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Jerry Miles

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Athletes coached by American distance running coach Jerry Schumacher have a term called "Jerry Miles."

When he was coaching at the University of Wisconsin such were coined, "Badger Miles." 

You can't track them on a Garmin or post them to Strava. Instead, it is a framework of accounting for a runner's daily practice. It is a constant measure. Static. And never changing. 

For men, the math is 7 minutes run = 1 mile. 

For women, 8 minutes run = 1 mile. 

This holds steady no matter if athletes are running a workout of repeat 1 mile reps in 4:40 or a 8 mile recovery run at 9 minutes/mile pace. No bonus or penalties are given for runs faster or slower than the standard. 

A Jerry Mile, like the man, is what it is. Upfront, honest and firm.

I once asked Jerry why he chooses to interpret a runner's workload through this lens. 

"The engine and pump (lungs and heart) only know how long a runner runs, not how far," he replied. 

Meaning, what he cares most about are the hours someone is putting into their craft, not the distance covered.

"If you put in the time, you'll go the distance," he said. "Plus, in the end, it usually averages out," he stated with a huge grin. 

Which, if you ask any in his cohort of professionals, is never the case. 

 

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus