Coach Lauren Watson- Miami Market
I had never thought I would have become a runner of any sort especially a distance runner when I barely could make it through a 5k. It wasn't until Istarted a 10k running program 8 years ago where I was inspired by an amazing and dedicated coach, that I became addicted to the sport! In the past 8 years I have run 20 full marathons, 10 half marathons and many other races of all distances. With a passion and dedication to running, I have been involved as a coach and supporter of Girls on the Run, a coach for Houston Fit and a past Team Challenge coach for the Houston chapter. There is so much to be said for someone that is up to challenging themselves and puts forth the dedication to train and complete a race of any distance, and I strive to share my learning's and offer the most support and encouragement to help others achieve their goals. I hope that I can follow in the footsteps of my first coach and share the joy of running.
Coach Sandra Bio - (Full Bio Here)
I have been involved in professional athletics in several capacities since 1986: elite runner, coach, agent, race event consultant and physical therapist. I am probably most well known for having coached my husband, Khalid Khannouchi, to three sub 2:06 marathons, including the American record of 2:05:38 (London, 2002). But throughout my career I’ve helped many other athletes ― from children and teens, to recreational and sub-elite runners, to other world-class elites — reach their highest potential at distances from the 5K to the marathon. Prior to this I was an elite runner myself, representing my country of origin, the Dominican Republic.
Team Challenge National Head Coach Dave’s DECEMBER TIP
If you're planning on running or walking a summer half-marathon in 2015, 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!
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.