Running at Your Lactate Threshold (Recipe: Penzeys Pumpkin Pie)

Research has shown that the lactate threshold is the best physiological predictor of distance-running performance.  The closer your race pace will be to your lactate-threshold pace, the more important it becomes to be able to hold a hard pace for an extended time. So, for the marathon and half-marathon, the lactate threshold should be a focus of your training.

What is the lactate threshold? The lactate threshold is the fastest pace above which lactate production begins to exceed its removal, with lactate concentration beginning to increase exponentially.  I read the following analogy for lactate threshold by author Jason Karp and found it useful:

“Think of a bucket with a hole in it that sits out in the rain. When it’s drizzling, the water filling the bucket empties through the hole. But when it’s pouring, water fills the bucket faster than it empties through the hole, and water accumulates in the bucket. To take the analogy further, there is an intensity of rainfall at which the amount of water emptying the bucket is just enough to keep up with the amount of water entering the bucket so that the water does not overflow. If the rainfall is heavy enough, the bucket will overflow. The point at which lactate quickly accumulates-the overflowing bucket-is an important marker in physiology, and is called the lactate threshold. The intensity of rainfall that is needed to overflow the bucket is therefore determined by the size of the hole in the bucket. The lactate threshold demarcates the transition between exercise that is almost purely aerobic and exercise that includes significant oxygen-independent (anaerobic) metabolism.”

Does all that make sense?

It is good to know that the lactate threshold is more responsive than VO2 max to training. While VO2 max plateaus after a few years of high-intensity training, the lactate threshold can continue to increase, improving your performance. Increasing the lactate-threshold pace allows runners to run faster before they fatigue because it allows them to run faster before oxygen-independent metabolism begins to play a significant role.

Research has shown that runners who do specific lactate-threshold workouts have a significantly greater improvement in their ability to hold a hard pace compared to those who train with only long or short intervals.  Not to mention, lactate-threshold training is the best aerobic bang for your buck!

Last weekend I got more exercise than I was originally banking on when I shoveled my first driveway!  The shoveling was fine–my hands just got sooo cold!  My physical therapist thinks it is just poor circulation.  Anyway, here is my accomplishment:


Fun Fact: Single women under 30 outearn men by 8-20% in 147 of 150 of America’s biggest cities (in terms of median full-time salaries).

Puppy Tip from Controlled Unleashed:  Readjust your training so that you can prevent creating the situation that causes us to use time-outs for our puppies in the first place.  The more time-outs you give, the more it tells you that something in your training needs adjusting.  If you are giving a time-out because your puppy disengaged during a training session and started sniffing around or doing something else, maybe you needed to have a shorter training session.

As you can tell, I have been baking up a storm.  I do not know how I have actually managed to lose weight since the beginning of December because my baking has been insane!  But it is a stress reliever to do at home with Christmas music on and dancing with the pups when we can’t go outside to play ball or frisbee.  Anyway, here is the 6th and FINAL pumpkin pie recipe (the others:  Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie with Whole Milk, Cook’s Illustrated Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie Take 4, Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie)!!  This is the one that made the cut for our Friendsgiving!  It is a recipe from Penzeys Spices–there is just something about it that makes it superb!  I think it will be the pumpkin pie recipe I will make for years to come.  I wanted to give you all plenty of time to try it out before your big holiday shindigs if you planned on bringing pie!

Penzeys Pumpkin Pie Penzeys Pumpkin Pie2

Penzeys Pumpkin Pie


– 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

– 3/4 cup light brown sugar

– 3/4 to 1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger

– 3/4 tsp cinnamon

– 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 3 large eggs

– 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

– 1 pie crust


– Preheat oven to 350*.

– In a small saucepan, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

– Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Beat for 15-30 seconds and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Slowly add the cream on low, and beat just until well-mixed.

– Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust.  Bake at 350* for 1 hour or until the center is set.  (A knife inserted in the center will come out clean.)

Courtesy of Penzeys Spices

This entry was posted in Individual Workouts, Puppy Tips, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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