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80/20 Endurance Blog

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A Power Meter Is Like a Thesaurus

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 31, 2023

Regular readers of this blog will know that I recently read and greatly enjoyed David Epstein’s book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. It inspired my post about why foxes make better coaches than hedgehogs, and it inspires the present post about why a power meter is like a thesaurus. There’s an interesting […]

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Why I’m Not Afraid of Losing My Coaching or Writing Jobs to a Robot

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 27, 2023

I’m not one for hot takes. It’s not that I don’t pay attention to ,or have opinions on, current events. It’s just I prefer to keep silent except when I have something to say that hasn’t already been said. So, I wait until others have shared their takes, and when I find that my own […]

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A Different Way to Determine Your Training Intensity Zones

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 24, 2023

There are lots of different tests that endurance athletes can use to gauge their fitness and determine appropriate training intensity zones: VO2max tests, lactate threshold tests, time trials of various lengths, perceived effort calibration tests, the list goes on. Today I’m going to tell you about another protocol, one that has been around for a […]

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The Ultimate Athlete Superpower

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 20, 2023

If you could choose one athletic superpower to exploit in your future training and racing, what would it be? Here’s the rule: Your superpower has to be a natural human trait that actually exists in some athletes, not a magical attribute like Pogo Feet or Turbo Mode. Potent, yet real. If I were I to […]

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The Problem with Intensity

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 17, 2023

In endurance sports we toss around the word “intensity” as if this word had a clear, singular, and consensual definition. In fact, it is not, and I doubt it ever will. “Why not?” you ask. Because exercise intensity is not a unitary phenomenon. Our problem is not that we have so far failed to discover […]

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How to Build Self-Trust As an Athlete (and Why It’s Important)

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 12, 2023

I coach a runner who wants to break 1:30:00 in the half marathon. We’d been working together for about two and a half months when she took her first crack at it. I was 95 percent confident that Jody (not her real name) was fit enough to run under 1:31:00, but only 10 percent confident […]

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Disordered Eating Will NOT Make You a Better Runner!

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 10, 2023

I finally got around to reading Chrissie Wellington’s autobiography, A Life Without Limits. Of particular interest to me was how Chrissie wrote about her struggles with eating disorders as an adolescent and young adult. Here’s a passage concerning her first bout with bulimia: “Soon you lose sight of the original object of the exercise—to achieve […]

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The Tyranny of Talent

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 4, 2023

For the past several months I’ve been working on a book called Screw Loose, Shit Together: A Theory of Athletic Greatness. In it, I propose that there are two kinds of talent, physical and mental. Physical talent, loosely speaking, is what makes some athletes better than others at a given sport as untrained beginners. Mental […]

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A High-Mileage Manifesto

By Matt Fitzgerald | December 21, 2022

You’ve probably heard of the book 80/20 Running, perhaps even read it. But did you know that the original working title of this book was A High-Mileage Manifesto? I started writing it in 2013, a time when HIIT mania was in full bloom, CrossFit Endurance was making waves, and Run Less, Run Faster was the […]

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Coaching the Exception

By Matt Fitzgerald | December 15, 2022

Agnes Mansaray arrived on the UNLV campus in September 2018 as a highly touted transfer from Iowa Central Community College, where she had been a dominant force in cross country and track. First-year UNLV coach Angelina Ramos quickly saw why. A native of Sierra Leone, Agnes crushed every workout Ramos threw at her, bolstering the […]

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