Coach Jackie has been a member of the Team Challenge family since 2008. Participating in the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon with Team Challenge was Jackie's first Endurance Event and she hasn't turned back ever since. In the last 6 years Jackie has competed in over 12 half marathons, a triathlon and she completed her first full marathon last October. She has the mission close to heart as she participates in Team Challenge in honor of her mother Barbie who has suffered from Crohn's Disease for over 50 years. Jackie started out as a participant with Team Challenge and came back again and again as a mentor and Team Captain. In 2012 she became a coach, and over the last two seasons has successfully helped dozens of team members cross the finish line. She doesn't hide her dedication to the team and CCFA's mission, which shows in her one-on-one attention to participants and teammates.
Jackie is a firm believer in the idea that anyone can achieve anything when they put their mind to it, so whether this is your first time lacing up a pair of running shoes or you're going for your own PR, Jackie will help you cross the finish line and make sure you're happy and healthy doing it.
Go Team Challenge!
In his second year with the Team Challenge program, Michael is no stranger to endurance training. Coach Michael has worked with programs like Team in Training and American Heart Association’s Start Training and has trained hundreds of runners and walkers for their first half or full marathons. Ironically, distance running was never his favorite sport in his earlier years. He discovered his passion for running in 2009 after his life changing decision to lose over 60 lbs through exercise and a healthier diet. Since then, Michael has completed 2 ultra-marathons, 11 full marathons, 22 half marathons and a dozen other short distance races.
He is a Certified Run Coach with Road Runners Club of America, a Ragnar Relay Ambassador and also a PADI Certified Rescue Diver. As an avid practitioner of cross training, he loves spin classes, weightlifting and yoga. His philosophy is that ”Running is about finding time for yourself while having fun. The key is learning to listen and respect your body while pushing your mind to exceed your limits.” Michael is a professional IT consultant/speaker and produces IT conferences in the US and Europe. His favorite pastimes include spending quality time with his family, photography, traveling, and SCUBA.
If you're planning on running or walking a summer half-marathon, the time to start training is NOW! The most important thing you'll need to get started is a good pair of training shoes, and the most important feature of a running or walking shoe is how it fits YOUR foot. Don't worry what the Olympic Champion wears, and don't think about what color the shoe is; the only things that matter are how the shoes fit on your feet and how they fit your personal biomechanics. (Of course if the shoes fit your personal biomechanical needs AND come in Team Challenge orange and blue, well that wouldn't be a bad thing!)
Happy feet = happy training!
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.