Dr. Philip Maffetone is a bit of a household name amongst runners. Hemagellan believes that doing the least harm to one’s body by monitoring effort via heart rate leads to improved athletic performances.  The method is simple:  determine the heart rate at which one’s body most efficiently burns fat, and then train at or below that threshold (the aerobic zone).  Whenever an individual trains in the zone above the fat-burning threshold (the anaerobic zone), he or she is more likely to become injured, over-trained, or burned out on running.  From a biochemical standpoint, training in the aerobic zone will cause the body to burn fat for fuel, not carbohydrates.  When training in the anaerobic zone, the body requires more carbohydrates, and thus leads to sugar cravings.  Maffetone asserts that burning fat is better for the body than burning carbs, because quick carbohydrates, like sugar, raise the body’s insulin levels and decrease one’s ability to metabolize fat.  Therefore, quick carbohydrates are deemed “bad” foods if following this training regimen.

To begin heart rate training, all that is necessary is a heart rate monitor and to know one’s maximum aerobic heart rate.  The calculation for maximum aerobic heart rate is simple:

1. Subtract your age from 180
2. If you are recovering from a major illness, subtract an additional 10
3. If you are injured/out of shape, have allergies, asthma, or easily become ill, subtract an additional 5
4. If you have been training consistently for more than 2 years, and have improved without injury, add 5

Therefore, for a healthy 40 year old, maximum aerobic heart rate is 140.

running shoesThis post was written by a clinical psychologist and hopefully will help you to get fired up and running again.

Are your running shoes lonely? Perhaps you’re finding it increasingly hard to wake up early in the morning to run. Or you just can’t feel enthused about your weekend long run. Sounds like you are in need of a major boost to your dwindling running mojo. Keep reading to learn how to regain your motivation to run by using one of the three following psychology-based ideas.

Use Positive Reinforcement

In behavioral psychology, positive reinforcement has been shown to be highly effective in getting people to engage in certain behaviours and activities. So if you’re trying to get yourself pumped up about running again, you can try using positive reinforcement to your advantage. At the end of every completed running session, treat yourself to a specific and special reward. The key thing is for the reward to be something that you really like and don’t have very often. That rules out a vanilla latte! And if possible, avoid indulging in that designated reward item on the days when you decide to sleep in instead of getting up early to run. Again, that rules out a vanilla latte! By doing this, you’ll come to associate the reward with running, and you’ll go out of your way to run in order to enjoy that very special treat.

Safe Lace openHave you ever been running in a group or a race and the person in front of you stops to tie up a loose shoelace? It’s hard not to go headfirst over the top of them! Loose shoelaces are a nuisance whether it happens to someone else or to you.  Our current beginners running group are finding that too, with two girls having to stop to tie up their laces only yesterday. I often have issues with my laces; I wear orthotics which take up a little space in my shoe, so I can’t pull the shoelaces as tightly over my foot. This means there’s less lace to make into a double knot, so laces that come undone have been a hassle for me many times.

Fortunately, I discovered Safe Lace. This clever yet very simply designed item secures your laces so youSafe Lace closed don’t have to worry about them coming undone.  You just put your laces through the holes of the Safe Lace, tie your laces over it, and then lock them in place by putting the tab on the top over the bottom lock. No more worry about having to pause in your run or walk to tie up shoelaces.

It’s not just sportspeople who can benefit from Safe Lace. It’s ideal for children who go to school. Can’t yet work out how to tie a shoelace? Not a problem. Mum can attach Safe Lace in the morning and those laces will stay tied for the rest of the day. If you work in a field where loose laces are a real hazard, then Safe Lace will stop you tripping over a lace, and could save you from injury or worse.

Safe Lace aloneThere are no negatives about using Safe Lace. It’s easy to use and does exactly what it says it does. There’s free postage on purchases of more than 2 sets, and a range of colours to suit all tastes. As you can see, the white Safe Lace looks great with my Asics, but I do need some purple ones to match my Hokas! Why not grab a set to match each pair of running shoes in your wardrobe?

You can find out more and purchase Safe Lace online from their website at Safe Lace.

IcePack2-300x212If you get injured, the acronym you use to remember the treatment regime is R.I.C.E.R. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and Refer. They’re all pretty obvious, maybe except for refer – it means to see a doctor if it is serious, debilitating, or fails to resolve within a day or so. Anyway, ice is sometimes inconvenient to use – it gets wet as it melts, you have to remember to fill the ice cube tray, and your children steal all of the ice cubes to make slushies when you’re not looking. Well, not any more! Here are instructions to make the perfect ice pack to treat injuries. This ice pack doesn’t make a puddle, it doesn’t have lumps of ice, and no-one is going to steal it to make cold drinks.

To make it, you’ll need the following: