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!
Stuart grew up in England, came to the United States at the age of 18 and has been living in New York City for 2 years. He grew up playing golf, soccer and many other sports that helped teach the importance of exercise plays in an active lifestyle. He chose golf as his main sport growing up, going on to represent his country at the junior level and receiving a scholarship to play at the NCAA division 1 level. Playing golf at the highest amateur level showed him the dedication one needs to reach their goals in their chosen sport and now he has made it his mission to help runners all over the New York City area be the best they can be. In 2006, he was diagnosed with Crohns. This greatly impacted his collegiate career and showed hm how the disease can affect even the healthiest of athletes. Since his diagnosis he has been through multiple courses of almost every drug known to help Crohns, but saw no long term cure. After the last does of medication left him in the hospital, he was admitted and went through surgery in 2010. After the surgery he found the CCFA, and discovered the benefits running can have on the body and in keeping symptoms under control. Since December 2010 he has completed 3 Team Challenge seasons, first as a participant and then two as a mentor. Now he is the Assistant Coach and will be helping every single participant train and cross the finish line.
Lane resides in Brooklyn and has over 15 years of experience working in the field of Sports and Exercise Science. He has a Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology from Adelphi University along with the USAT&F L-1 Coaching Certification. Lane has over 5 1/2 years of coaching experience and is currently training for his 3rd marathon. This is Lane's second season with Team Challenge and he enjoys coaching such a passionate and diverse group of individuals fighting for a cure!
My name is Adrian Paul and I will start off by giving some information about my background, what my loves are, and how I will help you this season train for the Las Vegas Half Marathon. I was born in Georgetown, Guyana and came to America when I was 5 and lived in Brooklyn, New York. My love of running started when I was in 4th grade and since then I have never looked back. Growing up I played basketball, football, then became involved in track once I was in high school. I ran cross country, indoor, and outdoor all throughout high school and decided to continue in college.
After college I moved to California to purse a Master's Degree in Forensic Pyschology and was able to do so in a year and a half. After receiving my Master's I was offered a job at Lincoln Child Center in Oakland, California and that's when my love for coaching came. A co-worker and I decided to start a sports program for the kids and we were the coaches. We coached the flag football team, basketball team, softball team, and track team. Coaching the kids was a wonderful experience that I could never take for granted because being around those kids was joyful and fulfilling.
I joined Team Challenge in 2012 and since joining I have ran 5 half marathons, 4-10ks, 3-5ks, 1-4 miler, as well as a Spartan Race, and will be running my first full marathon this year. I know what it takes to train your body and mind to complete a half marathon and I plan to pass these tools onto the team. We will have a great season and I am looking forward to start training immediately. One thing about me is that when I do something I commit more than 200% and promise you that these months of training will be some of the best months of your life. I will be there every step of the way either walking or running with you. We will cross that finish line together in Las Vegas. I am looking forward to training with everyone.
Below are Coach Dave’s top five tips for sticking with your new year’s resolution:
• Create one, specific goal. Whether it’s to lose a certain amount of weight, to walk or run 5-6 days per week, or to complete a 10k or half-marathon, having a specific goal is a great way to stay focused. Make sure your goals are ambitious, but attainable for you with a bit of hard work and persistence.
• Make small changes and don't overdo it. The human body is very adaptable, and it’s designed to move. The key to starting a running or walking program is to make gradual changes to your current situation. Start by walking 15-20 minutes 3-4 days per week. Gradually increase the time you walk, and if you want to run, start adding a few minutes of running at a time, interspersed with 2-3 minute walk breaks. Over time increase the duration of the running segments and decrease the time of the recovery walks.
• Track your progress in a training log. It’s a new year. Get a calendar, special book or use an online workout tracker like endomondo.com or mapmyrun.com Record your workouts every day, even if you take the day off. Track your mileage, how you feel, what you eat, how much you sleep, and anything else that has an effect on your training. Then—and this is important!—go back and read your diary from time to time! If things are going well, continue with the same plan. If you’re going through a bad patch, try to sort out what might be the cause, such as increasing your mileage too quickly, insufficient rest, poor diet, etc.
• Tell others about your goal. When family, friends and co-workers take an interest in your goal and ask how your weekend long run went; do you want to tell them you ran farther than you’ve ever gone before, or that you finished off a bag of donuts while watching the Real Housewives Marathon? Accountability keeps you honest. Social media is a great way to update friends and family of your progress.
• Make it fun! Training with others, varying your training routes, and rewarding yourself after milestone workouts are great ways to make your training more enjoyable. Finding creative ways to make your workouts fun is the key to sticking to your goal into February and beyond!
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.