The 10% Rule

I was talking to Andrew O’Brien, director of Organisations That Matter recently at an event about how he and his partner ran 8 marathon races together in 8 countries in 8 weeks earlier this year.

That’s a pretty impressive effort in itself. It turned out afterwards that he had run the last 6 marathons with a broken leg. Ouch!
I asked Andrew how one can reach those kind of peak fitness levels without seriously injuring oneself. Andrew shared with me a secret that is apparently known to all elite long distance runners – the 10% rule.
The story goes: to reach peak levels of fitness and to run long distances, never increase your exertion too much in any one go. Put your exertion up by a manageable amount – say 10% – and then stay at that level for a period (for example two weeks) to let yourself accommodate and adjust to the new level of exertion before pushing on to the next level. Repeat, and you and your body can safely reach new levels.
This got me wondering about to what extent the 10% rule applies in our personal and business success. If we go for too much – more than we can accept and accommodate in to our lives – perhaps we risk ‘injury’. Perhaps it’s better to target achievable milestones and accommodate the results in to out lives. But others will say unless we set high goals and pursue great dreams – Big Hairy Audacious Goals – we will never achieve our full potential. Maybe both are true. Maybe we can reach our BHAGs by taking steps we can realise and accommodate in to our lives?
One Response to The 10% Rule
  1. judyofthewoods
    October 3, 2009 | 2:48 PM

    Big goals are legitimate targets, which can be reached by 10% milestones. Not mutually exclusive, but both are parts of the same journey.

The 10% Rule

I was talking to Andrew O’Brien, director of Organisations That Matter recently at an event about how he and his partner ran 8 marathon races together in 8 countries in 8 weeks earlier this year.

That’s a pretty impressive effort in itself. It turned out afterwards that he had run the last 6 marathons with a broken leg. Ouch!
I asked Andrew how one can reach those kind of peak fitness levels without seriously injuring oneself. Andrew shared with me a secret that is apparently known to all elite long distance runners – the 10% rule.
The story goes: to reach peak levels of fitness and to run long distances, never increase your exertion too much in any one go. Put your exertion up by a manageable amount – say 10% – and then stay at that level for a period (for example two weeks) to let yourself accommodate and adjust to the new level of exertion before pushing on to the next level. Repeat, and you and your body can safely reach new levels.
This got me wondering about to what extent the 10% rule applies in our personal and business success. If we go for too much – more than we can accept and accommodate in to our lives – perhaps we risk ‘injury’. Perhaps it’s better to target achievable milestones and accommodate the results in to out lives. But others will say unless we set high goals and pursue great dreams – Big Hairy Audacious Goals – we will never achieve our full potential. Maybe both are true. Maybe we can reach our BHAGs by taking steps we can realise and accommodate in to our lives?
One Response to The 10% Rule
  1. judyofthewoods
    October 3, 2009 | 2:48 PM

    Big goals are legitimate targets, which can be reached by 10% milestones. Not mutually exclusive, but both are parts of the same journey.