Coach Darrell is SUPER pumped to be coaching the walkers. Fitness is his life. As the owner of Fast Forward Fitness personal training studio Darrell has trained numerous people to complete everything from 5Ks to obstacle runs to half-marathons. He has a strong passion to help change people’s lives for the better. “It is so amazing to see how people grow and become truly strong, not only physically but mentally and emotionally. That’s why I do what I do!” Darrell has competed in a handful of 5K runs, the Chicago Urbanathlon and run for Team Challenge twice in Las Vegas as a participant. This will be Darrell's third season as Coach.
Coach Tim is excited to be back coaching Team Challenge Milwaukee runners. As a runner for over 18 years, Tim has completed multiple marathons, triathlons, and has a 5K PR of 17:11. He has trained a triathlete with colitis and a working single mother to complete her first marathon. Tim committed to running at least a mile a day over 800 days ago, and has not missed a single one. Making running "functional" is something he does; when he says he is running to the post office, he is really running there! A former journalist, Tim current writes about healthy, active lifestyles for the DRAFT magazine blog The Beer Runner.
Over the past decade, Mark evolved into a committed distance runner and health advocate, which led him to complete nearly 20 marathons, as well as dozens of half marathons, 10Ks & 5Ks. There are always 2 goals he sets for himself in each race - get to the start line and finish faster than he did previously. Mark discovered it more beneficial for him to spend time in a pair of running shoes than it was to do anything else, with the exception, of course, of spending time with his 3 kids biggest motivator, Susanne - his wife. Based on his personal and coaching experience, Mark realizes that training sometimes requires modifications, both physically and mentally. With each coaching experience, Mark discovers ways to encourage his athletes to "Finish Strong" - words of encouragement he once received from another runner who pushed him on when he was struggling to complete a race.
Working with Team Challenge is an ideal fit for Mark. He gets the honor of working with runners and walkers who are facing a challenge - maybe physically, maybe emotionally, maybe both - but no matter. He knows that “you just gotta get out there,” and he can't wait to see all his athletes at the starting line.
Below are Coach Dave’s top five tips for sticking with your new year’s resolution:
• Create one, specific goal. Whether it’s to lose a certain amount of weight, to walk or run 5-6 days per week, or to complete a 10k or half-marathon, having a specific goal is a great way to stay focused. Make sure your goals are ambitious, but attainable for you with a bit of hard work and persistence.
• Make small changes and don't overdo it. The human body is very adaptable, and it’s designed to move. The key to starting a running or walking program is to make gradual changes to your current situation. Start by walking 15-20 minutes 3-4 days per week. Gradually increase the time you walk, and if you want to run, start adding a few minutes of running at a time, interspersed with 2-3 minute walk breaks. Over time increase the duration of the running segments and decrease the time of the recovery walks.
• Track your progress in a training log. It’s a new year. Get a calendar, special book or use an online workout tracker like endomondo.com or mapmyrun.com Record your workouts every day, even if you take the day off. Track your mileage, how you feel, what you eat, how much you sleep, and anything else that has an effect on your training. Then—and this is important!—go back and read your diary from time to time! If things are going well, continue with the same plan. If you’re going through a bad patch, try to sort out what might be the cause, such as increasing your mileage too quickly, insufficient rest, poor diet, etc.
• Tell others about your goal. When family, friends and co-workers take an interest in your goal and ask how your weekend long run went; do you want to tell them you ran farther than you’ve ever gone before, or that you finished off a bag of donuts while watching the Real Housewives Marathon? Accountability keeps you honest. Social media is a great way to update friends and family of your progress.
• Make it fun! Training with others, varying your training routes, and rewarding yourself after milestone workouts are great ways to make your training more enjoyable. Finding creative ways to make your workouts fun is the key to sticking to your goal into February and beyond!
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.