Coach Kaelyn Meek
My name is Kaelyn Meek and this is my fifth season coaching with Team Challenge. When I am not coaching Team Challenge, I work as a Sport Psychology Consultant. I use psychological principles aimed at enhancing sports performance. My objective is to improve athletes’ performance. After graduating from University of Washington in 2003 with a degree in Psychology and Sociology, I took time to travel and lived in Rome, Sydney, Phoenix, and Denver before moving back to Seattle in 2010. I am an avid runner and triathlete and also have a License in Massage Therapy. I am very passionate about health and fitness, both physically and mentally and look forward to another awesome season.
Coach Chris Adams
My name is Chris Adams and 6 short years ago I hated running. That was until Team Challenge changed my life and made me a multiple half marathon finisher. Since October of 2007, I have participated in 14 Team Challenge half marathons and have raised more than $50,000. This will be my second season as a certified Team Challenge training coach and look forward to working with new friends. Outside of this amazing program, I enjoy music, sports and spending time my amazing wife and co-Team-Challenge-coach, Kaelyn Meek. As a lifelong Crohn's sufferer, I feel I bring a unique and necessary perspective to the Team Challenge process. I look forward to meeting new participants and helping them cross the finish line.
Coach Bill Johnson
Bill is in his thirdyear of coaching for Team Challenge but he has been running his whole life. Born from a family of runners, he ran his first 5K at age 6 and hasn't stopped running on the road, trail, or the soccer field since. Always looking for new challenges and to test his endurance, Bill is a participant in Urban Adventure Races, has climbed the stairs of the Sears Tower in Chicago - and back down all 92 stories, and is aspiring to climb both Mt. Rainier and Mt. Everest (someday). Having completed many 1/2 marathons, the Chicago Marathon, and too many other races to count, Bill is primed and ready to help you reach all of your goals and get you across the finish line!
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.