Monday, 25 July 2011

The magic of 10 percent in endurance training

It is freezing cold in Auckland - 4 degree Celsius. Luckily its not snowing like further down south. Cold has not dampened my running spirit. Week days I come back from work, put on my high-viz and run the cold dark streets of my neighbourhood.

To my great relief, after the 2hr run on Sunday last week I felt completely recovered when I woke up Monday morning. Our body is quite resilient. However, I am equally aware that I could have woken up with a sore leg if not for my training since April. I may have ended up with a bruised body. This is exactly where the importance of training comes in. I not only recovered but my legs also felt stronger. That is only because I am gradually conditioning my body to get used to longer period of running - increasing the weekly volume of running by not more than 10%. 

If I get carried away and ignored that 10% margin, I might be heading towards injury. That is what training is all about - conditioning our body to gradually build endurance. We want to hover right underneath the injury threshold. We want to push that boundary but not get injured. Recent sports research and runners' wisdom suggest that we may achieve this by following that magical figure of 10% every week.

You sure will be able to increase training volume by more than 10% but your chances of injury also goes up. For me, instead of feeling wasted after a week's training if I feel like I am itching for more - I had a successful training week!

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