Team PHenomenal Hope October Update and answers to Frequently Asked Questions

September 26,2012

After an exciting introduction at the Pulmonary Hypertension Association International Conference, it has been a busy summer as things have been getting off the ground. It was a fun summer for us, riding bikes, volunteering at the Pittsburgh Triathlon, walking PHor a cure, meeting patients and talking about the adventure ahead. Momentum is starting to build, and we are truly excited whenever we get the chance to talk to people about Team PH, our cause, and the people we have met living with PH. And while there has been a lot happening behind the scenes, we thought it would be a good time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that have come up along the way.

How long will it take?

RAAM is a race, so we will be riding 24/7 and must finish within 9 days. There are checkpoints and 4 time cut-offs (Durango, Mississippi River, Mt. Airy Maryland, and City Dock in Annapolis, MD), so once we start there will be no slowing us down.

How does it work? Are you all on bikes at the same time?

Team RAAM works like a team relay race. One racer is on the course at all times. The other three are either eating, resting, or getting ready to pull the next leg of the race. In addition to the racers, the team also consists of the all-important crew, a group of 10-12 people led by our crew chief, dedicated to driving support vehicles, navigating, fixing bikes, preparing food, problem-solving, and more.

How do you train for something like this?

The simple answer is: We plan to ride our bikes… a LOT. While all of us our cyclists at baseline, there will be RAAM-specific training. We will be working with Sally Edwards, former team RAAM winner, and Gene Nacey at Cycling Fusion as team coaches to help us craft an overall game plan for training for the event. We have also become students of the Heart Zones training methods and more, to better understand our bodies, developing a training load and plan, and becoming smarter and stronger riders. Within this plan, each rider will work with their coach to develop a plan that fits their individual race goals in 2013 as well as the team’s goal of RAAM 2014. The team will also be riding together this winter at Winter Training at Cycling Fusion, building base fitness and getting 2013 off with a strong start.

We want to do this with you! How can we do this with you?

Well, since RAAM is a race, and will be nonstop, 24/7, 3,000 miles, from one end of the country to another, we’ll be training for this over the next year so we can be “race ready and RAAM tough.” However, while the team races across the country, we envision many ways for people to participate near and far, whether it’s meeting us at a time station along the race route, or doing something active like riding a bike or stationary bike or even walking – even for a few minutes each day as we race.

In addition, you actually can get involved with us NOW! One way to do with us is to join us for our upcoming event on Saturday, November 10 at 11AM EST. We are teaming up with UPMC Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Cycling Fusion to bring you “Pulmonary Rehab: A Team PHenomenal Hope Workout for Everyone.” Have you wondered about ways to safely add exercise into your life? Pulmonary rehabilitation may be the answer. In a live webcast from Cycling Fusion, Deb Piontek and Shawn McCurdy from UPMC Pulmonary Rehabilitation will work with patients in the studio and demonstrate principles of how pulmonary rehab is used in PH. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for more information.

Finally, please keep following along with us, spread the word to your friends, and keep in contact with us! We will definitely keep you posted on events as well as training and race updates on our blog, but you can also help us raise awareness by sharing your stories, and spreading the word. Also please “like” us on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter!

Team PH members at Pittsburgh’s Walking PHor a Cure

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