Blog – 80/20 Endurance

Blog

How to Get Better at Running by Not Trying

By Matt Fitzgerald | December 4, 2019

Recently my brother Josh sent me a link to a fascinating article in Quanta Magazine about neuroevolution, a subdiscipline within the field of artificial intelligence. Like other approaches to AI, neuroevolution is all about creating mathematical algorithms, but whereas traditional approaches attempt to create algorithms that solve problems efficiently, neuroevolution seeks to create algorithms that maximize novelty […]

Training, Diet, or Sleep: Which Is Most Important for Fitness and Performance?

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 27, 2019

In last week’s post, I addressed a fundamental question: What are the major objectives of an endurance athlete’s diet? In this post I would like to tackle an even more basic question, which I’ve already given away in the title. Namely: Which is most important for endurance fitness and performance—training, diet, or sleep? As you’re about […]

The Racing Weight Backlash is Clearly Well Intended, But Is It Also Misguided?

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 15, 2019

When news broke recently about the fat shaming and related psychological abuse that was suffered by members of the Nike Oregon Project and by members of past British Olympic track and field teams at the hands of their coaches, I, like so many others, found the alleged behavior unconscionable. But I also found it absurd. […]

Overcoming Stadephobia (Fear of Distance)

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 11, 2019

Stadephobia is not a real word. I just made it up. It combines the ancient Greek words stade, which was a unit of measure used in footraces (1 stade = 180 meters), and phobia, meaning fear, and it’s my name for the phenomenon of fear of distance. In general, phobias are irrational fears of things like spiders […]

Train Like a Pro in 2020!

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 29, 2019

In 1997, when I was a struggling young poet (don’t laugh) in San Francisco, I wrote a letter to Dave Eggers, who was then merely a local literary celebrity whose reputation rested on his work as founder and editor of MIGHT magazine and not yet the international literary star he became three years later with […]

Is There a Threshold of Training Volume Below Which an 80/20 Intensity Balance Is Not Optimal for Fitness Development?

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 21, 2019

The question that serves as the title of this article is one that comes up often in discussions of the 80/20 method of endurance training. It’s a natural question to ask. Common sense suggests that a person can make up for exercising little by exercising hard. Heck, there’s no bigger proponent of the 80/20 approach […]

Book Review: Rebound: Train your mind to bounce back stronger from sports injuries

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 14, 2019

Overuse injuries such as Achilles tendinosis and runner’s knee are very different from other “health problems” such as migraine and flu. Whereas the latter cause all-day physical discomfort, most overuse injuries hurt only when you try to do the specific activity that caused them. And yet they bother you just as much, don’t they? The […]

Don’t Trust Your Treadmill

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 8, 2019

One of the more persistent myths in running is the idea that running on a treadmill is “easier” than running overground. Here’s a typical formulation of the myth, which I found on the website of the Houston Chronicle:  Running on a level road or trail is not the same as running on a level treadmill. […]

A Novel Approach to “Training Through” Running Injuries

By Matt Fitzgerald | September 30, 2019

The August 2009 issue of Triathlete Magazine featured an article titled “The end of Running Injuries.” Written by yours truly, the piece introduced readers to the Alter-G antigravity treadmill, which, I claimed, “has the potential to completely eliminate traditional injury setbacks from the life of any runner (or triathlete) who has access to a machine.” This […]

Should You Lock Yourself in a Hot Room While Tapering for Races?

By Matt Fitzgerald | September 23, 2019

I am not an exercise scientist, but I do have a strong interest in the science of endurance exercise, and every once in a while I speculate on the kinds of questions exercise scientists like to explore experimentally. For example, back in 2004 I found myself wondering if training in a hot environment might improve […]