The 60% Rule for Successful Running, Training, and Racing


When runners glance at the calendar and realize their race is coming up faster than expected, it’s completely normal to enter panic mode. As a Physical Therapist, many of the injuries I treat are caused by poor training plans, where people launch into full throttle without any kind of build-up.

Pre-training is crucial for avoiding stiff, sore and painful joints.

Keep reading to find out how to pre-train successfully by using the 60% rule!

Why Is Pre-Training Important?

You might be wondering what I mean when I talk about pre-training.

Picture your timeline from start to finish. The start is the day you decide to get serious about running and training and launch into a training plan at full force. While this seems like the most important part of the timeline, the most essential work comes before it.

Pre-training is all about getting your body used to running again, especially if you haven’t been running or training inconsistently. Your lungs and heart may seem more robust than ever, but eventually, they’ll outperform your body, and you’ll inevitably face injury.

Let’s talk about how a 60% pre-training rule can avoid this altogether.


How Does the 60% Rule Work?

This innovative and simple method is the perfect way to understand your abilities better and make sure your training plan serves your body well. Before you even begin full-on training, you should be able to achieve 60% of your maximum potential.

To calculate this, simply take your maximum mileage or kilometers and times by 0.6.

  • Example: If your maximum mileage is 50 per week, you should average 30 miles per week in your pre-training stages.

Every training plan should begin with solid foundations. By following the 60% rule, you’ll be able to prepare for your race with tendons, joints and muscles that can handle the pressure instead of going in all-guns-blazing.

TOP TIP: If your training start date is coming up, try and stretch this out for as long as possible to give yourself time for this essential pre-training prep. 

Another Pre-Training Tip: Build Strength Reserves for Success

As well as working on your average distances, pre-training is the perfect chance to build up essential strength reserves for success. When training plans become hectic and time starts to become pinched, most runners will sacrifice their strength training first. If you’ve already built up your strength reserves by working on your core, glutes and balance, your muscles and joints will be strong enough to avoid injury. The key is that you will need to 1-2 sessions per week to maintain your strength and avoid injury. Don’t skip out on this – your body will thank you later!

Ready to start training smarter?

If you’re interested in finding out more about how strength training and proper form can improve your running and prevent injuries, check out the RunSmart app today!.

The RunSmart app offers:

  • Exclusive access to more than 40 strength programs that fix imbalances that cause injury and slower running.
  • More effective injury prevention and better recovery with the full RunSmart Protocol seminar and step-by-step guide to training better.
  • Your very own custom training plan (based on the Gonser Method) to prevent injury and maximize performance.
  • Enrolment on our RunSmart Mechanix improvement program, designed to help you address and fix your running form.
  • Exclusive access to a leading team of world-class coaches, including myself, with live Q&A sessions and direct lines to ask questions.
Want to try the RunSmart App and commit to training smarter? Start a $1 two-week trial today and receive my favorite 30-minute strength workout for FREE as a limited time bonus. The free workout is yours to keep regardless of your membership status. The workout helps runners fix imbalances that cause injury and slower running by targeting the glutes, core, and balance.

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