The 10 Percent Rule: How to Make it Work for You

3) When you're coming back from a brief break in training, skip the 10 Percent Rule. 

Let's talk about Meaghan again. If she takes a week off from running, she is not starting from scratch. She can easily start running 15 to 20 miles per week and quickly increase to her sweet spot of 25 miles.

If your break from training is longer than two weeks, you may want to be more cautious with increasing your mileage. Start at a conservative level and increase your mileage by 10 to 15 percent every two to three weeks.

More: Boost Your Endurance in 7 Simple Steps

4) Be more conservative when you're in unchartered territory. 

When you start running more than you have ever run before, you're in a potential danger zone. Your body has never run so many miles and a long adjustment period is probably necessary. At least two to three weeks of the same mileage might be necessary before running higher volume.

Mileage Isn't Everything

Ultimately, your mileage takes a backseat to the consistency of your training.  Running an extra 5 or 10 miles next week isn't meaningful unless it's done for months. Instead of always trying to do more, try to run consistently. Be patient and gradually increase your volume over months and years (not days and weeks).  

There's no magic number that will make you accomplish your running goals. Focus on consistency, not making stupid mistakes, and only moving up your mileage when you're ready and comfortable. You may find yourself increasing your volume more or less than 10 percent, but in the end, always listen to your body.

More: 9 Ways to Run Smarter

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