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24 June 2010

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Bethany

Great advice. Are you SURE you don't want to write a book?

Celeste

Another really interesting post! The equivalent of garbage yardage in running parlance is "junk miles," and there's a lot of debate over how helpful they are to an overall training schedule. For people who are running 5+ days a week, junk miles can allow one to log a workout without over-stressing the body. As a busy mom, though, I can only get in three (maybe four) good runs a week; with so few days of running, I get my recovery time on my off days, so junk miles aren't useful to me. When I do have the chance to work out, I need to make my training really count, so like you, I try to push it as much as I am able, little by little. I have found those "tiny self-challenges" to be really effective at motivating me to improve. I love seeing results!

I do think that there is a difference between someone who runs just to maintain a moderate level of fitness and someone who genuinely wants to be an "athlete" in their chosen sport. (I remember your post about becoming an athlete a long while back--it inspired me to claim that title for myself, and I have never looked back!) The runner-for-fitness can just log junk miles all the time and still reach her goal of staying "in shape." For the athlete, though, junk miles won't cut it.

Love hearing your thoughts on fitness, Erin! Keep them coming.

(And just a note of interest: I recently read the book "Run Less, Run Faster," which outlines the FIRST program: three hard runs a week, two cross-training days, no junk miles. The authors make the same point you're making here and provide the science to back it up. A good read!)

Barbara C.

This kind of reminds me of "Flow" theory. The theory is that if you can take a mundane tasks and turn them into a game or challenge then you're more likely to experience moments of "flow" (aka the high of being "in the zone") and have overall happiness and satisfaction with your life.

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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