It’s Wednesday and I’m joining in on the Wednesday Word link up, hosted by Debbie. Each week Deb provides a word prompt for us to write about. This week’s word is quality. Click on the button below to see who else is linking up today and to join in!
I hate the term ‘junk miles’ and the notion that the only type of beneficial run is one with a purpose. As a matter of fact, I do not believe in junk miles. Easy runs are just as important as those quality runs (i.e. speed work, hill repeats, long runs, etc.). They have their own purpose, by giving you the chance to actively recover. Not to mention, if you make every single run some type of workout, you may see improvement initially but it will almost always lead to injury. Sometimes I think that cutting out all easy runs, because they’re “junk miles,” is really just another way of people trying to do the least to gain the most.
I have always been a critic of the thought that every run has to have some purpose. My opinion on easy runs being an important part of training was definitely solidified when I read the Hansons Marathon Method book and followed their training plan for the Marine Corps Marathon in 2014. You could say I drank the Kool Aid. Their theory is that easy running provides its own set of physiological benefits. Bear in mind easy running doesn’t necessarily mean slow. It means an easier pace than your other workouts. Those easy runs also help build your mileage volume slowly, allowing you to reach new mileage highs, as I experienced through my training.
When it comes to quality versus quantity while training for a long distance event, I think they are mutually inclusive concepts . You need those quality workouts to help build speed and strength. They make up the top of the training pyramid. But the base of that pyramid is made up of easy runs, and it’s where the quantity part comes in. The bottom line is that each run should have a purpose in relation to your training. When you look at easy runs by themselves, they may not seem to have a purpose. But when you think in terms of the big picture and your training as a whole, those runs allow you to improve your aerobic abilities, recover from other workouts, and build your endurance.
What are your thoughts on the term “junk miles?”
What do you think on quality versus quantity in relation to training?