Blog – 80/20 Endurance

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80/20 Blog

If One Bad Workout Lowers Your Confidence Level, You Weren’t Confident in the First Place

By Matt Fitzgerald | June 1, 2020

Confidence, which dictionary.com defines as “belief in oneself and one’s powers and abilities,” is critical to athletic success. We all know this. Yet we seldom pause to reflect on the nature of confidence or to think about how best to manage it. This leads to some bad assumptions about confidence—such as the notion that more […]

2019 Boston Marathon

Do It Because You Suck at It: Training and Racing with a Mastery Mindset

By Matt Fitzgerald | May 25, 2020

I ran my first Boston Marathon in 2009. Although I came into the race super fit, having just lowered my half-marathon PB, I knew within 12 miles that I was in for yet another long and disappointing day at the 26-mile, 385-yard distance. At 16 miles, I saw my family, who, at great inconvenience to […]

How to Convert Pool Swim Workouts to Open Water

By Matt Fitzgerald | May 8, 2020

Pools are closed, but the weather is warming and athletes in many places are gaining access to venues for open-water swimming. Perhaps you’ve thought about take advantage of such an opportunity, but aren’t sure how to transfer the pool workouts you’re accustomed to doing to open water. Here are some tips. Safety First Much has […]

Free Sample Chapter of Matt Fitzgerald’s New Book Running the Dream

By Matt Fitzgerald | May 4, 2020

Here, for your free reading enjoyment, is the first chapter of Matt Fitzgerald’s book Running the Dream: One Summer Living, Training, and Racing with a Team of World-Class Runners Half My Age. If you decide you’d like to read the rest of it, please consider purchasing a copy from your local bookstore. Explore other options […]

To What Extent Is It Possible to “Cram” for a Marathon?

By Matt Fitzgerald | April 27, 2020

We’re all familiar with the phenomenon of cramming. You fail to attend any of your American Civilization 101 classes or to do any of the required reading all semester, and then, with one week remaining before the final exam, you hit the books and burn the midnight oil in a heroic effort to catch up […]

Schooling Your Stride

By Matt Fitzgerald | April 17, 2020

One of my biggest pet peeves is the phrase “proper running form.” I can’t stand it. Why? Because it implies that there’s only one correct way to run, and nothing could be further from the truth. Even worse, it implies that good running form is defined by how the stride looks, which further implies that […]

How Champions Return from Setbacks (Like, Say, Missing a Month of Training Due to Coronavirus)

By Matt Fitzgerald | April 13, 2020

Currently I’m working on a book called The Comeback Quotient, in which I attempt to answer a very simple question: What is it that enables some athletes to overcome major setbacks and make the very best of the very worst situations? The answer I offer will surprise many. Comebacks come in infinite varieties, but the one […]

Four Ways Endurance Athletes Can Turn the Negative of Social Distancing into a Positive

By Matt Fitzgerald | April 6, 2020

There’s a moment in the film It Might Get Loud, a 2008 documentary centered on guitar heroes Jimmy Page, the Edge, and Jack White, that has stuck with me over the years. It’s the part where Jack is discussing the rationale behind his minimalist musical style, and in so many words he explains that making things […]

Now Is the Time for All Runners to Channel Their Inner Kenyan

By Matt Fitzgerald | March 30, 2020

Runners are goal-oriented by nature. It goes without saying that the pursuit of goals requires planning and a certain degree of control. It’s difficult to pursue the goal of, say, lowering your half-marathon PB if you don’t have a specific half-marathon event on your calendar and if it’s beyond your power to put one there. […]

Is “Peaking” Even Real? Or Necessary?

By Matt Fitzgerald | March 23, 2020

The concept of peaking in endurance training goes back many decades. It’s essentially the art of timing your next big race to coincide with an ephemeral highpoint in performance capacity that is achieved through careful manipulation of training load and sequencing of training stimuli. A critical belief (or assumption) underlying the practice is that endurance […]