what is a "quality" run?

I've seen the phrase used a lot in guides for training but i can't seem to find anywhere a definition of what a "quality" run might be.

if there is such a thing as a "quality" run, that kind of implies that there are non-quality runs, which don't sound like they're much cop to be honest. i thought all my runs were worthy.

i'm pretty new to runnning, having been totally put off at school a long time ago and i'm finding the deluge of differing advice, training plans and philosophies a bit bewildering to be honest.



  • The opposite of a quality run is (are?) 'junk miles' - runs which are done with no purpose other than to crank up the weekly total.

    Quality runs have a purpose I suppose - extending distance, speedwork, tempo runs, recovery runs.

    I guess!

  • this is where i'm at:

    having not run for any reason other than catching a bus in the last 20 years i've put myself in for the VLM next year, raising money in honour of my late mum. despite the lack of runnning i'm reasonably fit, play squash and ski, and have the general physiology of a distance runner (tall and skinny, crap outright speed but great stamina).

    having started in june with a slightly nervous 23 minute 3.5km and interupted by a niggling achilles injury and a house move i'm now up to doing a 49min 10K.

    my schedule at the mo is:

    monday - squash

    tuesday - 25 minutes of intervals with 5 minute gentle at either end

    thursday - 5km quite pacey with "sprint then gentle" bits.

    friday - 5km easy (could be called junk, maybe...)

    sunday - distance at hopeful marathon pace of 5:40 p/k adding 1K a week. currently at about 14K.

    wednesday and saturday - rest.

    opinions and suggestions more than welcome.


  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    There are quality runs and quantity runs.  Quantity runs deal with all the essentials of distance running, the foundations and framework, bricks and mortar.  Quality runs deal with the bits you want to notice, and feel good about, the furniture, fixtures and fittings.

    Quantity is the long, slower miles, improving your bones and connective tissues, improving your endurance and stamina, improving your oxygen efficiency.  Quality is the short, faster miles, improving strength and speed.

    You could live on quantity without quality.  It'd be a bit dull.  Nobody would ever want to visit.  You could live on quality without quantity, but a change in the weather and your sofa's screwed until you get a new one on prescription, or have an operation to quickly fix the missing roof...

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    X-post.  You do a fair bit of quality.  At the moment you're trying to fit a turbocharger to a Fiat 500.  It's the flash stuff - so much more fun...!!

    For a marathon, which you're not going to sprint, or even run at a fast pace, you don't need much speed, and I think you'll be harshly surprised at the amount of stamina you're going to need.  Run further, run slower, run easier, and in the pursuit of your first marathon only the fastest miles are 'junk'.

  • Just get an easy plan and follow it as best you can.


    www.halhigdon.com - nice and plain and simple - you will notice his beginner marathon plans just have runnng - no fancy stuff.


    Don't worry about junk either - you are starting out - everything at this stage adds to your endurance. Just run comfy and extend you distance on one run a week (as you already are) and enjoy it. Try not to take any weeks off, be consistent and remember to stretch and take rest days and you will be fine. 



  • thanks guys. really good advice, all of it.

    i actually prefer the plain running bit over all the fancy stuff. gives me a chance to zone out a bit and get in some good "staring time" as one of my mates calls it.

    i think i'll keep my one a week interval session as a lot of people with more experience than me say it's the best way to build fitness. but i'm not going to worry too much about whether i'm doing exactly the right number/length of reps or whatever.

    and apart from that i'll concentrate on gently upping the mileage.

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