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what's the difference between junk miles, and long slow miles? (Read 2063 times)

    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.

     

    This is true.  I ran my first HM 2 years ago and finished a little over 1:46.  My goal after that was to get 1:45.  I worked my butt off and achieved that time several months later.  After a few HM's after that, I was always in the 1:44 area...for over one year.  I just couldn't get under 1:44.  Started ramping up the mileage and quit worrying about hitting certain paces in my runs, or hitting a certain mileage.  I just kept working.  This past April, not only did I finally go sub-1:44, but I ran 1:41.  Not in my dreams did I invision myself getting that time.  All I can say is I just started running more and increasing the mileage.  All of this was done without any speed work.   

      It is quite appauling to me that what's considered as "norm" today really are not and yet so many people just buy into it and blindly follow it.  I'm not sure when and where all these "myths" had started but we feel that there are so much we need to do to "unlearn" what people have "learnt" (Yoda?).

       

      Take stability shoes for example.  I was talking to this guy who manages a website www.naturalrunningcenter.com and the guy who started Newton.  So much of all this pronation and stability and support and protection are "myths".  I said this over and over here and I posted this at somewhere else recently and I don't think the guy (who said those stability shoes were designed to correct all those foot issues) wasn't too happy about the way I put it.  But seriously, answer my questions about what is pronation, why it happens and what do we really need to fix it and why.  If you can't answer them, don't just buy what some college kid who happens to run for a local college team who works at the store for $9 an hour telling you what you should do according to a shoe-selling manual!  Seriously!!

       

      Same thing with so many things about training.  Speed training...  What is speed training?  What are you trying to achieve?  What would that for you at this point of your fitness level and what you're trying to achieve with it?  What is the best way to achieve that?  Let me just explain this step by step (my daughter is having a prom night today and my wife took her to do the hair and, while doing laundry, I can relax a bit...  The truth is; I was gonna maw but it's raining!!  Yeah!!).  Speed training is to develop SPEED.  Sorry, but if you're doing a workout like 5 X 800m while running at 10-minute mile pace (5 minutes for 800m), that's not really SPEED.  You'll be puffing and huffing and you're pushing hard.  But it ain't contributing much to developing SPEED.  If you want to develop SPEED, you'd be better off doing something more like 5 X 70m FAST with 3-minute recovery in between.  This way, you'll be running FAST.  But what would that contribute to running 2-hour half marathon?  Probably NOTHING.  So why do it? 

       

      So what about a workout like 5 X 800m?  Or Yasso 800?  First of all, Yasso 800 is an assurance workout; not a speed workout.  Well, most certainly not a speed workout for the reason I posted above.  If done correctly, it's a workout to withstand oxygen debt (not quite the way Yasso 800 is designed).  You'd be running hard and fast(er than your regular run) and you'll be puffing and huffing and that's what you should be feeling.  It is to teach your body to withstand oxygen debt you'll encounter in the race.  Would you encounter that in a half marathon?  Most probably not.  So you would most probably be better off doing more like 10 X 800 but at slower pace--probably more like your 8~10k race pace.  This then becomes more of a strength training than speed.  Speed, yes, in a sense that you're running fastER than your half marathon pace but, in essense, all these should come AFTER you've established a decent aerobic foundation first. 

       

      As you run more, your body sends the message to retain more oxygen in the system.  At first, you may get in to oxygen debt even at a very slow speed, because your oxygen consumption ability is very low.  As you run more and your body adapts to take in, transport and utlize oxygen in your system, what once was anaerobic exercise now becomes aerobic--this is because your oxygen consumption level will go up and now your body can use oxygen a lot more efficiently; therefore, you can run further AND faster aerobically.  THIS is how you get SPEED initially.  You ask anybody who's using MAF method--they can run, a few months after doing MAF program, at faster pace with their HR staying the same.  To obtain that, even if your HR is as low as 100bpm, you ARE doing some good.  So in that sense, there's no such thing as "junk mile"--I don't know what you mean by "junk mile" but I'm assuming you're thinking about a run that is very slow.  The truth is; "You can never run too slowly."  But you CAN run too fast and get yourself in trouble.

       

      In that other thread about shoes, I said; "If people think, 'Oh, I pronate (which, by the way, is a natural movement of your feet) so I should wear thick inflexible bulky shoes...' then the damage is already done (by media)."  Same thing; if people think; "Oh, I need to do speed work to run 2-hour half marathon from 2:20," and push their workout pace harder and harder and eliminate all the nice easy running; then somewhere along the way from somewhere, the damage is done.  Because it's all wrong.


      rhetorician

        Nobby - I completely agree with you (I think!); I've just heard it said a bit, that's all. I don't consider any of my mileage to be junk (I have bad runs, but that's different again), and I'm actually pretty pleased with the way I've managed to handle the jump in mileage without getting injured (last year was running on average about 20-25k a week). I don't really do 'speed' workouts, but when I do, I run fast (for me) with recoveries. Other runs faster than easy I wouldn't define as 'speed' (whilst recognising that speed is itself a way to measure distance/time, not a different way of saying 'fast'. It's the pedant in me)

         

        the thread has gone is 2 directions - one is to do with the question in the title, and the other with my post (which is a bit of a moan about my 800+ km and my still rather pathetic speed)

         

        on shoes, I'm no expert, I'm a neutral runner and I just buy the same model after the old ones wear out.

        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


        rhetorician

          so, is the overall conclusion that I should keep doing what I'm doing?

          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

            I knew I'd seen a definition of 'junk miles' somewhere - it's in Bob Glover's Competitive Runners Handbook. It's even in the index;

             

            'Don't count "junk" miles. Running a mile to the gym, for example, may save time and be enjoyable, but it isn't part of training..... Dpn't look for every excuse to put miles in your diary.....In the end, it is the blend of quantity and quality  mileage that will help you improve times, not how many miles you log each week.'

             

            He goes on but this is how I've always interpreted the phrase - odds and sods that aren't really planned runs but if you scraped together absolutely everything (running to catch a bus?!) may make it seem that you are doing more mileage than you really are. This is obviously likely to be more important at lower mileages.

            Goal: Age grade over 80% on a certified course.

              I think there are two definitions of "junk miles".

               

              1.  Slower fill in miles around  quality days

              2.  Miles at a pace that isn't easy/comfortable but not also hard. I guess you could call it no man's land. You could say that these fall into a HR of around 80-85% of max. They aren't easy enough for recovery or being comfortable and not hard enough to be considered "quality".

               

              As mentioned earlier, you need to have a purpose for every run. If doing quality work 2 times per week, you need slower more comfortable miles to allow yourself to recovery and get stronger from those tougher work outs. If you do these filler miles too fast, you don't allow proper recovery and won't be your best for your next quality sessions.

               

              For #1 above, this certainly should not be considered "junk miles". Whatevery pace you need to do to recover between work outs is what you need to do. If you are beat up, run slow. It still helps you keep your miles up and stay strong aerobically. They are beneficial.

               

              For #2 above, you need to be aware. I think that HR range can be beneficial in two ways.

                  A. If not doing quality days, this effort a few days per week can be of benefit

                  B. If running long enough, this HR range can also be of benefit and could be considered a quality work out.

               

              Either way, I don't ever consider any miles, "junk". They are all beneficial!

              Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                so, is the overall conclusion that I should keep doing what I'm doing?

                 

                And more if you can....have time and want to.......

                Champions are made when no one is watching


                rhetorician

                  thanks Phidippides (great username!) - just ran 19.5k, it felt good, so will be shooting for about 2:15 on my rocky, hilly course next week. Thanks for all the replies - so much knowledge and wisdom out there, I'm in awe.

                  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

                    I knew I'd seen a definition of 'junk miles' somewhere - it's in Bob Glover's Competitive Runners Handbook. It's even in the index;

                     

                    'Don't count "junk" miles. Running a mile to the gym, for example, may save time and be enjoyable, but it isn't part of training..... Dpn't look for every excuse to put miles in your diary.....In the end, it is the blend of quantity and quality  mileage that will help you improve times, not how many miles you log each week.'

                     

                    He goes on but this is how I've always interpreted the phrase - odds and sods that aren't really planned runs but if you scraped together absolutely everything (running to catch a bus?!) may make it seem that you are doing more mileage than you really are. This is obviously likely to be more important at lower mileages.

                     

                    A couple of weeks ago I logged the two block run to the grocery store, because it got me to 80km/50mi for the week.  I don't consider this junk mileage; that run had a purpose.

                    "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

                    Jack Kerouac

                      My trips to the grocery store are on the bicycle.  Those are junk miles.

                      Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

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