Many if not most 80/20 newbies find it hard to believe initially that training slower will help them race faster. In light of this fact, you might expect that runners who come from a sprinting background would have an especially hard time accepting the 80/20 philosophy, but Meaux Redhead proves this isn’t necessarily the case.

A Toronto native, Meaux, who now works as a virtual financial specialist, fitness trainer, online teacher, and flight attendant, competed successfully in track and field as a schoolgirl before discovering a talent for basketball, which took her all the way to the European professional level. After her hoops career ended, Meaux turned to running as an outlet for her athletic passion and made the predictable mistake of doing too much speed work. Unlike many other former sprinters and team sport athletes, however, she was quick to realize the error of her ways.

“In my first year of recreational running,” Meaux says, “I decided to start by doing two types of running (alternating each day): intervals and long runs. However, my method was unsustainable. My body wasn’t getting enough variety and I was overusing the same muscles. After chatting with some of my Asics Canada Teammates, it was suggested that I try the 80/20 method based on the fact that my muscle fiber type is fast-twitch.”

Meaux bought and read Coach Matt’s 80/20 Running, and after that there was no looking back. Her first 80/20 training plan resulted in a huge PR at the Sporting Life 10K in Toronto last year, and now Meaux’s the one converting other runners to 80/20.

“To my fellow athletes,” she says, “I would say that training towards sustainable functionality is more important than pushing to the limit. Of course, understand that by using the 80/20 system you have the luxury of both worlds, as this method will allow for your best results without overexertion.”

Are you listening, all you former sprinters?