Marathon Training 10 per cent rule

Many marathon runners find a 10 per cent rule a useful way of avoiding over training.

The 10 per cent rule

This simply says:

Don’t increase your overall weekly mileage by more than 10 per cent each week; and

Don’t increase the length of your longest or hardest run by more than 10 per cent each week.

Protection against illness and injury

The idea behind this is simply to give you body a chance to avoid injury.

The 10 per cent rule can also provide a degree of protection against illness caused by over training.

What this means in practice

Let’s say in your first week of training your longest run is just 3 miles.

Increasing your longest run by no more than 10% per cent each week will mean that you need to allow at least 6 months to train for a full marathon (or 17 weeks for a half marathon).

For most runners, in practice you may need to allow even more time that this.

Week 1 Distance 3 miles
Week 2 Distance 3.3 miles
Week 3 Distance 3.6 miles
Week 4 Distance 4 miles
Week 5 Distance 4.4 miles
Week 6 Distance 4.8 miles
Week 7 Distance 5.3 miles
Week 8 Distance 5.8 miles
Week 9 Distance 6.4 miles
Week 10 Distance 7 miles
Week 11 Distance 7.7 miles
Week 12 Distance 8.5 miles
Week 13 Distance 9.4 miles
Week 14 Distance 10.3 miles
Week 15 Distance 11.3 miles
Week 16 Distance 12.4 miles
Week 17 Distance 13.6 miles
Week 18 Distance 15 miles
Week 19 Distance 16.5 miles
Week 20 Distance 18.2 miles
Week 21 Distance 20 miles
Week 22 Distance 22 miles
Week 23 Distance 24.2 miles
Week 24 Distance 26.6 miles