Tim Duffy is new to coaching marathons for CCF, but is no stranger to marathons and other endurance sports. In the 1980’s, he began running short distances for fun, but began serious running in 1996 after discovering he was at serious risk for a heart attack. Adding a consistent running regimen per doctor’s advice changed his life and his lab results.
He began competitive training in 2003. Since then, he has participated in 21 marathons, numerous half marathons, 10Ks, & 5Ks. Additionally, he has completed 5 triathlons including the Silverman Half Ironman distance, and 3 century bike rides. Though active in multisport, Tim’s love has always been running. Because of his love for running, Tim branched out into the ultra-marathon distance in 2010. He has completed 11 ultra-marathons including two 100-milers, earning the title of overall winner of the 2011 Labor of Love 100-miler. He also participated in Death Valley’s Badwater ultra-marathon, pacing a participant for more than 67 miles in the grueling desert sun.
Tim holds a coaching certificate from Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). Tim also has experience with volunteering in fundraising events and teaching. In 2009, he fundraised and ran the Chicago Marathon with the American Cancer Society. Additionally, he volunteered with Leukemia & Lymphoma’s Team in Training (TNT) for several events. He also has several years of experience teaching both children and adults through his church.
Because of his personal experiences, Tim believes that endurance exercise such as running and walking is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle.
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.