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What are "Junk" miles? (Read 1518 times)


Me and my gang in Breck

    Thanks so much for the discussion. Being so new to the sport it can feel absolutely overwhelming with all of the information available, most of which is contradictory in nature. I'm trying to learn how to get faster, add distance, more days and lose weight all at the same time and I just get lost sometimes attempting to keep it all straight. I've been on RA now for a few months and have come to appreciate the knowledge that many runners on here have and the groups' collective experience makes learning about running a much more maneagable endevour for me. Please don't stop the discussion on my account, and thanks for putting so much thought into the responses. I just hope that I'll be able to add to the conversation in a meaninful way some day soon!!!! Big grin
    One more word of unsolicited advice. If you run when your injured or you run yourself into the ground then I wouldn't call them junk miles, I would call them stupid miles. It's easy to get caught up in the running yourself into the ground syndrom. You really need to listen to your body and don't fight it. If you go slow and easy and stay injury free then you will be amazed at what running can do for you. Your on the right track, you found RunningAHEAD! Modified to add. I've run stupid miles. Guaranteed everyone here has sometime in their lives. But I learned from them so they weren't junk. Mark

    That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Neitzsche "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go." "Dedication and commitment are what transfer dreams into reality."


    Cry havoc!

      Don't know if you caught the original posting, the thread was improperly titled "Good article". It's a GREAT article about Tor the Patient. Not patient as in "ran himself into the ground and was admitted to a hospital", patient as in quietly and steadily persevering. Don't know if he would use the exact word, but Secret #5 makes it clear to me that Tor the Patient understands the concept of junk miles.
      http://home.hia.no/~stephens/torart.htm Zoomers will especially like it, since it's about Vikings and stuff.

      E.J.
      Greater Lowell Road Runners
      Cry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!

      May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.

        I'll say this, in an attempt to continue the conversation, the most difficult thing to figure out is how hard to run on a given day. Because of this most people, in my experience, after a beginning in which they struggle with learning how to run easily, settle into a habit of just running easy miles. Keeping that struggle alive--the struggle of the beginner experimenting with paces and pushing and all that stuff--is a crucial aspect of making progress. I think that the folks who coined the term "junk miles" were on to the fact that just running easy won't maximize anyone's potential. I think more runners make the mistake of running too slow most of the time than the other way around. But in fact, this argument runs against the terminology of "junk."
        I don't know if more runners make the mistake of running too slow or too fast. It's pretty clear that some people can get fast by doing nothing but slow running and then racing every few weeks. It's definitely an ongoing struggle to figure out the balance. I think an awful lot of folks wash out of the sport from chronic injury or burnout due to not enough easy mileage, many before the even really get started. I'm starting to believe that for some average joes (like me) the idea of keeping some hard days all year round allows for more progress and less injury risk than having periods of all easy running. But I'm not sure whether the reason for this is that keeping 2 days a week that are very hard forces me to have 5 days a week that are very easy. I know when I'm in a recovery or rest period and not doing any workouts my "easy" pace tends to get faster and faster until its not clear if I'm ever doing any easy running or if everything is becoming just "medium." Not that a lot of medium paced running is a terrible thing for a while but I think long term it's not the best way to keep improving and stay injury free.

        Runners run.

        PWL


        Has been

          I'm starting to believe that for some average joes (like me) the idea of keeping some hard days all year round allows for more progress and less injury risk than having periods of all easy running.
          I don't know if 2500 miles/yr and a 17:00 5k PR makes you an "average joe" per se. If that's true, I am WAY below average! Cool

          "I would never die for my beliefs, because I might be wrong."--Bertrand Russell


          Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

            Here's a good article on recovery runs. I agree with about 95% of it. I still have a hard time believing that recovery runs don't aid in recovery in some way since I always feel much, much better after a recovery run than before one.
            Recovery runs aren't junk miles, they serve a purpose.

            Run to Win
            24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)




            Kill

              I don't know if 2500 miles/yr and a 17:00 5k PR makes you an "average joe" per se. If that's true, I am WAY below average! Cool
              Yeah it depends on which end of the telescope you look through. From my perspective, I'm Average Joe and mikeymike is at the bottom end of the elite spectrum.

              Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

               

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

                Yeah it depends on which end of the telescope you look through. From my perspective, I'm Average Joe and mikeymike is at the bottom end of the elite spectrum.
                Alright I probably should have said it some other way. I don't think you can take one without the other--17:00 5k is probably average or near average for someone who sometimes runs 2,500 miles in a year but that's not the point. We all on this thread have about the same chance of making the Olympic 5000m final and none of us on this thread makes a living at running or places it as the top priority in their lives. Our race times are only significant to us individually.

                Runners run.


                Kill

                  Just teasing ya Mikey. I had to do something to keep PWL and I from feeling below average Wink

                  Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

                   

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


                  Prophet!

                    you may have to add more "junk" to your training.
                    i find that "junk" miles help keeps me from adding more "junk" inside my trunk.
                    Ed4


                    Barefoot and happy

                      Wow, obviously lots of opinions on this one. My understanding is that junk miles are run at a pace above lactate threshold but below what you'd consider speedwork. So you're beating yourself up and getting comparably little benefit. You get the same aerobic benefit is you slow down, without all the added stress. I have definitely experienced this myself. I spent several months doing most of my runs in this "junk" zone, and I stopped improving and got burned out. It comes down to the same old advice: on your easy days, go really easy. On your hard days, go really hard.
                      Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.


                      Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                        We all on this thread have about the same chance of making the Olympic 5000m final and none of us on this thread makes a living at running or places it as the top priority in their lives.
                        What about an Olympic marathon trial?

                        Run to Win
                        24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



                          What about an Olympic marathon trial?
                          Okay, then a few of us (not me) have a better chance than others.

                          Runners run.

                            Junk miles are more of a feeling than an actual concept or whatever. Like days when you're supposed to be running fast and you end up running slower than a recovery run. I also refer to runs that I hate doing as junk miles.
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