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What Are Junk Miles?

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What Are Junk Miles?

Old 08-04-16, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
If you don't train by heart rate, then "junk miles" is a term that means nothing to you.
If you don't "train" at all when cycling, then "junk miles" is a term that means nothing to you. In fact, "training" will mean nothing to you as well.
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Old 08-04-16, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
Anyone using the term "junk miles" could be riding for the wrong reasons and has perhaps lost sight of the value of the precious moments we are given in this life.
What would be a "wrong reason" to ride?
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Old 08-04-16, 06:30 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
defined!

Too Funny.
I'll admit, I train more than ride. I get on my bike and I have a goal to get faster. Hill repeats, intervals, long rides all have their place and time in my training plans. It's been tough trying to get back in the shape I was in when I quit cycling about 20 years ago (still not there). But I got to tell ya, riding on our MUP (river walk) on Sundays pulling my toddler daughter in a trailer, with my wife on her Ironman, makes me feel like a kid and I don't consider them junk miles.
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Old 08-04-16, 06:32 AM
  #79  
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Junk Miles: hauling junk with my bike. For example, here's me hauling electronic junk (recycling) with my BOB:

12994541_10153526921631444_2354530850948649362_n.jpg

edit - postscript: every ride has a goal, sometimes that goal is getting from here to there; sometimes the goal is to talk with a friend; sometimes the goal is to enjoy the weather; sometimes the goal is supporting a friend trying to ride stronger; and sometimes the goal is fast... I expect you get my point, there are many goals and there's a goal to fit every ride; therefore, there are no wasted miles (AKA junk miles)

Last edited by Hypno Toad; 08-04-16 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 08-04-16, 06:46 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
edit - postscript: every ride has a goal, sometimes that goal is getting from here to there; sometimes the goal is to talk with a friend; sometimes the goal is to enjoy the weather; sometimes the goal is supporting a friend trying to ride stronger; and sometimes the goal is fast... I expect you get my point, there are many goals and there's a goal to fit every ride; therefore, there are no wasted miles (AKA junk miles)
True and many of these goals do not require using or thinking in "training" mode or "training" jargon to enjoy.
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Old 08-04-16, 07:01 AM
  #81  
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Anyone can have any goal for a ride. I know a guy who was 350lbs and his goal every day was to get out the front door with running shoes on. If he made it to the end of the walkway then it was a great day.

In training for competitive events however, which is the context of the term "Junk miles", a goal without a plan is nothing more than a dream. If you don't have a plan then you don't have a goal.

Goals are specific, measurable and achievable.

"Getting faster" is measurable but not specific. It is not a goal because it is ambiguous. A 60 year old guy qualifying for the Olympic team probably isn't achievable. Even "Winning the 4th of July 5K" isn't a goal because you are not in control of who else shows up. Beating Big Ring Bill up the climb isn't a goal because you are not in control of how hard Bill trains or whether he is having a bad day.

"Riding a 40k time trial in under and hour" is an example of a goal, if you have a plan to get you there. "Running a sub 24 minute 5k by the 4th of July next year" is a goal if you have a plan.

Last edited by TimothyH; 08-04-16 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 08-04-16, 07:29 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Junk miles is a training and coaching term.

They are miles ridden with no other purpose than to increase mileage. Most people do this in zone 3 or "moderate" riding.
  • Recovery rides (zone 1) help you recover after an intense workout.
  • Base miles (zone 2) increase aerobic endurance.
  • Intervals, tempo and threshold workouts (zone 4+) increase power and speed.
Everything else is junk because there is little training benefit and significant recovery is required.As the article states, if you are not training with a specific goal and are just riding for fun then there is no such thing as junk miles. If you are training for a specific goal then you need to be careful about your intensity because moderate riding really serves no purpose and can hurt you in the long run.


-Tim-
The article made sense to me. Didn't really see what was meant by the term. Part of my goal is improved fitness. Not really training for a race tho. So I'm just going to quote this from the article:

There are no junk miles if you’re having fun.
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Old 08-04-16, 07:44 AM
  #83  
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Excellent discussion. However, the use of the term "junk" is disconcerting to me. It may be useful for cyclists who are trying to maximize their performance for racing, high average speeds, keeping up with fast group rides, etc. The term is misleading, however, for those of us who have different goals in cycling -- that is, enjoying riding, touring, commuting, losing weight, reducing our impact on the environment. In the context of these other goals, there are no junk miles. So, if you are performance oriented and simply aimed at increasing your speeds, by all means pay attention to so-called junk miles. The rest of can ignore the term and just keep on riding.
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Old 08-04-16, 08:16 AM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
There are no junk miles if you’re having fun.
Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
The term is misleading, however, for those of us who have different goals in cycling -- that is, enjoying riding, touring, commuting, losing weight, reducing our impact on the environment. In the context of these other goals, there are no junk miles.

Even for a recreational cyclists, it is good to know about the concept of junk miles, that there is an intensity which requires significant recovery but does little to improve fitness.

Knowing about it and having a method (heart rate monitor, etc.) to avoid this type of riding to the extent that it is possible can help avoid injury. I would argue that it could help someone lose more weight and make riding an overall more enjoyable activity. I would also argue that that people who do lots of miles touring would benefit greatly.

Ending the day fresh and ready for the next day's ride instead of being wiped out day after day is certainly something most cyclists would want. People who are constantly overtrained are no fun to be around.


-Tim-
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Old 08-04-16, 08:39 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You realized you left your wallet (etc) at home and have to make the same trip 3 times.
Perfect example.

For me, it is any distance that isn't being recorded, which would be commuting, grocery runs, rides with the wife, etc.

Also hate having to backtrack, because the road you wanted to take isn't available anymore, or a bridge is missing, really sucks when that happens. Or you missed the last ferry and had to go to the opposite end of town to catch a different one.

Last edited by SHBR; 08-04-16 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 08-04-16, 09:04 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Excellent discussion. However, the use of the term "junk" is disconcerting to me. It may be useful for cyclists who are trying to maximize their performance for racing, high average speeds, keeping up with fast group rides, etc. The term is misleading, however, for those of us who have different goals in cycling -- that is, enjoying riding, touring, commuting, losing weight, reducing our impact on the environment. In the context of these other goals, there are no junk miles. So, if you are performance oriented and simply aimed at increasing your speeds, by all means pay attention to so-called junk miles. The rest of can ignore the term and just keep on riding.
I posted earlier to this current thread:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...last year I developed formyself my Time-restricted,Personally Ambitious, but Non-competitive Cyclist Training Routine.,”
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… I described a new training routine for myself combining a well-established Ten Week Century Training Schedule of daily mileage goals with a personalized intensity scale based on ”Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE).” My basic premise was that I wanted to get significantly fit, within a busy work/family time-crunched life, but not suffer so much that I would abandon the program.

I do have the advantages of a very nice minimum 14 mile one way commute that iseasily extended; and a high end, very comfortable carbon fiber road bike thatencourages riding…
I’m still riding it, and enjoying more thanever.

BTW, my resting heart rate is 48 bpm,sometimes lower (Honest )
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I’m a very goal-oriented cyclist be it a destination or miles.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
For me, a ride should be at least 10 miles long [with 6 miles of warm-up] IMO...
So I guess “junk miles” are anything less than 10.
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Old 08-04-16, 09:20 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
However, the use of the term "junk" is disconcerting to me...
So, if you are performance oriented and simply aimed at increasing your speeds, by all means pay attention to so-junk miles. The rest of can ignore the term and just keep on riding.
Given that the adjective term "junk" is usually used as a modifier to disparage the quality of the subject, I suggest that the rest of us ignore the term "junk miles" as well as the use of "training" jargon in normal (i.e. not in training mode) conversation/discussion.

Also recommend that those cyclists who are into "training", to not assume that all other cyclists share their obsession with setting and/or meeting "goals."
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Old 08-04-16, 09:59 AM
  #88  
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The Ferry I took in 91, between Newcastle, Northumbria, England To Stavanger and Bergen Norway, No Longer operates .
so You have to return to Dover to get off the Island to the Continent, [or fly]
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Old 08-04-16, 10:04 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Also recommend that those cyclists who are into "training", to not assume that all other cyclists share their obsession with setting and/or meeting "goals."

Just because someone is training doesn't mean they are obsessed.

How you turn the pedals is entirely up to you. No one is forcing anyone to ride a certain way.

Just because we are discussing a topic does not imply obsession. Its just a conversation, that's all. Everything doesn't have to become a war.
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Old 08-04-16, 12:03 PM
  #90  
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Junk Miles - Time spent driving in the car and not riding.
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Old 08-04-16, 12:56 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
If you don't "train" at all when cycling, then "junk miles" is a term that means nothing to you. In fact, "training" will mean nothing to you as well.
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Old 08-04-16, 01:01 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Just because someone is training doesn't mean they are obsessed.

How you turn the pedals is entirely up to you. No one is forcing anyone to ride a certain way.

Just because we are discussing a topic does not imply obsession. Its just a conversation, that's all. Everything doesn't have to become a war.
Remember about teaching pigs to sing
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Old 08-05-16, 09:32 AM
  #93  
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The points about avoiding injury and being overtrained are good. But that brings up other questions. The first that comes to my mind is periodization. I understand we can't maintain maximum fitness and performance continuously thru the year. However, for those of us who have to work at a job, we are required to perform daily thru the seasons and year. Unless you have a seasonal job. Mine isn't.

Part of my fitness, training if you will, regimen is commuting. For me this is year round. I'm not particularly interested in having a peak season. Although riding longer and shorter commutes during different parts of the year makes sense. Going slower or faster according to my mood, (what my body is trying to tell me), also makes sense. But what I'm more interested in is/would be a more steady state level. Doesn't have to be a "X (watts/HR zones/Fitness)", just something less variable. Is that even possible?

My second question has to do with commitment. The few training/fitness books I have read or skimmed assume you are serious about it. After all if you want to win a race you need to be serious. Even if you only want to perform your best you need to be serious. So they advise investing in power meters, heart rate monitors, etc. That makes sense. But, I'm not that interested or serious. Of course there are the "Perceived Effort" measurements. I find them difficult to work with as well. So, is there a training method for the "lackadaisical" rider?

BTW good discussion all.
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Old 08-05-16, 10:06 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
The points about avoiding injury and being overtrained are good. But that brings up other questions. The first that comes to my mind is periodization. I understand we can't maintain maximum fitness and performance continuously thru the year. However, for those of us who have to work at a job, we are required to perform daily thru the seasons and year. Unless you have a seasonal job. Mine isn't.

Part of my fitness, training if you will, regimen is commuting. For me this is year round. I'm not particularly interested in having a peak season. Although riding longer and shorter commutes during different parts of the year makes sense. Going slower or faster according to my mood, (what my body is trying to tell me), also makes sense. But what I'm more interested in is/would be a more steady state level. Doesn't have to be a "X (watts/HR zones/Fitness)", just something less variable. Is that even possible?

My second question has to do with commitment. The few training/fitness books I have read or skimmed assume you are serious about it. After all if you want to win a race you need to be serious. Even if you only want to perform your best you need to be serious. So they advise investing in power meters, heart rate monitors, etc. That makes sense. But, I'm not that interested or serious. Of course there are the "Perceived Effort" measurements. I find them difficult to work with as well. So, is there a training method for the "lackadaisical" rider?

BTW good discussion all.
Re red/bold, what you asked is very relevant to most cyclists IMO.

I think "steady state" performance is better termed "fitness" and that is quite easy to measure.

Orthostatic test is one way. All you need is an inexpensive heart rate monitor. Some of the more expensive ones do the test for you and allow you to graph it online and compare/analyze results over time. That isn't necessary though. Resting heart rate is a great way to measure overall fitness. All you really need is a watch and two fingers to check your pulse.

BMI, body fat percentage, lab results from blood/urine tests at the yearly physical. All help to give an overall picture.

When I commuted, my favorite method was to TT the 19.9 mile route home from work


-Tim-
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Old 08-05-16, 12:19 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
The points abou tavoiding injury and being overtrained are good. But that brings up other questions.The first that comes to my mind is periodization. I understand we can'tmaintain maximum fitness and performance continuously thru the year. However,for those of us who have to work at a job, we are required to perform daily thru the seasons and year. Unless you have a seasonal job. Mine isn't.

Part of my fitness, training if you will, regimen is commuting. For me this is year round. I'm not particularly interested in having a peak season. Although riding longer and shorter commutes during different parts of the year makessense. Going slower or faster according to my mood, (what my body is trying totell me), also makes sense. But what I'm more interested in is/would be a more steady state level. Doesn't have to be a "X (watts/HR zones/Fitness)",just something less variable. Is that even possible?

My second question has to do with commitment. The few training/fitness books Ihave read or skimmed assume you are serious about it. After all if you want towin a race you need to be serious. Even if you only want to perform your bestyou need to be serious. So they advise investing in power meters, heart ratemonitors, etc. That makes sense. But, I'm not that interested or serious. Of course there are the "Perceived Effort" measurements. I find them difficult to work with as well. So, is there a training method for the "lackadaisical" rider?

BTW good discussion all.
Not to belabor a point, but I recently posted to this current thread a similar situation and approach to training:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...last year I developed for myself my Time-restricted, Personally Ambitious, but Non-competitive Cyclist Training Routine.,”
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… I described a new training routine for myself combining a well-established Ten Week Century Training Schedule of daily mileage goals with a personalized intensity scale based on ”Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE).” My basic premise was that I wanted to get significantly fit, within a busy work/family time-crunched life, but not suffer so much that I would abandon the program.

I do have the advantages of a very nice minimum 14 mile one way commute that is easily extended; and a high end, very comfortable carbon fiber road bike that encourages riding…
I’m still riding it, and enjoying more than ever.

In particular,I find Relative Perceived Exertion a very easy and manageable training tool; FYA, this is how I adapt it:

Originally Posted by Jim fromBoston View Post
I’m a 40+ year cyclist and I ride mainly for fitness. During nearly all of my 40 cycling years, my training has been by mileage. This year though, I decided to go for speed (intensity), and I use the semi-quantitative,standardized, but personally relevant system of (Borg’s) Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE), with my own particular adaptation…. I use cadence to chose gears to maintain my desired exertion.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
The RPE scale ranges from 6 to 17, with descriptions of the intensity. Multiply the RPE by 10 is the approximate heart rate. Jim's scale is the equivalent on a 0 to 100 scale, easier to think about:

RPE = 6, resting... Jim's scale = 10 to 20

RPE = 7, very, very light... Jim's scale = 20 to 30

RPE = 9, very light... Jim's scale = 30 to 40

11, fairly light...50 (my usual happy-go-lucky pace without thinking about it)

13, somewhat hard...60 (I have to focus to maintain)

15, hard...70 (I start breathing hard at about 30 seconds)

17, very hard (lactate threshold; breakpoint between hard but steady
breathing and labored with gasping)...80 (my predicted max HR)

19, very, very hard...90 to 100.
My basic training is to ride at my RPE of 50% for six miles to warm up, then cruise at an RPE of 60%, and do intervals (on hills) at 70%. I try to change gears to maintain a cadence of about 85-90 rpm on flats and rolling hills, and about 60 to 80 rpm on harder hills, to maintain my RPE. Shift up to higher gears as the cadence rises, and shift down as the RPE increases.
As I note above, my resting heart rate is a pretty constant 48 bpm, sometimes lower.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-05-16 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 06-21-20, 01:08 PM
  #96  
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It's basically the distance driven without any effect on your training,I guess.
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Old 06-22-20, 10:55 AM
  #97  
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Junk miles for me are miles that I do to just have fun. Not really pushing myself. During that time I enjoy the scenery and talk with other cyclists. I also notice things that I wouldn't normally notice when I am driving.
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Old 06-22-20, 10:57 AM
  #98  
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Anything with less than a +6% grade.
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Old 06-22-20, 11:24 AM
  #99  
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Dang, I forgot about this thread.
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Old 06-29-20, 04:32 AM
  #100  
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When the pawls in your hub no longer engage, its always fun having to resort to using the bike as a push scooter,

Or better still, riding back home after a crash!
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