I guess the 10 percent rule really is crap…

…because the New York Times has gotten around to making a note of it. From Gina Kolata’s column from yesterday, “When Running Up Mileage, 10 Percent Isn’t the Cap”:

[Researchers] investigated the 10 percent rule because it is so popular and seemed to make sense with its gradual increase in effort. The study involved 532 novice runners whose average age was 40 and who wanted to train for a four-mile race held every year in the small town of Groningen.

Half the participants were assigned to a training program that increased their running time by 10 percent a week over 11 weeks, ending at 90 minutes a week. The others had an eight-week program that ended at 95 minutes a week. Everyone warmed up before each run by walking for five minutes. And everyone ran just three days a week.

And the results? The two groups had the same injury rate — about 1 in 5 runners.

This isn’t at all illuminating because 90 minutes a week and 95 minutes a week both amount to so little training that the whole gang of 532 would have been better of skipping the race. Nevertheless, this is one instance in which using noncontributory data and a couple of anecdotes to support a true conclusion gets a pass. That said, even though Kolata has long had a gig with the Times, which is probably read by about six frigtillion more people every year than the Times (Running) in which I had a 10-percent-rule article published, I think I’ve done the topic similar if not greater justice, possibly because I can afford to be more prickly on a blog and even in RT than Kolota can in her august publication.

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