Head Run Coach: Julie Dunkle
Team Challenge San Diego is excited to announce our new Head Run Coach, Julie Dunkle! Julie is a long-time endurance coach and athlete, and is excited to bring her passion to our participants. Julie has completed 15 half marathons, 10 marathons, and 8 Ironman’s! Coaching is her passion and leading individuals to realize their potential and achieve their goals is what truly rocks her world! And this summer season she’s ready to lead Team Challenge San Diego not just in crossing the finish line, but surpassing our goals as we strive to find a cure!
- USAT Level 1 Certified Coach
- NAASFP (N American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals) Marathon Coach Certified
Walk Coach: Cindy Birkett
Team Challenge San Diego is excited to welcome back Walk Coach, Cindy Birkett! Cindy has been an avid fitness walker for 18 years and has participated in or served as a mentor/coach for 20 endurance events. Her focus and inspiration come from her daughters; one of whom suffers from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. She joined the CCFA’s local San Diego Board of Directors last year in support of their many programs, to have a voice on her daughter’s behalf, and to make a difference in the lives of her daughter and of so many others that suffer from these diseases. Cindy’s passion is helping others achieve their goals and she loves coaching!
- Certified Team Challenge Coach
Ass. Coach: T.J. Trevino
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.