Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Junk Miles?

Julie Berg's fine post got me to thinking about the term "junk miles."

I have at least 2 "junk miles" runs per week. They are one of life's simple pleasures for me. On mine, I sometimes run with my IPod, but most of the time I'm listening to nature. Since I run with a the Trail Nerds group on almost every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, running by myself is a necessary part to my ultra race training. After all, on a 50 or 100-miler, you will be alone with your own thoughts for at least half of the distance, so you sure as heck better train for it.

Junk miles??? I think time on your feet at any pace is very much worthwhile, in regard to training for ultras. In a race distance of 50 miles or more, most of the time I'll be running at a 75% heartrate pace, or so. It's all terrain dependent, of course. So I need to find time to train in that speed range more often.

Most of my runs alone are at a leisurely pace (unless I put on the IPod). When do I do them? I sometimes run 4-6 miles on Monday nights, but usually it's on a Wednesday or Friday night. In the nicer months, I will sometimes ride my bike after the run for 30-40 minutes. Tuesday nights before the group run, a few of us run alone at our own pace for some "extra miles in the bank."

Tonight, I'm doing a little 4-mile trail loop with my son, prior to running with the Trail Nerds group. It will be at a 11 minute/mile pace or so. My 24-y.o. son is slowly getting back into shape (and trying to kick smoking), and has found that he can now run up to 4 miles without stopping, (as long as it's not on evil pavement). And what a good way to spend time with my son!

Junk on, runners!


angie's pink fuzzy said...

sounds excellent!

Caleb said...

I don't necessarily believe in "Junk" miles either. Time on your feet is a worthwhile aspect to running, plus if you're enjoying those miles how can you classify them as "junk"?

Lora said...

Yeah....so they're called junk. I need em too--for my sanity.

The motto for junk miles should be, "I'm easy to live with cuz I run junk miles!"

running42k said...

It sounds like you are doing these so called "junk miles" more for your soul and your mental health. That doesn't count as junk in my book.