Coach Shawn Alcott
Coach Shawn Alcott has been a participant, mentor and now coach with Team Challenge. He started running in 2011 and has since completed a number of runs, from 5ks to a marathon. Since he suffers from Crohn's himself, Shawn knows the issues that can arise and can help participants deal with the difficulties their own IBD's may cause them in reaching their goal of completing a half marathon. Coach Shawn is looking forward to meeting all of the new team members and making sure everybody has a great time out in Vegas!
Coach Chad Berish
Coach Chad Berish has also been a Team Challenge participant, mentor and coach with Team Philly! He has a passion for the program that is infectious, and will work with each and every teammate to ensure that their own personal goals are accomplished. He is excited for his first season as coach, and will strive to give each participant the training and knowledge to cross the finish line in Las Vegas with the rest of the Team Challenge family!
With the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon fast approaching, for runners eager to get into the thick of night time racing, here are 4 tips to help you prepare to take on the night:
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.