Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Is It a Hard Run or Junk Miles

Earlier I mentioned that on Friday I had a really hard run.  I woke up and thought I'd do a 5 miler for the day and as I got running, my body said no way.

I struggled the whole time I was running, and I ended up turning around and finishing at a mile and a half. And the whole time I ran I was thinking of how terrible running was feeling, and how I just wanted to be done. My lungs were tight and my legs were heavy and it felt like I hadn't run in months!

Some people would have felt like that was a waste of a run, so I wanted to talk a little bit about junk miles and bad runs today. To me, a bad run doesn't mean they were junk miles, a bad run just means that it was a hard run where you struggled.  A bad run still does you good. A bad run makes you stronger in the end and makes you fight and struggle mentally so that you will be stronger on race day.

Junk miles aren't all that common, in my opinion. To me, the only junk miles that exist are miles that are doing your body more harm than good. Miles that injure you or prevent you from healing. Those are the miles that make it a waste of time and energy to run because, in the end, you're going to have to take more time off recovering.

All those runs in high school that I would do when I was told by the coach/trainers to take a week or so off to heal, those were junk miles. And I could have saved myself a lot of injury by taking the time off instead of running those junk miles.

Sometimes we just have bad running days and it's hard and frustrating. So when you're out for a run and you're struggling and wondering if the run is even worth doing ask yourself these questions before quitting:


  1. Are you injured?
  2. Are you sick with anything from the chest down?
  3. Why is your run feeling hard? Is it bad pain, breathing problems...?
  4. Is your pace too fast?
  5. Are you dehydrated?


These five questions will help you decide if you should really quit your run or if you should push through your run.  Listen to your body, do what is best for you.  

How do you tell the difference between junk miles and a hard run?


1 comment:

  1. I really loathe the term junk miles because any time someone is out there, moving and sweating--is that time wasted?

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