The 10 Percent Rule: Fact Or Fiction?

We all love the strict and explicit “rules” of training, but sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

Pick up any book on running and you’ll probably find a reference to the sacred 10 percent rule. In case you haven’t heard, the 10 percent rule states that to stay injury-free in training, never increase your mileage by more than 10 percent in any given week.

Certainly, increasing your overall mileage by only a few miles per week seems like it should be a foolproof plan to injury-free running. However, while I am in full support of cautiously increasing your training load, assigning an arbitrary number to how much you can or should increase your training each week is a bit disingenuous.

I wish I could tell you where the evidence or initial support for the 10 percent “rule” began. Perhaps it stems from our affinity for catchy headlines and snappy, simplistic advice. Regardless of how or why the 10 percent principle became so popular, it’s time to expose the myth and structure your training around more individualized advice.

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