Running from the ground up

I want to touch on some important aspects to consider before starting to run or train, I’ll go into more detail in later blogs. Some people still believe that more is better, when it comes to training ‘Go hard or go Home! is often followed leaving people deflated when they don’t reach their goal due to injury or burnout. Most people will always run for as long and as fast as they can with no real plan. ‘I was that person’ but as great as running up miles is, if you don’t have a plan you are a high risk of burnout and/or injury. I know what you’re thinking ‘that’s wrong, if I don’t run as fast as I can for each session I won’t get better’. This is only true from your actual speed sessions. The Kenyans (best runners on the planets) follow the 20:80 rule meaning 80% of their training is easy running while the remainder is hard/moderate running. It’s no coincidence that they are so fast. I’ll discuss proper program design to a degree in a later blog,(if you need a program built please contact me via the e-mail below). Number 1 you need to understand where you’re tight and weak before you start running. I’d recommend at least 4 weeks of mobility and strength training before starting a running program.Why?The first issue of running without proper assessment is that you could have a lot of short, tight and weak muscles and other issues from the deskbound lifestyle most of us are guilty of. You need to start correcting these issues in a meaningful way first because major muscles involved in running (hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, get short and weak in a prolonged seated position).

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Sitting shortens hips flexors and hamstrings, it also deactivates the Glutes

Most likely your shoulders and diagram (breathing muscle) are out of alignment meaning you’re not getting enough oxygen per breath. When you stand up your skeleton is pulled out of alignment, if you start to add motion and reaction forces to joints that are out of alignment the end result will definitely be injury with reduced quality of training until the injury happens. Running blindly without focusing on all aspects of performance can be compared to cycling into a headwind on a rusty hybrid bike wearing baggy clothes and a parachute out back. You’re still moving put it could be so much easier. Correcting your imbalances would be like getting a tt bike with full aero clothing, high end components and ditching the parachute, put head to head there would be no competition, no matter how hard you pedalled there would be no way of beating the upgraded version of you, also the chances of your components (body) breaking down are much higher because they aren’t being maintained so the concern swtiches to being able to finish the race at all instead of racing your better self. It’s important you get assessed by a sports physiotherapist, ideally someone with an excellent understanding of your chosen sport. When assessing it’s a good idea to start with the feet as these are the contact point with the ground and ‘25% of the muscles in our body are below the ankle’. The simplest way to train the feet without much effort  is to go bare foot(with socks)at home, wearing shoes with a wide toe area which allow the toes to spread as well when you go out is good idea.The big toe is very important in balance and controlling pronation(when the foot roles inward on ground contact) during running. Allowing your big toe room to do its job it very important to prevent bunions( bony bumps that form at the base of the joint of your big toe). If your big toe turns in this causes a chain reaction up the movement chain i.e knee collapse in, then hip drop etc.

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Flexor hallus longus muscle helps maintain foot arch

Next look at your knees (knee pain/stiffness, do they collapse in?). Your VMO muscle could be inactive due to prolonged sitting, excessive dynamic knee bending(sitting, running, cycling) also deactivates the VMO. The VMO muscle is responsible for the last 30 degrees of knee flexion. A single leg squad in this range is an example of a VMO exercise

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VMO prevents the knee collapsing in

Moving to the hips. The glutes muscles maintain the position of pelvis which in turn helps the spine maintain a strong position. Sitting for prolonged periods turns these muscles off. If these muscles aren’t activated properly and you go for a run most likely you won’t be able to maintain proper posture so every step will bring you closer to injury. Consistently working on muscular and postural weaknesses is key to not getting injured and getting the results you want. Muscles often occur in pairs, called antagonistic pairs. As one muscle contracts, the other relaxes. An example of an antagonistic pair is the quadriceps and hamstrings; to contract – the quadriceps relaxes while the hamstring contracts to bend the knee. Running works certain muscles more than others (generally outer quadriceps and hips flexors) which will get stronger or overused. In the case of the quadriceps the hamstrings help control speed of contraction, if the quadriceps are too strong for the hamstrings you could tear a hamstring among other things. Running also generally tightens your hip flexors which adds to the problem of sitting. Tight hip flexors create an excessive pelvic tilt angle which has been shown to prevent the glutes and hamstrings firing properly. So  if you sit for most of the day and go for a run without addressing your imbalances you’re going to really add to some of the issues sitting creates.muscle-relationship-agonist-antagonist-upper-leg

I get everyone I work with on a resistance training prehab/rehab  program before I get them doing any real running work outs. ‘I’ll discuss running workouts in a later blog’. Many people just want to run, which is fine put if your running schedule is making you too tired to lift weights or you don’t see the point in them you’re going to get injured, this is fact. And if you’re someone who is already good at running you could be so much better with a weights programme. Please Like and share on any platform you’re on, If you have a question please ask.

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Use it or lose it!

Help you and your business age well.

I’d like to compare lifting weights to managing a company into the one blog so excuse the frequent use of brackets. This blogs speaks about lifting weights while also symbolising acting in your company’s and staff’s interests. This is important because I need to show the importance of both sides. I think it makes the importance of both clearer as well. Now there’s a lot still to cover(It’s a huge area) but I will address these in separate blogs individually. Let me know what you think in the comments sections below. Again please share on your current social platforms.

Use it or lose it!

Why lift weights (use you workforces potential/strengths)?

teamwork

It prevents aging (loss of effectiveness in your market space), one marker of aging is a loss of motor control and strength (keeping your company’s departments synched to the same end goal, i.e. moving forward and staying current to your customers and staff. To do this properly you need to use a plan with predetermined peaks in performance targeted at specific times of the year. Lifting programs (company objectives) need to be reviewed regularly to check progress.

Muscles(staff) are stimulated into action by nerves(your ability to give and take direction) that send and receive signals from the brain(you) in response to the environment(market place trends).Muscles like staff can only function with maximum efficiency if all signals(feedback) are processed correctly by the brain(you). If you don’t use your muscles the parts of the brain that control will also get smaller which will have a knock on effect on your thinking because many areas of the brain share some functions (You become more fixed minded).Another important point is that a muscles force generation capacity is limited if the skeleton and its joints (corporate structure) are out of alignment by even a small amount. In this case the brain(you/management) will send inhibitory signals(mixed responses/ conflicting requests) to the muscles(staff) to prevent injury(profit losses/reputation damage), and adapt a secondary joint position(just going through the motions, micro-managing) which increases wear and tear on the joint surfaces(decreases the effectiveness of company departments and culture, ultimately losing good staff and company effectiveness) So you need to facilitate you’re your staff capacity to achieve through a strong and aligned corporate structure centre around employee wellness.

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No one wants this to happen but if you don’t take notice of your body’s health (company’s health) and acknowledge that you need to lifts weights (use your full potential, there’s no 2 ways about it) you are guaranteeing a quick and unpleasant aging process(losses of coordination between departments with high staff turnover and an less staff productivity. Please don’t think of your past achievements as an excuse to not try now. Being a superstar last year doesn’t make you one now. You have to keep the effort going regarding your company’s and your staff’s health (focus on yourself as well ). On that note muscles can only adapt if proper recovery is given both physically and mentally (Allow you and your staff time to breath). Soft tissue work is great for relaxing muscles and realigning torn muscle fibres to help get the next workout done. In the same way mindfulness/mediation classes will help staff relax and think about what they really want from their working life, thus realigning everyone with company goals. I can discuss applying a targeted corporate wellness program which goes well beyond fitness classes by looking at current and potential issues from multiple angles to those serious about making a real change to their company’s wellness is pursued

An important word to know regarding muscle function is ‘motor unit’ which is a motor neuron (nerve cell) and the skeletal muscle fibres innervated by that motor neuron. This vital part can be seen as you and your senior management’s awareness to staff health and interventions taken to maintain/improve it because it is the point of communication between both brain and muscle. This includes making sure everyone in your company understands your intentions and that you are aware of the current environment your employees work in and obstacles faced to health. Groups of motor units (company departments) often work together to coordinate the contractions of a single muscle; all of the motor units within a muscle are considered a motor pool( all senior management must be on the same page regarding employing wellness for anything to really happen). In large motor units 1 neuron (department) may control a large amount of fibres (staff) for powerful movements such as seen in the gastrocnemius involved in walking (moving forwards with wellness program). Small motor units are found in areas where finer movements are needed such as in the figures where each neuron control a small amount of fibres meaning more independent signalling(internal audit/individual heads of departments). As muscles become unused and neglected , the motor units begin to disappear(less communication to staff), this means less neurons(managers) are available to help the muscle which has a 2 fold effect, the fibres are deactivated(staff lack direct and question their usefulness) and less control is available to the fibres that are still activated(ineffective management). The body is great at taking the easy way out if you let it, By that I mean if you let it your body(company as a whole) will only preserve the minimal amount of muscle and function for you to survive based on your current habits(your company will fail to make any headway). There’s a lot of sub-tiers activity wise regarding muscle mass generation and preservation(maintaining corporate function) , every little helps, some people might think walking instead of talking the lift(being told staff morale is high and accepting it instead really looking into it) doesn’t make that much of a difference but it does. If you can gradually overload your muscles (challenge and stimulate your staff) expect to see huge returns.

 

love-your-jobStarting an exercise program is a gradual process you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete (not all areas need to be perfect right away in your company as long as improvements in company wellness are pursued daily and updated regularly)

So I hope this makes sense and look out for my next article on sugar intake

All the best

David

Beginner running on short notice

I had the pleasure of taking over a couch to 5k program for a corporate client recently. There was 4 weeks until race day and unfortunately the previous coach hadn’t delivered them to where they needed to be. It’s important when you don’t have an ideal amount of time until race race to just work with where you are and focus some conditioning to complete the target course. This was a brand new group of runners which are always nice to work with because every session completed is one they thought they couldn’t and its great to see confidence grow as the group nears their first. The group had only 1 day per week running previously, below you’ll see how I aim to get upto 3 runs completed in the pre-race week, I used  weeks 5-6 (weeks 1-2 with me)to assess my runners fitness and  to predict the rough 5k pace they could hold. I gave them confidence busting exercises such as power posing which they found both very funny and helpful.I also introduced pre- performance routines into the warmup including visualisation, verbal confirmations and writing cue words on armbands for during workouts.

I have only included weeks 7-8 of the program where 2-3 runs per week had been reached. Guidelines for beginner runners are 3 runs per week put common sense needs to be used. In this case the aim was to build confidence and get them through the first race injury. Weight loss was also a big aim as most were quit overweight. It was realistic for each to loose 6-8 pounds during the 4 weeks at least.I’m a coach who doesn’t blindly follow print outs, ever session is based on the individual and group and interacting with clients is very important. I instructed them how to train with HR and RPE scales, I prefer HR to paces as the HR generally shows how hard your working each workout. Based on their training i gave them a realistic target to finish in, all of them finished faster than this estimate which was great! To give context to weeks 7-8  week 5 was 1 run with 2 strength/mobility sessions and drills, Week six was a test week with 2 runs and 2 strength/mobility sessions and drills. Enjoy and remember 1 workout a week is still better than none! Lastly I’ve included products and other blogs in the guidelines as they are helpful , I’m not working with these people in anyway just my honest opinion

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Photo Annette Shaff/Shutterstock

Warm-Up

The warm-up should begin approx 40 minutes before the race. Start with a 2-10 minute jog. Commence this run slowly and gradually increase the pace. One method of slowing the starting pace down is to begin the run by only breathing in and out of the nose. i.e (Mouth closed). This ensures the early pace of the run is easy. You’ll be surprised how fast you can eventually end up running after a few minutes of nasal breathing.

Don’t undertake static stretching prior to a race. It is proven to reduce power and strength within the muscles. Reserve static stretching for the cool down. Instead do a series of dynamic stretches and drills. Dynamic stretching will maintain the elastic properties of the muscle, while also limbering up the muscle for a more intense effort. These can include

March on toes – While walking grab and pull your knee to your chest while raising onto your toes.

Butt kicks on toes – While walking kick your heel towards your butt. If you’re able grab and pull your foot or ankle.

Soldier March – While walking kick one leg up keeping it straight, reach for the toes with the opposite hand. Alternate with each step.

High knee with external rotation – Grab your ankle and knee rotating your hip, pull towards your chest.

Walking lunge with twist – Take a slightly longer than normal stride and go down into a lunge, rotate your upper body in the direction of the forward leg reaching your arms up and away, alternate with each step. This will stretch the torso and opposite hip flexor.

Forward/Backward hip rotation – While walking raise one leg up and to your side with your knee bent and rotate it forward.

Quick Skips – Quickly bring your knee to hip height and back down to the floor. Move forward in a skipping motion and be conscious of your

Strides/%Runs – Slowly build up your speed reaching 90% or 100% and slowly decelerate. Think of perfect form.

Here is a link to a good demonstration of dynamic stretching and drills

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLFv2P5_tLk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULwtgZA5wAE

 

 Running Zones

Basic formula for max HR is 220- your age( a good guide for beginners)

For example mine would be 220-28=192 if I want to know 60% or 90% or my MHR the I would multiply this number as follows 192* 0.6= 115 or 192*0.9=173

This formula only gives an idea of what your MHR would be

A more accurate formula uses your resting HR aswell,

Using this example – the 90% level (ie use 0.90) is: 0.90 x (HRmax – HRmin) + HRmin

ie 0.9 x (192-49)+49 = 173 bpm

The max Hr is measured using 220-age(this is safer than trying to reach max HR in training)

HR is slow to respond to effort so build it up gradually, if you feel you’re working 100% in the first few minutes of a run put your HR is showing 80% of max it most likely is that the HR has not risen fully yet so don’t mind this. Use RPE for effort and check your HR to make sure you haven’t gone over your zone.

 

Using RPE( how you feel you’re working from1 to 10 is a good start)

Training Zone               Duration    RPE       % MHR        Purpose

Zone 0                                   < 60’         1           94                 Increase maximum power output

Short intervals                 3sec-30sec            N/A              Increase sprint power

To be properly accurate with your fitness and training zones its best to use a HR monitor watch

A basic one should as from Polar can be bought for €90ish

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/polar-a300-fitness-watch-with-hrm/

This is the most accurate way to track time in zones and to know if you’re training too hard!

I would recommend any garmin watch with HR you can upload your data to Garmin connect and pair your training with myfitnesspal.com

A basic Garmin is 147-166 euro

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/garmin-forerunner-25-gps-running-watch-with-hrm-large/

Calorie counting

Too loss fat we need a slight calorie deficit of 500-1000Kcal per day which causes a loss of 1-2 pounds per week. Start with 500Kcal deficit per day and increase the deficit once your weight loss stops. Your metabolism is the rate you burn kcal at both resting and during activity. Your body will adapt to restricting kcal  and your metabolism will slow causing you to stop losing weight. For example,If we were to start at 1000kcal deficit per day at the start we would loss more weight initially for the first few weeks but once our metabolism adapts we would have no where to go as far as dropping kcal goes so its best to start small and build up, consistency is key.

I like garmin connect and myfitnesspal as the kcal you burn while training is automatically brought to your myfitnesspal account making it easier to track kcal in(eating) and kcal out(exercise/activity).

To keep track of progress weigh yourself once per week at the same time of day while fasted(before drinking or eating).

I weigh myself Monday morning when I get up

Another site that is helpful for weightloss calorie guides for men and women is below

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alissa23.htm

General guidelines for dieting

  1. Eat 5 – 8 meals spaced 2 – 3 hours apart.
  2. Eat 1 protein, 1 fat and 1 carbohydrate (either complex or fibrous) at every meal.
  3. Drink 3 – 4 litres (1 gallon) water daily.
  4. Eliminate or severely limit alcohol.
  5. Eliminate or severely limit junk food.
  6. Limit simple sugars, except from fruit.
  7. Pan cook foods in flavoured cooking spray instead of oil or butter.
  8. Enjoy at least one cheat meal, but no more than one cheat day (or three meals per week)

How to build up gradually.

Ideally 3 runs should be completed per week,

We can build up to this, Roughly no more than a 10% increase should be done in each session each week,

For example last week we ran for a total of 20mins(2x10min) put this week we completed 5% more ,21mins(3x7mins) ideally next week we will add 10% from this week 23-24mins (3x8mins 2mins rest).

Its all about building tolerance, the rest increases again next week to help with the increase in work. I mention that I would like you all to complete a second run of 12-14mins easy RPE 1-2 or 60-70%MHR and see how you get on (go on feel it should feel easy!), always leave 1 day between runs. I hope you all can complete this 2nd run to see if you can tolerate it. If no issues are noted we can complete 2 runs again next week. Hopefully if this goes okay we can add 3 runs in the 8th week.

The plan will be as follows:

Week7:

Run 1: 3x8mins 2mins rest RPE 7-8  or 80-90% MHR

Run 2: easy run of 14-18mins RPE 1-2 ( Go on feel! HR is not important for easy runs as long as it feels easy, i.e you’re not breathing hard and your legs aren’t hurting)

Week 8:

Hopefully everything has gone well, we can now add a 3rd run

Run 1: ideally Monday Easy 18-20mins RPE 1-3

Run 2: Wednesday with me! 3x9mins 2min rest RPE 7 80%MHR

Run3: Fartlek tempo (mix of easy and moderate efforts) 3min easy (RPE 3) 2mins Moderate (RPE 5-6/ 65-75% MHR)

Always stretch while you’re warm after a run. Hold stretch for 8-10seconds , repeat 2-3 times depending on how tight your muscles are. Try and get up and walk around for 2mins every hour to keep yourself loose while at work.

In week 8 the first run is super easy .This run loosens your legs up and lets your body start to prepare for Wednesdays harder session. Make sure you run this one super easy. The 3x9mins will bring you close to 5km pace helping you get used to harder running. The last run is all about change of pace which happens in racing .It’s not too fast pace wise, this session is all about changing pace in a relaxed manner. Hopefully this will set you all up for your 5k race!

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Sugar and all cause mortality?

Sugar consumption has been a huge issue for some time now .Most people focus on drinking and smoking as issues,which they are put most of us are functioning sugar addicts with a blood sugar chart that resembles the current bitcoin price trends. We get hangovers from sugar. On more than one occasion I’ve heard people in various gyms tell each other not to worry about sugar intake because ‘sugar turns to muscle’. Yes sugar can be a fuel in high intensity events, but in general sugar creates a hormone cascade in the body that ultimately prevents proper muscle development and severely affects mental and physical health over time. People think they have more energy when they eat sugar but this really isn’t true. An important hormone to look at is insulin. It’s produced by an organ called the pancreas. Insulin is released by beta cells in the pancreas(which stop working if stressed enough), and this insulin binds to receptors in cells (muscles) to facilitate the transport of glucose into the cells. Its role is to allow sugar (blood glucose) to reach cells and to send excess sugar for storage in adipose tissue (fat). High amounts of sugar decrease the amount of insulin receptors on cells meaning less sugar is used leaving more in the blood and adipose tissue.The rise of blood glucose is measured on the glycaemic index (GI) scale.

Insulin is the hormone of aging (type diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, cancer, blindness. For every point your blood sugar is above 70mg/dl your risk of heart disease goes up 5%, so if you look at the upper level of ‘normal range’ which is 99mg/dl your risk of disease goes up 145%. Now something to remember is that most of this normative data is taken from people who aren’t actually healthy (because the general population isn’t healthy as a group). If your levels are this high you’re probably miserable. Normative data is taken from the general population which is a population with very low activity levels combined high fat levels and stress levels. High levels of sugar are toxic for the body and prolonged sugar exposure damages nerve cells. This is why people with diabetes can go blind or loose limbs

 

 

Healthcare/economics

A topic regularly spoken about is the need for a bigger budget in the health service. Reasons highlighted are the long wait for beds and not enough doctors per patient ratios. Now this is only partly true. We are the second most obese country in Europe and we are fast becoming number one. What about a public nutrition budget instead? In Ireland 60% of the population is overweight or obese. Most of the conditions seen in hospitals are as a result of the complications of high sugar diets and lack of exercise(cancer, hypertension, obesity, diabetes). If I was to take 10 random people off the street 6 of them would be obese by these figures. A dangerous illusion about health is measuring of the body circumference and our height to weight ratio(BMI). People confuse the term thin and skinny, a thin person can have respectable levels of muscle mass and function while a skinny person will have a high % fat level relative to their mass. Most people who think they are thin are actually what is termed skinny fat( very low muscle mass cover by high fat which makes them appear normal weight).When I speak to clients most would class themselves as ‘reasonably fit’. By this they mean that they can walk when they need to and do their job without major issues, but when they get blood tests done most are in the higher end of normal range or unhealthy range for blood pressure and blood sugar. Being in this higher range is not good, the general population as a group is not healthy ,just because most people fall in this group doesn’t make it ok or normal. As the general public become more unhealthy so too does the normative data acquired from studies.

Sugar is quite dangerous to us in many ways, our health suffers, and we then turn to medication, cars and other ways of avoiding the problem except addressing our diet and lack of activity. The unhealthier we get the more money we spend. If you are making €70,000 but are highly sedentary with a terrible diet it becomes a very small amount when the costs to your physical and mental health are added up. Our sugar epidemic is also crippling us economically (drugs are expensive after all). Exercise can’t fully compensate for the amount sugar in processed foods or health care costs. No matter how much exercise you do you cannot get rid of the toxics in your system fully, similarly you can’t undo your bad health by spending thousands on pills, the only way to counteract this is to eat healthy. Biochemistry is very complicated, so simply put good food is good, bad food is bad.

Brain

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Sugar alters your thought patterns, whether you’re aware of this or not, your decisions tend to be less rational and moreemotional while on a high sugar in the diet. 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep, most of this is linked with diet. Sugar directly affects the quality of sleep. Sleep is  essential to repair the brain, and for the release of the body’s natural hormones that make us superhuman when we get good sleep consistently. The issue with quick sugar sources is the severe spike and drop in blood sugar. High and low blood sugar wreak havoc on the brain’s function. You already know that fast sugars are out of the question. High sugar intakes correlate with acute and significant drops in IQ. Specifically prediabetic individuals have a higher risk of cognitive decline, poor memory, and loss of brain function than any others. It has been estimated that a 20% decrease is the norm. Plus, the sugar rush comes with symptoms that bear striking similarities to those of ADHD. Not exactly the ideal condition to develop consistent productivity at work. High blood sugar also depletes dopamine. This neurotransmitter is essential for sustained focus and drive. Two things you want in ample quantities when trying to get ahead. High blood sugar effects BDNF. BDNF is the brain growth factor. It sustains and repairs neuronal circuits, one pivotal mechanism when it comes to learning and making memories. High long-term production of insulin is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s and diabetics are twice more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. When you have high levels of insulin resistance, you have 3 times the likelihood of suffering from depression.

 

Yet you don’t want to slide down the slippery slope of hypoglycaemia. When you spike your insulin, you cause reactive hypoglycaemia. This has been shown to damage the brain because the blood sugar is then too low. Confusion and slow thinking go hand in hand with low blood sugar. Additionally, low blood sugar raises cortisol. If the condition goes unchecked for extended periods of time, it negatively impacts memory. It actually shrinks your hippocampus. The hippocampus happens to be general quarters for memory formation, learning and the control of emotions.

Cardiovascular system

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High glucose levels reduce the levels of the powerful vasodilator nitric oxide in blood vessels, a shortfall that increases the risk of high blood pressure and eventually narrows down the vessels.  I had a very productive summer and winter in athletics on the track and in cross country, this was due to limiting sweets only, when I rewarded myself at Christmas with an Oreo donut I had the shacks, headaches and ended up throwing up due to the nausea. My system hadn’t had a high exposure to sugar in months, this reaction shows how toxic it is, our body doesn’t naturally want high sugar foods, we can only tolerate them because of loss of insulin receptors in our cells and the release of cortisol and growth hormone which also desensitise our cells to insulin.

Combining a complete lifestyle approach of a healthful diet, regular movement and stress reduction will improve quality of life, reduce cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, association between low levels of testosterone and the above insulin-resistant states, with a prevalence of hypogonadism(low testosterone) of up to 50% in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Low levels of testosterone are also associated with an increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Hypogonadism and obesity share a bidirectional relationship as a result of the complex interplay between adipocytokines, proinflammatory cytokines and hypothalamic hormones that control the pituitary-testicular axis. Interventional studies have shown beneficial effects of testosterone on components of the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus and other cardiovascular risk factors, including insulin resistance and high levels of cholesterol. Biochemical evidence indicates that testosterone is involved in promoting glucose utilization by stimulating glucose uptake, glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Testosterone is also involved in lipid homeostasis in major insulin-responsive target tissues, such as liver, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. The fatter you get the less testosterone you produce which worsens the effects of high sugar levels on the body.

 

Stress

Being-With-Stress

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Cortisol released in response to insulin spikes will also affect your posture/body language, making you appear closed off or stressed, this will make it harder to make business contacts or friends. People don’t like associating with visibly stressed people. This doesn’t bode well for your business. Under stressful conditions, cortisol provides the body with glucose by tapping into protein stores via gluconeogenesis in the liver. This energy can help an individual fight or flee a stressor. However, elevated cortisol over the long term consistently produces glucose, it makes cells less sensitive to insulin so sugar stays in the blood stream, (most of us, particularly those in banking/finance roles have high stress levels relative to the physical exertion, a waiter is also a stressful position but all that moving helps burn the sugar released).Excess sugar will be stored as fat but high levels will still be produced by cortisol circulation. Slow healing of wounds and easy bruising also happen with a high sugar diet, this is partly due to chronic high cortisol levels and higher bacteria production around wounds that feed on sugar.

How to Manage Insulin?

The key to controlling insulin lies in fact with the ratio and nature of macro-nutrients. Your brain is your most vital organ, keep that in mind. Please don’t be one of those people who has huge cheat days, it’s really not good for you. In fact, just keep having these insulin spikes and you won’t even remember to go to the gym…What is the point of spiking your insulin to get big and lean if it makes you forgetful. Eat a diet high in fruit, veg, meat and nuts.

 

References:

Chen JX, Yan SD. Amyloid-beta-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. J Alzheimers Dis. 2007 Sep;12(2):177-84.

 

Cordain, L., et al. 2005. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: Health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr 8 (2):341–54.

 

Fishel MA, Watson GS, Montine TJ, et al. Hyperinsulinemia provokes synchronous increases in central inflammation and beta-amyloid in normal adults. Arch Neurol. 2005 Oct;62(10):1539-44.

 

Jovanović Z. Mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. Med Pregl. 2012 Jul-Aug;65(7-8):301-7.

 

Lustbader JW, Cirilli M, Lin C, et al. ABAD directly links Abeta to mitochondrial toxicity in Alzheimer’s disease. Science. 2004 Apr 16;304(5669):448–52.

 

Moreira PI, Harris PL, Zhu X, et al. Lipoic acid and N-acetyl cysteine decrease mitochondrial-related oxidative stress in Alzheimer disease patient fibroblasts. J Alzheimers Dis. 2007 Sep;12(2):195-206.

 

Muller WE, Eckert A, Kurz C, Eckert GP, Leuner K. Mitochondrial dysfunction: common final pathway in brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease–therapeutic aspects. Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Jun;41(2-3):159-71

 

Timonen, M. et al. 2007. Insulin resistance and depressive symptoms in young adult males: Findings from Finnish military conscripts. Psychosom Med 69(8):723–28.

 

Wang X, Su B, Lee HG, et al. Impaired balance of mitochondrial fission and fusion in Alzheimer’s disease. J Neurosci. 2009 Jul 15;29(28):9090–103.

 

Yaffe, K., et al. 2004. The metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and risk of cognitive decline. JAMA

Moore SC , Patel AV , Matthews CE , et al . Leisure time physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity and mortality: a large pooled cohort analysis. PLoS Med 2012;9:e1001335.doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001335 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Blackburn EH , Epel ES . Too toxic to ignore. Nature 2012;490:169–71.CrossRefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

 

 

Blogs

I want to touch on some important aspects to consider before starting to run or train, I’ll go into more detail in later blogs. Some people still believe that more is better, when it comes to training ‘Go hard or go Home! is often followed leaving people deflated when they don’t reach their goal due to injury or burnout. Most people will always run for as long and as fast as they can with no real plan. ‘I was that person’ but as great as running up miles is, if you don’t have a plan you are a high risk of burnout and/or injury. I know what you’re thinking ‘that’s wrong, if I don’t run as fast as I can for each session I won’t get better’. This is only true from your actual speed sessions. The Kenyans (best runners on the planets) follow the 20:80 rule meaning 80% of their training is easy running while the remainder is hard/moderate running. It’s no coincidence that they are so fast. I’ll discuss proper program design to a degree in a later blog,(if you need a program built please contact me via the e-mail below). Number 1 you need to understand where you’re tight and weak before you start running. I’d recommend at least 4 weeks of mobility and strength training before starting a running program.Why?The first issue of running without proper assessment is that you could have a lot of short, tight and weak muscles and other issues from the deskbound lifestyle most of us are guilty of. You need to start correcting these issues in a meaningful way first because major muscles involved in running (hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, get short and weak in a prolonged seated position).

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Sitting shortens hips flexors and hamstrings, it also deactivates the Glutes

Most likely your shoulders and diagram (breathing muscle) are out of alignment meaning you’re not getting enough oxygen per breath. When you stand up your skeleton is pulled out of alignment, if you start to add motion and reaction forces to joints that are out of alignment the end result will definitely be injury with reduced quality of training until the injury happens. Running blindly without focusing on all aspects of performance can be compared to cycling into a headwind on a rusty hybrid bike wearing baggy clothes and a parachute out back. You’re still moving put it could be so much easier. Correcting your imbalances would be like getting a tt bike with full aero clothing, high end components and ditching the parachute, put head to head there would be no competition, no matter how hard you pedalled there would be no way of beating the upgraded version of you, also the chances of your components (body) breaking down are much higher because they aren’t being maintained so the concern swtiches to being able to finish the race at all instead of racing your better self. It’s important you get assessed by a sports physiotherapist, ideally someone with an excellent understanding of your chosen sport. When assessing it’s a good idea to start with the feet as these are the contact point with the ground and ‘25% of the muscles in our body are below the ankle’. The simplest way to train the feet without much effort is to go bare foot(with socks)at home, wearing shoes with a wide toe area which allow the toes to spread as well when you go out is good idea.The big toe is very important in balance and controlling pronation(when the foot roles inward on ground contact) during running. Allowing your big toe room to do its job it very important to prevent bunions( bony bumps that form at the base of the joint of your big toe). If your big toe turns in this causes a chain reaction up the movement chain i.e knee collapse in, then hip drop etc.

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Flexor hallus longus muscle helps maintain foot arch

Next look at your knees (knee pain/stiffness, do they collapse in?). Your VMO muscle could be inactive due to prolonged sitting, excessive dynamic knee bending(sitting, running, cycling) also deactivates the VMO. The VMO muscle is responsible for the last 30 degrees of knee flexion. A single leg squad in this range is an example of a VMO exercise

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VMO prevents the knee collapsing in
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Moving to the hips. The glutes muscles maintain the position of pelvis which in turn helps the spine maintain a strong position. Sitting for prolonged periods turns these muscles off. If these muscles aren’t activated properly and you go for a run most likely you won’t be able to maintain proper posture so every step will bring you closer to injury. Consistently working on muscular and postural weaknesses is key to not getting injured and getting the results you want. Muscles often occur in pairs, called antagonistic pairs. As one muscle contracts, the other relaxes. An example of an antagonistic pair is the quadriceps and hamstrings; to contract – the quadriceps relaxes while the hamstring contracts to bend the knee. Running works certain muscles more than others (generally outer quadriceps and hips flexors) which will get stronger or overused. In the case of the quadriceps the hamstrings help control speed of contraction, if the quadriceps are too strong for the hamstrings you could tear a hamstring among other things. Running also generally tightens your hip flexors which adds to the problem of sitting. Tight hip flexors create an excessive pelvic tilt angle which has been shown to prevent the glutes and hamstrings firing properly. So if you sit for most of the day and go for a run without addressing your imbalances you’re going to really add to some of the issues sitting creates.

I get everyone I work with on a resistance training prehab/rehab program before I get them doing any real running work outs. ‘I’ll discuss running workouts in a later blog’. Many people just want to run, which is fine put if your running schedule is making you too tired to lift weights or you don’t see the point in them you’re going to get injured, this is fact. And if you’re someone who is already good at running you could be so much better with a weights programme. Please Like and share on any platform you’re on, If you have a question please ask.

Sugar and all cause mortality?

Sugar consumption has been a huge issue for some time now .Most people focus on drinking and smoking as issues,which they are put most of us are functioning sugar addicts with a blood sugar chart that resembles the current bitcoin price trends. We get hangovers from sugar. On more than one occasion I’ve heard people in various gyms tell each other not to worry about sugar intake because ‘sugar turns to muscle’. Yes sugar can be a fuel in high intensity events, but in general sugar creates a hormone cascade in the body that ultimately prevents proper muscle development and severely affects mental and physical health over time. People think they have more energy when they eat sugar but this really isn’t true. An important hormone to look at is insulin. It’s produced by an organ called the pancreas. Insulin is released by beta cells in the pancreas(which stop working if stressed enough), and this insulin binds to receptors in cells (muscles) to facilitate the transport of glucose into the cells. Its role is to allow sugar (blood glucose) to reach cells and to send excess sugar for storage in adipose tissue (fat). High amounts of sugar decrease the amount of insulin receptors on cells meaning less sugar is used leaving more in the blood and adipose tissue.The rise of blood glucose is measured on the glycaemic index (GI) scale.

Insulin is the hormone of aging (type diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, cancer, blindness. For every point your blood sugar is above 70mg/dl your risk of heart disease goes up 5%, so if you look at the upper level of ‘normal range’ which is 99mg/dl your risk of disease goes up 145%. Now something to remember is that most of this normative data is taken from people who aren’t actually healthy (because the general population isn’t healthy as a group). If your levels are this high you’re probably miserable. Normative data is taken from the general population which is a population with very low activity levels combined high fat levels and stress levels. High levels of sugar are toxic for the body and prolonged sugar exposure damages nerve cells. This is why people with diabetes can go blind or loose limbs

 

 

Healthcare/economics

A topic regularly spoken about is the need for a bigger budget in the health service. Reasons highlighted are the long wait for beds and not enough doctors per patient ratios. Now this is only partly true. We are the second most obese country in Europe and we are fast becoming number one. What about a public nutrition budget instead? In Ireland 60% of the population is overweight or obese. Most of the conditions seen in hospitals are as a result of the complications of high sugar diets and lack of exercise(cancer, hypertension, obesity, diabetes). If I was to take 10 random people off the street 6 of them would be obese by these figures. A dangerous illusion about health is measuring of the body circumference and our height to weight ratio(BMI). People confuse the term thin and skinny, a thin person can have respectable levels of muscle mass and function while a skinny person will have a high % fat level relative to their mass. Most people who think they are thin are actually what is termed skinny fat( very low muscle mass cover by high fat which makes them appear normal weight).When I speak to clients most would class themselves as ‘reasonably fit’. By this they mean that they can walk when they need to and do their job without major issues, but when they get blood tests done most are in the higher end of normal range or unhealthy range for blood pressure and blood sugar. Being in this higher range is not good, the general population as a group is not healthy ,just because most people fall in this group doesn’t make it ok or normal. As the general public become more unhealthy so too does the normative data acquired from studies.

Sugar is quite dangerous to us in many ways, our health suffers, and we then turn to medication, cars and other ways of avoiding the problem except addressing our diet and lack of activity. The unhealthier we get the more money we spend. If you are making €70,000 but are highly sedentary with a terrible diet it becomes a very small amount when the costs to your physical and mental health are added up. Our sugar epidemic is also crippling us economically (drugs are expensive after all). Exercise can’t fully compensate for the amount sugar in processed foods or health care costs. No matter how much exercise you do you cannot get rid of the toxics in your system fully, similarly you can’t undo your bad health by spending thousands on pills, the only way to counteract this is to eat healthy. Biochemistry is very complicated, so simply put good food is good, bad food is bad.

Brain

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Sugar alters your thought patterns, whether you’re aware of this or not, your decisions tend to be less rational and moreemotional while on a high sugar in the diet. 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep, most of this is linked with diet. Sugar directly affects the quality of sleep. Sleep is  essential to repair the brain, and for the release of the body’s natural hormones that make us superhuman when we get good sleep consistently. The issue with quick sugar sources is the severe spike and drop in blood sugar. High and low blood sugar wreak havoc on the brain’s function. You already know that fast sugars are out of the question. High sugar intakes correlate with acute and significant drops in IQ. Specifically prediabetic individuals have a higher risk of cognitive decline, poor memory, and loss of brain function than any others. It has been estimated that a 20% decrease is the norm. Plus, the sugar rush comes with symptoms that bear striking similarities to those of ADHD. Not exactly the ideal condition to develop consistent productivity at work. High blood sugar also depletes dopamine. This neurotransmitter is essential for sustained focus and drive. Two things you want in ample quantities when trying to get ahead. High blood sugar effects BDNF. BDNF is the brain growth factor. It sustains and repairs neuronal circuits, one pivotal mechanism when it comes to learning and making memories. High long-term production of insulin is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s and diabetics are twice more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. When you have high levels of insulin resistance, you have 3 times the likelihood of suffering from depression.

 

Yet you don’t want to slide down the slippery slope of hypoglycaemia. When you spike your insulin, you cause reactive hypoglycaemia. This has been shown to damage the brain because the blood sugar is then too low. Confusion and slow thinking go hand in hand with low blood sugar. Additionally, low blood sugar raises cortisol. If the condition goes unchecked for extended periods of time, it negatively impacts memory. It actually shrinks your hippocampus. The hippocampus happens to be general quarters for memory formation, learning and the control of emotions.

Cardiovascular system

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High glucose levels reduce the levels of the powerful vasodilator nitric oxide in blood vessels, a shortfall that increases the risk of high blood pressure and eventually narrows down the vessels.  I had a very productive summer and winter in athletics on the track and in cross country, this was due to limiting sweets only, when I rewarded myself at Christmas with an Oreo donut I had the shacks, headaches and ended up throwing up due to the nausea. My system hadn’t had a high exposure to sugar in months, this reaction shows how toxic it is, our body doesn’t naturally want high sugar foods, we can only tolerate them because of loss of insulin receptors in our cells and the release of cortisol and growth hormone which also desensitise our cells to insulin.

Combining a complete lifestyle approach of a healthful diet, regular movement and stress reduction will improve quality of life, reduce cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, association between low levels of testosterone and the above insulin-resistant states, with a prevalence of hypogonadism(low testosterone) of up to 50% in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Low levels of testosterone are also associated with an increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Hypogonadism and obesity share a bidirectional relationship as a result of the complex interplay between adipocytokines, proinflammatory cytokines and hypothalamic hormones that control the pituitary-testicular axis. Interventional studies have shown beneficial effects of testosterone on components of the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus and other cardiovascular risk factors, including insulin resistance and high levels of cholesterol. Biochemical evidence indicates that testosterone is involved in promoting glucose utilization by stimulating glucose uptake, glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Testosterone is also involved in lipid homeostasis in major insulin-responsive target tissues, such as liver, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. The fatter you get the less testosterone you produce which worsens the effects of high sugar levels on the body.

 

Stress

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Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Cortisol released in response to insulin spikes will also affect your posture/body language, making you appear closed off or stressed, this will make it harder to make business contacts or friends. People don’t like associating with visibly stressed people. This doesn’t bode well for your business. Under stressful conditions, cortisol provides the body with glucose by tapping into protein stores via gluconeogenesis in the liver. This energy can help an individual fight or flee a stressor. However, elevated cortisol over the long term consistently produces glucose, it makes cells less sensitive to insulin so sugar stays in the blood stream, (most of us, particularly those in banking/finance roles have high stress levels relative to the physical exertion, a waiter is also a stressful position but all that moving helps burn the sugar released).Excess sugar will be stored as fat but high levels will still be produced by cortisol circulation. Slow healing of wounds and easy bruising also happen with a high sugar diet, this is partly due to chronic high cortisol levels and higher bacteria production around wounds that feed on sugar.

How to Manage Insulin?

The key to controlling insulin lies in fact with the ratio and nature of macro-nutrients. Your brain is your most vital organ, keep that in mind. Please don’t be one of those people who has huge cheat days, it’s really not good for you. In fact, just keep having these insulin spikes and you won’t even remember to go to the gym…What is the point of spiking your insulin to get big and lean if it makes you forgetful. Eat a diet high in fruit, veg, meat and nuts.

 

References:

Chen JX, Yan SD. Amyloid-beta-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. J Alzheimers Dis. 2007 Sep;12(2):177-84.

 

Cordain, L., et al. 2005. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: Health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr 8 (2):341–54.

 

Fishel MA, Watson GS, Montine TJ, et al. Hyperinsulinemia provokes synchronous increases in central inflammation and beta-amyloid in normal adults. Arch Neurol. 2005 Oct;62(10):1539-44.

 

Jovanović Z. Mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease. Med Pregl. 2012 Jul-Aug;65(7-8):301-7.

 

Lustbader JW, Cirilli M, Lin C, et al. ABAD directly links Abeta to mitochondrial toxicity in Alzheimer’s disease. Science. 2004 Apr 16;304(5669):448–52.

 

Moreira PI, Harris PL, Zhu X, et al. Lipoic acid and N-acetyl cysteine decrease mitochondrial-related oxidative stress in Alzheimer disease patient fibroblasts. J Alzheimers Dis. 2007 Sep;12(2):195-206.

 

Muller WE, Eckert A, Kurz C, Eckert GP, Leuner K. Mitochondrial dysfunction: common final pathway in brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease–therapeutic aspects. Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Jun;41(2-3):159-71

 

Timonen, M. et al. 2007. Insulin resistance and depressive symptoms in young adult males: Findings from Finnish military conscripts. Psychosom Med 69(8):723–28.

 

Wang X, Su B, Lee HG, et al. Impaired balance of mitochondrial fission and fusion in Alzheimer’s disease. J Neurosci. 2009 Jul 15;29(28):9090–103.

 

Yaffe, K., et al. 2004. The metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and risk of cognitive decline. JAMA

Moore SC , Patel AV , Matthews CE , et al . Leisure time physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity and mortality: a large pooled cohort analysis. PLoS Med 2012;9:e1001335.doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001335 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Blackburn EH , Epel ES . Too toxic to ignore. Nature 2012;490:169–71.CrossRefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

 

 

Beginner running on short notice

I had the pleasure of taking over a couch to 5k program for a corporate client recently. There was 4 weeks until race day and unfortunately the previous coach hadn’t delivered them to where they needed to be. It’s important when you don’t have an ideal amount of time until race race to just work with where you are and focus some conditioning to complete the target course. This was a brand new group of runners which are always nice to work with because every session completed is one they thought they couldn’t and its great to see confidence grow as the group nears their first. The group had only 1 day per week running previously, below you’ll see how I aim to get upto 3 runs completed in the pre-race week, I used  weeks 5-6 (weeks 1-2 with me)to assess my runners fitness and  to predict the rough 5k pace they could hold. I gave them confidence busting exercises such as power posing which they found both very funny and helpful.I also introduced pre- performance routines into the warmup including visualisation, verbal confirmations and writing cue words on armbands for during workouts.

I have only included weeks 7-8 of the program where 2-3 runs per week had been reached. Guidelines for beginner runners are 3 runs per week put common sense needs to be used. In this case the aim was to build confidence and get them through the first race injury. Weight loss was also a big aim as most were quit overweight. It was realistic for each to loose 6-8 pounds during the 4 weeks at least.I’m a coach who doesn’t blindly follow print outs, ever session is based on the individual and group and interacting with clients is very important. I instructed them how to train with HR and RPE scales, I prefer HR to paces as the HR generally shows how hard your working each workout. Based on their training i gave them a realistic target to finish in, all of them finished faster than this estimate which was great! To give context to weeks 7-8  week 5 was 1 run with 2 strength/mobility sessions and drills, Week six was a test week with 2 runs and 2 strength/mobility sessions and drills. Enjoy and remember 1 workout a week is still better than none! Lastly I’ve included products and other blogs in the guidelines as they are helpful , I’m not working with these people in anyway just my honest opinion

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Photo Annette Shaff/Shutterstock

Warm-Up

The warm-up should begin approx 40 minutes before the race. Start with a 2-10 minute jog. Commence this run slowly and gradually increase the pace. One method of slowing the starting pace down is to begin the run by only breathing in and out of the nose. i.e (Mouth closed). This ensures the early pace of the run is easy. You’ll be surprised how fast you can eventually end up running after a few minutes of nasal breathing.

Don’t undertake static stretching prior to a race. It is proven to reduce power and strength within the muscles. Reserve static stretching for the cool down. Instead do a series of dynamic stretches and drills. Dynamic stretching will maintain the elastic properties of the muscle, while also limbering up the muscle for a more intense effort. These can include

March on toes – While walking grab and pull your knee to your chest while raising onto your toes.

Butt kicks on toes – While walking kick your heel towards your butt. If you’re able grab and pull your foot or ankle.

Soldier March – While walking kick one leg up keeping it straight, reach for the toes with the opposite hand. Alternate with each step.

High knee with external rotation – Grab your ankle and knee rotating your hip, pull towards your chest.

Walking lunge with twist – Take a slightly longer than normal stride and go down into a lunge, rotate your upper body in the direction of the forward leg reaching your arms up and away, alternate with each step. This will stretch the torso and opposite hip flexor.

Forward/Backward hip rotation – While walking raise one leg up and to your side with your knee bent and rotate it forward.

Quick Skips – Quickly bring your knee to hip height and back down to the floor. Move forward in a skipping motion and be conscious of your

Strides/%Runs – Slowly build up your speed reaching 90% or 100% and slowly decelerate. Think of perfect form.

 

Here is a link to a good demonstration of dynamic stretching and drills

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLFv2P5_tLk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULwtgZA5wAE

 

 Running Zones

Basic formula for max HR is 220- your age( a good guide for beginners)

For example mine would be 220-28=192 if I want to know 60% or 90% or my MHR the I would multiply this number as follows 192* 0.6= 115 or 192*0.9=173

This formula only gives an idea of what your MHR would be

A more accurate formula uses your resting HR aswell,

Using this example – the 90% level (ie use 0.90) is: 0.90 x (HRmax – HRmin) + HRmin

ie 0.9 x (192-49)+49 = 173 bpm

The max Hr is measured using 220-age(this is safer than trying to reach max HR in training)

HR is slow to respond to effort so build it up gradually, if you feel you’re working 100% in the first few minutes of a run put your HR is showing 80% of max it most likely is that the HR has not risen fully yet so don’t mind this. Use RPE for effort and check your HR to make sure you haven’t gone over your zone.

 

Using RPE( how you feel you’re working from1 to 10 is a good start)

Training Zone               Duration    RPE       % MHR        Purpose

Zone 0                                   < 60’         1           < 60            Regeneration and recovery

Zone 1                                 90’-360’   2-5       60-65         Establish base endurance

Zone 2                                 60’-240    5-6              65-75          Efficiency   improvement

Zone 3                                 45’-120’    7             75-82          Improve sustainable power

Zone 4                                30’-60’      8          82-89             Push threshold up

Zone 5                               14’-40’         8-9      89-94          maximal aerobic power

Zone 6                                4’-10’      10        > 94                 Increase maximum power output

Short intervals                 3sec-30sec            N/A              Increase sprint power

To be properly accurate with your fitness and training zones its best to use a HR monitor watch

A basic one should as from Polar can be bought for €90ish

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/polar-a300-fitness-watch-with-hrm/

This is the most accurate way to track time in zones and to know if you’re training too hard!

I would recommend any garmin watch with HR you can upload your data to Garmin connect and pair your training with myfitnesspal.com

 

A basic Garmin is 147-166 euro

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/garmin-forerunner-25-gps-running-watch-with-hrm-large/

 

Calorie counting

Too loss fat we need a slight calorie deficit of 500-1000Kcal per day which causes a loss of 1-2 pounds per week. Start with 500Kcal deficit per day and increase the deficit once your weight loss stops. Your metabolism is the rate you burn kcal at both resting and during activity. Your body will adapt to restricting kcal  and your metabolism will slow causing you to stop losing weight. For example,If we were to start at 1000kcal deficit per day at the start we would loss more weight initially for the first few weeks but once our metabolism adapts we would have no where to go as far as dropping kcal goes so its best to start small and build up, consistency is key.

I like garmin connect and myfitnesspal as the kcal you burn while training is automatically brought to your myfitnesspal account making it easier to track kcal in(eating) and kcal out(exercise/activity).

To keep track of progress weigh yourself once per week at the same time of day while fasted(before drinking or eating).

I weigh myself Monday morning when I get up

Another site that is helpful for weightloss calorie guides for men and women is below

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alissa23.htm

General guidelines for dieting

  1. Eat 5 – 8 meals spaced 2 – 3 hours apart.
  2. Eat 1 protein, 1 fat and 1 carbohydrate (either complex or fibrous) at every meal.
  3. Drink 3 – 4 litres (1 gallon) water daily.
  4. Eliminate or severely limit alcohol.
  5. Eliminate or severely limit junk food.
  6. Limit simple sugars, except from fruit.
  7. Pan cook foods in flavoured cooking spray instead of oil or butter.
  8. Enjoy at least one cheat meal, but no more than one cheat day (or three meals per week)

 

How to build up gradually.

Ideally 3 runs should be completed per week,

We can build up to this, Roughly no more than a 10% increase should be done in each session each week,

For example last week we ran for a total of 20mins(2x10min) put this week we completed 5% more ,21mins(3x7mins) ideally next week we will add 10% from this week 23-24mins (3x8mins 2mins rest).

Its all about building tolerance, the rest increases again next week to help with the increase in work. I mention that I would like you all to complete a second run of 12-14mins easy RPE 1-2 or 60-70%MHR and see how you get on (go on feel it should feel easy!), always leave 1 day between runs. I hope you all can complete this 2nd run to see if you can tolerate it. If no issues are noted we can complete 2 runs again next week. Hopefully if this goes okay we can add 3 runs in the 8th week.

The plan will be as follows:

Week7:

Run 1: 3x8mins 2mins rest RPE 7-8  or 80-90% MHR

Run 2: easy run of 14-18mins RPE 1-2 ( Go on feel! HR is not important for easy runs as long as it feels easy, i.e you’re not breathing hard and your legs aren’t hurting)

 

Week 8:

Hopefully everything has gone well, we can now add a 3rd run

Run 1: ideally Monday Easy 18-20mins RPE 1-3

Run 2: Wednesday with me! 3x9mins 2min rest RPE 7 80%MHR

Run3: Fartlek tempo (mix of easy and moderate efforts) 3min easy (RPE 3) 2mins Moderate (RPE 5-6/ 65-75% MHR)

Always stretch while you’re warm after a run. Hold stretch for 8-10seconds , repeat 2-3 times depending on how tight your muscles are. Try and get up and walk around for 2mins every hour to keep yourself loose while at work.

 

In week 8 the first run is super easy .This run loosens your legs up and lets your body start to prepare for Wednesdays harder session. Make sure you run this one super easy. The 3x9mins will bring you close to 5km pace helping you get used to harder running. The last run is all about change of pace which happens in racing .It’s not too fast pace wise, this session is all about changing pace in a relaxed manner. Hopefully this will set you all up for your 5k race!

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