I run about 15-20 miles per week (usually 4 runs but the occasional 5, more than 3 but fewer than 6 miles at a time). I would like to be able to (eventually) work up to a long run (10-15 mi) for genuinely no other purpose than to be able to explore more of my city (i.e. I'm not trying to train for a marathon or anything), and I was wondering about the best/safest way(s) to go about this.

I'm aware of the 10% rule; is it ok to apply the whole 10% to a single run? (e.g. my "long" run now is around 6 miles – is it ok 10 just increase this by 2 miles every week, or should I go more gradually [or less gradually]?)

I know a lot of this is subjective, and ultimately I'll just have to listen to my body, but any insight is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


I'm to a physician, so there might also be a medical answer to your question. I think, however, that it is not wise to include the 10% increment just to one run. If your are running to become fitter and if you also want to increase your stamina, you should vary your runs. This means, that you should have one tempo run, one long run, a recovery run and an interval run. You don't have to, but especially when you run 4 times a week, you should have a recovery run. Your long run should be longer than all the other runs, but shouldn't get too much out of touch with the other runs.

The problem is the strain on your muscles. If you do a tempo run, you put a strain on your muscles, because of the speed of your run. At the end your muscles are producing lactic acid and getting too much tears. Therefore your need rest and the recovery run. Your long run is longer than the other runs, but slower and therefore dos not strain your muscles too much. However, if your long run gets, let say, more than 50% longer than the other runs, your will put a strain on your muscles due to the distance and not the speed. This will eventually lead to injuries.

You can at some weeks just increase your long run by the 10% of your weekly milage, but should keep the distances of law your runs within a certain bandwidth. This will build up your entire strength and provide your with enough basis to run injury free. If you don't do a tempo run or interval run, you might reach a plateau too soon and your long runs will go no further either. Never forget the recovery run if you do more than 3 runs a week.

  • 1
    is there a typo in I'm to a physician?
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 10:36
  • I don't think so. A physician is a doctor.
    – MacUserT
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 13:00
  • so you mean I'm too? The full sentence I'm to a physician, so there might also be a medical answer to your question is not clear to me
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 13:11
  • Aha, sorry. I didn't see that typo. Yes, it's a typo. I'm not a physician.
    – MacUserT
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 17:36

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