Friday, February 27, 2009

Can I reach my maximum heart rate?

I have a heart rate monitor that I use mostly when I'm in a spin class. I've tried wearing it running, but all the upper body movement causes it to slip loose and give crazy readings like 122%. That did get me thinking, though - could I hit 100% of my theoretical maximum heart rate of 183 beats per minute? (Calculated as 220 minus your age in years) At spin class this morning, I tried pushing it and could only get to 96%. I've been able to reach 97% in the past, but I think it gets harder as I get in better shape because now I find my heart rate is lower for the same perceived exertion level.

I'm gonna keep trying. Hopefully my heart won't explode.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Running uphill

The February edition of Trail Runner magazine has some great tips on good form for running uphill.
  • Posture: Don't bend at the waist; keep your body in a straight line. Keep hips forward and imagine a string pulling your chest forward. This efficient posture allows you to "fall" up the hill.
  • Use short strides and quick steps. Three steps per second. Like granny gear on your bike.
  • Ball first, heel second. Land on the ball of your foot, then lightly touch down your heel.
  • Swing your arms. Provides vertical propulsion and forward force.
  • On steep inclines, turn your feet to 10 o'clock in a sidestep motion. This can engage your core muscles more to keep your legs from getting exhausted.
And a training tip: train on a treadmill with a steep incline. This way you can avoid the damaging downhills.

Running and Reading - the Key to Life

Have you ever wondered what the key to life is? Could it really be as simple as running and reading? Maybe that's a bit of an oversimplification, but there's a lot of truth in what Will Smith says in this video. If you learn how to keep running when that little voice inside tells you to quit, "you will learn how to not quit when things get hard in your life".

A for reading? "There's no problem you can have that someone hasn't already solved and wrote about it in a book."

Another gem: "The person that works the hardest wins."

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Yeti beard

For no particular reason, I've let my beard grow for the past month. This is a fuzzy picture taken from my phone, showing what I look like after skiing in knee deep powder and falling into the fluffy stuff a few times.

So what's your vote on the beard? Should it stay or should it go?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Markers are NOT makeup

This is what happens when 2-year-old Elizabeth decided to use a marker (non-toxic and washable, thank goodness) as makeup.