With a passion for helping people improve their lives and a dedication to running, Coach Zachary R. Sykes has spent the last 7 years honing his skills as a coach through experience, education, and association. A nationally certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor, Zach is a USATF Coach with 5+ years of experience working with runners age 7-82 with everything from collegiate experience to none at all. Running under the tutelage of 10 time All American Daniel Caulfield at California University of Pennsylvania, Zach was schooled in the Joe Vigil training system, used by Olympians Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor, while pursuing a Masters in Exercise Science with a focus in Injury Prevention and Performance Enhancement. More recently, Zach has spent many hours perfecting a workable system to promote efficient mechanics and all but eliminate many of the most common overuse injuries related to running. He continues to focus on his own education and sees his purpose as a “translator from the greatest fitness minds to the masses, to help them create healthier lifestyles”. Currently Zach owns and operates a local Track Team that competes in the area and is studying with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Zach is excited about working with Team Challenge and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to enhance awareness of these life altering diseases. Through your commitment to your short term goals, the long term goals and dreams of thousands may be affected. Together Everyone Achieves More!
Audrey Hyland recently relocated to Washington DC from San Francisco where she was a coach for the Bay Area’s Team Challenge half marathon team. Audrey has a passion for running and wellness and has been playing sports since she was three. She has run multiple marathons including the New York Marathon, numerous half marathons and dozens of road races. She ran Cross Country in high school and played Division I soccer in college. Audrey is a Road Runners Club of America Certified Running Coach and an AAAI / ISMA Certified Sports Nutrition Consultant. Audrey thrives on helping others achieve their personal and athletic goals and is most proud when she’s watching her Team Challenge participates cross the finish line after 13.1 miles!
Oliver, a true Washingtonian, found his running passion somewhere between the water logged English countryside and the beautiful trails here in our nation's capital. Oliver has always had running close to his heart. In addition to running, Oliver has participated in triathlons and spent the 2008 season sponsored by Zico coconut water. Oliver believes running and other forms of exercise play an important role in healthy lifestyle, along with good nutrition and rest. Oliver thrives on helping people set and reach their athletic and health related goals! Oliver is full time accounting analyst and real estate professional. He holds both CPA and LEED AP certifications.
A Team Challenge DC Alumnus, Ian is joining us again this spring as a Coach. Ian has been an avid runner for the past five years. He has run every distance from 5k to 50k and owns a Half-Ironman finisher's medal. He is a Boston Qualifier for 2013 and dreams of completing the Western States 100 Miler. A colitis patient since he was 11, Ian came to Team Challenge so that Crohn's and Colitis doesn't hold anyone back from their goals--athletic or otherwise.
His other athletic endeavors include being a coxswain for rowing teams for 9 years and coached high school rowers several summers. He competed at every level of the sport which culminated in a 3rd place finish in the Men's Heavyweight Eight at the IRA Collegiate National Championships. He also spent 4 years as a Sea Kayaking guide and instructor. He also dabbles in rock climbing and occasionally skis.
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.