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Junk Miles are Making You Slow

By: Rob Klingensmith

Cycle

Are you training for an upcoming gran fondo, gravel race or triathlon?  


If so, then you want to get fitter and faster by following a training plan that strikes the ideal balance between endurance and intensity.  


You want the highest average speed over the event’s distance, and you also want to unleash – and quickly recover from – the spikes of intensity required when climbing, responding to a rival’s surge or when passing slower riders.  


Training to improve both long distance endurance and punchy speed is difficult, which is why so many cyclists find themselves accumulating “junk miles” and making no improvement at all.


What are “Junk Miles”?

What exactly are junk miles?  Simply put, they’re miles without purpose.  Characterized as feeling “kind of” hard, junk miles are usually logged when there’s no particular plan for the ride (which is fine if you’re just having fun, but useless if you’re training for an event).


These moderately hard rides can feel like you’re working, but in truth they’re in the “muddy middle”: too hard to serve as a recovery ride, but not hard enough to stimulate meaningful training adaptations.


After months of junk miles, it’s not uncommon for cyclists to find themselves fatigued and frustrated by their lack of improvement. From a training point-of-view, junk miles are a waste of your time and energy.


How to Avoid Junk Miles

How can you avoid junk miles? By being intentional.  You can still ride long, or slowly, but do so with a plan and with a purpose.


Structured training programs are the antidote to junk miles.  Regardless of methodology, all training plans call for precise distributions of effort designed to challenge and enhance the various energy systems that contribute to better performances. 


However, even with a training plan, executing complex workouts that call for precise variations of effort can be difficult.  It’s these changes of pace that deliver the benefits of the session but they can be challenging to manage (especially when deep in the pain locker!)


The ENGO Advantage

Wearing ENGO smartglasses empowers you to see your most important data in real-time, at a glance, without disrupting your aero position, losing concentration or taking your eyes off the road. 


Many cyclists prefer to see their power, heartrate and cadence projected into their ENGO glasses.  By monitoring these 3 datapoints in real time, they’re able to feather their efforts to obtain the highest ROI possible from their workouts.  


Now, you can ensure that your recovery rides and rest intervals are suitably easy, and your threshold segments and VO2 max sprints are productively hard based on real-time awareness of actual effort and performance… as well as managing all of the other prescribed intensities in between.


Say goodbye to junk miles and train with purpose.

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