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My Blog

Blog

The Fat Burning Myth

Posted on 16 March, 2011 at 6:37 Comments comments (10)
It is often thought that exercising at lower intensities such as walking, burns more fat than at higher intensities (e.g. running). The science behind it is true in so much as when we work at lower intensities we require less 'quick release' energy (in the form of carbohydrates) therefore our body utilises a higher fat-to-carbohydrate ratio.
 
In order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than your body consumes and uses every day.  In other words you need to be in calorie deficit.  When we walk instead of run for instance, we burn fewer calories in the same amount of time the exercise is performed. More precisely, if you burn 250 calories everyday from a short fast jog, you'll see a bigger difference in weight and fat loss than if you walked everyday for the same amount of time. There is a higher percentage of fat being used during the walk but overall a lower total of fat is lost.
 
Intensity is the key here.  The more effort you put in, the higher your heart rate therefore the more calories you burn.  If you go to the gym and spend an hour chatting to your mate on the cross-trainer next to you, you're not working hard enough!
 

Running to Time not Distance

Posted on 9 March, 2011 at 9:41 Comments comments (0)
Some benefits of running for a certain duration instead of a calculated mileage:
 
1. If you're not focused on pace, you'll run based on the appropriate effort level for that day. So, on days when you're not feeling great or the conditions are dreadful, you won't force yourself to go for your miles or feel guilty if you don't cover the distance. Instead, you'll run for your goal time at the right pace.
2. It helps you prevent boredom and explore new routes more easily because you're not worried about the mileage. Running a set route to cover your miles can be too rigid.
3. If you always run by distance, you might be tempted to push the pace and always hit a certain pace per mile during each run, rather than varying the intensity of your workouts.
4. It makes running unfamiliar routes simpler. If you are away from home you can just chuck on your running kit and head out for a set time.
 
Don't throw away that Garmin just yet!  It's always good to do a regular tempo (race pace) run to check your pace and see how well you're doing.

Signs of Spring

Posted on 14 February, 2011 at 8:07 Comments comments (0)
We often feel incredibly motivated throughout January.  After possible over-indulgence
during the festive period we are ready to put our New Year's resolutions into action and are convinced we'll stick to them.  By the end of January, early February, you may feel your convictions ebbing away.
 
My children love going on a 'Signs of Spring' walk with their Granny.  Now is the perfect time to wrap up and get outside.  New shoots are appearing and daffodils are out. Why not take your Signs of Spring walk up to a jog in places!?  Run for as long as you can and then walk until you feel recovered enough to increase the pace again.  Before you know it, spring will be here in all its glory and you'll be amazed at how long you can run for.  Go for it!!