Daphnie Yang, a native of San Francisco, California has been living in New York City and loving it for the past nine years. Exercise and fitness have always been a huge part of her life; growing up there wasn't a sport she didn't play or an activity she didn't do. She started dancing at age 3, playing soccer at age 8, and then her life changed at age 13 when she discovered running and fell in love. She developed an appreciation for running and living healthfully at an early age, because frankly, she loved how awesome it made her feel.
Upon graduating from New York University in 2007, she decided to turn her passion for health, fitness and running into her career and devoted her life to helping others achieve their fitness goals. She became an International Sports Sciences Association Certified Personal Trainer and Run Coach upon graduation and has been taking the New York City fitness scene by storm ever since, quickly becoming one of the most sought after trainers/race coaches in Manhattan. She has helped countless people reach their running goals and incorporate balance and wellness into their day to day lives. She herself has run countless half marathons and marathons all over the country. She is looking forward to coaching the Team Challenge runners for the second season in a row. There are no words to describe how much she loves being a part of the incredible Team Challenge team!
Joey has been a member of CCFA Team Challenge since joining as a participant for the Napa to Sonoma half marathon in 2009. Since that race he has progressively become more passionate and involved with the organization by returning as a mentor for the Las Vegas 09 and Boston/Napa/Las Vegas 2010 races. For the 2011 race season he joined the coaching staff as the assistant run coach for Virginia/Kona/Napa events and was most recently walk coach in Vegas. Joey is USATF L-1, Crossfit Endurance and Crossfit L-1 certified. He's raced in 9 half marathons since 2008 and is planning to race his first marathon in 2012. Joey'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.
Rebecca BurkettRebecca "Bex" Burkett is a California native who has been living in New York for nearly 10 years. Growing up as a sporadic soccer player, Bex didn't find her athletic niche until 2004 when she trained for her first marathon for charity. Since then, she has run 8 marathons, 20 half-marathons and many shorter distance races. She has also participated in 2 long distance relay races and in an adventure race. Bex holds her USATF Level 1 run coach certification and occasionally leads run club with lululemon athletica. This is Bex's second season with Team Challenge and she is thrilled to help the team achieve their goals and to be part of an amazing group of people!
Nargus harounzadehNargus Harounzadeh has been coaching runners (and swimmers) since she was in high school. A former D1 swimmer and runner, Nargus is a certified yoga therapist (500-RT) and also holds a certification in plant-based nutrition. She is currently pursuing a Psychiatric NP/MPH in health policy and mgmt at Columbia. It goes without saying, health and fitness are pretty much her life. Ask her anything--she loves to talk about this stuff! While Nargus enjoys being a competitive runner, her favorite way to run is to dress up in costume :) She absolutely adores the energy she gets from the amazing runners she coaches and is super honored and excited to be a part of Team Challenge.
Team Challenge National Head Coach Dave’s May Tip
Stress + Rest = Success. Hard work is important, but it’s the rest after that work that allows your body to rebuild and adapt itself into a fitter, faster you! In addition to getting enough sleep every night, do everything you can to enhance recovery. Eating enough carbs (and some protein) after workouts, drinking enough water, immersing or showering your legs with cold water for a few minutes after workouts, and treating yourself to an occasional (or more frequent!) massage are all ways to enhance recovery.
Team Challenge National Head Coach Dave’s FAQ
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.