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10% Rule question

10% Rule question

I think I understand the idea not to increase total running distance by more than 10% per week, but how does that apply if one of the runs is quite short (for whatever reason?). So, let's say I run 5, 6 and 6km one week total 17km. Next week's total can be 17 plus 10% (+ 1.7 ) or 18.7 km. What if the following week I then run 5, then 2km, can the third run then be 11.7km or 100% longer than my longest run do far?! Example is deliberate in this case to illustrate issue. Is there some additional guide for max extension of longest run in addition to max 10% of total mileage? Maybe don't exceed any individual longest ever run by more than 10% of last week's total mileage. In the above case don't exceed 6 + 1.7 = 7.7 km?

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Hi Lordi - I'm injured because I increased my mileage and my speed too much at the same time so I'm not going to be handing out advice on that :-) Looking back on my own training, I wish I had not been so impatient. I wish I had not aggressively increased my mileage, but it felt soooo good at the time :-)

Whatever you do - don't push it. Listen to your body.

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I feel for you as I'm coming from the same branch. My past injuries, neither of them easy, were results of hard push, stubbornness and impatience. Idiot's Practice, l called them.

I hope you are not badly hurt!

Get well & run soon!

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Thank you :-)

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Hope you are off the IC soon! I want to avoid issues hence want to understand the 10% approach fully.

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Thank you :-)

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I think it was someone on this or the marathon forum (Tomas, maybe?) or in one of the books I read, that stated the long run should be no more than 30-50% of the week's total mileage. You're example above would exceed that, so not recommended.

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Ok got it. So long run not more than 50% of weeks' maximum tital. So in my example above 18.7 km total max target for week following 5+6+6km week, long run not more than 9.5 km?

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Yup, sounds right to me. As your long run gets longer, especially when training for HM, your mid distance run (and possibly the shorter run, as well) will need to increase to keep with the rule of the long run not being more than 50%.

It is also a good idea every 3-4 weeks to dial back your mileage (a recovery week) where you reduce your long run by 30-50%. There is a limit to how many weeks you can continue to increase the distance - you'll hit a wall. By taking 1 week a month where you reset, it gives your body a break and ready for the next 3-4 week of increases. In my mind, the week after a recovery week, you could bump back up to the 10% rule on the week before the recovery week. (Those with more experience, please comment, if I've misinterpreted this).

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Guess what? When l learned to be patient, when l started to take advice and listen, when l finally figured out that time was actually on my side and there was no need to rush, the hurt stopped and the doors toward half marathon opened up.

I wonder if that was all somehow linked..... ;)

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I'm sure it is! I think I've reached the stage where instead of thinking I've got to run x km next week to progress (gulp), I'm starting to think "I can ONLY run x max next week!" A good feeling, but yes, not good to push too hard.

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......until we reach the moment when we figure out, hang on, the real deal here is to simply run for joy and health. Times and distances will come and go and, at our level, are largely irrelevant. We aren't professionals and will never come near them. And, hey, why on earth should we subject ourselves to that torture, lol? I take one look at my son's training practice, him being a competitive swimmer, and l then enjoy my lovely easy runs even more. :) :)

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Interesting question and very useful answers - thank you everyone! I am nursing a 'niggle' in my ankle so no chance of breaking the 10% rule at the moment :(

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If you want to increase your distance then you will have to increase your distance and be consistent about it.

If you are going to run less one week then more another, then less again it is going to be unnecessarily complicated.

I suggest you find yourself a plan for the distance you wan to run and work to that plan. There is a 10k plan on here, and there are plenty on the internet, for 10k 10 mile, HM and Marathon; proabably even for ultra-marathon - though tbh I have never contemplated that one myself.

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My osteopath Gerry ( who I can highly recommend btw if you can get yourself to Bristol) suggests that the 10% rule should apply to weekly and also individual runs week on week. I think that is a good rule of thumb.....

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That's a much more straightforward and easy approach! Thanks!

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An interesting conundrum, to which I don't believe there is a definitive answer. I had questions about the 10% rule a few years ago, so did some research and came up with the following healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Like all rules it is there to be broken on odd occasions, so call it a guide, aimed at keeping steps in training sensible and therefore minimising risk of injury.

Like PippiRuns and mrrun, most of us who have been running a while can look back and see that we would have been better served in the long term, by not pushing quite so hard at certain times in our running careers. The new runner's enthusiasm often takes them along a knife edge and it is not until injury occurs that we take stock. Most of us learn by first hand experience and maybe getting injured is just part of the learning process. We nearly always feel good and injury strikes out of nowhere, so it takes a while to learn the language that our bodies speak.

Alongside the 10% rule, erring on the side of caution is always good practice.

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Learning all the time! Luckily no harm done yet so will be conscious of dialling it back. I think I was quite fit already when statrting c25k so got a bit impatient. Then I miraculously "learned to jog" which opened up a whole new max distance/time chapter for me (leading to an impromptu slow but very stupid and extremely long jog way past 5km before c25k graduation).

Will use JuJu's simple rule from now on and just look at max 10% above longest recent week and max 10% above longest single recent run ( discounting my "long jog" mistake ).

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Running slowly is a crucial thing and actually not at all easy. Try and run occasionally with someone whose natural pace is slower than yours. We have all run beyond the 10% rule at some point and mostly come away intact..........it is a good guide.

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