The 80/20 training method was not created for the purpose of preventing injuries. In fact, it wasn’t really created at all, but evolved over time as elite athletes gradually homed in on the optimal intensity balance for building fitness. Be that as it may, many recreational runners are finding that 80/20 training keeps them healthier in addition to making them fitter. Hugo Van den Kieboom is one such runner.
“I had enough of injuries,” says the 54-year-old husband and father regarding his decision to give 80/20 a try after 10 years of injury-plagued running. “Every year I had a few months with no training. I wanted to give this plan a try as a last chance to train for a good marathon without injury. I had nothing to lose.”
And plenty to gain, as it turned out. Not only has Hugo avoided injuries on the 80/20 plan, but he’s also set new personal bests for 5K, 10K, 10 miles, the half marathon, and the marathon. Now a veteran of the system, Hugo, who works in pharmaceuticals in Westmalle, Belgium, has some helpful advice to offer 80/20 newbies.
“Do not increase or change your pace zones during the plan,” he says. “Train by pace and use your heart rate as reference to follow up your progress. Introduce an alternative activity like biking and swimming to avoid injury.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!