The Karvonen Method and More Fun Times in VA (Recipe: Marshmallow Blondies)

The Karvonen Method is a way to calculate a target heart rate (HR) for training purposes that accounts for your resting heart rate.

First, to find your maximum HR, you subtract your age from 220.  For instance, the maximum HR for a 30-year-old would 190 beats per minute (bpm).  A target range for 70-80% of your maximum HR would correspond to 133 to 152 bpm.

For the Karvonen Method, you substract your resting HR from your maximum HR BEFORE multiplying by your desired percentage.  Your resting HR is then added back to the product. The difference between the maximum HR and the resting HR is called the heart rate reserve (HRR).

For instance, if the 30-year-old in the above example has a resting HR of 60 beats per minute, a target heart rate of 70 to 80 percent HRR would be calculated as follows:

HRR = (220 – 30) – 60 = 130 beats per minute

Lower Limit = (130 x 0.70) + 60 = 151 beats per minute

Upper Limit = (130 x 0.80) + 60 = 164 beats per minute

Furthermore, the Karvonen formula is attractive since it also estimates the running intensity in relation to your maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max). For example, 75% HRR equals 75% VO2 max. There is about a 10% difference when comparing either percent HRR or percent VO2 max to percent max HR, however. For example, 75% HRR equals about 85%  max HR.

When using the Karvonen Method, you should retest your resting HR once every few months to recalculate a target range since resting HR decreases as cardiovascular fitness improves.

It is also important to remember that the formula “220 – age” provides only an estimate of the max HR, and may be off by more than 10 to 15 beats per minute. The equation tends to overestimate max HR in highly trained runners and underestimate max HR in untrained people. A more accurate way to determine your max HR would be to measure your HR while you perform an all-out running test, such as a race or a time trial.

Food for Thought:  Chocolate.  Adults who drank a flavanol-rich cocoa daily for a month performed better on memory tests compared with similar subjects drinking a low-flavored cocoa.

So, there was a lot more fun to be had while in VA for the weekend.  The Mud Run was freakin’ awesome.  I just have to reiterate that.  Friday night we went to see the movie “The Other Woman”.  Hilarious!  We couldn’t stop laughing.  And we definitely joked about needing to go to “brain camp” the rest of the weekend.  You need to see this movie.  Then we came home and Ryan had made us delicious Mud Slides (perfect for our Mud Run the next day, right?!) and brownie-cookies and chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream!  Talk about a delicious dessert!!

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Then Saturday after lunching with the Muddy Puppy group, we went to the beach.  It was the first time I had been to the beach in ages!  It was the perfect beach afternoon!  The day couldn’t have been better!

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Except…then we went line dancing at a bar AND rode a mechanical bull!  Cheryl rode the bull twice!!  Talk about a day of exciting adventures!!  It was awesome!

Cheryl left Sunday morning after I put in a 7-miler, and then Kelsey, Ryan and I headed to Busch Gardens for some roller coasters!  Can I just say that I would do this weekend all over again??  I love it when you have days like that.

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AND I had a layover in the Detroit airport on the way back to Madison and got to go through “the tunnel”.  I think this is one of my favorite things in any airport.  You really need to fly through Detroit to experience this.  I’m not kidding.

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And then of course there were the precious pictures of my pups that M&A took for me:

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Quote of the Day:

“Set your goals high, work as hard as you can, and then create a positive belief system if you want to create your best life.” -Caroline Miller

So, I LOVE these blondies.  It’s another one of my favorite blondie recipes.  I think I made these for the flyball team at least twice, and they have made it into “The Cookbook” for sure.  The marshmallows add an extra chewiness that is fantastic.

Marshmallow Blondies - pan Marshmallow Blondies

Marshmallow Blondies


– 2 cups (4 sticks) butter at room temperature

– 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

– 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed

– 4 large eggs

– 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

– 4 1/2 cups AP flour

– 1 teaspoon sea salt – or kosher

– 1 teaspoon baking soda

– 2 cups chocolate chunks

– 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows


– Preheat to 350*.

– Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) in a bowl. Set aside.

– Cream butter and sugars in mixer at med-high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add vanilla. Slowly add the flour mix to the butter mixing on low until combined.

– Using a wooden spoon fold in the chocolate chunks, marshmallows.

– Spread the batter evenly into a nonstick, or parchment lined standard cookie sheet with 1″ rim (jelly roll pan).

– Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Center will be set. Do not over bake!

This entry was posted in Food Picture (No Recipe), Nutrition, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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