The other day I happened to be on Ken Schafer’s great site (Your Pose Coach) and Ken provided a link to Jason Fitzgerald’s great site (Strength Running). Jason recently wrote an article about running’s supposedly-“sacrosanct” 10% rule for increasing mileage. This rule states that one should not increase their weekly mileage (or increase their average weekly speed) by more than 10% each week. In the forums a variety of issues come up around this: What is it? After a short-term injury does it need to be followed? If someone is already fit does it need to be followed? Jason lays out some different scenarios and makes the case for why the universal 10% rule may not be so universal.
It’s funny/interesting I found this article now. As I reported earlier my last ASTYM treatment was a few weeks ago. My PT gave me a quite aggressive (very aggressive) ramp-up schedule. He said, as long as I wasn’t in real pain, I could add a minute to my run each and every run. Currently I’m running every-other-day. He was suggesting 9 min, then 10, then 11, etc. I even asked him if that might be too aggressive. He said not to worry about it very much.
Well guess what? I got up to around the 18 min mark and in the morning my heels were hurting. I clearly did too much too soon. So I backed off to 12 minutes. After a few runs the feet felt almost perfect. Now I’ve upped it to 13 min. My plan is to up it one minute at a time – and hold there until I can do a couple of runs with no (or minimal) evening or morning pain. I realized that even the sacred 10% rule might be too aggressive given my delicate Plantar Fascia situation.
So be aware that a rule of thumb is just that – a rule of thumb. And be open enough to realize that it may be too conservative or too aggressive – and that you may just need to throw the “sacrosanct” rules out the window.