Coach Chris joined Team Challenge as a participant in the 2009 Kona Half Marathon. Those 5 days he spent with new friends in Hawaii turned out to be an eye-opening experience. After witnessing the impact Team Challenge had on so many lives, he was eager to continue his affiliation with the organization.
Chris is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He takes a simple, movement-based approach to fitness, believing that a body that moves well lays the foundation of true fitness. As someone who has been involved in many sports throughout his life from both a participant's and coach's perspective, he is a strong believer in the benefits of both an active lifestyle and the camaraderie that comes along with training in a team environment. Now in his 7th season as coach, Chris is excited to welcome the next group of participants into the Team Challenge family.
Jenny has been running with Team Challenge since the CCFA started the program several years ago. Although she personally does not have Crohns or Colitis, her world is now full of friends and acquaintances who suffer from these diseases. Her background as a competitive triathlete, yoga teacher and personal trainer, gives her the opportunity to share and teach patients, as well as friends and relatives of Crohns and Colitis patients, to live their life to the fullest. Every participant, mentor and coach from Team Challenge, is inspired, motivated and most importantly, keeps coming back. Our family keeps getting bigger. We define the motto, "You can do anything', because you really can.
COACH DAVERunning hasn’t always been a passion for coach Dave. For most of his adult life, running was a way to stay in shape for other sports, primarily hockey. After college, when a regular hockey schedule became difficult to maintain, Dave continued to run to stay in shape. It wasn’t until several years later that he discovered the competitive aspect of running, entering a 5k and managing to finish in a a respectable time.
Dave has participated in three half marathons with Team Challenge, in addition to countless 5k’s, 10k’s, and various other races, including two Tough Mudder events at Mount Snow. Dave is an avid hockey player and CrossFitter, and believes that successful training for an endurance event involves not just running but whole-body strength training and a clean, healthy diet.
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.