Everything Under the Moon…the Amber Moon, October edition

Lots going on here – but most importantly, I’ll be on vacation from Sept 21-25. Expect crickets as I disconnect.

I’m also realizing that with this type of schedule, I’m gonna need quarterly vacations, so I’ve set Dec 24 (starting at 12n) to Jan 1 as “off” already. With being immunocompromised, I’m probably not doing any destination races any time soon, so I may go ahead & set the rest of 2021 before long.

scheduler update: if it uploads to your calendar – only puts in the correct link for the first session of the block… you’ll need to use the email reminder (30 min prior) to get into the correct virtual session, unless i’ve told you to do otherwise.

I’ve got a whole list of things for you, so let’s get this party started!

New classes & updated schedule

Sept has been a great month for experimenting, playing, and progressing! I’m finally seeing the background work I’ve been doing (“the long game”) playing out. And with it comes … new classes! 2 different series, in fact!

I had a great group of people beta testing my new class – “Everything Under the Moon” – this month, and it goes onto the schedule for October! If you sign up for this class, or any other, and aren’t able to make, let me know and I will send you a link (with an expiration date), or sign up for YouTube all access and you can access it any time you want. Contact me directly for this, please.

This class takes everything I know from 30 years’ of experience across many different modalities, and puts it into a unique class.  It’s got bodyweight strength, flexibility, balance, stability, and mobility. It includes full body integration movements, coordination, and will open up your joints making you feel less restricted – even though you thought you felt fine coming in! After class, you’ll feel much more open through your joints, less restricted – and you may have felt fine coming in!

What you will need for this class is:
– 36″ foam roller or cane/walking stick (rubber grip on end)
– yoga mat or something sticky to keep the end of your 36″ foam roller in place.
– Optional equipment: 4ft + resistance bands (start with light resistance), & other household objects.   

You can sign up NOW for October! If you plan on coming randomly, go ahead & sign up – if once or twice a week, there is a discount – email me & I’ll get you an invoice. Packages will be up & running for November classes.

The 5 min #computerdetox on FB & IG is still free, and moving to 10a Tu – Fri. I’m paying attention to insight data from each outlet, and have noted that most people catch it when they can. So we’re gonna try this for a month – early in the day, then you get it anytime after 10a.

Lunchtime Mind break & refresh; and a 30 min #computerdetox (all 30 min), consisting of 4 classes:

  • Tues 1215p: Mind Break & Refresh: Viniyoga in service of Meditation
  • Wed 1145a: DIY Reformer (existing class, need a set of bands – link in class description – and previous experience with Pilates is very helpful)
  • Thurs 1215p: Mind Break & Refresh: Everything Under the Moon (a gentler class than the 415p version). A 36″ foam roller or cane/walking stick required)
  • Fri 1145a: 30 min #computerdetox (tennis ball & foam roller required, other toys may be recommended & used along the way) (not yet in scheduler, coming at end of week)

At the end of work

Tu & Th 415p – Everything Under the Moon. (36″ foam roller or cane/walking stick required)

There is a discount on the drop in rate ($18 for 1 h classes; $12 for 30 min) if you pay up front for regularly attended classes. I’m going to post/email a special for the lunch & 415 p classes here when I get back from vacation (maybe during), so stay tuned. If you are interested, let me know ASAP!

There will also be new PACKAGES for classes coming thru my scheduler in November. I’ll be adding folks for October, after that, you’ll be able to mix & match more.

The Driveway Series, updated for Fall

I’ll be expanding into Wed afternoon and dropping Wed evening as we move into October. I’ve not edited it yet in the scheduler, but will get that done when I’m back on the computer.

Informal teaching of massage techniques

You’ve expressed interest in this session, and I’m still working out the details. You know there’s gonna be more than just techniques, as I don’t want anyone hurting anyone. I’m thinking i can cover neck & shoulders (which also includes the back) in about 4 weeks. Some of you work, so Wed at 530p starting October 7? These would be virtual sessions, maybe an hour? up to 90 if needed? 

You won’t need a guinea pig until the 2nd one. There will be some basic anatomy, and I’m also going to suggest you sign up for 1 (2?) driveway sessions (I’ll create a separate session booking option just for this), bring your guinea pig, and we’ll talk about your specific techniques & body mechanics. This will be swedish massage only. 

Topics covered: Anatomy as it pertains to massage; body mechanics; and massage techniques

Study materials: Sieg & Adams Illustrated anatomy cornstarch, bowl, watergolf ball, tennis ball, various pillows, cushions etc. It’d be nice if you have a massage table, but use a couch or a bed if you need. don’t go buy one just yet. You can find them used on Craigslist. 

Price: Still working on this. I’ve got a minimum I want to make, so it’ll depend on numbers. I’d like to keep it around $100 for the virtual sessions, driveway would be separate, since some of you might want/need it, others not.

If you’ve not already said you’re interested, please let me know asap. This is still in the planning stages.

Here’s the graphic representation of October schedule:

Homemade Goodness

Coming in October! Homemade products that are good for you. Currently working on making a variety of soaps, keeping ahead on the laundry soap, and making a good batch of the foaming hand soap. Got your own container? I can refill, help protect the environment, and decrease your price! Stay tuned for more!

  • Lotion (will be available on the scheduler shortly – you sign up for your pick up date!)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Foaming hand soap
  • Bar Soap

A September to Remember

I started this on social media at the start of the month, and after the first week my neck said “no more!”. Alas, I got 4 in. I had great plans for this series, and at some point, It’ll return. Until then, you can read them via FB, IG.

A September to Remember: Inspiration & Gratitude during these COVID times

In the midst of #TheseCOVIDtimes, I’ve got so much gratitude, so much inspiration…as we embark on this 7th month, I’m taking the time to reflect. Join me on my journey!

Day 4: Taking advice from #yourdailyPinto

I had grand ideas for a post today, but after the first three days, and realizing just how much it goes into getting a post ready to go out, my neck has said that I need a break. Yes, I could type another post like the last two, but there would be consequences. I know those consequences, they are familiar friends. At the moment, I choose to honor what the neck is asking, and stay off the computer. 

I am grateful for all of my injuries, all of my issues, because they are such great teachers, and I really have learned that it is necessary to listen to them. By this point I know the consequences of doing something inappropriate for my internal friends, so I can pick and choose. 

I choose to follow Pinto’s lead, and chill. I choose just stay off the computer today. To minimize my time on technology. To minimize my sitting time. This keeps my spine healthy and happy from coccyx to skull, and allows me to enjoy the rest of my day, and Labor Day weekend. 

I will be back on Tuesday to continue this journey. And I’m hoping that with three days lead time, I can get ahead of these posts. Thank you for tuning in, reading, and taking this September journey with me. 

#thoracicoutletsyndrome #sijointdysfunction #homebasedbusiness #healthylifestyle #healthyhabits #listening #takecareofyourself #itsacatslife #crazycatlady

A September to Remember: Inspiration & Gratitude during these COVID times

In the midst of #TheseCOVIDtimes, I’ve got so much gratitude, so much inspiration…as we embark on this 7th month, I’m taking the time to reflect. Join me on my journey!

Day 3: Crafty friends & the long game

It’s my birth month tradition. I plan new things to do with friends. That particular year, I wanted to learn to make bar soap. And then things got out of hand.

Several of my friends are quite crafty – Kim made soap, Gina made foaming hand soap, Karen wanted to try bath truffles (aka bath bombs), and Vicki made lotion. I started making my own laundry soap off a recipe from #cousinJim. That year, maybe 2015, started this.

Kim had mastered the art of soap making, and I had seen a post in Facebook somewhere for “Citrus Brine Soap” – that scent is right up my alley. Florals, not my thing, but citrus – it’s so…. Sunshine! It makes me happy. We made this first, and then decided we should make soaps as Christmas presents. We’d make a batch, and split the results. She’d make some one her own – scents I didn’t do well with – as would I. We’d trade. I gifted mine to regular clients, friends & family. Something homemade, from the heart, and little #AmberMoonMagic mixed in (I’m an energy worker, Reiki Master – I can do that).

Four of us braved the attempt at bath truffles, and, well, they… fizzled… and fizzed, but sank like a rock. Then Karen did more research, found a different recipe, and just she & I tried it. It worked. Lots of learning in that session as well, but we had room to play, explore & be more curious. Again, I gave these away, or at least the ones I didn’t use, as gifts. This tradition has continued, although it’s a little bit more time intensive than soap making.

The foaming hand soap came along somewhere after that. Very easy to make, very cost-effective, and again the scents that I want. As much as I wash my hands as a massage therapist, I was also able to make it much richer so it dried my hands out less. Oh, wait, it didn’t dry my hands. It even moisturized them. Thank you Gina!

Laundry soap happened about this time too. I got tired of paying almost $20 for your 96 load bottle, fragrance free. I figured if I can make all this other stuff, I can make this too! #cousinJim provided the recipe, it makes 5 gallons, unscented, and works. As much laundry as I do with massage therapy – it’s a BIG savings. And I feel good as I know what exactly goes inside.

And then there was The Lotion. A rich, creamy, preservative-free lotion. This came from my client-friend Vicki, who makes her own cuz of her really dry skin. I now travel with this lotion, and ran out on one vacation – my hands and feet were very very very unhappy with me. They just drink it in. Now, both #cousinAmy and I carry some with us on our travels. Lesson learned. 

Can I tell you how nice it is to make your own lotion, your own scent, and have it be so good that people ask for it? I have just made two batches as I’ve been working on this post. I have given away as samples the friends for feedback. Scent: Lemon Basil. Yep. It’s awesome.

“This product is AMAZING! It is like a hydrating treatment and super emollient. I give this lotion 5 stars.” – Melissa.

 “It’s so nice! I love that so little goes so far. I’m having to get used to that. And my skin feels wonderful after I apply it, and it stays feeling good all day! 😍 It really moisturizes.” – Gayle

Love it! Light crisp scent, very hydrating and emollient. My hands and feet are loving it. My hubby’s feet are loving it too!” – Valerie

So this brings me to the diversity of what I am able to bring an income during these challenging & invigorating times. Because I’ve been in fitness & wellness for almost 30 years now, and have diversified what I do, I’ve been able to stay open (virtually), and enabling myself to work the long game. What I do is very physically demanding, and we know that being on the computer is also not my thing. Blogging, writing, even this – it’s a challenge. I voice type as much as I can, but I still need to edit. 

So if I can start selling this stuff, this Homemade Goodness, it allows me a new income stream. If I didn’t have my friends that were already into making stuff at home, and been doing it for several years on my own now, I would not even have thought of this. Getting this up and running will take a little bit of time, but that’s what the long game is about.

Thank you, my friends & cousins, for your inspiration.

A September to Remember: Inspiration & Gratitude during these COVID times.

In the midst of #TheseCOVIDtimes, I’ve got so much gratitude, so much inspiration…as we embark on this 7th month, I’m taking the time to reflect. Join me on my journey!

Day 2: vCita, KGB Running and WayToWellness

I was a fitness presenter for 20 years. I retired. I’d had enough. 

And then vCita (my scheduler) invited me to be part of a webinar at the start of these COVID times. Now fitness, I can talk about that all day. But business, and how I was managing these first few months? That took me out of my comfort zone. I accepted the challenge.

In that webinar, I talked about being excited for what 2020 held. I still am. Yes, financially, it’s a challenge, but when you’re self-employed, that’s part of it.

I reached out to my friend Joanna, owner of KGB Running, to see if she wanted to do some educational promos together. My expertise, my run coaching experiences. “Tuesday Tips with Sharon” – now on IGTV!

And then Angela Schaak of Way To Wellness saw my #ComputerDetox (now on IGTV) email, and invited me to be part of her podcast series (August 2020: Body Movement – why it’s essential). You missed all the facial expressions & hand gestures, but there was still the enthusiasm in my voice.

These COVID times are more about than just fitness, business – it’s about evolving. It’s about the outlook you have. Several of my friends & clients commented recently that I’m the most positive person they know. That being around me is part of their wellness program.  vCita & Way To Wellness allowed me to share that part of me. The enthusiasm. The perseverance. “Good morning, Sunshine!

Thank you all for allowing me to share my experiences, to help me reach out of my comfort zone, and share my enthusiasm.

A September to Remember: Inspiration & Gratitude during these COVID times

In the midst of #TheseCOVIDtimes, I’ve got so much gratitude, so much inspiration…as we embark on this 7th month, I’m taking the time to reflect. Join me on my journey!

Day 1: @Organzing4Good

This time, it started with missing my thyroid med because I was sleeping soundly. Before starting my immunoglobulin replacement therapy almost a year ago, I had very broken sleep. It was easy to know that I would be awake at 2a & take my thyroid meds then. 

I’ve known Ryan for…ummm… over a decade now. We met through triathlon – a great thing the sport does, bringing people together. She’s been a client for several years, and her weekly Pilates session, now virtual, has become “BizLates”. She started her business several years ago, and I had the pleasure to be one of her guinea pigs. Yes, she’s an organizer, but so much more. Organizes so much more than “stuff”. She’s brought her passion to her biz even more with COVID – she has an Instagram LIVE featuring non-profits every Thursday. She’s all about the repurposing of stuff. 

Prior to COVID, Ryan was just getting me going on Instagram. Not a big fan of being on the phone or the computer, courtesy of my thoracic outlet syndrome, I hadn’t gone there. With an in-person studio, I didn’t need to. I was working at capacity. Since I’ve had to pivot the Studio to be virtual, she’s been there pushing, nudging, and sharing.

As I have more time & energy to spend on non-work stuff, I’ve really started to manifest some of the things she’s been touting. 

Which brings us back to the thyroid meds. And getting organized  so I’d easily remember to take it. So, what else do I do first thing in the morning that would pair well with this? Coffee. I have 1 cup a day. That’s all I need. That’s all I want. It’s part of the wake up routine, along with fluffy time, meditation & journaling. So, put it where the coffee is. Take it as I start boiling water. All the coffee stuff in 1 spot so I have less to find/worry/do at the #crackofridiculous (I still get up early, but a much more reasonable 4 or 5a). I now have a Coffee Station.

What’s that envelope of receipts behind it? You mean all those that went onto my desk & got lost, created clutter, etc? I tried the envelope there, then realized THIS is where I sort papers. It goes here. 

These may seem trivial, but this is just the latest. Since COVID, I’ve posted several projects that help my flow – my organization. Ryan helped me shift my thinking, and bring in a new perspective. I’m deeply grateful for Ryan on so many levels, for our many conversations, for our idea sharing & brainstorming. 

Athlete Education: Endurance training for your fiber type, Part 1

There are two general categories of fiber types: slow-twitch (ST, Type I) and fast-twitch (FT, Type II). Don’t let slow-twitch fool you, it doesn’t mean they’re slow! Fiber type has to do with how energy is produced, what substrate (fuel) they prefer, how they recover, what type of rest & rest intervals they need. You can be a fast twitch, which a lot of people associate with muscularity and, for example, sprinters, but they can still be an endurance athlete. We can also go the other way and have a slow twitch person that is a sprinter (though rare). Muscle fiber types actually span on a continuum from that pure slow-twitch to the pure fast-twitch, and everything in between. The key is finding out what your tendencies are and how to best train for that. My best practical example that I came up with was when I was with my run coach: we did a 200 easy then a 200 hard. I did okay on that. But when he let me walk instead of jog, or do standing recovery and then run, that is where I shined. I’ve never really thought of myself as a fast-twitch type, but in terms of recovery, I most definitely am. Is it related to all my medical issues? We don’t know. Time will play out and we’ll find out.

But back to slow twitch and fast-twitch.

You can, with training, shift fiber types toward the others’ characteristics, however your foundational muscle fiber type plays a huge role. Individual characteristics that help identify where you are on the spectrum of fast and slow twitch includes: mitochondrial density, capillary density, oxidative and glycolytic enzyme activity, creatine phosphate stores, and contraction velocity. That was a lot of exercise science in one sentence, I realize.So let’s break it down into something easier to understand. With acute (short term) training we don’t change fiber types, but with chronic training load (8-10+ years), we can shift them. What are you willing to do to get yourself there?

Characteristics of Slow twitch muscle fibers

  • Slow to fatigue
  • Can utilize carbs, fat & protein as fuel
  • Can convert lactic acid back to a usable form of energy
  • Lower intensity, long duration capacity
  • Recruited first for exercise in most cases
  • Greater blood supply (high capillary density)
  • Creates muscle “tone” vs size when used (they do hypertrophy but not to the extent of Fast Twitch)

Characteristics of Fast twitch muscle fibers

  • Fast to fatigue
  • Uses Creatine phosphate and carbs as fuel
  • Produces lactic acid as a by-product (not converted to usable form of energy)
  • Poor blood supply (low capillary density)
  • Short duration, high intensity work
  • Recruited as the need for more work as it is created
  • Significant increase in muscle fiber size
  • Takes 3-5 minutes to completely recover the fuel sources & return to homeostasis

Characteristics of slow-twitch runners.

  • Have a limited use of the anaerobic system for end of race kicks.
  • Can handle faster easy runs for two reasons: 1) better fuel system so they burn fat at higher intensity and 2) they use slow-twitch fibers at higher intensities before having to recruit fast-twitch.
  • Their anaerobic capacity is naturally weak so they need regular injections of faster running to generate some lactic acid.
  • Performances are more consistent.
  • They can maintain Peak shape for longer.
  • They take fewer competitions to reach Peak shape.
  • They are better at jog recovery between workout reps than fast-twitchers because they are less reliant on phosphagen and anaerobic systems.

Fast twitch runners on the other hand…

  • Have a high anaerobic capacity to use a kick at the end of a race, if it is not used to stay on pace. If the athlete delves into an aerobic capacity to stay on pace too much they have no kick.
  • They need easier recovery runs (or skip recovery runs) to make sure they’re fast twitch fibers aren’t recruited.
  • They will burn more glycogen at slower paces then slow-twitch Runners, because the fuel system and fat burning is not as developed. They need lots of anaerobic intervals at faster or moderate speeds to increase the lactic threshold instead of threshold runs. For example: 400s at a 10K pace with very short active rest (walking, keep moving, but not jogging).
  • Active rest to prevent the anaerobic system from recovering and being used.
  • Performance is more irregular.
  • Maintain Peak shape for shorter periods of time.
  • They need more competition to reach peak shape.
  • Needs to be more careful with intensity selection when training aerobically. Much easier to go over the edge and miss your training stimulus.
  • Keep long runs very slow as it is very easy to go out quickly and produce lots of lactic acid.
  • Standing or walking recovery because it allows recovery of anaerobic and creatinine phosphagen systems. They can better handle short intervals than longer.
  • Poor lactic acid management and poor ability to use lactate as fuel.
  • They have to augment their Aerobic System with large amounts of energy from the anaerobic system, thus need to work to decrease the amount of augmentation needed so that we can use more of the anaerobic capacity to kick in at the end.
  • Will use fast-twitch fibers to help do the work at earlier intensities because they have less slow-twitch fibers.

So what does that mean for you as the athlete?

The long run.

A slow switch runner can handle a longer & faster paced run, as well as adding stuff into the runs – strides, surges, hills, etc. as previously mentioned. Fast twitch runners, however, shouldn’t go running for too long or too fast – the slow-twitch fibers will start to get recruited after a prolonged period of time, which is counterproductive. With the more inefficient fuel system, glycogen depletion happens sooner and can negatively impact subsequent training, or you will need to build in more recovery days. The bottom line is too long or too fast of a long run will negatively impact their anaerobic abilities to a large degree, which is what a fast which athlete thrives off of. So if you’re a fast-twitch athlete, do a long run every other week.

That was a lot to digest, eh? I’ll post the rest in the next Athlete Education post

Everything Under the Moon, 8/17/2020

Lots of brainstorming happening around here this month! Lots of new programs in the works. I’ll lay upcoming program out below, but will take a few weeks to divulge their content. If you want info before then, ask!

Amber Eats

Wow… it’s been a while since the last Everything!

Cassava flour Bread (8/1/2020) – and a recipe for banana – chocolate chip – figgy pancakes

the #9BananaChallenge (8/7/2020) – and a recipe for banana-carrot-coconut muffins

May I introduce… Cassava flour bread (8/16/2020) – and the actual bread recipe

5 min #ComputerDetox

This program continues. Can’t make it at the posted times? Check it out on IGTV or on the Studio’s facebook page. I just want you get it, do it, and feel better. My gift to you.

Schedule for this week
Tu & Th @ 3p
W & F @ 1245

A Mindful Movement Invitation

So what makes my viniyoga and Pilates classes different? With 30 years’ experience in teaching movement and deepening my understanding of how to move, my own injuries, and other great teachers, I would say a lot.
I invite you to join me for the month of September and see for yourself.

Program includes:

NOW– view, & maybe even do, my YouTube classes. Every instructor is different. Get a feel for how I teach, move, cue. Each and every class I teach takes in to account who is there, their needs, what they need to work on.

By the end of Augustsign up for your 30 min Zoom session where you get to ask me questions, we go over what YOU are looking for, helping me make these classes geared toward YOU as well.

September – All access code given so you can join in on ANY of the viniyoga and Pilates classes I’m offering online from 9/1-18/2020. I’m then on vacation until the 28th. During my vacation, you’ll have exclusive access to repeat any of the September classes (via YouTube). Repetition deepens your understanding.

This program is for new clients, past clients that haven’t tried my viniyoga and Pilates classes, and for any past class participants that haven’t been in class since the end of April 2020. Cost is $39, and limited to 8 people. Register early to get in, and to get going! Program fee is collected when you sign up for your Zoom session.

Coming soon

Amber Moon Studio Turkey 10 miler – Thanksgiving morning

Turkey10 miler training program

Everything Under the Moon, 7/22/2020

I have managed to already get Mondays completely off from seeing clients and being online, and I’m loving it. Those of you that shifted to let this happen – thank you! And on to the good stuff…

Yoga Saves Lives

Do YOU want to save lives? Do YOU like flat faced & fluffy tailed cats? Yes? Yes! Join us for a Viniyoga class benefitting South Texas Persian Rescue.

This is for the rescue where I adopted my current 5 cats. Beth & Lori are like family, and Persians, I can tell you from having been owned by 8 of them, are high maintenance. The more money they raise, they more fluffys they can help. So, Yoga Saves Lives. You save lives.

Want to see what viniyoga is, and see my fluffys? I’ve uploaded classes I’ve taught where parts of my herd showed up.

Join us Friday, 7/31, at 12n via Zoom. Registration is $20 and 100% of the profits goes to South Texas Persian Rescue.

Have YOU signed up yet? Help the fluffys! Do some Viniyoga! Share this with your friends!

Massage: The Driveway Series

If you’ve been wondering what it’s like to get a massage on the driveway… here ya go, from an client:

Last night I received my first driveway deep tissue massage and it was great! I haven’t seen Sharon since March and I was really in need of some work! She makes the driveway very comfortable by having lots of plants to help block the view from the street along with your own car parked in the driveway. She also had the fan going to keep me cool! I appreciate Sharon thinking outside of the box for her clients! Thank you!

Note: I’ve also got several mosquito repelling plants near where I set up. While this client was on the table, I didn’t get a single bite. And skeeters looooooooove me.

Ready to book yours? Options are Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings; Wednesday & Thursday at 630a (1 slot). Need something outside those times? Ask 🙂

A little of everything else

I have had 2 Amber Moon Eatery, “Amber Eats” posts so far. I’m including the link I’ll be posting tomorrow – the page is already up!

I’m also about to upload these to Patreon, Facebook and Instagram. I’ve started an Athlete Education blog, and that will be uploaded to the athlete option for Patreon. Still working on getting more stuff uploaded, free content (YouTube & Patreon), so give me a little bit. My neck is still misbehaving gently and I’m still being mindful of how much computer work I do, when I’m rotating my neck in class, and when how it feels when I’m playing. 

I posted what I thought was a very interesting article on air circulation & massage on my Facebook page – a review, complete with reference links. It was interesting that they said turn ceiling fans off during massage, and open the space up for fresh air after. Yes HVAC is great if you have the right filters, but you still need tobring in fresh (outside) air after in-person sessions. 

And AMTA (American Massage Therapist Association) strongly suggests we avoid working right now, if we can. I think the Driveway series is a nice compromise.

I’m very sad I had to cancel all of my September trip – the race had been canceled previously but we had held onto hope that my immunologist would say it was okay to travel. She did not. My next big event that I have coming up is the Mesa Marathon (Arizona) in February. But with what the immunologist said, it looks like my option to travel there is not good either.

Online classes

Current schedule, as of 7/20/2020. Please register in advance.


  • 11a, Pilates
  • 1215p, Viniyoga in service of Meditation (Viniyoga>>Meditation)


  • 1030a, Viniyoga
  • 1145a, DIY Reformer


  • 11a, Pilates


  • 1030a, Viniyoga

Athlete Education: You feel your heart…beat…

Classical formula heart rate max formula (HRmax) = 220 – your age.

Where did the 220 come from? It is the theoretical maximum that an infant’s heart can beat in one minute, and presumably for every year we lose a beat. This has been used since the beginning of time (not really but you get the gist) but it has been found to be, while an easy calculation, inaccurate especially for those of us over 40. You will find that a lot of the online heart rate calculators still use “220 – your age” instead of a more precise equation.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, 2010) recommends, when possible, to use the newer equation. As you see, this is a little bit more complicated and requires either a calculator, or a spreadsheet.

HRmax = 206.9 – 0.67 x your age

I like to get as precise as I can since we have an inaccurate tool to begin with, so when I program heart rates for my athletes I use the newer formula. I have it set it up in a spreadsheet, I know my athlete’s age, and away we go! My spreadsheet provides both run and bike numbers.

As I mentioned above, the theory is that you can lose one heartbeat per year, however if you’ve been athletic all your life, or if you genetically have a higher heart rate, or other genetic and lifestyle considerations, this may not apply to you. Henceforth in the new formula our age is not as weighted. Medications, stress, how well you slept, if you just ate, what you ate, when you’re training & caffeine can also influence HR considerably.

The next variable of heart rate is resting heart rate (RHR). This is the lowest that your heart rate can go at any time, otherwise you’d be dead. You get to the lowest point when you are the most relaxed in your deep sleep, some point during the middle of the night. The most accurate way to take this is to wear a heart rate monitor to bed, and then find out what your lowest number was as you slept. The other way to find it: wake up without the alarm and without moving around too much, find your pulse in your wrist or in your neck, and count for a full minute.

What’s the advantage of knowing your RHR? It shows change over time as it relates to fitness, ie, the more fit you are, the lower your RHR. If you get up one morning and find your heart rate is elevated 5 to 10 beats, look at lifestyle factors and influences going on, but it may be that you need to do a recovery session that day, or even take it off. Having the RHR elevated for a few days in a row can be indicative that you are getting over trained, and again something to check in with and see what’s really going on. Use resting heart rate in conjunction with other variables to give you a picture of what’s happening. If you have a good feel of your RHR, it can also be plugged into your HR Zone calculations, but then we’d have a whole new spreadsheet.

So now into your training Zones, and what you should be doing in each of them.

Zone 1: 65 to 74% heart rate max
This zone is used for Recovery, as well as longer aerobic training. Part of your warm-up and stuff in between your quality sets would be in this range. Recovery runs might even be in this range.

Zone 2: 75 to 85% of heart rate max
This stone is your higher end aerobic training, the very top is what we refer to as your sweet spot. The Sweet Spot is a heart rate or Pace even that you can maintain for an extended. Of time without too much effort, it just feels easy. This is the Zone where you develop the physiology to go longer & faster. Yes, it takes a good long while to really build it, to understand it, but once you do – you’re GOLDEN.

Zone 3: 86 to 89% of heart rate max
The dreaded “No Man’s Land” where, typically, people who are not used to working with heart rate end up – it’s too hard for your long runs and too easy for your quality runs. It takes discipline to stay out of this Zone. Obviously you’re going to pass through it on your way to Zone 4, but minimize hanging out unless it is specifically programmed into your training plan.

Zone 4: 90 to 95% of heart rate max
You could sustain this HR for about an hour, and then you’ll have to drop your intensity. This is your “quality” work section, keeping in mind that if the set is under 3 min, HR may not be the best indicator.

Zone 5: 95% & above
This is your max zone – however, you typically aren’t in this zone long enough to get a true HR read – it takes 3 min for your HR to respond & stabilize to effort, and most of the work in this zone… you’re not lasting that long. If you are, we need to re-adjust.

Use these for running, if you are cycling you’re going to be 5% lower – so take whatever number you got for the heart rate from above, and multiply by 0.95 (that spreadsheet is looking pretty good about now, eh?).

Now that you know your training zones, take a look at where you upload your data. What are the training zone numbers that system is using, and what are the formulas? I personally feel you need to know your numbers – memorize them – and go by that vs. what Garmin tells you. Update your Training Peaks or other apps if you are able.

So, the caveat with HR training… It’s a guess. Some people have a naturally lower or higher RHR, so it can influence your zones. Take them with a grain of salt. If you’re training in the middle, you’re probably going to be in the right area. As you gain experience using HR, and it feels too easy, bump your numbers up a few beats. If you’re using a program like Training Peaks, it may actually say you’ve set a new threshold (it does all your tracking over time), and then you have to go make sure it’s really a new threshold. Explore your data. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Maybe HR was high because of temps, in which case, pace would be a better indicator.

Not training with HR yet? That’s ok. It’s the next level for when you are ready to improve. People starting out use time – how long they were out exercising/training, how often. Next is being aware of & controlling the intensity (HR). And yes, there’s more beyond this… when you’re ready: Pace… Power…

Everything Under the Moon, 7/1/2020

Welcome to JULY!!!

Continuing to read & pay attention, as much as I don’t want to, and it looks like they are now saying we will be peaking in mid-to-late July. So I’m moving the potential re-open date back again – to Oct 1, and then re-eval as it gets closer. From what I’m reading, it’s gonna be way longer than that.

I’m honestly getting a little nervous about how long this will last. And how well I’ll make it through. I’m diversifying & promoting more of the side stuff that I do – Amazon, Juice Plus, Tower Garden. You’ll find more info below.

What do you need? What’s missing?

I’m working to make sure I’ve got everyone covered… but is there something you’re needing that I’ve not offered – yet? Or maybe you need a time that isn’t on my calendar? ASK! I’ve created these current work blocks so that I can get other projects done, take care of myself, etc., but willing to update as needed.

Massage: The Driveway Series begins!

Yep, its on the calendar! Mon & Wed, and times vary a little bit for flexibility. There is a list of questions you need to answer before I accept your appointment request – basically asking if you’ve been taking care, using a mask when out, staying isolated, and social distancing. Know you’ll need to wear a mask AND bring your own sheet, pillow case, towel, and any pillow/bolster etc you might need. Also, you need to promise to wash everything in between sessions. After your appointment is accepted, you’ll receive another questionaire the day of your session. Once you return that, then I’ll send you a PayPal invoice to be paid prior to your session.

Amazon Associate is up & running

Want to help out and not have to think about it? Click on this link, and save it as your Amazon page!


Juice Plus

Interested in improving your food intake? Juice Plus doesn’t replace real food, it just fills in the gaps. We got fruits, veggies, & a vineyard blend, all in capsule or gummy form. Payment plans available. You can since up directly online, or contact me with questions.

Tower Garden

Been wanting that garden but lacking ground space? How about a vertical hydroponic system? Mine lives out on my driveway, and has a lovely waterfall sound. Its so peaceful. Growing there, and in dirt, I’m gathering quite a bounty this year! Considering I’m vegetarian, that’s really good.

YouTube membership

Still working out the kinks in the system, but if you have a Gmail account, I can easily do your monthly membership. I’ve got the Viniyoga & Pilates classes uploading daily. I’m working on uploading the May & June Wellness Journey’s I’ve facilitated. There’s even a home strength program in there, as well as lots of other good stuff. $40 stand alone, $20 if you’re doing classes. More info coming very soon!