Call it the six-month challenge: No matter how skeptical you are of the 80/20 training philosophy, and no matter how weird it feels initially to slow down in your workouts 80 percent of the time, give the system six months to prove itself and then decide whether to continue with it.
This is exactly what “Average Joe” triathlete Scott Bass committed to doing in January of this year. Prior to making this commitment, explains the 36-year-old operations IT manager from West Midlands, England, “I did what most new triathletes do which, is to train myself into the ground on every session in order to feel like I had achieved something. After a couple of years of training this way I felt tired, exhausted, nursed a few injuries and my actual performance was not improving.”
Like many athletes, Scott found the 80/20 approach kind of weird initially, but he stuck to the plan and gave it a chance to prove itself, and boy did it ever! The numbers speak for themselves:
Bike FTP: 295 Watts
Run Threshold Pace: 5:00 min/km
Swim Threshold Pace: 2:05/100m
Bike FTP: 322 Watts
Run Threshold Pace: 4:10 min/km
Swim Threshold Pace 1:30/100m
What’s more, Scott lost 42 pounds during the same six-month period. “The biggest difference apart from the obvious speed is I feel strong after every session,” he says. “I haven’t felt close to picking up an injury. I’m not nearly as tired as I used to be at the end of a session and this means I can incorporate more strength training into my weekly plans. Being able to wake up knowing what I’ve got planned for the day is comforting but knowing it is working and making a difference is priceless. If you stick to the guidelines on the sessions you will improve, push hard when they say and stay in lower zones when required.”
We think this six-month challenge could become a “thing.” What do you think?