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During my current marathon training plan I run 5 days a week, with 3 hard days (long, tempo, and pace) The other two days are easy/recovery runs.

I am looking at the advanced marathon plans, and there is little room in there for rest. It looks to me like there are alot of "junk miles" slow, easy running.

I have been wondering about this, if you were to cut out the easy miles and take a couple of days off, would you be better off?

I know that when I am in a "step back" week, I run more easy runs and have a much harder time getting back to pace in the week that follows. Are all these easy runs actually slowing me down. I've read about some athletes with time dilemmas and they all quit doing easy runs, and just concentrated on quality.

What are your takes on this? I'm just curious.

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Well I'm kinda of a quantity is quality kind of guy, especially for marathon training. The stresses of the marathon are best conquered by increasing your endurance level. This can be best accomplished by increasing your mileage. As long as the extra miles aren't impacting the 'quality' of your hard days in my opinion there is no such thing as junk miles. That's not to say that you shouldn't take a day off now and then but a nice easy 4-5 mile run is often more beneficial to recovery for me then taking a day off. I often feel more stiff and tired after a day off.

However, the best training plan isn't going to do you any good if you don't make it to the starting line healthy, so bottom line is you need to listen to your body and adjust your schedule accordingly. If you feel 5 days works best then stick with it...but you may never know how much improvement you'll see if you up your overall mileage unless you try...

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megawill
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