How quickly can I increase my running mileage?

It is advisable to increase total weekly volume, either measured in terms of mileage or time by 10% per week. Total volume includes the summation of all runs performed in a given seven day block. So if last week an athlete ran 30 miles, the next week the athlete should run no more than 33 miles. On any given day it is not advisable to increase total singular run time by more than 30 minutes. So if an athlete ran for 90 minutes last week, the total long run time should be 2 hrs the following week.

The 10% rule ensures that the body is adequately prepared for the increase work and can sustain the effort without incidence of injury. It takes time for the bones, muscles and ligaments in the body to get strong enough to sustain more and more weekly volume. Adhering to the 10% rule is not only a safety precaution, it is a sound physiological recommendation as well. Progressive overload and adequate recovery yields optimal and sustainable athletic results. It is also important to take one week recovery after a progressive three week build.

The recovery week should be as high as a 30-50% decrease in volume. Following the recovery week the weekly volume can resume at where it left off prior to the recovery week. For example an athlete runs 30 miles one week, 33 miles in week two, 37 miles in week three and then 20 miles in week four and 37 miles in week five.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.