Coach MelodyCoach Melody Peppard will use her twenty plus years of running experience to provide Team Challenge members with knowledge and motivation that is needed to complete a half marathon.
She has completed one full marathon, several half marathons, multiple ten milers, and countless 10/5k races.
Melody also has past experience as a Physical Team Leader and served as Basic Training Instructor while in the United States Air Force. These roles have provided her with team building skills and a love for helping people succeed. Additionally, these opportunities highlighted the importance of safety and organization to ensure success of the objective.
When Melody was approached to coach for Team Challenge, she was excited to help people complete their running goals. In addition, she felt that running for Crohn’s and Colitis awareness would be awesome and the people would be amazing!
I first learned about CCFA through my wife Erin, who has been managing her Crohn's since being diagnosed at an early age. Though it’s not nearly as difficult as actually having the disease, seeing a loved one suffer through a flare is a pretty tough and helpless experience. In hopes that CCFA funded research will lead to a cure for Crohn's in our lifetimes, Erin and I have both been participants in Team Challenge races and have had wonderful experiences running in support of CCFA.
Running has been a big part of my life since running cross country in high school. To date, I've chugged to the finish line of 5 marathons, 8 half marathons, and numerous other races. In 2011, I coached and ran alongside my brother-in-law as he completed his first marathon. From that experience, I realized that I get as much satisfaction from seeing other people enjoy running as I do from my own running success.
Serving as a coach for Team Challenge is the perfect opportunity for me to help others achieve their running goals and support an organization and a cause that has a significant impact on my family. I am looking forward to a great 2014 season of running with Team Challenge!
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.