2 Rules for Building Your Running Base

Rule #2: 10 Percent increase

Increasing running volume can mean many different things to athletes but staying safe and progressing at a rate that will benefit the body and not hurt it should be the main goal. To do this, implement the 10 percent increase concept.

For example, if your longest run in week number one is 45 minute, then the longest run in week number two should be no more than 50 minutes. Refer to the three week sample run training plan below to learn more about how to progress your miles safely.

It is important to note that more advanced athletes with efficient running mechanics and more years of experience may be able to increase their weekly volume by 15 to 20 percent. However, this is not the normal progression and athletes should be aware that this is under special circumstances. Injury prevention should be a primary concern thus beginning with a more conservative 10 percent increase in volume is recommended in the early part of base building.

More: 10 Training Rules for Triathletes

Sample Base Building Run Program Progression using a 10 percent volume increase on build weeks:


Week 1










30 minutes aerobic


35 minutes rolling hills


20 minutes technique

45 minutes aerobic

Week 2










33 minutes aerobic


38 minutes rolling hills



minutes technique

50 minutes aerobic

Week 3










30 minutes aerobic


30 minutes rolling hills


24 minutes technique

40 minutes aerobic

Following these principles will help you begin building your aerobic running base safely and effectively. Remember, recovery is extremely beneficial in this process and will lead to even greater rewards in developing your run fitness.

More: When Can Triathletes Increase Running Mileage

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Bob Seebohar, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, was one of the first USAT Level III Elite Coaches, and has worked on the performance coaching teams of many athletes including Susan Williams, Sarah Haskins and Jasmine Oeinck. He owns Fuel4mance, a sports nutrition company; Kids that TRI, a non-profit youth triathlon organization and Elite Multisport Coaching. Visit www.fuel4mance.com for more information or contact him at coachbob@fuel4mance.com.

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