10% Rule

Discussion in 'Coach Talk' started by Barefoot TJ, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. ElyDave

    ElyDave Barefooters
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    A few things spring to mind here for me, including how to apply this to both single runs and weekly totals

    1) if starting from a very low base i.e. half a mile barefoot, for an otherwise fit (in CV terms) runner, 10% may underestimate potential i.e. going from 800m to 900m in a single run or a week rather than say going from 1 x half a mile to 2 x half a mile barefoot may be very easy, but for someone starting from a very low fitness base may be extremely difficult
    2) It may be overambitious for those already running long distances, if applied to a long run i.e. going from a 40km run to a 45 km or 50 to 55km is quite a big step in time, even if proportionally small.

    3) how to apply this to multi sports where you can't really equate time or mileage i.e. i equate running and indoor rowing pretty much 1:1 in time terms, but I equate cycling to running at pretty much 2.5 or 3:1 i.e. a 2.5-3hr bike ride equates to about an hours run in terms of percieved effort. So if you are doing multi sports with no fixed proportion week to week it's more difficult to do this based on time.

    As others have already pointed out, the progression may not be linear anyway, but may be stepped, or even saw toothed for an individual, and one of the most important things is not to take the 10% rule as absolute, but just a guideline and to pick up your bodies own signals.

    This is just me as an athlete, I'm not a coach (yet)
     
  2. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
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    I couldn't agree more!
     
  3. DNEchris

    DNEchris Barefooters
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    I ran with a guy yesterday who did his first Barefoot mile on IBRD 2011, got his distance up to 6 miles on IBRD this year, running, at most once or twice a week in that year, and did that much once or twice more since then.
    Last Saturday he ran with with a Trail and Ultra meet-up group and did 21 miles skin to ground - I guess he's another exception that proves the rule!
     
  4. Stoplookinatme

    Stoplookinatme Barefooters

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    Please explain the listen to your body rule, because this is the one I have the most trouble with. Everyone talks like it is obvious and needs no explanation. Does that mean that you stop when you first feel anything uncomfortable? It seems most of the time for me I feel great during the run and later I hurt. Often I have something nagging me, not too bad, and I have to make the decision whether to run, walk, or rest. I just don’t know when to stop.
     
  5. ElyDave

    ElyDave Barefooters
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    I'm not sure I could state it as categorically as a rule, more of a feeling/intuition. It's not the work out where you feel great doing it, and hurt later, it's maybe the next one or the one after that when you wake up and have a planned workout in your mind like last week my long run was 25km, so this week it will be 30 but you have a feeling of real fatigue, or you just think "there's no way I can complete that interval session in a meaningful way". The trick is to try and differentiate between what you can actually work through and coem out the other side happily vs what knocks you back for a few days or worse if you train on it when you shouldn't have.

    In my experience, the only way you get to understand this is by feeling it yourself and experimenting either side of over or under caution and finding your own
    limits. It definitely doesn't mean stop at the first sign of discomfort, for me that could just be part of the workout plan.

    For me, I'm probably being a bit more cautious than normal at the moment as I have along race coming up and have had some knee trouble in the last 6 weeks or so, so I'm making sure I don't re-aggravate that.
     
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  6. Footsie

    Footsie Barefooters
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  7. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    stoplookinatme, michael sandler explains it fairly well. you get the first idea in your head that something doesn't feel right and maybe you should stop. well keep going and when it comes back a second time, stop. learning to listen to your body takes a bit of time. knowing when you can push it and when to back off. only you can decide.
     

  8. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Our feet are blind and deaf. It should be intuitive as God intended it, but we've drowned out the signals for so long with footwear that it doesn't come second-nature anymore, like it should have all along. It takes a little time and practice to "feel" it just right. That's why we advise everyone to take it slow and easy, but have fun. It WILL come.
     
  9. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    I think this really depends on past athletic/fitness experience. The more you do a sport/exercise or a variety of sports/exercises, the better you get at reading your body's cues. A few days ago I was going to do a deadlift, at close to max weight, but as I began to pick up the bar, even before it had started to leave the ground, I knew I wasn't up for it that day, and would risk injury if I proceeded. So I took fifty lbs off and was fine.

    And in the last few years I've been having to make some 'listen to your body' adjustments as the effects of aging start to rear their ugly heads. I'm learning to be more cautious about how my joints feel, which was never an issue before. Listening to your body is a lifelong learning process.
     
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  10. Tristan

    Tristan Barefooters
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    I just wanted to say that the 10% guide has worked great for me, especially starting out. As I started out barefoot running very short distances (like to the next telephonepole and back), 10% seemed very slow to me, but since I was very un-barefoot for the last few decades a slow increase was perfect. Its also in those early runs that we are adjusting the most to the new form and sensations so very low increments help as we find our form. It took a long time to get over a mile, and even then the 10% still felt right to me, as I'd alternate with some runs feeling my soles burning afterward, and other runs feeling a my calves a bit strained, but never so much as to be 'injured', and able two days later to get right back at it. At 5k distances the 10% was finally feeling like I was progressing quicker, and was appropriate since my soles were toughening finally and my calves strengthened enough to maintain the forefoot strike. It has worked well up to the 10mi runs I'm up to now.

    One thing I should point out I haven't always done exactly 10%, for me I interpreted it as 10% or less... 10% if everything is perfect but less if I felt something was off or I missed a run or two. I wouldn't increase unless I did 3 runs at that distance in a week. If I missed a run or two, or felt stressed or something then I held my distance steady until I did 3x a week at that distance. In a few instances I took a whole week or two off, and I dropped 10% for each week I took off and that seemed to work well. So I call it my 10%, 0, -10% plan. ;)

    The only big deviation was after a few months of wearing minishoes during the cold part of winter. I could only run bf down to about 40F. From December to March (?) I think I was mainly in minishoes. On a nice day that was close to that I'd take off the shoes for portions. But when I finally switched back to completely bare I had to cut my current 5k level down to about half that. I thought I could progress faster that time, so I was jumping by bigger increments to get back to 5k, but I did get my first blister doing this, so maybe I should have stuck to 10% even then.

    So for me, my 10%, 0, -10% plan has been working great so far!
     

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