Skip Nav
Healthy Eating Tips
Set Yourself Up For Weight-Loss Success: 20+ Ways to Meal Prep
Full Body Workouts
CrossFit-Inspired 200-Rep Bodyweight Workout
10-minute Workouts
The Don't-Expect-to-Walk-Tomorrow Leg Workout

The 10 Percent Rule of Running

If You Run, You Absolutely Must Follow the 10 Percent Rule

If you're new to running, but you'd like to sign up for a marathon one day, you'll need to start increasing your mileage. But if you go straight from running 10 miles to 20, you'll not only be tired and sore, but you risk injuring yourself, which prevents you from running altogether. This is where the 10 percent rule comes into play.

The 10 percent rule states: never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent of the previous week. To figure out your current rate of increase, make a note of how many miles you currently run in a week, and add 10 percent to that number; the following week, do the same. The chart below is geared toward a beginning runner who currently runs 10 miles a week but would like to eventually start a marathon-training plan. Keep in mind that the 10 percent rule isn't just for those wishing to race — it can benefit anyone looking to up their mileage!

Amount for 10% Increase Total Weekly Mileage
Week One Starting point 10 miles
Week Two 1 mile 11 miles
Week Three 1.1 miles 12.1 miles
Week Four 1.2 miles 13.3 miles
Week Five 1.3 miles 14.6 miles
Week Six 1.5 miles 16.1 miles
Week Seven 1.6 miles 17.7 miles
Week Eight 1.8 miles 19.5 miles
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell
Join The Conversation
Meowphotog Meowphotog 7 years
Does running 5 miles one day and then 2 one day, 3 another, make a difference? Should I push myself to run 5 miles in one day to accomplish 10 miles at the end of the first week? This is something I encountered recently and because I went for 2 long (5/6 miles 2 days a week) I ended up with heel pain and just ran for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks today and it was awesome! But I only went for 3 miles.
alethia037 alethia037 8 years
I forgot to subscribe ;)
alethia037 alethia037 8 years
There is a great website called, and as you enter your exercise data it keeps track of your 'weekly progress' according to the 10% rule. It also keeps track of how many miles you put on your shoes, and you can trace the routes you run outdoors and it tells you exactly how far they are!
total total 8 years
Thanks for the help!
syako syako 8 years
I agree with cmd. Do a long run one day a week and add the new mileage to it. Make sure it's an EASY long run. Don't go out on race pace or for a tempo. Just go easy.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I don't run 5 days a week because that'd be how I'd destroy my knees... I do 2ish miles every other day. I'll keep increasing it though.
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
^^total- based on the way i like to plan out my runs i would suggest adding the mileage to one run (one day) so that you have a longer run one day a week . . if that starts to add up too much with time (or for your schedule) split the extra 10% and make two long runs staggered, i.e. not on back-to-back days. So in week two when you are supposed to run 11 miles, run 2miles a day for 4 days and then run 3 miles on one day that is best for you.
total total 8 years
Can anyone recommend how to work in the extra %? For example, in week 2 you would run 1 extra mile: - Should you add an extra 1/5th of a mile every run? - Or run 2.5 miles on only two days?
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Thanks Fit.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
oh, ha, I didn't realize these were totals! I thought they were long run distances and was wondering if you were training for an ultra, Fit ;)
syako syako 8 years
Thanks. I love seeing it like this. Makes it much easier to follow. :)
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Thanks so much! This is exactly what I was looking for
misskacie misskacie 8 years
This is a really good reminder. I have a very strong tendency to push myself too hard, too far, too quickly. I'm afraid reality and I sometimes have a major disconnect when the adrenaline's pumping.
How Can I Start Running?
Why CrossFit Is Better Than Running
Running For Weight Loss
30-Minute Running Workout
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds