Duration and Intensity (Recipe: Classic Thumbprint Cookies)

There are two fundamental variables that determine how a run affects your body: duration and intensity.

Duration can be measured directly by time or indirectly by distance. The longer a run lasts, the more pronounced its training effects. This does NOT mean every run should be as long as you can make it. Longer runs generate more fatigue as well as stronger fitness adaptations, and your body can only handle so much fatigue. But as a general rule, as the duration of your runs increase, your fitness level will also increase.

Intensity works differently than duration. All running intensities are beneficial for fitness, but each intensity level is beneficial in its own way. Easy jogging enhances fat-burning capacity, sprinting improves running technique, and intensities between these extremes yield other benefits. The most effective training regimen combines efforts at a range of intensity levels. There are three ways that runners can use to monitor and control their running intensity: pace, heart rate and perceived effort.

To use pace monitoring effectively in your training, you need to choose pace targets for different types of workouts that are tailored to your ability and fitness level and, therefore, elicit the right physiological response. The main advantage of pace monitoring is that it pushes runners to run harder for better “splits.”

Unlike pace, heart rate is a direct indicator of exercise intensity. The higher your heart rate climbs during a run, the harder your body is working.  The simplest way to benefit from the use of a conventional heart rate monitor is as follows: Warm up and then run as far as you can in 30 minutes. Note your average heart rate during the last 10 minutes of the time trial. This is your approximate lactate threshold heart rate. Multiply this heart rate by 0.89. Keep your heart rate at or below the resulting number in all runs that are intended as easy runs.

Perceived effort is essentially how hard a running effort feels. The advantage of perceived effort relative to other intensity metrics is that it’s a global indicator that encompasses all of the physiological factors that determine exercise intensity.  The main disadvantage of perceived effort is that it’s subjective and therefore can be unreliable. For example, research has shown that most recreational runners believe they’re running at a low intensity when in fact they’re running at a moderate intensity.

So make sure to take duration and intensity into consideration when planning your workouts!

And I am home after such a fun week and a half watching pups!  And here are some of the last pictures from my stay!

DSC_4503 DSC_4508 DSC_4511 DSC_4516                             IMG_3283 IMG_3292                                                     DSC_4522 IMG_3296 IMG_3368 IMG_3370

Some of the best advice ever from one of my favorite people which makes it appropriate for the Quote of the Day:

“Any man who is turned off by you ordering a shake or dessert of any kind on the first date is a man who will not make you happy!  Not your lobster!!” -Allison

Pretty good advice, don’t you agree?  Speaking of dessert, these cookies are pretty much AH-MAZING.  Allison can vouch for this as I left quite a few at her house. 🙂  I had never made thumbprint cookies until now, but I will be making these again for sure!  And next time I may put a dab of caramel in some and chocolate in others…hmmm…now I’m thinking!

Thumbprint Cookies

Classic Thumbprint Cookies


– ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
– ½ cup vegetable shortening
– ½ cup light brown sugar
– 3 egg yolks
– 2 tablespoons milk
– 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 cup your favorite jam, jelly or preserve
– Granulated sugar, for rolling


1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

2. Cream together the butter, shortening and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the egg yolks, milk, vanilla and salt, and beat until well combined. Reduce the mixture speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing until well blended.

3. Measure about 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie and roll into balls. Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl and roll the balls of dough in the sugar to coat. Using the back of a teaspoon or your thumb, make a deep rounded indentation in the top of each cookie.

4. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven. It may be necessary to create the indentation once again with a spoon. Place about 1 teaspoon jam, jelly or preserves into the indentation of each cookie. Bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

Courtesy of Brown-Eyed Baker

This entry was posted in Callie!, Envy, Individual Workouts, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Duration and Intensity (Recipe: Classic Thumbprint Cookies)

  1. Becca says:

    I love your pups. Also, I made some Thai strawberry jam that I bet would be amazing in those cookies! I just might have to try it.

  2. Kristen says:

    Ah! I love it! Your pictures are fantastic!! And let me know how the cookies turn out!

  3. Pingback: 22 Things Happy People Do Differently (Recipe: Blueberry Swirl Bread) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

  4. Pingback: Stay Focused (Recipe: Pumpkin Dip) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

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