Barbara has been involved with Team Challenge Northwest since 2009. She has participated in nine Team Challenge half-marathons as a participant, mentor and coach. For over a decade in her younger years she delighted in running competitively. After one too many surgeries stemming from her battle with ulcerative colitis, and too much wear and tear on her body as a teenage endurance racer, she decided to hang up the running laces and look to racewalking as her main form of sport.
There are distinct differences in running and walking, and Barbara has learned about them not only from a personal perspective but also by professional and self-education. She has participated in several racewalking clinics led by Team Challenge’s own National Walking Coach Dave McGovern, a former racewalking National Champion.
Barbara is looking forward to supporting all participants in achieving their goals for this season. She is happy to be a resource to answer questions regarding walking, running or discussing ulcerative colitis.
In Dexters short running career, he ran his first Marathon in 3:35. He had the honor of pacing the 3:40 marathon group for the 2013 Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon. Dexter started running to lose weight, to this day he has lost 32 pounds. This is Dexters first year coaching for Team Challenge and he is excited to help others reach their goals!!!
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.