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what's the difference between junk miles, and long slow miles? (Read 2066 times)


rhetorician

    OK - I've been running properly again for nearly 5 months, gradually working up to around 30+ miles a week. I know there are issues about basic talent etc (i.e. I clearly don't have anyBig grin), but I know several people around my age who run significantly fewer miles than me, but nevertheless run at better paces. Most of them haven't been running for that long. Am I just running 'junk miles'? I thought I was doing great work building a solid base, but had hoped for some slight increase in pace. I'm 45, and just wonder if I need to be smarter about my running - I can do the miles, but not fast; I have just started to add in some speed work, but  I find it hard on the body and don't expect to see instant results. Hal Higdon's intermediate half marathon programme, for example, involves considerably less mileage than I am currently doing.

     

    I'm running a tough off-road half marathon on May 21st and imagine with all the hills and difficult terrain that I might get home in about 2h30min - on a flat(ish) course, I would hope for about 2:10; I'd like to get sub-2.

     

    Ideas - log is available if you want to look!

     

    thanksSmile

    2012 goals

     

    lose 8lbs

    run injury free

    run 3000k

    run sub 60 min 10k

    run 2 hour half

     

    2013 goals

     

    run 1750 miles

    run injury free

    sub 55 10k

    sub 25 5k

    sub 2 hour half

      OK - I've been running properly again for nearly 5 months, gradually working up to around 30+ miles a week. I know there are issues about basic talent etc (i.e. I clearly don't have anyBig grin), but I know several people around my age who run significantly fewer miles than me, but nevertheless run at better paces. Most of them haven't been running for that long. Am I just running 'junk miles'? I thought I was doing great work building a solid base, but had hoped for some slight increase in pace. I'm 45, and just wonder if I need to be smarter about my running - I can do the miles, but not fast; I have just started to add in some speed work, but  I find it hard on the body and don't expect to see instant results. Hal Higdon's intermediate half marathon programme, for example, involves considerably less mileage than I am currently doing.

       

      I'm running a tough off-road half marathon on May 21st and imagine with all the hills and difficult terrain that I might get home in about 2h30min - on a flat(ish) course, I would hope for about 2:10; I'd like to get sub-2.

       

      Ideas - log is available if you want to look!

       

      thanksSmile

       

      I'd apologize ahead of time if I sound at all arrogant.  At the level of 2:00~2:30 half marathon, there's no such thing as "junk mile".  Try to pile up as many miles as you can at whatever the pace they may be.  As your fitness level improves and you can comfortably run around 8 or 9 minute mile pace; THEN you may wonder about what 15-minute-mile pace might or might not do for you.  Bear in mind, though, I know of a 2:06:16 marathon runner and he starts out his marathon preparation with 8-minute-mile pace running.  Granted, he runs 150 miles a week like that.

       

      By the way, 2:30 to 2:10 to sub-2 is quite a bit of a jump.  Don't carry your "hopeful" race time ahead of where you really are in terms of your fitness level.  The horse should always come ahead of the cart.

        I'm slower than you and almost 20 yr older, so take with a grain of salt. Wink

         

        Lots of things contribute to running and one's goals.

         

        Weekly volume (if you measure things that way) is one component, but how long you've been at that level is an even greater component. More volume usually results in faster recoveries so you can run more. Most people get faster with more volume unless they're doing too much for their present condition (built too much too fast). Many people will have a sweet spot where they see gains. AND that sweet spot will vary with your years and type of training. (I know that's not helping explain differences with your friends, who may have partly done a better job selecting parents.)

         

        "Junk" miles may be miles that prevent you from completing key workouts at desired pace / effort. Another definition might be they're at wrong intensity to have the desired benefit (e.g. "tempo" run at conversational effort). Or they're just plain slow. My personal feeling is that almost any run does some good as long as you don't injure (including overtraining)  yourself. There might be days where a rest day may be more beneficial than a 2-mi easy run.

         

        "Speed" work is a term I hate since it's so ambiguous as most people use it. To some, it's the run part of run/walk; to others it's VO2max intervals and nothing at lower intensities. You don't say what type of speed work you're doing.  You might be doing stuff that's too hard for your body right now if it's "hard on the body." Maybe you need to take a different approach. Maybe you need to lead into whatever you're doing more gradually.

         

        Just taking a quick look at your log, I'm not seeing any pattern to your training. There's a couple tempos not far apart, only one interval, etc. I'm wondering if you're not providing the right stimuli then giving the body time to adapt. Usually one might do a temp once a week or two, not a couple days apart.

         

        If I interpreted your time estimates correctly, I think you were hoping for 2:30 on a technical, hilly trail HM. You think that same level of effort would result in a 2:10 on flat road race. I can easily see that much difference based on the course alone, esp. if you're not an experienced trail runner. With 5mos running, you aren't experienced nor have you really adapted to your base. Your friends may adapt better or have some prior relevant background that's helping. (my avatar is from my favorite HM to give you my perspective on potentially challenging courses)

        "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

          JUNK MILES --- I've never really understood that term until I defined it for myself.   To me "junk miles" are that one day here or there when you start running and you just dont have it...you're stiff or sore and this particular day is a day when you probably ought to take a nap instead of run.....but you run anyway and go from feeling bad to feeling like CRAP........thats my def of junk miles.

           

          As far as lots of miles at a slow pace - those are training miles at an easy or easier pace.   They are always good for you you should do as many of those miles as you have time for.

           

          I thnk (but dont know) that the term junk miles came from someone whom was trying to get "more out of less" and so they will say to do some form of uptempo or quality running and not do any slow and esy running cause the slow easy running are just "junk miles'..........

           

          Everyone that I have ever talked to that knows what they are doing reject the idea of long slow easy miles being considered junk miles.........Every coach, and elite runners (and I personally know 5 elite runners) think the tem Junk Miles -- is s junk term for all the same reasons..

           

          OH YEAH -- Listen to Nobby --- he knows more about running than most of the rest of us will ever know..........if he says it, then its so....

          Champions are made when no one is watching

            +1 on listening to Nobby. He is a legend.

            Also agree with "junk miles" being a "junk term". The miles at an easy pace are of enormous benefit. The only thing I will add: think about the purpose of each run - for example, the easy miles might be to help build a base or as recovery runs. If you genuinely can't think of a purpose for the run, it might be classed as "junk". But damn I hate that term. It was probably introduced by Runners' World in one of their "Run a Marathon on 10 miles per week" articles.

            MTA: and this from AKTrail: ""Junk" miles may be miles that prevent you from completing key workouts at desired pace / effort." - wise words.


            Feeling the growl again

              There are no junk miles, but there are destructive miles.

               

              There are many reasons people running less than you may race faster than you...and nothing says that with more time of doing what you are doing that this situation will not change.  It probably will, 5 months is not a lot of time to be training in the grand scheme of things.

               

              All miles can help you get faster, slower ones may just do different things for you.  You can get in the situations where additional miles take you backwards -- injury, overtraining -- but that's a whole other issue.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               

                There are many reasons people running less than you may race faster than you....

                 

                True. They might have read a Runners' World article on "How to Race a Marathon on 10 miles per week".


                Feeling the growl again

                  True. They might have read a Runners' World article on "How to Race a Marathon on 10 miles per week".

                   

                  Now you got my blood pressure up.  I better go for a run.

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   


                  rhetorician

                    I thnk I asked the question thinking that the term was probably meaningless...in terms of 5 months running, I'm not actually a beginner, I just was out of action for a year - my log has 3500+ ks on it, and I've run half-marathons before. I suspect that I am probably not likely to be very fast and that's just that.

                    2012 goals

                     

                    lose 8lbs

                    run injury free

                    run 3000k

                    run sub 60 min 10k

                    run 2 hour half

                     

                    2013 goals

                     

                    run 1750 miles

                    run injury free

                    sub 55 10k

                    sub 25 5k

                    sub 2 hour half

                      Now you got my blood pressure up.  I better go for a run.

                       

                      My work here is done.
                      MrH


                        Are you doing any drills or striders that would help with your form? Any core work or hill running to build strength?

                        The process is the goal.

                        Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

                          But damn I hate that term. It was probably introduced by Runners' World in one of their "Run a Marathon on 10 miles per week" articles. 

                           

                          I laughed out loud when I read this.....but sadly, its probably true....Big grinBig grin

                          Champions are made when no one is watching

                          buzzardnblack


                          buzz

                            "they" might classify most of my miles as junk, but the've gotten me through 2- 100 milers and 30+ ultra marathons

                            <do all="" things="" without="" murmuring="" and="" complaining=""></do>


                            Feeling the growl again

                               I suspect that I am probably not likely to be very fast and that's just that.

                               

                              I think you are selling yourself short.  I bet you could really surprise yourself.

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                               

                                I think you are selling yourself short.  I bet you could really surprise yourself.

                                 

                                I agree. Keep putting in the work. One of the things I like best about RA is that people that put in the work surprise themselves all the time. And that's inspiration to all of us on those days we don't feel like putting in the work.

                                When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

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