the surfaces on which you train. To find a local specialty store, head to www.runnersworld.com/store-finder
Q: What’s a “GU”?!
A: “Gu” and other sports gels (PowerGels, Cliff Shots, Hammer Gels, etc.) are concentrated forms of carbohydrate about the consistency of honey. They are an alternative to sports drinks and are designed to provide athletes with energy for endurance activities. Each gel contains about 100- 110 of concentrated carbohydrate. Many half-marathons will provide gels in the later stages (around mile 10) to give runners and walkers an energy boost for the last few miles. Although they are generally pretty easy on the stomach, especially when taken with water, it’s always a good idea to try gels several times in training first before using them on race day.
Q: I had to miss three days of training. How do I make up the lost days?
A: You don’t! If you’ve missed anything less than a full week of training, just jump right back into the schedule. If you missed more than a week, talk to your coach about modifying your schedule to get you back on track.
Q: My fingers swell during my training walks. What’s going on?
A: Your heart beats harder and faster when you train, so blood is sent more forcefully to the extremities. Muscle action helps to return blood back to the heart, but many walkers don’t pump their arms very much when they walk (they should!), so blood pools in the fingers. Swollen fingers are more common with changes in temperature, during pregnancy, and when electrolytes are out of whack. Clenching and unclenching your hands, or shaking them over your head will help to pump the blood out of your swollen fingers.