One of the most common challenges for runners, whether novice or experienced, is safely increasing their weekly mileage without succumbing to injuries or fatigue. 

Starting Slow to Build Strong

I emphasize the importance of starting conservatively, especially after periods of rest or post-major races. 

Even experienced runners often underestimate the need for gradual progression. I suggest beginning with short, easy runs to allow the body to adapt gradually.

For instance, after a marathon or ultra-marathon race, my recommended first run back is never more than 20 minutes. This gentle reintroduction not only serves as a leg loosener but also enables runners to gauge any lingering injuries or discomfort.

The 10% Rule: A Tried and True Approach

Here at Coach Parry, we advocate for the “10% rule,” a fundamental principle outlined in “The Lore of Running” by Tim Noakes. According to this rule, runners should avoid increasing their total weekly mileage by more than 10% per week. This cautious approach minimizes the risk of overuse injuries and allows for a sustainable buildup of mileage over time.

Additionally, I advise against any single training run constituting more than 30% of the total weekly volume, particularly in the initial stages of training. While longer runs are inevitable, especially in preparation for events like Comrades, maintaining a balance between mileage and intensity is paramount for injury prevention.

Consistency and Patience: Key to Long-Term Success

Consistency and patience emerge as recurring themes. By adhering to a gradual buildup of mileage, runners can mitigate the risk of injuries and enhance their long-term performance potential. Whether embarking on a new training regimen or returning from a hiatus, prioritizing a slow and steady progression is essential for sustainable growth.

Safely increasing weekly mileage requires a combination of prudence, discipline, and self-awareness. By heeding this advice and implementing gradual adjustments in training volume, runners can mitigate the risk of injuries and optimize their performance gains.Remember, the journey towards achieving running goals is not a sprint but a marathon. By prioritizing injury prevention and adopting a patient approach to training progression, runners can lay a solid foundation for long-term success and enjoyment in their running endeavors.


With a passion for high performance sport – Lindsey Parry is one of South Africa’s most widely recognised coaches. Having led a team to the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, the Gold Coast & Birmingham, and coached both triathletes and runners onto podiums of some of the world’s most illustrious races, Lindsey has a unique ability to understand what it takes to succeed at any level and thrives on coaching, motivating and inspiring others to do the same – whether it’s on the track, on stage or behind a mic.

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