Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Junk Miles - Not always Bad

Junk Miles - How many times have we all heard for years that it's all about quality, quality, quality miles! It continues to be an ongoing theme for years and I disagree that "junk miles" have no benefits and we should just take the day off. In my opinion the term should be changed to recovery miles. As we all know, the key to an effective long term training program is to balance hard efforts with recovery sessions to continuously "tear down" and rebuild the key muscles for the specific sport discipline. If you experience an injury be smart and cross train on the recovery mile session with a different sport discipline.

Moving back to the goals, each of us should have a focus of each workout. It might be any of the following: negative split workout, hard intervals, long slow distance for building endurance, hill repeats, etc. However, I feel that the the "day off" is not mandatory as many athletes won't workout on Friday so they save themselves for the long weekend workout, key speed session, etc. If you keep the heart rate in the 50-65% of range of (lactate threshold) there is no reason to take off days from training. The session might only be 30-45 minutes of very easy spinning on the bike, swim or running, yoga and it keeps the body "fresh". The body acclimates to working out every day. Of course, there are days when "life" gets crazy and we have to take a day off. It's an active recovery and not just "junk miles". Personally, I train 7 days a week and it works for me.

Consider adding recovery miles to the day(s) that you normally take off and especially if timing allows later in the day after a race. As we see with the Tour de France cyclists (ride on days off of the Tour) there are benefits of flushing the legs and body with recovery miles.

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