Ginny Pietila - 2013 Coach
Ginny brings personalized attention and customization to her athletes, while providing them direct and timely access to her coaching. She enthusiastically educates them on safe efficient methods of training, breaking through mental/physical barriers, healthy living, and staying injury free.
Ginny works with athletes of all abilities from first time Sprint distance athletes to Kona Ironman qualifiers. Her passion for triathlon started in 1997 when she crossed the finish line of her first Danskin Sprint Triathlon and has continued to grow stronger every year. Now a seven time Ironman finisher, Ginny draws upon her personal experiences with over 16 years in the sport as an athlete and 28 years working in physical fitness. She continually educates herself on current and best methods pertaining to exercise science and multisport.
Ginny brings a unique camaraderie and fun to her coaching style. For her team training, she develops and coaches weekly triathlon training sessions including: swim workouts, group training rides and race specific running workouts. She approaches each athletes personalized plan by building base, endurance, strength and form in order to build a solid foundation for future intensities that make the athlete race ready. With years in the sport Ginny has developed a network of specialists from bike fit specialists, physical therapists and nutritionists to help train the whole athlete. Due to Ginny's racing experience, education and decades in the sport of Triathlon, she confidently works beside athletes of all levels to reach their goals. Ginny continues to race each season and obtains successful results, leading by her own example of combining quality training with family, work and friends.
Ginny is a USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, YogaFit Instructor, Heart Zones Cycling Instructor and Co-Owner of Club Emerald on Mercer Island. Ginny is a strong believer in volunteering and giving back to the sport that means so much to her.
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.