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80/20 Endurance Blog

Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy: Honorary Endurance Coach

By David Warden | July 30, 2021

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina Inspiration can come from unexpected authority. My progress as an endurance coach is nothing extraordinary: a mix of formal and informal education with a reasonable amount of experience and luck. Occasionally, my coaching philosophy is disproportionally shaped […]

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Do You Suffer from Workout Myopia?

By Matt Fitzgerald | July 27, 2021

German-born Canadian spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now has sold more than three million copies. I know this because it says so right on the cover. In the book, Tolle encourages readers to “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.” If this advice sounds familiar, it’s because it is. […]

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Heart Rate Variability

By Matt Fitzgerald | July 19, 2021

There are two kinds of endurance athlete: Those who don’t know what heart rate variability (HRV) is and those who are about to find out. For as long as hearts have existed, these vital organs have contracted at a slightly erratic tempo, and it is this slight play in rhythm that we measure as HRV. […]

athlete runner doing YOU training

On the Importance of “Doing You” As an Athlete

By Matt Fitzgerald | July 11, 2021

Every once in a while a podcast host will ask me to name my favorite writer or to recommend a book to listeners. It’s always an awkward moment for me because it all but forces me to admit that I don’t read many books about endurance sports. Almost none, in fact. To be clear, I […]

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Avoid Bonking and GI Issues in Your Next Ultra by Guzzling Carbs

By Matt Fitzgerald | July 5, 2021

I’ve been rubbernecking lately at a Twitter debate between scientific experts on human metabolism and obesity, on one side, and keto diet advocates on the other. The spectacle is both entertaining and tedious, and also revealing. What I’ve realized in observing it is that even I knew nothing about human metabolism and obesity, I would […]

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Extended Mind, Sports Watch Dependency, and Pacing

By Matt Fitzgerald | June 28, 2021

In the 1990s, philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers introduced the concept of extended mind, which proposes that the acts of thinking and feeling do not occur entirely inside one’s head. If you’re not familiar with this concept, it might sound plumb crazy to you, but if you give it a chance, you’ll see it […]

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Optimism Is Overrated

By Matt Fitzgerald | June 20, 2021

When things aren’t going your way in a race or during a training block, it is helpful to remind yourself how much worse things could be. A lot of athletes who engage in this mental exercise choose prisoners of war specifically for such perspective-shifting comparisons—folks like Admiral James Stockdale, the U.S. Navy Admiral who spent […]

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A Fresh Look at Intensity Zones

By Matt Fitzgerald | June 13, 2021

Anyone who has ever used a piece of cardio equipment at a public gym has some notion of exercise intensity zones. Here’s an example of a chart you might see stuck to an elliptical trainer at your local health club: Athletes scoff at such simplistic, one-size-fits-all guidelines. For starters, they are based on the supposition […]

training to run doubles

You Don’t Have to Be an Elite Runner to Run Doubles!

By Matt Fitzgerald | June 6, 2021

As a runner first and a triathlete second, I am attuned to the differences between the two sports. One difference is that many recreational triathletes think nothing of working out twice a day, whereas very few recreational runners engage in this practice. There is an obvious reason for this difference: Triathletes have three separate disciplines […]

Sonoran Distance Project

78 Days to Chicago

By Matt Fitzgerald | May 30, 2021

If you read my book Running the Dream: One Summer Living, Training, and Racing with a Team of World-Class Runners Half My Age and found yourself wondering what happened on the days not included in the journal-style narrative, here’s your answer! Sort of. What follows is a chapter I wrote for inclusion in the book […]