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80/20 Endurance Blog

Book Review: The Holy Sh!t Moment

By Matt Fitzgerald | February 11, 2019

Readers of my work often assume that I mostly read the same kinds of books I write, but this isn’t the case. Of the 40 to 50 books I devour each year, about 90 percent are novels. I can’t help it—my father is a novelist and I was a diehard fiction junkie by the third […]

Beetroot juice

That’s It, I’m Going Back on Beetroot Juice!

By Matt Fitzgerald | February 4, 2019

I went through a meathead phase between the ages of 17 and 25. Having burned out on running, I threw myself into weightlifting, repeating the same four-day workout cycle over and over and over again with almost no variation. Predictably, I gained a lot of strength and muscle mass initially, then plateaued. Naïvely, I kept […]

Keep calm and Keep running

Keep Calm and Keep Running

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 28, 2019

At the 2016 World Half Marathon Championships, held in Cardiff, Wales, young Geoffrey Kamworor gave the running community an object lesson in keeping calm during a crisis. The Kenyan upstart came into the race having talked a lot of smack about one fellow competitor, Mo Farah, who was almost universally recognized as the best runner […]

is motivation a negative thing?

Is Motivation Ever Really the Problem?

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 21, 2019

A few weeks ago I was working out in the functional strength room at the gym I go to when one of the facility’s personal trainers entered with a new client, an overweight middle-age male. I did not intentionally eavesdrop on their session, but I couldn’t help overhearing the duo’s interactions during the next half-hour. […]

Does Every Second Count in a Daylong Race?

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 13, 2019

The other day I had an interesting conversation with an athlete I coach who is training for an Ironman 70.3 event that will take place on the same weekend as the Ironman race I’m training for (specifically the weekend of May 10-11, 2019). In explaining to me why he had done the bare minimum of […]

Here’s an Easy Way to Become a More Successful Athlete: Eliminate the Word “Triggered” from Your Vocabulary

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 7, 2019

Suddenly the word “triggered” is everywhere. The Urban Dictionary defines it as “An emotional/psychological reaction caused by something that somehow relates to an unhappy time or happening in someone’s life.” I would add that the term may also refer to stimuli affecting some personal vulnerability that is not strictly related to a past time or […]

A Case for Treating Your Next Big Race as the Most Important Thing in the World

By Matt Fitzgerald | January 2, 2019

Recently my brother Josh sent me a link to an article on the John Templeton Foundation website that I found quite interesting. Titled “Sanctifying Everyday Difficulties: Motivational Consequences of Sanctifying Difficult Experiences,” it concerned the work of Daphna Oyserman, a professor of psychology at USC. Oyserman has spent a number of years studying ways in […]

How Will Endurance Athletes Train 50 Years from Now?

By Matt Fitzgerald | December 24, 2018

One hundred years ago, Scandinavian athletes dominated elite distance running. They trained rather differently from today’s elite runners. Hannes Kolehmainen is a good example. His primary fitness activity during the long Finnish winters was cross-country skiing, and even in the summer he did more walking than running. He was, however, among the first elite runners […]

Just Because Something Works Doesn’t Mean Something Else Wouldn’t Work Better

By Matt Fitzgerald | December 17, 2018

Imagine you are completely sedentary and you have been for some time. Then one day you decide to train for a 10K running event. The specific training method you choose is Yoga—30 minutes a day, six days a week. To assess the effectiveness of this program, you actually do a 10K before you start on […]

What Would Spock Do?

By Matt Fitzgerald | December 10, 2018

Lieutenant Commander Spock is one of the most iconic nonhuman (well, technically half-human) characters in television history. When I watched Star Trek as a child, my understanding was that Spock’s lack of emotion made him really smart. I’m not sure if this was Gene Roddenberry’s actual intent in creating the character, but regardless, my impressionable young […]