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80/20 Endurance Blog

Book Review: Inside a Marathon

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 26, 2018

On October 3, 2018, runnerworld.com published an article titled, “Galen Rupp: American Record Could Go Down in Chicago.” In its ninth paragraph, after providing some background on the existing American record for the marathon and Rupp’s buildup to the 2018 Chicago Marathon, writer Sarah Lorge Butler hedged, “To be clear, Rupp says, he’d rather win […]

I’ve Got Your 2019 New Year’s Resolution

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 19, 2018

I came home from my time with the Northern Arizona Elite professional running team last summer convinced that every serious athlete should carve out a little time each day for what I will loosely classify as physical therapy. I’m talking about foam rolling, mobility exercises, and other activities that help put the musculoskeletal system in […]

Mental Predictors of Physical Performance

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 12, 2018

Every endurance athlete is familiar with the idea that certain physiological tests can be used to predict endurance performance. For example, the classic VO2max test is a very reliable way to assess how well an athlete is likely to do in a race or time trial. Other examples are the Wingate test and a simple […]

my first ironman training in 17 yrears

Coaching the Coach: How I’m Training for My First Ironman in 17 Years

By Matt Fitzgerald | November 5, 2018

My 2010 book RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel includes a chapter titled “Winging It” in which I advocate—for experienced athletes only—the practice of training without a formal plan. I don’t go as far as to recommend that athletes completely make up their training as they go along. Rather, I suggest they establish certain […]

The Two Words That Best Describe an Effective Training Program

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 29, 2018

“Hard fun.” In my opinion, this two-word phrase constitutes the ideal description of an endurance training program that’s really working. As a coach, I can’t think of anything I would rather hear an athlete say in response to the question, “How would you describe your experience of the current training segment?” than “Hard fun.” Why? […]

If I Only Had Room in My Suitcase for either the Lactate Threshold or the Ventilatory Threshold, I Would Pack the Ventilatory Threshold: Here’s Why

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 22, 2018

The lactate threshold gets so much attention in endurance sports that, despite its esoteric name, most athletes who have passed beyond the newbie stage are familiar with it. The term “lactate threshold” refers, of course, to the exercise intensity at which lactate, an intermediate product of aerobic metabolism, begins to accumulate in the bloodstream because […]

Macro Pacing: What It Is and Why It Matters

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 15, 2018

Ever since my book How Bad Do You Want It? was published in 2015 I’ve received a steady drip of emails from struggling high school runners, and occasionally also from their coaches and parents. Last week I got one from a runner who was frustrated by a seemingly inexplicable cessation of improvement. He couldn’t understand it. […]

“The Price Is Right” Analogy of Marathon Pacing

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 8, 2018

The fall marathon season is upon us, and you know what that means: Thousands upon thousands of runners will hit the wall before they reach the finish line, slowing down precipitously over the final miles of the race and consequently falling short of their goals. But you don’t have to be one of them! A […]

runner's resolutions list

Eating for Endurance: A Risk-Management Perspective

By Matt Fitzgerald | October 1, 2018

A few months back, the following tweet from triathlon legend Dave Scott caught my eye: It always amazes me how folks fear a new paradigm for sports nutrition. Unless you own a sugar-based nutrition company, why WOULDN’T you experiment w/ #LCHF It works when implemented properly … even at high intensities. I’m not sure whether […]

Book Review: Essential Sports Nutrition

By Matt Fitzgerald | September 24, 2018

There’s no evidence that P. T. Barnum actually said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But if he didn’t say it, he should have, because it’s true—there is a sucker born every minute. I encounter suckers almost every day in the domain of endurance sports nutrition. Athletes come to me asking why they’ve lost not only […]

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