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80/20 Endurance Blog

The Goal of Becoming a Better Runner is Highly Compatible with the Goal of Becoming a Better Person

By Matt Fitzgerald | June 18, 2018

The apprehension runners feel before a race and the suffering they experience during a race constitute a sort of crisis state—a special kind of crisis state that is actively chosen by the runner. Like other crisis states, this one tends to bring one’s personal weaknesses to the fore. If a runner’s mind lets him down […]

How to Set a Good Race Time Goal

By Matt Fitzgerald | June 11, 2018

Many of the posts I write for this blog are inspired by athlete FAQ’s. Well, this is another one. And, quite honestly, I’m note sure why it has taken me so long to write it, because it answers one of the top three most frequently asked questions I get from runners who either have read […]

When Is It Helpful to Think about Running While You’re Running?

By Matt Fitzgerald | June 5, 2018

Basketball players shoot free throws more accurately when they focus on the back rim rather than on the action of their wrist. Weightlifters squat more weight when they think about pushing the floor away with their feet than when they concentrate on contracting their muscles. And runners run more economically when they focus on the […]

How to Avoid the Moderate-Intensity Rut as a Trail Runner

By Matt Fitzgerald | May 29, 2018

Trail running is becoming more and more popular—statistics say so. But I don’t need statistics to know that increasing numbers of runners are taking to the trails. I can tell by the emails I receive from advice-seeking athletes, a rising percentage of which are sent by trail runners. The question that is most frequently asked […]

“You Are Not a Watch” (A Lesson in Pacing)

By Matt Fitzgerald | May 21, 2018

In the context of endurance racing, pacing can be defined as the skill of distributing one’s effort across a defined distance in such a way that the distance is covered in the least amount of time possible. Although the body does the visible work in any kind of endurance race, the skill of pacing is […]

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The Glycogen Threshold Hypothesis: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

By Matt Fitzgerald | May 14, 2018

There is a strong case to be made for making sure you consume plenty of carbohydrate before endurance training, and also during longer workouts. You will feel better and perform better, especially in harder sessions and in sessions that are begun in a prefatigued state during heavy training periods. But there is also a strong […]

running workout techniques

3 Things That Work, But Not the Way Most Runners Think

By Matt Fitzgerald | May 7, 2018

There are lots of running-related techniques and methods that are widely known to be effective but that achieve their effects in different ways than most runners believe or assume. For example, drinking water and consuming carbohydrate during endurance exercise are known to enhance performance and are believed to achieve this effect by limiting dehydration and […]

Are Bounce Back Marathons a Bad Idea?

By Matt Fitzgerald | April 30, 2018

On April 24, eight days after American running star Galen Rupp dropped out of the Boston Marathon in the 20th mile with hypothermia and breathing problems, organizers of the Prague Marathon announced that Rupp had been added to the start list of their event, to be held May 6, a day shy of three weeks […]

runner holding his leg due to muscle shrinking

Are Your Muscles Shrinking and Getting Tighter? Good! (If you’re a runner)

By Matt Fitzgerald | April 23, 2018

Recently one of the athletes I coach (we’ll call him Scott) came to me with some concerns about the results of his latest DEXA scan and weigh-in. Although he had lost both overall weight and body fat, he had also lost some muscle mass, and the body-fat percentage in his arms had increased slightly. Scott […]

How’s Your Metacognition? If You’re an Endurance Athlete, You Should Care!

By Matt Fitzgerald | April 16, 2018

The weekend before last I did a 10-mile run. Under normal circumstances, such a workout is no big deal, but I am coming back from an injury and this one did not go terribly well. Having done a succession of eight-mile runs every other day over the preceding week, I was hoping to feel comfortable, […]