Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What are junk miles?

Old 03-28-07, 05:37 AM
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Mukluk
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What are junk miles?

Runners have "junk miles" and I know how they are defined. Just wondering how Cyclists define them. I eagerly await your wisdom on the topic.
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Old 03-28-07, 05:40 AM
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Uh, how do runners define junk miles?
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Old 03-28-07, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Uh, how do runners define junk miles?
Miles which serve no purpose towards training. Sort of like going and doing a number of 10 mile runs just because.
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Old 03-28-07, 05:49 AM
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In that case....

2-hour recovery rides FTW!
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Old 03-28-07, 05:51 AM
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Spinning pedals round and round is going to cause some sort of adaptation. Whether it's the adaptation you want for the fitness you're trying to accomplish determines if the miles you're putting in are "junk" or not, I guess.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:14 AM
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Anyone who lives in a metropolitain area, and has to navigate through a series of stop lights before they can start their ride, has to endure "Junk Miles".
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Old 03-28-07, 06:19 AM
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"junk miles" are those miles that you *don't* count when you log your distance totals for the day (or week, or year).

So...does anyone here do "junk miles"? I didn't think so.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:24 AM
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I guess with that definition, all my miles are junk miles, because I don't use an odometer or a computer.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:25 AM
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What I take the phrase to mean is miles that are too hard to be recovery, and too easy to get the training effect your after. Of course, endurance miles have their place. But a lot of people put in too many miles at a moderate pace, at the cost of being able to go really hard when the plan calls for intensity, and being able to recover when the plan calls for easy.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Uh, how do runners define junk miles?
Im a runner and I dont believe in junk miles. For every fast mile you do in a week, you need to have at least 1/4 slow, recovery miles. These are not wasted, even though they be at 8:00-9:00 pace. They are, in fact, essential.

edit: so if I do 70 miles in a week, 15 or so miles of that is going to be relatively easy.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Mukluk
Runners have "junk miles" and I know how they are defined.
humm.. not sure I agree with that, any miles in running helps you keep your stamina, a short run or slow run is still miles under your belt.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by PDay
Im a runner and I dont believe in junk miles. For every fast mile you do in a week, you need to have at least 1/4 slow, recovery miles. These are not wasted, even though they be at 8:00-9:00 pace. They are, in fact, essential.
+1 here's part of an article from hillrunner.com.
There is no harm in running your easy days very slow. You will still build the aerobic systems that the aerobic runs are designed to build and you will recover more. In fact, the longer you are out there, the more work your body will do to build those aerobic systems. So, in many ways, an 80 minute run at 10 minutes per mile can be better than a 40 minute run at 8 minutes per mile.

Last edited by blonduathlongrl; 03-28-07 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 03-28-07, 06:38 AM
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I agree with merlinextralight. This winter I rode with some riders who were sadly under the impression that they were doing base miles at around 12 mph. These were junk miles. This was a ride meant to be base not recovery. Recovery is slow but not junk because it is useful after a hard ride the day before or even earlier in the day. I wound up riding off and leaving them behind because I just couldn't stand to ride so slow. These are the very ones who wonder why they are riding so slowly at this point.
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Old 03-28-07, 07:29 AM
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When I have heard people use the term "junk miles" they are referring to riding in the middle grey zones - not hard enough to develop your anaerobic threshold but too hard for developing your endurance aerobic system. The theory being that you should either ride really hard or relatively slow for long term endurance but not in the middle. On the contrary, most people spend the vast majority of their time in the middle (or junk) zones.
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Old 03-28-07, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
What I take the phrase to mean is miles that are too hard to be recovery, and too easy to get the training effect your after. Of course, endurance miles have their place. But a lot of people put in too many miles at a moderate pace, at the cost of being able to go really hard when the plan calls for intensity, and being able to recover when the plan calls for easy.
Yep, merlin has the answer. I suppose "junk" is a harsh term, but the basic idea is to train smart and make the most out of your time. Is a junk ride a complete waste of time? Maybe not, but you could be making better use of your time.
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Old 03-28-07, 07:59 AM
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I dont know about the rest of you but I really enjoy riding so there is no such think as junk miles. Any time spent riding is better than work so no junk.
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Old 03-28-07, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jrennie
I dont know about the rest of you but I really enjoy riding so there is no such think as junk miles. Any time spent riding is better than work so no junk.

+1!
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Old 03-28-07, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl
humm.. not sure I agree with that, any miles in running helps you keep your stamina, a short run or slow run is still miles under your belt.
+1

As a runner, you cannot stop moving your legs going down a hill. Not a true apples to apples comparison, but the principle is there.
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Old 03-28-07, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Mukluk
Runners have "junk miles" and I know how they are defined. Just wondering how Cyclists define them. I eagerly await your wisdom on the topic.
I define junk miles as rides where I actually have fun instead of pushing myself like some A-type zealot trying to justify his brightly colored kit.
 
Old 03-28-07, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by KinjaBoy
+1

As a runner, you cannot stop moving your legs going down a hill. Not a true apples to apples comparison, but the principle is there.
I roll sideways downhill while running.
 
Old 03-28-07, 09:42 AM
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There's also the junk miles where you are just "riding hard" with no focus or purpose -- like if you train for average speed, but aren't actually at TT pace. One of these every week or two is fine for a tempo or terrain-driven effort ride, but if it's all you do, it's inefficient.
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Old 03-28-07, 09:51 AM
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never really thought of it. then, i don't train or compete.

i have noticed that, at around 12 - 15 miles, i get into my "groove" where i feel like i can ride all day. i supposed those are junk miles for me.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:03 AM
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well, I guess if you were riding by a landfill....
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Old 03-28-07, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by blonduathlongrl
humm.. not sure I agree with that, any miles in running helps you keep your stamina, a short run or slow run is still miles under your belt.
+1
The only junk miles I do are the miles when I'm in my cage.
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Old 03-28-07, 11:19 AM
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In my club ride, we define junk miles as the path through traffic lights to get to the more scenic, and hilly terrain. But I agree with a lot of the previous posters, that any miles are good miles ... a mile is a mile, no matter what the scenery or traffic is. If you have an 80 miler, and live 10 miles away, by the time you get home, you've done a century !!!
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